Ready for a wintry Northern Norway adventure? On this 11-day itinerary, you'll dogsled in the mountains, visit Røros and Trondheim, and stay overnight at a local farm. Then, take a coastal steamer to the dramatic Lofoten Islands where you'll snorkel with whales (yes, even in winter) and see the Northern Lights by horseback.


  • Wander (or sled) through Røros and check out the town's famous wooden houses
  • Stay overnight in a local farm and learn about fishing, trapping, and dogsledding
  • Explore the 'Paris of the North' (Tromsø) before spending a night at sea
  • Take a scenic drive from the Lofoten Islands to the remote Vesterålen archipelago

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Oslo - Train to Røros Røros
Day 3 Dogsledding in Røros - Train to Trondheim Trondheim
Day 4 Trondheim - Flight to Tromsø - Transfer to Trapper's Farm Tromsø
Day 5 Return to Tromsø - Hurtigruten to Svolvær Onboard Hurtigruten
Day 6 Hurtigruten - Explore Svolvær Svolvær
Day 7 Explore Lofoten Islands - Drive to Andenes Andenes
Day 8 Whale Watching & Snorkeling Safari - Drive to Svolvær Svolvær
Day 9 Explore Lofoten - Northern Lights Horseback Riding Svolvær
Day 10 Ferry to Bodø - Flight to Oslo Oslo
Day 11 Depart Oslo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

Winter shoppers in Norway's capital
Winter shoppers in Norway's capital

Welcome to Oslo! Norway's rapidly growing capital is still considered a small city, helped by the fact that it's surrounded by mountains and sea. Not only is the city center made for walking, but outlying neighborhoods—filled with charm and character—are easily accessible by public transportation, so jump on a tram, train, or bus and explore all of what Oslo has to offer.

Suggested activities include: 

  • Take a half-day and 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.
  • Spend the afternoon visiting the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Open-Air Folk Museum by way of public transportation. Both museums are in the same area, so they pair well together! 
  • Walk along the Havnepromenaden (harbor promenade)—a new five-and-a-half-mile waterfront park, which combines sightseeing, history, art, architecture, and a little bit of adventure.
  • Visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where 200 larger than life sculptures are placed throughout this green lung in the middle of the city. 

For dinner, explore the city's historic core buzzing with restaurants and cafés that stay cozy in cold weather, with several options that offer outdoor seating during summer months.

Day 2: Oslo - Train to Røros

Sledding in Røros
Sledding in Røros

After breakfast in Oslo, take the train north to the village of Røros—a journey of about five hours (including a train change in Hamar). 

When you arrive, check into your hotel and then take a walk around one of Norway's most beautiful villages, which used to be a copper-mining hub. Meander around Røros’ narrow streets with wonderfully preserved 17th- and 18th-century wooden houses (about 80 in total) that make this a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's practically a living museum. Among the houses are neat courtyards and interesting workshops housing a great number of artists and craftsmen, as well as an impressive list of award-winning designer products. 

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.

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.

Day 3: Dogsledding in Røros - Train to Trondheim

Trondheim's harbor
Trondheim's harbor

After breakfast in Røros, you'll be picked up by a dogsledding team at your hotel for an unforgettable trip in the Norwegian mountains. Your guides will provide you with equipment and complete instructions for this epic ride led by an energetic and handsome fleet of huskies.

Keep your camera close as you make your way to the heart of this beautiful winter landscape, and enjoy a stop where guides will prepare a hot lunch in the countryside. The tour lasts about four hours and includes transfers.

In the evening, you'll take a 2.5-hour train to Norway's third-largest city, Trondheim, and stay overnight.

Day 4: Trondheim - Flight to Tromsø - Transfer to Trapper's Farm

Learn how to dogsled at Trapper's Farm

Today is a big day! You'll wake up for an early breakfast at your hotel and take advantage of the morning to explore Trondheim—dress warm!

This city on a river is scenic with beautiful parks and cultural sights, including the colorful and slightly out-of-kilter antique wooden houses. Walk across the historic Old Town Bridge—a 17th-century iron structure—for photographs. You should also visit the impressive Nidarosdomen Cathedral, built over the grave of St. Olav, the King of Norway in the 11th century. 

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 here, 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 ice-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 your overnight where you'll participate and enjoy traditional meals together with your companions and guide, 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 like reindeer. 

Depending on the tour, you might have the option to spend the night in the wilderness by sleeping 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. In any case, you and your travel companions will receive a list of essential items to pack to ensure your warmth and comfort.

Day 5: Return to Tromsø - Hurtigruten to Svolvær

The mighty Hurtigruten
The mighty Hurtigruten
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After breakfast at Trapper's farm, you'll say goodbye to your host and your new husky friends and then transfer back to the bus stop for your trip back to Tromsø. When you arrive, you can leave your luggage at the hotel and spend the whole day enjoying this city, often called the 'Paris of the North'!

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. 

You can also take a tour with an English-speaking local guide:

  • Walk Through History: Meet your 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. 

In the evening, dine in town at one of the town'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 a Northern Lights display from the sea.

Day 6: Hurtigruten - Explore Svolvær

Svolvæer is a hub town in the Lofoten Islands
Svolvæer is a hub town in the Lofoten Islands

Today, you can sleep in and relax. 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.

When you arrive at the village of Svolvær in the early evening, 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 Lofoten Islands - Drive to Andenes

Scenery in the Vesterålen
Scenery in the Vesterålen

This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you'll pick up a rental car and have time to explore the Lofoten Islands before you drive north along the coast to the town of Andenes.

The driving distance to Andenes from Svolvær is about 3-4 hours. This is a great opportunity to see even more of the beautiful landscapes as you head to an even more remote archipelago: the Vesterålen!

Day 8: Whale Watching & Snorkeling Safari - Drive to Svolvær

Winter whale watching
Winter whale watching

After breakfast in Andenes, you'll be picked up for your snorkeling adventure with the orca whales! This extraordinary winter tour starts off with an educational lecture and security briefing about the whales. 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.

To be in the water with the orcas while they're communicating is a powerful experience and an unforgettable meeting with nature. Bring your camera and wear long underwear, warm socks, a hat, and gloves—and perhaps bring an extra set of clothes in case you get wet. 

When you return from the excursion, around midday, you can have lunch on your own and then get back on the road. Return to Svolvær and have dinner in town.

Day 9: Explore Lofoten - Northern Lights Horseback Riding

Northern Lights over the Lofoten Islands
Northern Lights over the Lofoten Islands

This will be a relaxing day to explore the Lofoten Islands as you please. Get plenty of rest: This evening, after dark, you'll be picked up for a Northern Lights* excursion by horseback. 

But first, 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. 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.

In the late afternoon, return to Svolvær and have a hearty dinner before you meet up with your guides for an epic four-hour horseback adventure in the dark. You'll cross ridges, sandy beaches, and ancient remnants from the Viking Age while looking for a natural display of color. Included with the tour is free use of the riding boots, helmets, and headlights, as well as hot drinks and transportation. 

*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 and you can decide 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 10: Ferry to Bodø - Flight to Oslo

Picturesque villages in the Lofoten Islands
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 airport and take a short flight to Oslo.

Day 11: Depart Oslo

Modern waterfront architecture in 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.


Map of Ultimate Winter Adventure in Norway's Arctic - 11 Days
Map of Ultimate Winter Adventure in Norway's Arctic - 11 Days
Written by Emily Strauss, updated Feb 18, 2021