- Explore Norway's northernmost city, Tromsø―the "Gateway to the Arctic"
- Feed reindeer at a Sámi village
- Visit a husky farm and go dogsledding
- Experience the stunning dance of the northern lights
|Arrive in Tromsø
|Discover Tromsø, Gateway to the Arctic
|Day Trip to a Sámi Camp
|Ferry to Senja, Mefjord Brygge & Northern Lights
|Explore Senja & Dogsledding
|Aurora Borealis Observatory
|Ferry to Tromsø, Depart Norway
Day 1: Arrive in Tromsø
Welcome to Tromsø, Norway! Your accommodation is just a 20-minute ride from the airport. When you arrive, get settled in your hotel, bundle the kids up, and walk around the self-proclaimed "Gateway to the Arctic." The kids will love exploring via "Seal" and "Bear," two gondolas that sweep visitors from the city to a mountain platform. Here you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Tromsø and the surrounding islands, mountains, and fjords. Grab some lunch at the restaurant before you head back down to sea level.
In the afternoon, walk around and explore the city's architecture. You"ll be able to see many historic wooden houses dating back as far as 1789, as well as modern monuments like the Arctic Cathedral. Capture the kids' imaginations with a visit to the Magic Ice bar, where the glasses, tables, and chairs are made from ice. Enjoy your beverage surrounded by ice sculptures (don't worry, you'll be given some extra-warm clothing!). In the evening, you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to dinner venues―this vibrant city of 65,000 is not known as the "Paris of the North" for nothing.
Day 2: Discover Tromsø, Gateway to the Arctic
After a relaxed morning, you will have the whole day to explore Tromsø. If you like, get to know the city more in-depth with a three-hour guided walking tour. While your guide provides an entertaining overview of Tromsø's past, the whole family can take in its rich culture and beautiful architecture, viewing relics and buildings dating back to medieval times. Learn about the city's extensive fishing culture, and take a guided tour of the Arctic Cathedral, a stunning landmark by day or night.Alternatively, take it at a slower pace today by exploring the city on your own. Follow your nose through its charming streets and pop into a few of its many great coffee shops. Explore one or two of its many museums―the popular Alta Museum features Northern Europe's largest collection of hunter-gatherer rock art. The Troll Museum is a favorite with kids and adults alike and is a great way to learn about Norwegian culture and legends. The interactive Science Center is also great for kids and is home to the country's largest planetarium.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: Day Trip to a Sámi Camp
This morning, you and the family will head to an authentic Sámi camp for a family-friendly reindeer interaction tour, surrounded by stunning scenery and the famous Lyngen Alps. The kids will love feeding the reindeer there, and they'll have plenty of time to get up close to them.
It can get chilly in the snow, but your hosts have that covered―you'll all enjoy a warm welcome in a lavvu (traditional tent) for a hot meal and beverages. Once you're cozy, your hosts will tell you about Sámi tradition and life with the reindeer, and show you some cultural treasures. You'll also get some tips on how to survive in the Arctic extremes. Later in the afternoon, you'll take a 45-minute scenic drive back to Tromsø.
Day 4: Ferry to Senja, Mefjord Brygge & Northern Lights
Fuel up with a warming breakfast, head for the harbor and take the ferry to Finnsnes. Once there, you'll be driven over the Gisund Bridge to Senja Island and on to your hotel in the small village of Melfjord Brygge on the island's north coast. This quaint village is a great base for travelers. Spend a couple of hours taking the kids for a gentle bike ride or hike to watch some wildlife. This is a great opportunity to take some Arctic family photos as mementos! The more adventurous among you can even try ice climbing.
Once you're back indoors, replenish your energy with an excellent meal of freshly-caught fish and rest a little before your three-hour excursion to see the northern lights. Your guide will take you to some remote vantage points on the island where it's possible to admire the aurora borealis without light pollution. From the right spot, you'll see them reflected in the sea, framed by the striking mountain range. If the sky is clear, you may even get your first glimpse as soon as you leave your accommodation!
Day 5: Explore Senja & Dogsledding
Today is bound to be a highlight for the whole family! Explore the beautiful wilderness of Senja Island in the most memorable and fun way―dogsledding! Begin by visiting a local family-operated husky farm where you'll get to meet your guide and the husky team. Your hosts will teach you what you need to know―adults can generally mush their own teams, but age limits will apply to kids.
Once you've mastered the art of mushing, you and your family will head out on an expedition through Senja's snowy highlands. When you all get back, and your teams are relaxing in their kennels, then it's your turn. Gather around a warm fire with a cup of something hot and share your adventures from the day. You'll also hear entertaining stories from a professional musher and have the chance to ask them any questions. Afterward, you'll head back to your hotel.
Day 6: Aurora Borealis Observatory
Today you will stay at the Aurora Borealis Observatory, a small, family-operated resort on Senja Island. Your family can choose simply to relax in the peace and silence of your beautiful surroundings or to book an activity. Take a tour around Senja, go snowshoe walking, or head out to see reindeer and other wildlife. Back at the Observatory, enjoy a meal at the gourmet restaurant and prepare to enjoy the northern lights. Your room will have panoramic windows so you and the kids can view the lights in comfort, but you'll likely also want to head out―the Observatory is perfectly situated, so you won't have to walk far to get a great view.