For the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights, the small-scale cable car Fjellheisen (tel. 77-61-00-00 for information) hauls sightseers in orange-and-red gondolas from a spot near the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsdal uphill to a small, not-very-exciting cafe and restaurant (Fjellstua Restaurant), 420m (1,378 ft.) above sea level. Your vertiginous trip is rewarded with a panoramic view from the restaurant that extends out over the surrounding countryside. The cable car operates in March Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm, April to September daily 10am to 5pm. Round-trip passage costs NOK95 ($19/£9.50) for adults, NOK45 ($9/£4.50) for children 6 to 16, and is free for children under 6. Round-trip transport of a bicycle (some bike and hiking trails originate near the cable car's upper station) costs NOK35 ($7/£3.50).

Full meals in the Fjellstua Restaurant cost around NOK250 ($50/£25) and include reindeer, dried cod, and fish. Although the tourist office tries to promote this as a big-deal kind of excursion, it's actually kind of tame. The cable car is a bit of a weak-lemonade replay of something the Swiss and Austrians do in ways that are flashier and higher.

Aurora Borealis: The Northern Lights -- The Northern Lights are one of nature's most spectacular and mysterious phenomena. In the right conditions, they can be seen in the night sky north of the Arctic Circle in winter. The most practical place to view them in Norway is Tromsø. If seeing these lights is one of your goals, plan to be in Tromsø for at least 3 days in order to increase your odds of getting the right atmospheric conditions. Anytime in the period from November to March is good, but the end of December, with its 24 hours of darkness, is best.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.