This autumn-themed trip for two explores Norway's snowy Arctic using a variety of travel modes and cozy accommodations. Start with culture and great restaurants in Tromsø before heading to Lyngenfjord, where you'll stay in a glass-topped igloo—prime for spotting the Northern Lights. Then, board the Hurtigruten for an overnight sail to the Lofoten Islands. Finish the adventure with a night in Oslo, the fastest-growing capital in Europe.

Highlights

  • Take a ride up on Tromsø's cable car for a restaurant with mountain views
  • Cook cozy meals in your glass-topped igloo, surrounded by alpine scenery
  • Enjoy snowy activities like snowshoeing and dogsledding
  • Take an overnight ride on the famous Hurtigruten to the Lofoten Islands
  • Visit the picturesque Lofoten archipelago without the summer crowds

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo - Flight to Tromsø Tromsø
Day 2 Explore Tromsø in Winter Tromsø
Day 3 Transfer to the Lyngenfjord Alps - Igloo Hotel Djupvik
Day 4 Explore the Lyngenfjord Region Djupvik
Day 5 Return to Tromsø - Board the Hurtigruten Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 6 Hurtigruten - Arrive in Svolvær Svolvær
Day 7 Explore the Lofoten Islands in Winter Svolvær
Day 8 Ferry to Bodø - Flight to Oslo Oslo
Day 9 Depart Oslo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo - Flight to Tromsø

Winter comes early in Norway's northern region

Welcome to Norway! Upon landing at Oslo Airport, you'll connect to a domestic flight headed north for Tromsø, the largest city in Northern Norway.

When you arrive, get settled in your hotel and then walk around the self-proclaimed "Gateway to the Arctic". Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, Tromsø is a lively place with 65,000 inhabitants. The city has a large student population and is famous for its robust music and film culture.  

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. Dine at the restaurant on top of the mountain, or head back down to sea level for a variety of pubs and restaurants.

Day 2: Explore Tromsø

Tromsø's pretty waterfront

After breakfast, you will have the whole day to explore Tromsø. Here are a few suggested tours and activities that can be arranged with local guides:

  • Walk Through History: Meet your local guide and set off on a three-hour walking tour of Tromsø. Visit the largest city in the north—street by street—and take in its rich culture and beautiful architecture, including historic wooden houses dating as far back as 1789. View relics and buildings dating back to medieval times, and learn about the city’s extensive fishing culture, which was established when trade in Norway was at its peak. You will also tour the stunning Arctic Cathedral. 
  • Dogsledding: After breakfast, get ready for an active day of dogsledding in the Norwegian countryside. (This is a half-day trip, lasting about 4 hours). You'll sled along a 2.4 mile (4km) trail and have a meet-and-greet with 300+ huskies and their puppies. Stop for hot coffee, tea, and biscuits along the route and have time to hear more about the history of dog sledding from experienced guides. At the end of your journey, you will sit around a campfire and have a traditional Norwegian meal of Bidos—hearty stew made of reindeer meat with broth and veggies (vegetarian meals are available upon request.)
  • Northern Lights Chase: In the evening, get ready to chase the Northern Lights*! Your guide will pick you up in Tromsø and take you on this fun after-dark excursion as they find the best locations away from the city lights for viewing and photographing this spectacular natural occurrence. Throughout the evening, your guide will offer interesting information about the Northern Lights, including why and how they occur, as well as legends and folklore of the indigenous Sami people. Your guide will even be able to assist you in adjusting your camera settings for the best photographs. If the weather allows, there will be a campfire with hot chocolate and marshmallows to end your night. 

If you remain in the city in the evening, great restaurants and lively nightlife await.

Day 3: Transfer to the Lyngenfjord Alps - Igloo Hotel

Hit the road for the Lyngen Alps

Today, you'll have breakfast in Tromsø before you head out for a unique experience in the Lyngen Alps! You can either take a bus to the Spåkenes Peninsula (it's a three-hour journey east), or a private driver can be arranged. 

Upon arrival in the Lyngenfjord Alps, you'll be greeted by the host of Lyngen North—a remote seaside hotel that offers glass igloos and houses with views of the snowy mountains. These cozy accommodations are perfect for short-term stays and are ideal for couples who are interested in seeing the Northern Lights (October through March).

In fact, the igloos come with glass ceilings so that you can look for glimpses of the aurora borealis while in bed. They're furnished with a double bed, a small equipped kitchen, a table with two chairs, and, of course, a bathroom with toilet and shower. You'll be taken to the grocery store nearby to buy dinner and breakfast supplies. All that's left of the evening is to sit back and enjoy the peaceful scenery!

Day 4: Explore the Lyngenfjord Region

Dog sledding in Norway's Arctic

Wake up to magnificent alpine views and enjoy the morning!

When you're ready for some exercise, the area around the Lyngen Alps offers a wide range of activities including hiking trails, ski tours of varying difficulty, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice climbing. 

If you're interested in dog sledding, you can take a hands-on tour where you are encouraged to help prepare the Huskies and sleds. You even have the choice to be a musher for a day and steer your own sled of 6 to 8 dogs through the wonderful Reisa National Park. The dogsledding guides will closely assist you and share their experience while you see what it takes. The whole tour takes roughly three hours depending on the snow conditions, and then you'll be returned back to Lyngen North for another night in the cozy igloos.

Day 5: Return to Tromsø - Board the Hurtigruten

Travel overnight by coastal steamer

After breakfast at Lyngen North, you'll say goodbye to your igloo and then transfer back to the bus stop for your return trip to Tromsø. When you arrive, you'll have the rest of the day explore more of the city, often called the 'Paris of the North!

If the weather cooperates, a great activity is to walk up to Prestvatnet, a beautiful little lake at Tromsøya that offers snowshoe rentals.  

In the evening, dine in town at one of Tromsø's trendy restaurants or lively pubs and then wait for the Hurtigruten — the overnight coastal steamer—to dock at the port. You'll board the ship in the late evening and begin your journey to the Lofoten Islands. If you're not too exhausted, keep an eye out for Northern Lights sightings from accommodations at sea.

Day 6: Hurtigruten - Arrive in Svolvær

Arrive in Svolvær, your first stop in the Lofoten islands

Today, you can sleep in and relax and then have a long, leisurely breakfast. You will spend most of the day on the Hurtigruten as you sail your way towards the Lofoten Islands along the Norwegian Sea, passing some spectacular scenery along the way. This is a great day to catch up on reading, or perhaps a good old-fashioned card game with your travel mate. 

When you arrive at the village of Svolvær in the early evening, check into your hotel and then take a stroll and have dinner in one of the charming restaurants like Børsen, which serves seasonal fare. While this is the busiest village in Lofoten, it still only has a population of fewer than 5,000 people. 

Day 7: Explore the Lofoten Islands in Winter

Sunset in the Lofoten Islands

This morning, after breakfast at your hotel in Svolvær, you'll pick up a rental car and have time to explore the Lofoten Island 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. 

In particular, 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. 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.

From here, you can head back to Svolvær, have dinner and relax. More adventurous types can sign up for an epic four-hour horseback adventure in the dark*. The tour crosses ridges, sandy beaches, and ancient remnants from the Viking Age while participants search for the Northern Lights. 

Day 8: Ferry to Bodø - Flight to Oslo

Picturesque villages in the Lofoten Islands

Enjoy your last morning in Svolvær with a leisurely breakfast before you're transferred to Moskenes—a port along the western part of the Lofoten Islands where you'll catch an afternoon ferry to Bodø.  Along the way, you'll encounter more scenery and other beautiful villages. 

When you arrive in Bodø, you'll head to the regional airport and take a short flight to Oslo where you'll spend the last night of your trip. For dinner, wander around the capital's waterfront neighborhood of Aker Brygge, buzzing with modern restaurants and cafés that stay cozy in cold weather.

Day 9: Depart Oslo

Modern waterfront architecture in Oslo

It's time to say farewell to Norway! Enjoy your last few hours walking around Oslo's neighborhoods, relaxing in a café, or visiting local boutiques for one-of-a-kind souvenirs.