Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Remote Rides

Arctic Circle Fat Bike Expedition

Cycle across a huge Arctic plateau, joined by a team of huskies. Sleep in remote huts and relax in saunas.

Location

Norway

Fly To

Alta Airport

Perfect for

Cyclists of average fitness who are up for a challenge in remote conditions. No previous fat biking experience needed.

Difficulty

Moderate

Why it's much better

  • Self-powered expedition crossing the Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau to Alta
  • Cruise through the snow trails as you enjoy the freedom of riding a fat bike
  • Travel with a team of reliable huskies who will carry your luggage
  • Stay in the dreamy Aurora Canvas Dome, woodburner and all
  • Share the plateau with migrating herds of reindeer and indigenous Sami people
  • Bed down in cosy remote mountain lodges with a post-ride sauna
  • Optional half-day of dogsledding and learning about the huskies

What's Included

  • Guides Expert, English-speaking local guides and a bike mechanic
  • Accommodation 3 nights in a Aurora Canvas Dome, 2 nights in mountain lodges
  • Meals All your food is included
  • Equipment Nakamura Big Bob 6.0 fatbikes, huskies and sleds
  • Transfers All airport transfers
  • Permits All permits and entry fees
  • Happiness Guaranteed We're so confident that your holiday will be your best yet, we actually guarantee it
  • Feel Good Vibes We mitigate 4x the carbon emitted by all our travellers and support important conservation projects

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to the Arctic Circle

Your adventure starts in the remote coastal town of Alta, Norway's most northern county, that lies in the inner reaches of the Altafjord. You'll be collected at the airport before heading to your overnight spot just outside of town: the Aurora Canvas Domes. Settle into this unique spot, before heading to meet the rest of the group for dinner. Over your meal, you'll hear more about the expedition ahead. Expect a feast of local delicacies ranging from fresh cod to moose and a variety of seasonal food.

Day 2: Expedition Planning

Time to get fitted with your trusty steed (read: bicycle!) that will power you through the next few days. Er, okay you will be pedalling, but you get the idea. Once you and your bike are a match, you'll head off on a ride for a couple of hours, stopping for a log fire and lunch en route.

Next you'll get prepared for the expedition ahead. You'll work through all the final points with your guide including a weather update, plotting the best route on a map, learning about cycling in the snow and of course a final run through of equipment before you meet your husky team. Then you'll head back to the Aurora Canvas Dome for a final night's rest before the big day tomorrow.

Distance: 15km / Ascent 100m / Descent 50m

Day 3: To the Finnmarksvidda Plateau

There'll be an early breakfast today before you transfer to the start point of the expedition, either Jergul or Assebakthe (weather dependent). You'll set off on snowmobile tracks and head towards a remote cabin for lunch. Cycling through mountain birch forest and willow thicket, you'll slowly make your way to the open plateau.

You'll arrive at tonight's mountain lodge in time for a sauna to warm you up. This age-old tradition is worth getting involved in and will be a welcome relief after your first day on expedition.

Distance: 25km / Ascent 100m / Descent 100m

Day 4: Rolling through the snow

Today is a longer day on the bikes as you cover 30km of mostly flat ground. You'll cross the frozen lake, Iesjavri, the largest lake in Finnmark - on a bicycle! There will be a slight elevation towards the end of the day, that is rewarded by a small downhill straight to the overnight lodge.

Keep your eyes peeled for herds of reindeer today; Finnmarksvidda is where indigenous Sami people engage in reindeer herding. The reindeer start to migrate northwards in Spring and the calving season takes place during this journey, generally in late April and early May.

Distance: 30km / Ascent 100m / Descent 300m

Day 5: To the Finish Line

Today is the final push of your expedition: you'll cover 40km on snowy tracks. There'll be a pause for another log fire and lunch before you start to pass a few settlements and cabins. The Sami village of Masi, roughly midway between Alta and Kautokeino, has about 300 inhabitants. Arriving back into Alta during late afternoon, you'll have time for another sauna before raising a celebratory glass of wine with your teammates and heading to sleep for one last night, aurora spotting from the dome.

Distance: 40km / Ascent 100m / Descent 150m

Day 6: Optional Dogsledding, flights home

There is the option to have a go at dogsledding this morning for those keen. You'll meet your team of dogs and head off on a speedy adventure through the snow-covered pines next to the river. This is an extremely peaceful experience, the silence only disturbed by the sound of many paws in the snow and of energetic dogs panting.

If you would rather not dog-sled, this morning is free to relax and have a wander around Alta before heading to the airport for your flights home.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

Accommodation

Alta

In Alta you will stay in the Aurora Canvas Domes. These are purpose-built aluminium and canvas domes that get you as close to nature as possible. You are able to open up as much of the dome as you like to make the roof transparent. Perfect for Aurora watching.

There is underfloor heating and a large wood-burning stove which keeps the whole dome warm. The beds also have electric blankets and there is an external sauna for all to use. All electricity used is 100% renewable hydro-electrical power, produced by the Alta River.

You will be sharing twin-share in the domes.

On Expedition

The mountain lodges are traditional lodging houses offering basic accommodation in cabins and dormitories with 2-6 bunks. They have permanent keepers (hosts) and all meals are served in a shared dining room. Dormitories are equipped with bunks, mattresses and pillows and each has a sauna for the guests to use.

Due to the nature of the trip and restricted space, there is no chance to upgrade to a private room on this trip.

Location

Finnmarksvidda is Norway’s largest plateau, covering an area of more than 22,000 km². It is in the very north of the country and is closer to the Arctic than Iceland/equidistant to Greenland.

Most of the plateau is 300-500 m above sea level. Mountain birch forest and willow thicket grow in the lower areas of the gently rolling landscape, while bare plateau dominates above 350 m above sea level. The relatively flat landscape creates shallow fishing lakes and rolling undulations. This is remote Norway and perfect for a self-powered expedition.

Meeting Point

Start Point

Your trip starts at 14:30 at Alta Airport on Day 1 where your host will collect you and take you to your overnight hotel.

Finish Point

Your trip ends at 12:00 noon on Day 6 at Alta Airport, your host will drop you off.

If you would like to arrive earlier or later, you can book a private transfer with your host.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Travel to/from Alta
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic drinks

This trip is for cyclists of average fitness who are up for trying something new. You should be a regular cyclist and used to riding back to back days. Although the distances aren't huge on this trip and it is almost all flat, the going can be tough due to the terrain - you are following snowmobile tracks on packed snow. It is very ridable, but is of course snow can make it hard going.

It's no secret that we love cycling. Many of us at HQ really think it's the best way to see a country. However, we realise that organising your own cycling trip can be a total faff. So on our cycling trips, we have found a local guide who has put together a perfect route and will navigate for you all the way. On this expedition, your bikes are provided and accommodation and food all sorted. Faff eliminated! All you have to do is turn up, pedal and take in the amazing landscape with your fellow tourers.

Fat bikes are bikes with extra fat, knobbly tyres designed for riding on soft surfaces like sand and snow. They have a simple mountain bike design with little or no suspension. The super fat tyres distribute the rider’s mass across a larger area, so not to sink in and also gain more traction than with a standard tyre size. You can ride easily and with stability over firm snow and ice.

You will be riding Nakamura Big Bob 6.0 fat bikes. These are light and easy-to-ride bike with an aluminium frame and Sram XX1 specs. If you would like to bring your own saddle or pedals these will be fitted for you.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 8.

Thanks to the country’s rich history and well-placed location, Norway has developed a large variety of unique and distinctive delicacies. On the trip you will be eating mostly very local food ranging from salmon and moose to an array of vegetable dishes.

Spring on the plateau, although still fairly cold, is usually sunny and bright. It is likely to stay around 0degrees in the daytime and a little colder at night. Although fresh snow and rain are unlikely at this time of the year, there is still a chance you may get a little of both.

The trip runs in Spring as this is the perfect time to fat bike - the snow is densely packed so ideal for riding on and there is little chance of fresh snow to hinder progress. This is a small window before it warms up however our host has been running this expedition at this time of the year for many years so the window is well-considered!

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

Our group adventures are adult only. However, if you would like to bring children along this can be arranged by requesting a private trip with the host. This trip is suitable for children from age 14 only.

Bags Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack for husky sled
Daypack (20-30 litres)
Waterproof liner for kitbag/rucksack or drybags

Clothes Down jacket
Waterproof jacket
Waterproof trousers
Breathable wicking layers
Fleece jacket or similar
Thermals (merino is best)
Warm hat
Thick gloves
Buff or neckscarf
Underwear & warm socks
Swimwear for sauna Sunglasses
Something to sleep in
Cycling shoes or sturdy trainers

Other Cycle Helmet Padlock for left luggage Universal travel plug adapter Power bank or solar charger
Passport Ear plugs Personal first-aid kit
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc) Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry out) Quick-dry towel Headtorch or torch Reusable water bottle x 1

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Dates & Prices

Bespoke trips only

There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.

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