Tromsø, which some call the Venice of the North and others a god-forsaken city at the end of the world, lies at the Northern tip of Norway, deep in the Arctic circle, where the land breaks up into scattered islands. The city is located along a ragged coastline, with ancient, snow-shouldered giants dropping to their knees to drink out of the Norwegian Sea. The landscapes are spectacular, rough and crystalline, outlined by dark waters that lap at every road, making them frighteningly icy and dicey (but that shouldn’t stop you renting your own car). In the winter, the daunting waves open up to reveal the fins and tails of a stunning number of whales and killer whales. The surprising thing with Tromsø is that, since it lies right next to the Gulf Stream, it is fairly warm in comparison to nearby Lapland.