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Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Sail, Hike and Chase the Northern Lights

Journey in to the Arctic Circle for an action-packed weekend exploring the fjords and hunting the northern lights.

Location

Norway

Fly To

Tromsø Airport

Perfect for

Adventurers who want to experience the magic of the northern lights and explore the Norwegian fjords at a relaxed pace that gets you to come special spots.

Difficulty

Easy

Head to Tromsø for a magical long weekend in the Arctic wilds, designed to maximise your chances of seeing the aurora in all its glory.

Kick the adventure off relaxing on the deck of a modern catamaran beneath a star-and-hopefully-northern-light-filled sky. The next day you'll hike into the mountains above the fjords, before joining a northern lights chase. Wrap it all up with a final day back on the water spotting eagles, seals and fishing in secret spots. Options to customise your trip by adding dog-sledding, or other activities at the end (charges apply).

What's Included

  • Northern lights sailing by catamaran
  • Hiking or snowshoeing the Arctic fjords
  • Northern lights chase by minibus
  • Arctic wildlife sailing safari
  • Northern lights workshop
  • Local, certified guides and skipper
  • 3 nights in a local hotel
  • 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Option to customise your trip with extra activities through your host (for an additional cost).

Itinerary

Day 1: Let the adventure begin

Meet in your hosts arctic lounge in central Tromsø to be greeted by the team and say hello to your fellow adventurers for the weekend. Kick off with a short workshop to dive into northern lights over a fresh cup of coffee or hot tea. Learn the basics that you need to make the most of the weekend - why do they appear, what are the chances to see them, how do we predict weather and how do you take amazing photos of the northern lights.

About nine, wrap up warm and jump on board a comfortable catamaran to sail out onto the Norwegian fjords under a starry sky. You'll travel into the wilderness, far from any light pollution, for your first chance to witness the legendary aurora borealis.

The boat has warm indoor saloons if you're feeling the cold, and a large outdoor deck space for viewing the sky in search of the northern lights. Just after midnight you'll be back at your hotel ready for a good nights sleep.

Day 2: Hike the fjords and enjoy a night in Tromso

After breakfast at your hotel, gather again at the hosts lounge ready for a day out exploring the mountains and fjords, hiking or snow shoeing, with a picnic and warm drinks in a suitably beautiful spot. Your guide and driver will pick and choose the location of the day depending on weather conditions.

You'll be back in Tromso mid-afternoon, with some free time to relax and explore. A trip up the cable car shouldn't be missed: you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Tromsø and the surrounding islands, mountains and fjords.

You are free to enjoy a night out in vibrant Tromso with its many bars and restaurants.

Day 3: Sail the fjords spotting wildlife and chase the lights

How to make this arctic stay even better? Everyone should experience the fjords and their thriving wildlife in the ethereal Arctic daylight too, so we've saved today for another sailing adventure.

There is so much life in the fjords in the winter time, where seabirds, eagles, seals, and schools of fish gather to feed and stay alive during the dark winter months. Sail out in the fjords together on a comfortable catamaran, fish for lunch at one of your hosts favourite fishing spots, and prepare a fresh, homemade meal on-board.

For those not keen on fishing, the warm saloons offers a relaxing environment, or you can try your hand at sailing and learning about navigation in the arctic.

You'll be back on land by early afternoon, with a bit of free time to rest before embarking on a northern lights minibus chase in the evening.

A night in the search of the northern lights comes with careful planning and a deep understanding of the weather conditions along with the Northern Lights forecast - this increases the chances for a good sighting. Sometimes we may have to drive for a few hours to get in the right position, but you are in good hands with knowledgeable guides, certified drivers, a home-cooked warm meal, coffee, tea & warm chocolate, nuts & marshmallows.

Professional pictures taken during the evening will be yours afterwards, and hopefully you'll capture some winners of your own.

Day 4: Say your goodbyes or keep exploring

Check out any time after breakfast, armed with new friends, memories, stories and a pocket full of photos.

For the keen explorers keen to really max out your time, you ca squeeze in any of these optional extra trips to complete the arctic experience. Your host can book these for you. Prices for these add-on experiences are in the optional extras section below.

  • Dog Sledding: 09:00-13:00, 11:00-15:00 & 13:00-17:00
  • Day-time Reindeer & Sami Experience: 10:00-14:00
  • Northern Lights Tesla Experience: 20:00-00:00 (3-5 h)
  • Additional Northern Lights Minibus Chase: 18:00-01:00
  • Evening Reindeer & Sami Experience: 18:00-22:00

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

Your accommodation for three nights is the modern and popular Smart Hotel in central Tromso. Highly rated by customers, the rooms are compact and it's the best pick for budget yet comfortable accommodation. An extensive buffet breakfast is served in the downstairs cafe, which also serves light bites through the rest of the day.

Travellers are given a single room as standard. However double rooms for couples are available on request for those wanting to share - please just ask your host the time of booking. Please note twin rooms are not available at this hotel.

Additional nights accommodation can also be arranged on request subject to availability, and prices confirmed with you at the time of the request.

Location

Hundreds of years ago explorers gathered in Tromsø to socialise, plan expeditions and enjoy the “Capital of the Arctic” also known as the “Paris of the North”. Situated 400km north of the Arctic Circle, the historic island town of Tromsø has long been Norway’s entrance to the Arctic, famous for its cute wooden houses, its many bridges, the views of the surrounding mountains and easy access to some of the most spectacular fjords in the world, filled with birds and wildlife. The town’s mild, coastal climate and ideal location deep in the Arctic Circle, at the heart of the northern nights Oval, make it one of the best spots in the far North to witness the legendary Aurora Borealis.

Meeting Point

Start Point

Host's base camp, central Tromsø - 20:15

You can book any flight to Tromsø and easily get to your hotel to check-in via a 10-minute taxi or regular shuttle bus. The best way to get from the airport to the hotel is to take a taxi and the price for this is about 2-300 NOK. There are taxi cars waiting right outside the arrival hall. There is also a shuttle bus running several times per hour and the price is around NOK 100 per way. You will meet your local guides and fellow adventurers at the hosts lounge on the first evening located in central Tromsø.

You are welcome to pop in earlier for a hot beverage and to get some recommendations for exploring locally beforehand. Hopefully you'll have a few hours to stroll around the small town, have a coffee at some of the cozy cafés and take a moment to breathe in the fresh air - we are in the arctic!

There is a direct flight to Tromso with Norwegian Air departing from London Gatwick at 14:30 - arriving into Tromso at 19:05 - this will be fine. There are lots of indirect flights via Olso with other airlines too.

Finish Point

Checkout from your hotel after breakfast

The final day is free for you to do as you please and return home on any flight which suits you. The airport is an easy 10-minute taxi or shuttle bus. If you've got extra time and energy, why not squeeze in some dog sledding or another arctic adventure - your host can help you arrange these. Full details are in the itinerary and optional extras section.

There is a direct flight back to London Gatwick with Norwegian Air leaving Tromso at 19:50 and arriving at 22:25. Plus a wide variety of indirect flights via Olso too a wide range of destinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

On this trip you'll catch your own fish in the Arctic fjords, spot Eagles soaring overhead in search of prey, large flocks of migratory seabirds, along with seals, dolphins, and if you're very very lucky - whales.

While we can never guarantee that you'll see the spectacular Northern Lights, if you're travelling from September to March we have a 88% success rate in spotting them.

The Northern Lights start appearing above the Arctic circle from the end of August until the end of March. The strongest lights can be seen when the seasons are changing, during September and March, however from October to February are also excellent times to see the Northern Lights. They are unpredictable and can be seen at any time from 18:00 to 06:00, with the most ‘popular’ viewing time between 20:00 and 02:00.

The hiking is an easy to moderate walk in the hills, tailored to the group and conditions of the day. Including a scenic drive through the fjords, the whole trip will be about 5 hours.

No snowshoe experience is necessary either - they are simply large rackets or paddles attached at your toe, making it easier to walk in snow without sinking.

The weather in the Arctic can be rather unpredictable, so you should be ready for anything. Layers are the best way to keep warm and your host will provide you with safety equipment, warm sailing suits and slippers to wear. Your host recommends that you also bring:

  • A small bag (hand luggage size) for your time onboard the boat.
  • Base layers - thermal leggings and a long-sleeved top
  • First layers - Tracksuit bottoms or hiking trousers, a warm jumper and a soft shell jacket e.g. a fleece or a down jacket (or both if you feel the cold)
  • Top layers - an outer weatherproof jacket and trousers e.g. ski or all-weather hiking clothing
  • Waterproof boots e.g. hiking boots
  • Trainers
  • Small day pack
  • A hat that covers your ears
  • Scarf or Neck Gaiter
  • Insulated or Gore-tex gloves
  • Wool socks
  • Camera (and a tripod if you'd like)
  • Personal toiletries
  • Swimming costume
  • Hand lotion & lip balm
  • Spikes for shoes (can be purchased in Tromsø)
  • Spare batteries - the cold means that devices run out much quicker than normal

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for your guides (optional)
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel to/from airport (10 min taxi or shuttle bus)
  • Extra meals and personal expenses not listed

Breakfast in the hotel is a large buffet with choices of cereals, fruit, cheese and meats, pastries, toast, hot cooked options, juices, tea and coffee.

During the activities the food provided is home cooked by a local chef and prepared that day. Expect fresh fish soups from the days catch while out on the sailing trips, a light picnic and warm drinks while hiking and a warm meal on the minibus Northern Lights trip. While we serve meals on both evening tours, we suggest you may want a light dinner beforehand as the meals are served rather late (slightly dependent on the conditions for the night).

Vegetarian, vegan and other dietary requirements can be catered to, please request this on your passenger information form after booking.

Yes! Tromsø is a fantastic Arctic destination and there's a whole host of other adventures you can enjoy if you have a little more time, including dog sledding and reindeer sledding - just ask your host for more information.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it's a great way to meet like-minded people.

There will be a minimum of 2 and maximum of 12 others with you.

While the weather in Tromso can be rather unpredictable, Tromsø is a ‘mild’ Arctic destination due to its position next to the Gulf Stream which brings warmer air to the North. The average winter temperature in Tromso is around -4°C, though if you travel inland it can get as low as -25°C. The weather can be very changeable so you should be prepared for all eventualities! The snow tends to arrive in December.

The group departure dates are adult only, but if you'd like to bring the whole family, including children of any age, then a private tour can be arranged - just enquire for a quote.

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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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