They say you’ll never see a person sad on a jet ski. Well, after some intense research, I can confirm that the same applies for snowmobiles.
Nothing compares to zooming across a frozen lake at 65km/hour surrounded by snow-covered forests and mountains and visiting three countries in a matter of hours. It’s easily one of the most breath-taking landscapes and experiences I’ve had. Here’s what we got up to on our Tromso Snowmobile Adventure tour with Chasing Lights.
Snowmobiling in Tromso
I first snowmobiled in Iceland and absolutely fell in love, and my second go in Tromso did not disappoint.
Tromso is a small city in the north of Norway – so far north that it’s actually in the Arctic Circle – so it’s the perfect location for an adventurous winter getaway.
There’s loads of different tour operators who offer snowmobile day trips, but we went with the legends at Chasing Lights, who we also joined for their Arctic Fjords Road Trip and Northern Lights Minibus Chase.
To find out how we spent the whole five days, check out my Ultimate Guide to Tromso.
Here’s what our Tromso snowmobiling adventure entailed…
The day started early, meeting the Chasing Lights van and our 10 buddies for the day in the centre of Tromso at 7am, before heading north for 2.5 hours and crossing the border into Finland.
The drive alone is beautifully scenic, winding alongside fjords, and we were lucky enough to see moose crossing the road along the way.
Arriving at the Finnish village of Kilpisjärvi where our adventure started, we were fitted with extreme cold-weather gear, including insulated boots, jumpsuits, full-length coats and mittens up to your elbows, as well as balaclavas and helmets with full-face visors.
After a quick safety briefing and lesson, we were off for a three-hour epic adventure. Zooming over the vast expanse of frozen lakes, through snow-covered forests and up mountains to look back over the landscape, as well as a visit to the three-country border of Finland, Norway and Sweden.
The scenery was unbelievable and was equally as amazing as the adrenaline-pumped fun of driving the snowmobile. There were plenty of opportunities for photos along the way, chances to swap drivers for those sharing, and our guide Bert talked us through the local landscape and pointed out places of interest.
We stopped for a hot lunch in a traditional Sami hut, huddled around a fire, and then headed back across the frozen lake to Kilpisjärvi and started our drive back to Tromso.
All up the day is about 9 hours, and undeniably a thrilling experience you will never forget.
How much does snowmobiling in Tromso cost?
For adults (16+) sharing a snowmobile, the day costs 2400 NOK (£215, about $415 NZD) per person. For adults on their own snowmobile it costs 2900 NOK (£260, about $500 NZD).
As with all adventure sports, especially in winter, the Tromso snowmobile tours aren’t cheap. But a destination like Tromso is made to be experienced, and from our experience it was worth waiting for cheap flights, opting for cheaper accommodation, and packing microwave food in our suitcases to fully get amongst the best activities the area had to offer.
What’s the weather like?
You’re nearly as far north as it gets, so it is cold. We snowmobiled near the end of January it was -25°C. Add windchill of up to 65km/hour to that and without the right gear and tour guide you would definitely be at risk of frost nip along the way.
Chasing Lights provided us with such high quality gear that was perfect for the conditions and our guide checked our hands and faces multiple times throughout the day for any signs of frost nip.
Top tip: before you go into very cold temperatures, avoid using any product on your skin that is water based as this can freeze on your face and leave you with a nasty burn. Oil-based products are ok, but we opted to not use anything on our skin, just to be safe.
Due to the cold weather, camera batteries also drain considerably faster than usual and there were times that the GoPro would switch itself off due to the cold while we were driving. If you can, it pays to take multiple batteries with you and keep your gear as close to your body as possible while you’re moving, then using it when you stop and don’t have the windchill to battle with.
The tour even included lunch!
Chasing Lights provides a cooked lunch and hot drinks, as well as a snack and water in the van on the way, but it’s important to have a hearty breakfast before you go because your body is working over-time to keep you warm. We packed porridge sachets in our suitcases which were a quick and warm breakfast at our AirBnB before our big days outside.
The final verdict
No surprises here but I’m totally, totally sold on snowmobiles. It’s a super fun way to get around, and the enjoyment is compounded when you’re zooming across multiple borders and through a winter wonderland in the Arctic Circle. It’s not a cheap option but Tromso (and Norway in general) is made for people who have a bit of extra cash to burn, so if you can afford it I’d definitely recommend it. You can see all the tour details for the Tromso snowmobile adventure with Chasing Lights right here.
Are you a speed demon, or do thrill activities freak you out a little bit? I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you’d go on a snowmobile tour yourself! Tell me in the comments below.
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Heading to Norway soon? See my Ultimate Tromso Guide here, my other Tromso blogs here and check out my Instagram @findingalexx for more epic travel photos!
Huge thanks to Chasing Lights for hosting us on their Tromso Snowmobile Adventure. As always, all opinions are my own and are based on my personal experience.