This fast-paced winter trip through Norway's icy north features a stack of unique Arctic activities and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Each day presents another opportunity for unreal snowy views and a connection with local culture. Snorkel with orcas, dogsled with a team of huskies, stay overnight in an Indigenous Sámi tent, and best of all, get multiple chances to see the northern lights—including on horseback.


  • Explore Røros' preserved wooden structures housing local artists
  • Go sledding with a pack of huskies through the snow 
  • Drive around the Lofoten Islands, stopping at small villages along the way
  • See the northern lights with an after-dark horseback excursion
  • Snorkel with orcas in the Arctic Circle and hear their songs

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo, Explore the Norwegian Capital Oslo
Day 2 Train to UNESCO-Listed Røros Røros
Day 3 Dogsledding in Røros, Train to Trondheim Trondheim
Day 4 Explore Trondheim, Fly to Tromsø, Lavvu Experience Wilderness
Day 5 Explore Tromsø, Overnight Cruise to Svolvær  Hurtigruten
Day 6 Arrive in Svolvær, Gateway to the Lofoten Islands Svolvær
Day 7 Explore the Lofoten Islands, Drive to Andenes Andenes
Day 8 Orca Watching & Snorkeling Safari, Return to Svolvær Svolvær
Day 2 Explore Svolvær, Northern Lights Excursion Svolvær
Day 2 Ferry to Bodo, Fly to Oslo, Depart Oslo

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo, Explore the Norwegian Capital

Bundle up and hit the streets of this buzzing city.
Bundle up and hit the streets of Norway's buzzing capital city

Welcome to Oslo, Norway's rapidly growing capital! This buzzing small city is set on the seaside and surrounded by mountains, combining the best of nature and urban life in one place. The charismatic downtown is made for walking, while charming outlying neighborhoods are easily accessible by public transportation. Use today to explore Oslo's treasures by foot, tram, train, or bus and get your first taste of Norwegian culture and people.

Take a half-day to wander around Aker Brygge, an area on the Oslofjord made up of beautiful, modern buildings where you can find bars and abundant nightlife. It acts as a sort of courtyard for the city of Oslo and brings together both tourists and locals alike to enjoy the great food, atmosphere, and entertainment. Or visit the famous Vigeland Sculpture Park, where 200 larger-than-life sculptures are placed throughout this green lung in the middle of the city.

Day 2: Train to UNESCO-Listed Røros

Sledding in Røros: a fun way to get around in this winter wonderland. 
Have fun sledding in the wintry landscape of Røros

After breakfast in Oslo, take a direct train north to the village of Røros—a journey of about five hours. When you arrive, check into your hotel, and then take a walk around one of Norway's most beautiful villages. The narrow streets of this former copper-mining hub are filled with wonderfully preserved 17th and 18th-century wooden houses, gaining Røros recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's practically a living museum!

Among the houses, you'll find neat courtyards and workshops housing a great number of artists and craftspeople, as well as an impressive list of award-winning designer products. If you're here in late February, keep an eye out for the traditional winter festival called Rorosmartnan with an outdoor market and musical theater. For dinner and drinks, head to one of the town's restaurants and pubs like Frøyas House, Peder Hiort Mathus, or the Bergstadens Hotel with a microbrewery and gastropub.

Day 3: Dogsledding in Røros, Train to Trondheim

Sit back as a pack of huskies pulls you through the snowy landscape

Early this morning, you'll be picked up by a dogsledding team for an unforgettable trip in the Norwegian mountains. Greet your energetic and handsome fleet of huskies, then sit back for a thrilling ride through the snow. Your dogsled will zip through the beautiful winter landscape, so have your camera at the ready. Part way, you'll stop and your guides will prepare a hot lunch in the countryside before returning to Røros.

In the evening, board a 2.5-hour train to Norway's third-largest city, Trondheim. With 40,000 students in town, there's always something fun happening in this petite city, even in the depths of winter. Set out for some fun, or get a good night's rest. 

Day 4: Explore Trondheim, Fly to Tromsø, Lavvu Experience

The main mode of transportation in these parts. 
Venture out into the remote winter wilderness and sleep in a Sámi village

Today is a big day! Wake up for an early breakfast at your hotel, dress warm, and set out to explore Trondheim. This river city is filled with beautiful parks and cultural sights, including colorful and slightly out-of-kilter antique wooden houses. Walk across the 17th-century Old Town Bridge, and visit the impressive Nidarosdomen Cathedral, built over the grave of St. Olav, an 11th-century king of Norway. The intimate city center is also great for shopping with independent boutiques, along with local cafés where you can warm up after the walk.

In the late morning, you'll be transferred to the airport for a flight to Tromsø, the "Gateway to the Arctic." From there you'll be transferred to an overnight stay in the wilderness, part of a custom-built Sámi village (the Indigenous people of the north). These native tents, called lavvus, can sleep up to six people, and the remote location will give you a better chance of seeing the northern lights far from the city. Once settled, enjoy a traditional Sámi dinner and hot beverages as you look to the stars. Your guides will also provide warm layers, boots, and winter-insulated sleeping bags. 

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Day 5: Explore Tromsø, Overnight Cruise to Svolvær

Explore the town of Tromsø, then ride through the night on the famous Hurtigruten

Warm up with a hot coffee or tea inside the lavvu or have breakfast outdoors, before your transfer back to Tromsø. You'll have the rest of the day free to explore this charming city, often called the "Paris of the North." A good place to start is at the cable car. Board one of two gondolas—known as Seal and Polar Bear—and reach the panoramic mountain ledge just four minutes later. Spend the afternoon exploring the Alpine Botanic Garden, stroll around the petite island city, or dive into history and culture at the Polar Museum (Polarmuseet) to explore scientific, cultural, and archaeological exhibits.

Find a local pub or restaurant for dinner—you could try Mack Brewery and indulge in a mini tasting, or make a reservation at Bardus Bistro, Fiskekompaniet, or Emmas Drømmekjøkken. Finally, you'll board the Hurtigruten, an overnight coastal steamer destined for Svolvær. You'll board the ship late in the evening and begin your journey to the Lofoten Islands. If you're not too exhausted, keep an eye out for more aurora borealis activity from the sea. 

Day 6: Arrive in Svolvær, Gateway to the Lofoten Islands

Svolvær is the village hub of the Lofoten Islands.
While still small, Svolvær is the main hub of the Lofoten Islands

This morning you can sleep in and relax. You'll spend much of the day aboard the Hurtigruten as you cruise the Arctic Ocean toward the Lofoten Islands. This Norwegian archipelago is known for its wild, dramatic scenery and its UNESCO-protected fjords and peaks—like the Svolværgeita pinnacle, which juts to the sky. Most importantly, this area is famous for its northern lights viewing.

You'll arrive at the village of Svolvær in the early evening. While this is the busiest village in Lofoten, it still only has a population of fewer than 5,000 people. It's the perfect base in the islands, with plenty of great restaurants and activities. Have dinner in one of the charming restaurants, then settle in for the night. Don't forget to check your windows for the glow of those special lights. 

Day 7: Explore the Lofoten Islands, Drive to Andenes

A traditional fishing villages meets a hip urban hangout in trendy Henningsvær

Pick up a rental car this morning and set off to explore the Lofoten Islands as you make your way north along the coast to the town of Andenes, a journey of around five hours. While you might be worried about driving in winter, all rentals will have winter tires with spikes. Just take the drive slowly and you'll be fine! 

The Lofoten Islands are fairly compact, so make a few stops before your journey north. Just 10 minutes away, the village of Kabelvåg is the oldest town in northern Norway and dates back to the Viking Age. You could visit the Lofoten Museum and Lofoten Aquarium, then return to the road. Continue and you'll reach Henningsvær, a thriving fishing village with a hip vibe and plenty of independent restaurants and boutiques. Stop for lunch at a cool café, then continue the drive to Andenes, the base for tomorrow's orca safari. Since the tour starts early in the morning, it's best to stay the night here.

Day 8: Orca Watching & Snorkeling Safari, Return to Svolvær

Get close (but not too close) to these magical creatures.
Get close (but not too close) to these magnificent creatures in the Arctic Ocean

After breakfast in Andenes, a guide will collect you for what's sure to be a highlight of your trip—an epic snorkeling adventure with orcas. This extraordinary winter tour starts off with an educational lecture and security briefing about the orcas. You'll then be suited up from head-to-toe for the safari—your guides will provide you with a dry suit and snorkeling equipment so that you stay warm in the Arctic waters.

To be in the water with the orcas while they're communicating is a powerful experience and a memorable meeting with nature. Bring your camera and wear long underwear, warm socks, a hat, and gloves. You might also want to bring extra clothes in case you get wet. You'll return from the excursion around midday, and you'll have time for a leisurely lunch in town before hitting the road and driving back to Svolvær for the evening.

Day 9: Explore Svolvær, Northern Lights Excursion

What a way to end the trip.
With a bit of luck, you'll see the northern lights over the Lofoten Islands

Today is free for you to discover more of the Lofoten Islands at your leisure. You could head two hours south down the archipelago to Moskenesøya Island, where you'll find the colorful villages of Reine and Hamnøy. Reine has 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. Nearby Hamnøy is the oldest fishing village in the archipelago (cod is in season during winter) and is unbelievably beautiful. Don't miss the Lofotr Viking Museum, which takes you back 1,000 years to experience the Viking Age.

Find a quaint or scenic café for lunch. In the late afternoon, return your rental car to Svolvær, and have a hearty dinner before you meet up with your guides for a four-hour horseback adventure after dark. You'll cross ridges, sandy beaches, and ancient remnants from the Viking Age while searching the skies for your last look at the aurora borealis. With a bit of luck on your side, you'll see the sky open up with shades of green dancing across the horizon. 

Day 10: Ferry to Bodø, Fly to Oslo, Depart

The Lofoten Islands are arguably prettiest in the wintertime.
The Lofoten Islands are arguably prettiest in the wintertime

It's time to say goodbye to Norway. 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 3.5-hour ferry to Bodø. When you arrive in Bodø, you'll head to the airport and take a short flight to Oslo. Here you can connect to your international flight late in the evening, or stay overnight near the airport for an early departure. Safe travels!

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Map of Winter Adventure in Norway's Arctic - 10 Days
Map of Winter Adventure in Norway's Arctic - 10 Days