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!
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 centre. 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 whether you want to try steering the sled or not, you are assigned into two separate groups.
Guided dog sledding
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. 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.
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).
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.
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…
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 desert 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.
If you have some time left – 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.
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, for example this husky puppy training experience.
- Regular dog sledding tours take about 4 hours in total. 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 tours.
- 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 10% lower than other tours). Here you can find a bigger selection of dog sledding tours available in Tromso. And this is the highly rated dog sledding tour that I myself did in Tromso and wouldn’t doubt to recommend it.
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