It's hard to imagine a more quintessential winter wonderland experience than exploring snow-covered Norway by car, train, or boat with the Northern Lights dancing overhead. Norway's northern latitude, with a significant portion of the country above the Arctic Circle, makes for cold and short days, so careful planning is required to make sure the logistics of your Norway winter trip run like clockwork. Read on for great winter itinerary suggestions, and tips to help you make the most of your winter visit to the land of fjords.

Norway covers a lot of ground from south to north, which creates important differences in climate and daylight hours during winter. Oslo and Bergen in southern Norway get a decent amount of daylight even on the shortest days of the year (roughly from 9 am to 3 pm at the end of December), whereas Tromsø and Alta are above the Arctic Circle and get no sunlight at all from late November to mid-January (although the sun will be near the horizon for a short part of the day, creating a few hours of beautiful blue light that is a big draw for photographers).

Given this dynamic, the first itinerary listed here is most suitable for trips in the darkest months of winter, since Oslo and Bergen still have a bit of daylight. Itineraries 2, 3, and 4 all take place above the Arctic Circle, and we therefore mainly recommend these in February or later (unless your main interest is seeing the Northern Lights, in which case 20 hours of darkness will give you plenty of opportunities).

Since many roads tend to be narrow, winding, and icy, especially in the fjords, driving in winter is challenging. We recommend traveling by train or boat where available, or even by dog sled (see itinerary #4)! 

The itineraries listed here are all for one week, but these can be shortened or extended based on the amount of time you have. Your Norway specialist will work with you to customize your trip and make it perfect for you.

Itinerary #1: Oslo, Bergen & Tromsø Winter Adventure

Starting in Oslo—Europe's fastest-growing capital—you'll take one of the steepest trains in the world towards the fjords. Then train to Bergen, a UNESCO-listed city loaded with culture and restaurants. Finish with two nights at a resort in the Arctic where you'll dog sled and search for the Northern Lights. See details

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Explore Oslo's hidden gems with a local expert Oslo
Day 3 Train to Flåm - Fjord Winter cruise - Train to Bergen Bergen
Day 4 Bergen City Tour Bergen
Day 5 Flight to Tromsø - Transfer to Malangen Peninsula Tromsø
Day 6 Dogsledding & Northern Lights Excursion Tromsø
Day 7 Depart Norway  

Itinerary #2: Tromsø & Alta Winter Adventure

Begin this trip in the quietly sophisticated city of Tromsø, where you can sled with huskies during the day and chase the Northern Lights after dark. Continue to Alta by car or bus for snow sports in the Arctic wilderness and a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of rock carvings. To up the Alta adventure factor, spend your last two nights in a nearby hotel made of snow and ice! See details

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tromsø Tromsø
Day 2 Explore Tromsø & Chase the Northern Lights Tromsø
Day 3 Trapper's Farm Wilderness Excursion Inner Tromsø
Day 4 Drive to Alta & Explore Alta
Day 5 Dogsledding & Northern Lights Alta
Day 6 Winter Activities in Alta Alta
Day 7 Depart Norway  

Itinerary #3: Norway Northern Lights Road Trip

Start in the city of Tromsø, nicknamed 'Paris of the North'. From here, hit the road and see rock art in Alta, learn about the indigenous Sami people in Karasjok, and visit a hotel made of snow along the Finnish/Russian border. Each day ends with another opportunity to view the Northern Lights in this beautiful and remote part of the world. See details

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tromsø Tromsø
Day 2 Tromsø City Tour Tromsø
Day 3 Tromsø - Drive to Alta Alta
Day 4 Alta - Drive to Karasjok Karasjok
Day 5 Karasjok - Drive to Kirkenes Kirkenes
Day 6 Explore Kirkenes Kirkenes
Day 7 Depart Tromsø  

 

Itinerary #4: Multi-Day Dogsledding Adventure from Tromsø

Embark on five days of epic adventure in Northern Norway, Finland, and Sweden. With the help of your private guide, get to know your team of huskies by name, drive your own sled, and enjoy traditional meals around the campfire. Fall asleep each night in traditional Sami tents—or stay up to look for the Northern Lights. See details

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tromsø Tromsø
Day 2 Dogsledding Adventure from Tromsø - Day 1 Inner Troms
Day 3 Dogsledding Adventure from Tromsø - Day 2 Inner Troms
Day 4 Dogsledding Adventure from Tromsø - Day 3 Inner Troms
Day 5 Dogsledding Adventure from Tromsø - Day 4 Inner Troms
Day 6 Dogsledding Adventure from Tromsø - Day 5 Tromsø
Day 7 Depart Tromsø  

Map

Map of Best Winter Itineraries in Norway
Map of Best Winter Itineraries in Norway