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Dog Sledding in Tromsø (All Your Questions Answered)

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Dog Sledding in Tromsø (All Your Questions Answered)

If you are planning a winter trip to Tromsø or other areas in Northern Norway, you’ll probably be overwhelmed by a big choice of outdoor activities. Let me save you some time – dog sledding is one of the best things you can do in Tromsø in winter. It’s exhilarating, it’s fun, it’s unforgettable…

Dog sledding has been on my bucket list for a long time and now that I ticked it off the list I can’t wait to go back and do it again.

There are several places where you can try husky sledding in Tromso. I personally did this dog sled driving tour. No matter what you choose, you’re in for a thrilling ride and an experience of a lifetime! There is no better way to experience the Arctic winter landscapes than from a husky sled!

In this article, I want to share my personal experience with dog sledding in Tromsø. This information might not apply to all husky sledding tours in Tromso, but it should help you form a better idea on what to expect and decide which tour is right for you. Find out!

READ ALSO: Northern Lights in Tromso

Dog sledding in Tromso Norway - ticking off the winter bucket list
 

Dog Sledding in Tromso – What to Expect

If you book an organized husky sleigh tour from Tromso, your trip will start with a pick-up in Tromso city center. Depending on the location you choose, you’ll drive 30-60 min to the place where dog sledding takes place. The landscape around Tromso is incredible and the ride itself is really scenic.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a local guide who pointed us to the reception and changing rooms. Time to put on those thermal suits!

Once everyone was set to go, we went to meet the guides. Depending on whether you want to try steering the sled or not, you are assigned into two separate groups. 

Husky pulled sled - Tromso Norway
Our dogs anxiously waiting for a ride
 

Guided Dog Sledding in Tromso

If you prefer a guided husky sled drive, you basically just sit in a sled, take pictures, and admire the scenery.

All the sleds on the guided tour are driven by local mushers, so you have nothing to worry about. Just sit down and enjoy the ride!

Guided dog sledding is suitable for everyone, also for families with children.  However, different companies have different age requirements, and also pricing for kids can vary a bit.

Here you can book a highly-rated husky sled tour in Tromso that has no age limit.

A similar family-friendly husky sled tour is also available in the evening, with a chance to see the Northern Lights.

Two people can sit together in a sled, so kids will usually share a sled with one parent. I’m not sure how it works if you are a family with three kids; I think I’d let my husband go with one child, let the other two share a sled, and I would book a self-drive sled for myself (parents are usually not allowed to operate a sled with their children in it).

 

Self-drive Husky Sledding – Your Mushing Adventure

I opted for a self-drive husky sled ride. Our tour started with a short introduction on how to operate a sled and in just a few minutes we were set to go.

Is it difficult to drive a husky sled? Don’t worry, driving a dog-pulled sled is really easy and pretty straight-forward. The dogs are well trained, so they do most of the work for you. All you have to do is steer a bit and help the dogs by pushing the sled when it goes uphill. If you get overly enthusiastic dogs as we did, you have to use the breaks once in a while in order to avoid passing other sleds as this might be a bit dangerous. All in all, I found driving a dog sled a very easy and enjoyable experience.

Every self-drive sled also has two people in it – one driving and one sitting in a sled. You both drive half the time and the group stops half-way to let the drivers switch. If you are traveling on your own, it’s a fun way to meet new people. I was sharing a sled with a doctor from Japan. It was the first time driving a husky sled for both of us and we agreed that it was one of the best experiences ever.

TIP: If you are wondering which sled drive to book, I’d say go with a self-drive dog sledding experience. It allows you to experience both – the thrill of being a musher, as well as the relaxing ride enjoying the scenery. Also, if for whatever reason you decide you don’t want to drive the sled anymore, you can always switch back with the other person.

Please note that you have to be at least 14 or 16 years old in order to drive a husky sled (age depends on the tour company).

Thermal suits are provided for most outdoor activities in Norway in winter
Getting to know the dogs before the ride
 

Ready, Set, Go. Dog Sledding is So Much Fun!

From the moment you first meet the huskies, you’ll be amazed at how enthusiastic the dogs are and how much they enjoy running.

If you have any concerns about the well-being of the dogs, all your doubts will go away when you meet the huskies and the mushers and see how they interact. Of course, I cannot say how it is in every place where you can go dog sledding, but the place we visited in Tromso takes care of their dogs really well.

Dog sledding usually happens in a group. The calmer, most experienced dogs (usually older females) lead the group and there are always experienced mushers driving the first sleds. The other dogs just follow the lead.

We had the very last sled of the group with six young male dogs. They were incredible! We never had to help them run; on the contrary, we had to slow them down. They seemed to be having the time of their lives, and so were we…

The scenery near Tromso surrounded by snowcapped mountains is simply spectacular. It’s such a beautiful place and it makes the whole dog sledding experience even better.

Beautiful winter scenery on the way to dog sledding in Tromso in Northern Norway
Beautiful winter scenery along the road
 

I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of the drive itself and was positively surprised that the actual sledding time was much longer than I expected.

I thought we’d just make a short tour of 10-20 minutes as it’s often the case with tourist-oriented activities. In the end, our ride took over 75 minutes and I loved every single one of them.

Without any doubt, dog sledding is one of the most unforgettable experiences ever. Highly recommended!

If you visit Tromso in winter, don’t miss a chance to tick this off your bucket list.

Meet the Husky Puppies

After the ride, we had more time to play with the dogs. To tell you the truth, I’m not really a dog person and I never feel comfortable around them…

However, these huskies are so friendly that it’s really impossible not to cuddle them, and I’m not even talking about puppies…

All the kids in our group just couldn’t get enough of playing with the dogs.  Even I stayed with them longer than expected…

Meeting husky puppies as part of dog sledding experience
Meet the husky puppies. Aren’t they just too cute!
 

Warm Norwegian Lunch

Most husky sledding experiences in Tromso include warm lunch and it’s actually really good.

Usually, you’ll get some warm traditional meal, like fish soup or reindeer stew. I’m not sure if any vegan options are available… They also have warm drinks and the best chocolate cake for dessert as well!

Our lunch was so good that I didn’t even think of taking pictures while enjoying it. But here is an image of the cozy bonfire just next to the restaurant. Beautiful place to warm up before or after the sled ride.

Cozy bonfire at Tromso Wilderness Centre in winter
You can warm up by a cozy fire after the sled ride
 

Meet the Reindeer

Most places that offer husky sledding also offer other activities including reindeer sledding, but the people I met and talked to all agreed that dog sledding was by far the best and most worth the money.

Anyway, if you have a minute after lunch, before your transfer back to town, walk around a bit and discover the beautiful surroundings.

I was lucky to find several cute reindeer. You can always ask the staff where the reindeer are at that moment.

Reindeer in Tromso
Reindeer in Tromso
 

Is Dog Sledding in Tromso Worth It?

I guess you can already guess my answer. Yes, dog sledding in Tromsø is totally worth it.

It’s really expensive, like in really expensive, but all the winter activities in the Nordics aren’t cheap. If you are already paying all that money to travel to Tromso in winter, then make sure to experience the very best of it. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?

Seeing the Northern Lights, dog sledding, and Fjellheisen cable car are three things you really shouldn’t miss in Tromso.

Here you can find more suggestions for what to do in Tromso in winter and here you can find our hand-picked selection of the best tours in Tromso.

 

Dog Sledding in Tromsø – Practical Information

  • Dog sledding tours run in winter only (you do need snow). In Tromso, you can normally do dog sledding from November till April.
  • If you come in another season, you can still meet the huskies. There are several summer activities available, but you can not go dog sledding when there is no snow.
  • Regular dog sledding tours in Tromso take about 4 hours. This includes transfers from/ back to Tromso. You spend about 60-75min sledding.
  • Dress warm (don’t forget waterproof gloves!), but don’t worry too much about the cold. Thermal suits are provided, also for the children (I’m not sure about the smallest sizes though, but you can probably even ask for a blanket for the kids). Make sure to also check this post for practical tips on what to wear in Norway in winter.
  • Warm lunch or dinner is included with most Tromso husky tours. But make sure to check what’s included before you book!
  • Book your husky sledding tour in advance to avoid disappointment. Dog sledding tours in Tromso are extremely popular and usually sell out. Here is the best price/quality dog sledding tour that I was able to find in Tromso (at the moment of writing, the price is about 5% lower than other tours). And this is the highly-rated dog sledding tour that I myself did in Tromso and wouldn’t doubt recommending to everyone.
 

Tromso Dog Sledding FAQ

In addition to the info above, here are some popular questions in regards to dog sledding in Tromso:

When can you go dog sledding in Tromso?

Dog sledding is only possible in winter because this activity requires snow. In Tromso, you can normally do dog sledding from November till April.

Why is dog sledding so expensive?

Dog sledding is one of the most expensive winter activities. The main reason for this is that dogs require food and care year-round. In addition, many trained guides come on dog sledding tours in order to make sure that everything goes well. Salaries in Norway are high and this also adds to the cost of dog sledding tours.

Is dog sledding difficult?

Dog sledding is quite physically demanding, but if the dogs are well trained and the sleds are light, it’s not very difficult. You can learn the basics in just a couple of minutes and most people will be able to musher a sled after the short instruction that you get before the tour.

Is dog sledding ethical?

I cannot say this for every place and every dog sledding tour in the world, but dog sledding in Tromso is done in the most ethical way possible. The dogs are taken care of really well, and from their enthusiasm, you can see that they truly enjoy the experience.

Where can I go dog sledding in Norway?

Tromso is one of the best places for dog sledding in Norway. In addition, you can go dog sledding in Alta, in Kirkenes, and several other places in Northern Norway. Also Svalbard is a great place for dog sledding tours.

 

More tips for your trip to Tromso in winter:

Looking for more winter travel inspiration for Northern Norway? Check this out:

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

Complete guide to dog sledding in Tromso Norway
 

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Shona Moir

Monday 20th of January 2020

Hi Jurga Firstly, thank you so much for such an inspiring blog page - the details are incredibly helpful and the blogs have inspired me to go over to Tromso myself. :) I am planning to go for a long weekend over February or March this year - mainly for the husky experience! I've not mushed before, but am a generally fit person... did you feel that the husky self-drive HALF day was enough? Or do you recommend I look at the full day option? Do you know if the full day option gives you clothing, like the half day? My other question was around accomodation for one person - do you have any recommendations? Were there any deals (e.g. combine 2 excursions for cheaper price)? And was there any kind of orca tour that you know of? Sorry, a lot of questions! Thank you so much in advance though, I'm really excited :) Kind regards, Shona

Jurga

Tuesday 21st of January 2020

Hi Shona, it's hard to say about dog sledding. I really enjoyed it and the ride was long enough to be fun, but not too long to be tiring or too cold... So I really don't know what to say. Of course, the full day trip might be more special, but since I haven't done it, I can't really comment on how it is. As for the clothing, pretty much all tours offer thermal packs so I'd think they'll definitely have that for the longer tours. For any special deals - no, not that I'm aware of. It's expensive, but it's also fully booked, so most companies don't feel the need to give any discounts. Orcas - it's not the right season to see them in February-March. You have to go in late October-November if I'm not mistaken. In general, the best season to see any whales in Tromso is from November to January, if I recall well. If you are looking for more info about tours, please check this article - Best tours in Tromso. And for the hotels - please check our Tromso hotel guide for the best suggestions. I was in Tromso on my own and stayed at the Thon Hotel Polar. Have a great trip and if you decide to go, book your accommodation asap - February-March is a very popular time in Tromso.

Jackie

Tuesday 24th of December 2019

Do you drive the sled or is there an instructor to drive it?

Jurga

Thursday 26th of December 2019

Hi Jackie, as explained in my article (see sections 'Guided Dog Sledding in Tromso' and 'Self-drive Husky Sledding – Your Mushing Adventure', you can choose. If you don't want to drive, you can book just the RIDE. If you want to drive the sled as well, you can book the sled DRIVE. For more details and the difference between the two, you can find more info in the article above. Enjoy it!

Aashni

Tuesday 15th of October 2019

Hey! Love this blog!! I am going to Tromsø at the end of November where there is no daylight at all! I am keen on going sledging however is it worth it as it’ll be pitch dark and freezing? I am a blogger hence would want really good footage / photos of the experience

Jurga

Thursday 17th of October 2019

Hi Aashni, even though the sun hardly comes up that time of the year, there will still be some light. It depends on the hour when you'd go I suppose. If there is enough snow by then, then yes, definitely worth it - dog sledding is an incredible experience. Freezing cold is not an issue because you get thermal suits and really don't feel the cold. That being said, I went reindeer sledding in the evening when I was in Tromso (you can find a picture and explanation here - Tromso in winter) and I really enjoyed the experience. But indeed, you may not be able to take many nice pictures in the dark...So if you are only after some good pictures, then darkness will make it a real challenge no matter which activity you choose, except for the Northern Lights :).

ISABEL WILSON

Tuesday 18th of June 2019

WHAT TIME OF THE YEAR DID YOU DOG SLED AND ALSO SEE THE SCENERY? ALSO WHAT DO YOU CALL REALLY EXPENSIVE? Can u dog sled in April and still see lovely scenery. THANKS SO MUCH ISABEL

Jurga

Tuesday 18th of June 2019

Hi Isabel, this is the tour I did, it costs about 200EUR per person. I was there at the beginning of March and it was a great time to visit Tromso and still more than enough snow for dog sledding. It probably depends on the year, but in general, dog sledding tours in Tromso run till the end of April. As for the scenery, you can see it in the pictures and the video in the article. I found that it was AMAZING! PS you won't be able to book for April 2020 yet, but I advise booking the tour at least a month in advance, to avoid disappointment. Bookmark this post and come back towards January, by then you should be able to book it.

Aditi Bhosle

Friday 19th of April 2019

Hi Jurga, What a lovely article...Its a pity we are not visiting in winter. We will be visiting Tromso on 13th June 2019. I was wondering if you have some information on whether its worth visiting the huskyfarm then. Its very expensive so was wondering if it made sense in summer. Would not think twice if we were going in winter.

There is also a Husky cafe. It is cheaper to visit that in summer instead of the farm? Is it a similar experience?

Does one have to take an organised tour? Or can one go by public transport? Is it cheaper?

Would love your inputs. Thank you.

Jurga

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

Hi Aditi, I really don't know if summer husky experiences are worth the money. It's incomparable to husky sledding, that's for sure. I can't answer your practical questions as I haven't done that.

If you are on a tight budget, I think that meeting huskies isn't an absolute must and you better spend your money on something else. There are so many nice tours in Tromso, maybe try a fjord cruise in the summer instead...

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