10 of the best dog sledding tours in Tromsø

Do you like the idea of relaxing in a sled and whizzing across the snow being pulled by a team of huskies?  Or, better still, driving the dog team yourself?

Tromsø is a great place to try dog sledding

Tromsø in Norway is a great destination for dog-sledding, so read on to find out all about dog sledding and which are our favourite dog sledding tours in Tromsø.

Why is Tromsø such a good place for dog sledding?
When is the best time for a husky tour in Tromsø? 
How much does dog sledding cost in Tromsø?
Is dog sledding worth it?
Is husky sledding cruel?
What to expect on a sledding trip from Tromsø
How hard is dog sledding?
What to bring with you when dog sledding 
10 of the best dog sledding tours in Tromsø
Three spectacular places to stay when dog sledding in Tromsø 
Other tours in Tromsø
Dog-sledding in other Norwegian towns
Dog sledding in other Nordic countries

Why is Tromsø such a good place for dog sledding?

Tromsø is a great place to try dog-sledding, because there are many different companies there who all offer a slightly different type of tour.

Since Tromsø is surrounded by such stunning countryside, and the area is pretty much guaranteed lots of winter snow, you don’t have to travel very far to get to the place where you can go dog-sledding.

And even then, the trip there is picturesque and enjoyable!

Also, because there are several companies who run the trips, you can sometimes get reasonable deals.

When is the best time for a husky tour in Tromsø? 

The husky tour season in the Tromsø region runs from November through to mid-April.  

However, tours will only run when there’s enough snow on the ground for the dogs to safely pull the sleds.

If you want to be sure of having thick snow underfoot, late December to February are the best months. Though, of course, the days are shorter and temperatures lower in these months too.

There are companies that run dog sled trips in the summer and autumn where the dogs pull wheeled carts over the ground instead of sleds. 

How much does dog sledding cost in Tromsø?

Like everything in Norway, husky-sledding trips in Tromsø are not cheap. A four-hour trip with an experienced guide and the chance to drive the huskies yourself starts from around $200.

Cheaper half-day trips where you meet the dogs but don’t actually get to drive the sled start from around $115.

You may find cheaper tours in other places in Norway – this  four and a half hour dog sled trip from Varangerbotn, across the Norwegian tundra costs $160.

However, you have to factor in getting to this remote location, high up on the northern Barents Sea coast, close to the Russian and Swedish borders.

Or, this trip from Alta (also up on Barents Sea) includes about an hour of sledding plus time to make friends with the dogs and learn the art of mushing for $180.

For more on other dog sledding destinations in Norway, see our guide to Dog sledding in Norway.

Is dog sledding worth it?

Yes, the price of dog sledding in Norway is high, but most people agree that its a once-in-a-lifetime experience and is worth the money. 

And if you opt for a combination tour, that saves on the price of doing two separate tours.

For example, in Tromsø you can do a dog sledding and northern lights combination trip which may well cost less than if you did two individual tours.

Is husky sledding cruel?

There is plenty of debate about whether dog-sledding is cruel. Some people believe that it’s not fair on the dogs to keep them captive and make them pull a sled with someone on it. 

Norway has high standards of animal welfare for dog sledding trips

Others think that, provided they are well looked after, the dogs enjoy racing along and find running exhilarating.

The good news is that in Norway sled dogs are subject to strict rules, and the industry is highly-regulated as to what you can expect from the dogs, and how you must treat them.

And it’s also the case that many of the companies who run active dog sledding trips in Tromsø are long-established with high standards of animal welfare.

The best dog sledding companies in Tromsø have plenty of information on their websites about about the dogs’ welfare, so do some research first. 

Arctic Adventures, for example, has full details on how they treat their dogs, what their retirement policies are and how the dogs are cared for.

What to expect on a sledding trip from Tromsø

Dog sledding in Tromsø is always fun, though the trips themselves may vary from full-day tours to a simple visit to a puppy farm to make friends with the dogs.

You can either opt for a relaxing ride on a dog-sled or you can take the more adventurous option and have a go at driving the dogs yourself.

Whichever type of trip you choose however, transport is always included as well as expert tuition from an experienced guide and dog-handler.

Some trips also include a meal, though always check first what is provided and what you should bring yourself.

How hard is dog sledding?

You don’t need any previous experience to have a go at dog-sledding in Tromsø and generally speaking, most people find driving the dog-sleds fairly easy.

The dogs are well-trained and usually very enthusiastic, so they tend to do most of the work for you! In addition, there are always expert guides and trainers on hand, if you need any help.

Is dog sledding for tourists only? 

Dog sledding is not a traditional Lapland activity. The native Sami were reindeer herders, who travelled on sleighs pulled by reindeer rather than dogs.

The Inuit in Canada and Alaska were likely to have been the first people to use dogs to pull sleds.

However, the Norwegians have been using dog sleds for over a hundred years. 

Indeed, the use of dog sleds is attributed as one of the main reasons that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen beat his British rival Captain Scott to become the first person to reach the South Pole in 1911.

And the famous Finnmarksløpet, a long-distance dog sled race over a gruelling 1200km course, has been going since 1981.

So, dog-sledding is not native to Norway, but the Norwegian terrain and climate are well suited to the activity and it brings in much-needed funds to the rural economy. Not only that, but it’s great fun to do – so why not? 

What to bring with you when dog sledding 

Since most husky tours take place in winter, you’ll need to wrap up warm and wear cold weather clothes.

Some tours include thermal suits, winter gloves, hats and boots, so check first when you book.  If they’re not included, you’ll need to bring your own.

It’s also worth mentioning that dog sledding is very physical, and if it’s a sunny day you may get warm so bring layers that you can shed if necessary. And if you’re doing a summer wagon cart trip, you probably won’t need a woolly hat or gloves!

However, for most tours, here’s a list of the essentials that you’ll need when dog sledding.

  • warm clothing
  • hat
  • gloves
  • camera 
  • socks
  • a high-energy snack (if food isn’t included in your trip)

10 of the best dog sledding tours in Tromsø

Go dog sledding on Kvaløya island

This is the classic Tromsø dog-sled trip, where you meet the huskies at their kennel on Kvaløya island, just west of Tromsø, and learn how to drive the sled along a trail through stunning snowy landscapes. 

Go husky sledding on Kvaløya island near Tromsø

You can take it turns to be the passenger and driver, so you both get a chance a chance to “mush” and to sit back and enjoy the ride!

One of the things we really like about this tour is that you end up round the campfire at a Sami lavvo, with a hot drink and a slice of delicious chocolate cake homemade by Hege.

We also like the fact that the company which runs this tour is known for having good standards of animal welfare, so you can be sure that the dogs will enjoy the trip as much as you.

Watch the northern lights from a dog sled

Combine two trips in one with this northern lights and husky trip. You don’t actually get to drive a dog sled here, but you can make friends with some of the 200 huskies plus their fluffy puppies that live at the camp.

Combine dog sledding with a northern lights tour near Tromsø in Norway

Afterwards, you’ll sit around an open fire by the lavvo, a traditional Sami tent, and look out for the aurora borealis while cuddling a husky and listening to Sami tales. 

What we love about this trip is that while you’re watching out for the northern lights, you’ll be served a tasty dinner of Norwegian cod in tomato sauce plus homemade chocolate cake to finish.

Learn the art of mushing

This fun half-day dog-sled tour teaches you the art of mushing and gives you the chance to drive the husky sled yourself.

Learn how to drive a dog sled near Tromsø, Norway

One of the unique things about this tour is in that you get to try a traditional Sami dish called Bidos – a tasty reindeer stew.

Sleep in an ice dome and drive a dog sled

Why not combine driving a dog sled with an overnight stay in an ice dome in the Tamok valley? These cool structures are remade every winter from blocks of ice.

Combine a dog sled trip with seeing the ice dome near Tromsø, Norway.

There’s an ice restaurant, bar and hotel – and you can even watch a film in the cinema made completely from ice.

This unique bucket-list trip includes staying the night in the ice hotel – and even sleeping on a bed made of ice – a snowshoe hike, plus a dog sled ride.

Go dog-sledding at Camp Tamok

Some 90 miles from Tromsø, surrounded by wilderness, Camp Tamok is a great place to try dog-sledding.

Camp Tomak near Tromsø is a great place to try dog sledding

You can do a full-day dog-sled tour there with travel from Tromsø and a warm meal round the campfire included. 

We love the fact that you get to dog sled in a real wilderness destination, surrounded by scenic fjords and mountains.  

Drive a dog sled beneath the stars

Alternatively, why not go for the atmospheric evening tour, where you’ll get to drive the dogs beneath the stars, then warm up round the fire in a traditional tent with a hot bowl of stew.

Go dog sledding at night beneath the stars near Tromsø

You may even get to see the northern lights on your trip.

What we love about this tour is the complete peace and quiet and silence of gliding over the snow beneath a dark starry sky.

Have fun with huskies at Breivikeidet

Take a scenic bus trip out to the camp in Breivikeidet, where you’ll make friends with the huskies and experienced staff will teach you how to drive a dog sled.

Leanr how to drive a dog sled at Breivikeidet, near Tromsø

On this tour you’ll get to explore Norway’s stunningly beautiful Lyngen Alps, while driving a dog sled over the snow.

Go for a snowshoe hike

Glide across the crispy white snow on snowshoes, while exploring the island of Kvaløya.

Go snowshoeing and meet some huskies Kvaløya island near Tromsø

This snowshoe hike doesn’t include driving a dog-sled, but it does end up at a husky farm when you can meet and make friends with the fluffy, friendly huskies and their puppies. 

Home-made chocolate cake and hot drinks are included too, to warm you up after your hike.

The cool thing about this tour is that you get to go for an amazing mountain hike in the snow with an experienced guide – plus cute puppies to cuddle too!

Make friends with some husky puppies

On this tour, you can help the handlers train the husky puppies who are too young to drive sleds. 

Help train some husky puppies near Tromsø, Norway

You’ll make friends with these cute canines, then take them out onto the snow, teach them techniques and do training exercises with them.

This tour is unique in that you actually get to engage with the husky puppies and take them out for a walk with their experienced handlers.

Hike with huskies

If you’d rather not drive a dog sled yourself, why not head out into the beautiful Norwegian countryside for an energetic walk with some huskies?

Go for a husky hike near Tromsø, Norway

An experienced guide will take you and the dogs to some of the most beautiful countryside, before returning to the traditional laavo for lunch round the campfire.

This tour is great for kids and animal-lovers as you can really get to know the dogs, as well as exploring the beautiful Norwegian scenery.

Three spectacular places to stay when dog sledding in Tromsø 

Stay in a snow dome

For the ultimate Arctic adventure, why not stay overnight in the Camp Tamok Snow Domes, a hotel made out of blocks of ice.

You’ll sleep in an igloo on a bed made from ice – but don’t worry, there’s super warm bedding and reindeer skins to keep you warm.  

You can also choose to go dog sledding, ride on a reindeer sleigh or go snowmobiling the following morning.

Watch the northern lights from your balcony

We love this self-catering apartment in the centre of Tromsø, with views out over the fjord and a lovely terrace where you can sit and look out for the northern lights.

Get back to nature by the river

And if you’re on a budget, Tromsø Lodge & Camping has comfortable cabins on the banks of the Tromsdalselva River

Just outside the city, the site is quiet and peaceful with views of the river and surrounding mountains.

Other tours in Tromsø

And if you don’t fancy dog-sledding, Tromsø is a good place to try other tours, such as this reindeer sledding trip, where you get to feed the reindeer and learn about the traditional Sami way of life. 

Or for a more high-adrenaline experience, there are snowmobile safaris, such as this one in the Lyngen Alps.

Dog-sledding in other Norwegian towns

Of course, other Norwegian towns run dog-sled trips too, such as Røros, Geilo, Ål, and Nesbyen in the centre of the country, and Gålå, Trysil, and Beitostølen in the east.

And if you’re high up in the north of the country, tours from Alta and Varangerbotn will take you right out into the Arctic wilderness with a team of Siberian huskies.

Dog sledding in other Nordic countries

Of course, Norway is not the only Nordic country where you can go dog sledding. 

Rovaniemi, Kemi and Levi are all good destinations for dog sledding in Finland, with tours that can be combined with ice fishing, snowshoe trekking, a reindeer sleigh ride and even ice swimming!

Kiruna in Sweden also has a great range of dog sled tours that can be combined with all sorts of other activities such as visiting the ice hotel and chasing the northern lights.

For more, read our guide to all you need to know about dog sledding in Sweden.

See also:
Cheap places to stay in Trromso
What to see, do and eat in Tromso
10 tours you have to try in Norway

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