Winter Twilight at Ersfjordbotn

Ersfjordbotn is a small village on the island of Kvaløya north of Tromso. It is perfect for landscape photography and aurora borealis viewing while escaping the bustle of the city for a while.

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Winter in northern Norway is dark.  The sun doesn’t make it above the horizon for a number of weeks in the depths of winter. This doesn’t mean there is total darkness, just a continuous twilight.  With the twilight comes sunrise and sunset, lingering in the sky as a continuous state of colour.  The light changes and evolves as the sun moves around, below the visible horizon, dancing in an alpenglow along the tops of the mountains.   This is known as the polar night and lasts from late November until mid January each year.  This state of darkness is compensated by the presence of the aurora borealis, dancing across the night sky when conditions allow.

Ersfjordbotn

Ersfjordbotn is a small village located on the shore of the north facing Ersfjord, tucked on the corner of the island of Kvaløya.  This traditional village is just 30 minutes from the city of Tromsø, but couldn’t be further from the bustle of the city.  Tromsø has the highest number of wooden buildings in northern  Norway and some of these were seen in the wooden village just outside the city. On the shoreline the remains of wooden fishing huts sit frozen.  Nets gently rippling in the frozen air.  Red paint peeling exposing the silver weathered wood below.

Ersfjord at Twilight

From the small harbour in Ersfjordbotn, the fjord extends like a large and calm lake below the mountains.  Sitting on the deck of the lovely Bryggejentene cafe, this is the perfect location to watch for whales and imagine what lies beyond the island at the entrance to the fjord.  High above the furthest peaks, flocks of birds soar and the light moves with the movement of the sun.  Time passes but the twilight hangs in the air.  Never becoming daylight but teasing of the night which will come.

Photography at ersfjordbotn

This small village with its stunning mountains running down to the fjord is perfect for long exposure photography. From the shoreline the water stretches away to the open sea. Using the pebbled beach or the small pier for foreground interest work well.

Exploring along the shoreline you will find fishing huts that are weathered, nets are hanging in some and there is a range of rusting fishing paraphernalia scattered around. These provide some beautiful textures and colours that contrast against the winter snow.

Aurora Borealis

This is a lovely location for aurora, but it wasn’t to be on our trip.  The reflection of the aurora in the water, framed by the mountains is absolutely stunning.

YayImages \ U. Gernhoefer

Getting to Ersfjordbotn

Ersfjordbotn is located 20km north west of Tromsø on road 862 which is just 30 minutes drive along the edge of the fjord. There is parking in the village close to the water’s edge and the Bryggejentene cafe. From here it is easy to wander and explore the small pebbly beach.

To make the most of the amazing light and landscapes there are a number of AirBnB’s to rent within the village including the spectacular Fjøsen. This apartment has massive picture windows looking out over the fjord making aurora hunting easy and cosy.

Places close by

  • Tromsø – This small city is just a short distance away and is a fantastic starting point to explore the region and hunt for aurora
  • Straumen gård – A living museum with old wooden farm buildings looking out over the fjord
  • Sommarøya and Hillesøya – Two linked islands off the north east coast of Kvaløya reached across stunning bridges