From dog sledding to snowshoeing, this adventure above the Arctic Circle covers all the winter activities the region has to offer. With a private guide behind the wheel, there's no need to worry about icy roads and reindeer crossings - just sit back, relax, and enjoy the hidden gems of the polar north.

Highlights

  • Witness and photograph the Northern Lights
  • Partake in dog sledding and snowshoeing
  • View Sweden, Norway, and Finland from one impressive vista
  • Experience the traditional Sami lifestyle

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Rovaniemi Rovaniemi
Day 2 Santa Claus village Rovaniemi
Day 3 Travel to Ylläs Ylläs
Day 4 Getting active in Ylläs Ylläs
Day 5 Transfer to Kilpisjärvi Kilpisjärvi
Day 6 Kilpisjärvi day as a local Kilpisjärvi
Day 7 Transfer to Tromso Tromso
Day 8 Trosmo Tromso
Day 9 Departure day  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi, capital of Lapland

Arrive at the Arctic Circle city of Rovaniemi by overnight train or by plane. Continue to your hotel where your afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own. Before dinner, enjoy a private Northern Lights workshop where you'll learn about the phenomenon, but most importantly, go through the principles of how best to photograph the northern lights. After dinner, head out in search of the magical aurora borealis. 

Day 2: Santa Claus Village

Sleigh rides in Santa's Village

Partake in a little holiday magic with a visit to Santa's Village at the Arctic Circle.  Perfect for children and adults alike, you will have the opportunity to send postcards home with Santa's stamps, get your photo with Santa, and in the winter season, try riding his reindeer. And just in case your friends back home don't believe you, be sure to leave with the official certificate, proof of your foray into the Article Circle. Afterwards, return for dinner and another chance at viewing the elusive Northern Lights.

Day 3: Travel to Ylläs

Snow Village

This morning you set off on an approximately 2.5-hour drive to Ylläs.  During the drive, you'll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the scenery and occasional reindeer herd. The landscape in Ylläs is that of postcards; tall candle shaped spruce, rolling fells and log cabins scattered throughout the forest. In winter time, you have the opportunity to visit the snow village. Every year these buildings are rebuilt using 40 million pounds of snow and 700 000 pounds of natural ice. The design changes every year and never ceases to impress even the regular visitors. For those willing to brave the icy temperatures, the village also houses a hotel should you wish to try sleeping in a room built with snow and ice. In the evening, head out once more in search of the northern lights. 

Day 4: Getting active in Ylläs

Dog sledding in the Arctic

While the summertime allows for some fantastic mountain biking, winter months up north bring the opportunity to go "fat biking." With plenty of suitable trails both for first-timers and seasoned cyclists, these bikes are a great way to explore the wilderness, even in winter time.  After a lunch break around an open fire pit to refuel, it's time to make the trip back. For those who prefer, you can instead choose to try out snowshoeing or set off downhill skiing in Ylläs. After dinner, you will once again have an opportunity to search for the Northern Lights. 

Day 5: Transfer to Kilpisjärvi

Northern Lights in full spectrum

Your day begins with a 3.5-hour drive to Kilpisjärvi. The scenic road winds along the river separating Finland and Sweden taking you through boreal forest to a village surrounded by open tundra and arctic landscapes. Be sure to take in views of the northernmost pine trees in western Lapland as you drive past them. Upon arrival and after settling into your room, venture off on a brief snowshoe trip to a scenic viewpoint over Kilpisjärvi Lake. From here you can take in breathtaking views of three countries (Finland, Norway, & Sweden) all at once. In the evening, you will have another chance to hunt for the northern lights, and perhaps even cross the border into Norway in search of clearer skies.

Day 6: Kilpisjärvi Day as a Local

Sami reindeer farm

For the local Sami people, Kilpisjärvi remains the epicenter of reindeer husbandry. While here you will have the chance to visit a working reindeer farm. Take some time to explore the farm as well as meet the reindeer herder and his family to learn about their way of life. For those looking for something a bit more thrilling, a snowmobile safari across the lake to the three countries' border or ice fishing for arctic char are just the ticket. And of course, this evening brings another chance of seeing the stunning Northern Lights.  

Day 7: Transfer to Tromsø

Tromsø at sunset

Depart this morning on the drive to Tromsø. The scenic road winds through fjords offering memorable photo stops at every turn. Once there, you will have the remainder of the afternoon to take in the picturesque island city surrounded by both mountains and sea. Photo opportunities here are endless as are activities, ranging from museums to local history to polar expeditions. And don't forget the souvenir shopping. If you are looking for a tasty bite, Tromso is a great place for a culinary experience with many restaurants serving local produce, and of course, fresh seafood. After dinner, relax around a crackling fire or head out again to try and catch the aurora. 

Day 8: Tromsø

Tromso Harbor

Your last day in Tromsø is packed with excitement. Between December and February, set sail on a whale safari. This boat cruise will take you on a journey into the fjords where different types of whales can be found feeding mid-winter. You can often spot research vessels here, too, as these waters are important for scientists studying the changing conditions of the Arctic. After a break for lunch, take the gondola up the Storsteinen, over 1200 feet above sea level, and get a birds-eye view over Tromsø. On your last night, perhaps head out on see the lights once more or stay cozy inside after a memorable week up north. 

Day 9: Departure

Whales along the Tromsø shores

Depending on your flight time, enjoy free time in the morning for some final photos and museum visits or last minute shopping. Afterwards, transfer to the airport and say goodbye - until your next visit of course!