Dramatic, snow-covered mountains and the Northern Lights are highlights of this 6-day adventure above the Arctic Circle. Starting in Bodø, you'll ferry to the stunning Lofoten Islands and drive at your own pace through some of Norway's oldest and most colorful fishing towns. Then, exchange your rental car for an overnight coastal steamer where you'll travel to Tromsø for some urban culture and dog sledding.

Highlights

  • Take a wintry walk along Mjelle Beach, reached from a hiking trail near Bodø
  • Stop and start at your own pace through picturesque villages in the Lofoten Islands
  • Stay overnight in a cozy ship as you travel to the 'Paris of the North'
  • Try your hand at dog sledding and ice fishing with a guide in the wilderness

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bodø Bodø
Day 2 Ferry to Moskenes - Explore Reine & Hamnøy Hamnøy
Day 3 Drive to Svolvær - Board Hurtigruten Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 4 Hurtigruten - Arrive in Tromsø Tromsø
Day 5 Trapper's Farm Day-Trip Tromsø
Day 6 Depart Tromsø  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bodø

The coastal town of Bodø is where you'll catch the ferry
The coastal town of Bodø is where you'll catch the ferry

Welcome to Norway! Upon landing in Oslo, you'll catch a short flight to Bodø where you'll pick-up a rental car and spend the night. Some options for exploring the area include:

  • Visit the Norwegian Aviation Museum, the largest aviation museum in the Nordic countries.

  • Check out the world’s strongest tidal current in Saltstraumen during a guided tour. Your guide will take you through the area's breathtaking scenery while you learn about proud coastal heritage.

  • Walk along Mjelle Beach, 30-minutes from the city center of Bodø. From the parking lot, there is a nice hike along a trail by the sea before you get to the beach, which takes about 15 minutes. 

  • Join a guided Arctic Coastal Walk where you will learn about the elements geology of the area. Your guide will tell you about the local history and explain our dependency on the sea. He/she will also you some of the many Viking graves discovered in this area.

Day 2: Ferry to Moskenes - Explore Reine & Hamnøy

The picturesque village of Hamnøy
The picturesque village of Hamnøy

Today in Bodø, you'll connect to the 3-4 hour ferry towards the port town of Moskenes

Upon arrival, hit the road and explore the islands at your own pace. One of the best ways to appreciate the stunning natural scenery of the Lofoten Islands is to follow the E10 road, which runs along the archipelago allowing you to stop and admire the dramatic landscape along the way.

Two fishing villages on Moskenesøya Island worth exploring are Reine and Hamnøy. Reine is particularly breathtaking from the highway with red and white fishermen’s huts from the late 1800s—called rorbuer—dotting the shoreline and surrounding peaks of granite shooting out of the Reinefjorden. It is a quiet village, but many of the best hiking trails on the Lofoten Islands are within a short distance. You can also arrange kayaking, biking, and skiing trips in the winter. Stop at the Coop market and stock up on edible supplies if you're headed on an outdoor adventure.

The small neighboring town of Hamnøy is the oldest fishing village (cod is in season during winter months) in the Lofoten archipelago and unbelievably beautiful.

Visitors can stay in the original fishermen cabins (the oldest one is from the 1890s), which have been modernized with indoor facilities and Wi-Fi, providing a cozy place to stay. Local museums and galleries provide history and culture of the region; there's even an annual jazzfest!

Day 3: Drive to Svolvær - Board the Hurtigruten

Roads and bridges connect the archipelago

After breakfast, drive to the popular hub of Svolvær with about 2,000 residents. Spend the day soaking up the history while walking through the windy streets with centuries-old wooden houses and buildings, surrounded by majestic Lofoten mountains and sea. 

Make sure to stop into Foto Galleri for spectacular photos of the Lofoten Islands where the work of photographer Anders Finsland is on display. You can also sample traditional Norwegian cuisine at one of the local restaurants and then have a pint at Bryggabaren—a cozy, low-beamed pub made from a WWII Polish troop ship that washed up in Svolvær in 1946. 

If there's time, consider a short trip to the vibrant fishing village called Svinøya—a little section of Svolvær on an island across from the main part of town. This is the oldest part of Svolvær, and has been a thriving fishing hub since 1828. Keep an eye out for the fish processing plant, as well as iconic stockfish racks, art galleries, old wooden houses, and the fish restaurant called Børsen Spiseri

After dinner in town, you'll drop off the rental car off before boarding an overnight Hurtigruten coastal steamer towards the city of Tromsø, arriving the next afternoon.

Day 4: Hurtigruten - Arrive in Tromsø

Ride this mighty coastal steamer
Arrive in Tromsø on a mighty coastal steamer

Today, you will arrive in Tromsø on the Hurtigruten in the afternoon. Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, this is a lively place with 65,000 inhabitants. In addition to its lovely scenery and rich history, the city has a large student population and is famous for its robust music and film culture, so get out and explore this self-proclaimed 'Gateway to the Arctic'.

A good place to start is taking a ride on the cable car, which runs up to a mountain ledge in just four minutes. The two gondolas, known as Seal and Polar Bear, each have a capacity of 28 passengers. From the viewing platform at the upper station, you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Tromsø and the surrounding islands, mountains, and fjords. 

Often called, 'Paris of the North', Tromsø also has a notable restaurant and cocktail bar scene. A sample of options includes Fiskekompaniet for seafood, Presis Tapas for Spanish food, and Bardus Bistro for the locally harvested Arctic seaweed cocktail.

Day 5: Trapper's Farm Wilderness Excursion

Dog sledding in the arctic wilderness

This morning, you'll make your way to Trapper's Farm, about an hour outside of Tromsø, for a unique excursion that involves hiking through lush forests where you can take part in the simple but true life of a trapper.

After arriving by bus or private transfer, you will meet your guide and the farm's fantastic fleet of Greenland dogs, who will be ready to take you out on an adventure. Don’t worry, there will be a safety briefing beforehand that covers everything you need to know. Then, prepare the dog teams with your guide and set off into the forest.

There will be plenty of time on the way to check the farm's traps and nets. Towards the end of the afternoon, you will light a bonfire near the water's edge and enjoy a nice dinner together, preparing game or fish from the trip. Sit back and relax as your guide shares stories about the area as well as adventurous expeditions in the wild. 

Once the excursion is over, you'll return to Tromsø in the evening.

Day 6: Depart Tromsø

A view of Tromsø from above

It's time to say goodbye to Norway! Before your flight, spend some time wandering this cozy city center and charming pedestrian streets for unique souvenirs before heading to the airport.

Map

Map of Lofoten Islands & Tromsø Winter Excursion - 6 Days
Map of Lofoten Islands & Tromsø Winter Excursion - 6 Days