This exciting and less-traveled winter adventure (November to April) takes you deep into Norway's boreal territory for spectacular snowcapped scenery. The tour begins 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 for snowsports in the Arctic and a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of rock carvings. 

Highlights

  • Get to know Tromsø's impressive culture scene and dining options
  • Learn how to steer huskies through the Arctic's snowy landscape
  • Have lunch with views of the Alta Fjord and walk through ancient rock carvings
  • Stay overnight in a luxury lavvo tent while searching for the Northern Lights
  • Spend a day at an alpine center offering skiing, sledding and ice skating

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tromsø Tromsø
Day 2 Explore Tromsø & Chase the Northern Lights Tromsø
Day 3 Transfer to Trapper's Farm - Overnight Excursion Tromsø
Day 4 Breakfast at Trapper's Farm - Return to Tromsø Tromsø
Day 5 Breakfast in Tromsø - Bus to Alta Alta
Day 6 Dogsledding & Northern Lights Alta
Day 7 Winter Activities in Alta Alta
Day 8 Depart Norway  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tromsø

Aerial view of Tromsø
Aerial view of Tromsø

Welcome to Tromsø, the largest city in Northern Norway!

Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, Tromsø 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. 

If you want to stay for dinner, Fjellstua restaurant on top offers dinner with views. Otherwise, head back down to Tromsø for a variety of pubs and restaurants.

Day 2: Explore Tromsø & Chase the Northern Lights

Norway's northernmost city
Norway's northernmost city

After breakfast, you will have the day to explore Tromsø. You can explore on your own, or join either or both of these great activities 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. 

  • 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.

*The tour provider will check the latest weather update in the early evening. If the likeliness of clear skies is low, the guide will inform you about the situation at pickup time and you can choose to have your money refunded. If you choose to take your chances, the guide will do his/her best to succeed, but there is no guarantee.

Day 3: Transfer to Trapper's Farm - Overnight Excursion

Dog sledding above the Arctic Circle
Dog sledding above the Arctic Circle

After breakfast this morning, you'll be picked up and transferred to Trapper's Farm, less than two hours outside of Tromsø, for a unique all-inclusive excursion in the great outdoors. 

Each tour offered by the farm varies slightly depending on the time of year and weather patterns, but you can expect to take part in a range of day-time trapping and fishing trips as you travel through the countryside by dogsled (snowy months only).

The small, modern cabins at the farm will be your base camp for the night where you'll participate and enjoy traditional meals together made from local ingredients, many of which you helped catch. An expert guide will also provide a broad insight into the area's local history, culture, and traditions along the journey. Of course, you'll also get plenty of time to spend with the faithful Greenland husky dogs who join your adventures every day, while keeping an eye out for other species of wildlife. 

Depending on the tour, you might have the option to sleep in a tent or under the open sky next to a warm bonfire as you search for the Northern Lights.

This type of adventure does not require previous experience but it does require participants to be in good physical shape. You and your travel companions will receive a list of essential items to pack to ensure your warmth and comfort.

Day 4: Breakfast at Trapper's Farm - Return to Tromsø

Return to Tromsø after your night in the wilderness
Return to Tromsø after your night in the wilderness

Today you will have breakfast at the farm before saying your goodbyes to the staff and huskies. Then, transfer back to Tromsø where you'll have the rest of the day to spend as you please. 

If you haven't yet, explore the city's museums on your own. There are a number of options in town, including the Polar Museum for regional nature and history and an arctic aquarium with seals. You can check out a 1949 ship that documents its former crew of seal hunters, or visit the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum—a state-of-the-art visual arts museum.

After camping last night, tonight is the perfect opportunity to sample the local culinary scene; in fact, Tromsø refers to itself as the 'Paris of the North' and has a great reputation for sophisticated dining options.

Day 5: Breakfast in Tromsø - Bus to Alta

Snowcapped scenery near the town of Alta
Snowcapped scenery near the town of Alta

After breakfast in Tromsø, you'll transfer to the bus station for the journey east towards Alta. This gorgeous ride (about 5-6 hours) consists of forests, mountain plateaus, dramatic coastlines, and two ferry rides across stunning fjords. 

Upon arrival, check into your hotel in town and then start exploring. Many visitors head for the Alta Museum featuring Northern Europe’s largest concentration of rock art made by hunter-gatherers. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is comprised of rock carvings and rock paintings made from 7,000 to 2,000 years ago and depicts rituals, symbolism and religious beliefs from the pre-Christian ages. If there is a lot of snow on the ground, you will not be able to view the rock art itself, but the museum still makes a worthwhile stop while in the area.

In the evening, wander around town and visit the Northern Lights Cathedral, a modern architectural icon. There are also several restaurants to try for dinner, like Alta Bistro and Restaurant Havblikk, as well as Trine og Trasti for local ingredients, and even a chic, cozy space called Du Verden Matbar that serves Nothern Norway's traditional dried fish.

Day 6: Dogsledding & Northern Lights

A Northern Lights display near Alta
A Northern Lights display near Alta

This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you'll have free time to spend in Alta before you head out of town on an excursion that combines the area's spectacular wilderness along with a touch of luxury. 

Your private guide will pick you up from Alta's city center and take you to a lodge where the first priority is a fun dog sled ride through the snowy landscape, surrounded by crisp air and the natural light of winter.

Once you return, you will have time to relax with a hot shower before having dinner in the dining room of the lodge's beautiful, renovated barn. Then, join your fellow guests for an after-dinner drink in the cozy common areas, while swapping stories about your recent travels and adventures. Another option is to put on your bathing suit and visit the Jacuzzi and sauna. 

When it’s time for bed, head to your tent or 'lavvo'. These private bungalows are insulated against the winter’s cold, and come with a double bed (with comforters and heated blankets just in case), and a wood-burning stove so you can watch the crackling fire as you curl up in bed. One section of the structure has been replaced with a floor-to-top window for views. On clear nights, you can watch the stars, and—if lucky—the Northern Lights!

Day 7: Winter Activities in Alta

Cross country skiing in Norway's Arctic wilderness
Cross country skiing in Norway's Arctic wilderness

After breakfast at your hotel, you will have a free day in the Alta area to enjoy some outdoor activities. Some ideas include:

  • Skiing: Just outside of Alta, you’ll find an alpine center that offers downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and even ice skating. A café on-site serves hearty food, hot drinks, and lounge areas to warm up and relax before heading out again.

  • Snowshoe tour: Take a trip into the wilderness using the ancient method of snowshoes (although the shoes themselves are thoroughly modern). You'll feel part of the nature that surrounds you as you tramp along. Keep an eye out for animal tracks from animals like reindeer and moose as you go along.

  • Winter hiking: Alta has extraordinary nature, and winter offers hikes and tours that range from moderate to strenuous in many locations and destinations in the Arctic wilderness. Hikes can be arranged for anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.

  • Snowmobiling tour: Snowmobiling is a favorite activity for the area. Join the fun, whether you are experienced or a newbie. With a tutorial, climb aboard your snowmobile and follow the guides along the forest trail. 

Day 8: Depart Norway

Time to say farewell to Norway!
Goodbye, Northern Norway!

After breakfast in Alta, head to the airport and catch your departing flight. Although it's time to say goodbye to Norway, the memories from your trip will surely stay with you forever!