Wild, rugged, and beautiful—these are a few words that describe Norway's dazzling Arctic Circle. Over 10 days, you'll discover the highlights and hidden gems of this Polar region in luxurious style, starting at a chic wilderness lodge in Alta. After snowmobile rides and northern lights spotting, it's on to Tromsø for a day of dogsledding. Then, you'll hop on a luxury cruiser for an overnight journey to the famous Lofoten Islands, where horseback rides, kayaking, and well-deserved sauna sessions await.


  • Enjoy Arctic adventures ranging from dogsledding to kayaking
  • Spot the northern lights on an aurora borealis dinner cruise
  • Ride along the famed coast of the Lofoten Islands on horseback
  • Spend your evenings in luxury wilderness lodges
  • Warm up with traditional saunas and wood-fired hot tubs

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Alta, Three-Course Dinner at Maku Alta
Days 2-3 Alta Wilderness Adventures Alta
Day 4 Fly to Tromsø, Aurora Dinner Cruise Tromsø
Day 5 Dogsled Tour, Overnight Cruise to Lofoten Islands Havila
Day 6 Arrive in Gimsøya, Northern Lights Horseback Ride Gimsøya
Days 7-8 Gimsøya Horseback Adventures & Northern Lights Gimsøya
Day 9 Transfer to Svolvær, Kayaking & Floating Sauna Svolvær
Day 10 Depart Svolvær  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Alta, Three-Course Dinner at Maku

Your remote luxury lodge sits on the banks of the Alta River (photo courtesy of Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge)

Welcome to Norway! After catching a connecting flight in the capital of Oslo, you'll arrive at the "top of the world" and Alta. Located in Finnmark, the nation's northernmost county, this charming town lies within the Arctic Circle, putting you right up close to the mesmerizing phenomena of the aurora borealis (northern lights) in winter. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to the first of many Arctic-style luxury accommodations you'll enjoy on this trip.

The Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge sits on the banks of the Alta River and is one of the most luxurious hotels in Norway's high Arctic region. The 24 well-equipped rooms feature panoramic windows and balconies with river views—perfect to marvel at the northern lights. Also on site are an expansive lounge, bar, and Maku, a fine-dining restaurant. Tonight, you'll sit down to a three-course dinner here featuring the best ingredients from Arctic Norway, including reindeer and moose, fresh seafood, vegetables from local farms, and berries foraged in the wilderness.

Days 2-3: Alta Wilderness Adventures

Set off on a reindeer-led adventure with the Sámi community (photo courtesy of Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge)

Over the next two days, you'll embark on a series of exhilarating outdoor adventures that immerse you in the pristine Arctic landscapes around Alta. Highlights include spending the day with a local Indigenous Sami family, learning about their seminomadic lifestyles and the importance reindeer herding has to their culture. Take an invigorating ride along the Alta River in a reindeer sled, then gather around the fire in a traditional lavvu tent as your hosts share Sámi stories and traditions.

You'll also bundle up for an adventurous snowmobiling adventure to witness the spectacular colors of an Arctic sunrise, and set off again as darkness falls for an evening of northern lights chasing across the high plateaus. In between activities, warm up in your room's soaking tub with panoramic views over the river, head to the sauna for some rejuvenating downtime, and enjoy meals that highlight local ingredients in innovative ways at the lodge's excellent restaurants. You even have the option of spending a night in a nearby igloo for the ultimate Arctic experience.‍

Day 4: Fly to Tromsø, Aurora Dinner Cruise

Aurora Borealis can appear in the early evening
Northern lights seen in the early evening over Tromsø

After one last sauna and a hearty breakfast, say your goodbyes to Sorrisniva and transfer to the airport for the scenic 45-minute flight west to Tromsø. Known as the "Gateway to the Arctic," this far-flung city may lie north of the Arctic Circle, but it doesn't lack culture and activities. Out of some 65,000 residents, there's a large student population here. That translates to a robust music, film, and nightlife culture.

When you arrive, you'll check into the Scandic Ishavshotel. This award-winning waterfront hotel sits right on Tromsø's quayside, a short walk to city attractions like the Polar Museum. The modern and spacious rooms and suites are well appointed, with many featuring fjord views—great vantage points to spy the northern lights in winter. Additionally, the hotel is a convenient hub for activities like whale watching or a midnight concert at the iconic Arctic Cathedral.

Later, around 7 pm, you'll board an electric catamaran for a combined dinner/northern lights cruise. Take a seat in the ship's elegant dining room, where you can start the meal with a craft beer or select wine while admiring the scenery from the panoramic windows. Then, enjoy a delicious dinner catered by a local restaurant in Tromsø. As you eat, the captain will keep an eye out for the aurora borealis, and when they give the word, you can head to the deck to capture more photos of the sublime overhead show.

Day 5: Dogsled Tour, Overnight Cruise to Lofoten Islands

Meet your furry team members for the day

Spend the morning with some adorable four-legged friends as you embark on a half-day dogsledding trip around Tromsø. After meeting the dogs and a quick safety briefing, you'll take the reins of the husky team and set off along a scenic forest trail. As you make stops to experience the most dazzling areas of the course, you'll hear about the life of a husky musher in the frozen north, learn about the dogs, and gain insight into the winter wonderland around you.

Afterward, you'll transfer to the port and board a Havila cruiser. Havila is the premier ferry company in the region, featuring eco-friendly cruise ships that can sail for hours with zero emissions. Onboard, the spacious cabins feature Nordic decor and are equipped with flatscreens and WiFi. As for dining, the ship's team of chefs has created a menu featuring traditional dishes from the local towns and villages along the route. They even handpick the freshest ingredients.

Once you've settled in, feel free to spend the rest of the day on deck enjoying the fjord and mountain views. You can also view the northern lights while seated in a comfortable lounge chair under the glass roof. Or perhaps you'd prefer to enjoy the views from a Jacuzzi heated by the ship's surplus heat? Whatever you decide, relaxation is the order of the day as you cruise down the coast toward your ultimate destination: the gorgeous Lofoten Islands.
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Day 6: Arrive in Gimsøya, Northern Lights Horseback Ride

Check into your own private lodge, complete with wood-fired hot tub (photo courtesy of Lofoten Links Lodges)

The boat will dock early at the port in Stamsund, a fishing village located in the center of the Lofoten archipelago. At the pier, you'll disembark and meet your personal driver for the hour-long ride north to Gimsøya. One of the most beautiful destinations in the archipelago, this island is sparsely populated (there are fewer than 200 residents here) and known for its wild beauty.

You'll be staying on the island's rugged north coast at the Lofoten Links Lodges. Ideally situated on the wide and inviting Hov Beach, you can witness the majesty of Arctic Norway right from the patio of your luxury lodge, complete with picture windows facing the Norwegian Sea and a roaring fireplace.

As night falls, stroll over to the nearby restaurant for dinner, where you'll feast on traditional Norwegian fare in a rustic, converted 70-year-old barn. Then, it's time to bundle up and set off on a gentle two-hour horseback ride—the perfect chance to acquaint yourself with your equine partner for the next few days and hopefully catch a glimpse of the northern lights. 

Days 7-8: Gimsøya Horseback Adventures & Northern Lights

Bundle up for daily horseback riding adventures on Gimsøya (photo courtesy of Lofoten Links Lodges)

Over the next two days, you'll embark on a series of thrilling winter horseback riding excursions. One adventure starts with a visit to the local Viking Museum. Here, you'll learn a bit about Nordic history before setting off on a 5-6-hour ride to the Åland cheese farm, where an organic lunch featuring artisanal goat cheeses awaits.

Another half-day route takes you along the ancient Vikingvei (Viking Old Road), trotting and cantering past breathtaking scenery as you enter the picturesque Vinje Valley. You'll break at a cozy Sámi lavvo for a traditional lunch before returning to the comfort of your lodge, where you can relax in front of a crackling fire, take a dip in your private outdoor hot tub, or head down to the beachfront sauna to warm up. Your lodge faces north, and Gimsøya is remarkably free of light pollution, so as darkness falls each night, you'll have more chances of spotting the northern lights. 

Day 9: Transfer to Svolvær, Kayaking & Floating Sauna

Kayaking in the Lofoten Islands
Kayaking in the Arctic is a singularly beautiful experience

Bid your new equine friends farewell and meet your driver after breakfast for the 45-minute ride southeast to Svolvær. Capital of the Vågan municipality, it's nestled amid fjords and mountains on Austvågøya, the largest of the Lofoten Islands. It features a bustling waterfront lined with colorful wooden buildings and fishing boats, which reflect its centuries-old fishing industry.

Upon arrival, you'll transfer to the Thon Hotel. Centrally located on the harbor, this 4-star hotel's contemporary aesthetic blends perfectly with its authentic surroundings. Its location offers both views of the waterfront and surrounding snowcapped peaks, like Mount Svolværgeita. The standard rooms are spacious and well-equipped with all mod-cons, while the suites offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Paleo Arctic is the hotel's fine restaurant, which serves up locally sourced specialties like Arctic cod and Lofoten lamb.

Like elsewhere on the Norwegian coast, this region is defined by its fjords—and one of the best ways to see them is from the seat of a kayak. This afternoon's three-hour tour begins when you put on a drysuit and hop in the vessel. Then, paddle out and feel the fresh Arctic breeze as you glide along the coast. Keep an eye out for wildlife like white-tailed sea eagles and curious seals and otters. At the end of the excursion, you'll return to the harbor and enjoy a relaxing session in a sauna floating on the surface of the North Atlantic. 

Day 10: Depart Svolvær

A colorful sunset over the Lofoten Islands
Well, you've had a ball and more than a few memorable adventures. Now, it's time to pack up the memories and begin the return trip. After breakfast at the hotel, you'll transfer to the airport in Svolvær, where you'll catch your connecting flight home. See you soon!

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Map of Luxury Winter Adventures in Norway's Far North - 10 Days
Map of Luxury Winter Adventures in Norway's Far North - 10 Days