Dog sledding in Tromso Norway - our experience and practical tips

Dog Sledding in Tromsø Norway

In Europe, Norway by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

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 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 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. 

Husky pulled sled - Tromso Norway

Our dogs anxiously waiting for a ride

 

 

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).

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 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.

Cozy bonfire at Tromso Wilderness Centre in winter

You can warm up by a cozy fire 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.

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, 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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Complete guide to dog sledding in Tromso Norway

 

Comments

  1. 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

    1. Author

      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.

  2. 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.

    1. Author

      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…

      1. Dear Jurga,

        Thank you for your reply. It was very helpful. I guess I will have to visit Norway in winter sometime.

        Cheers
        Aditi

  3. Concerning this dog sled tour that you took and are highly recommending, it sounds lovely, but how do you know that it is an ethical dog farm and that the dogs are treated well and there is a no-kill policy? What is the name of the farm and can one contact them directly? I’d like the experience but am concerned about the animal welfare and want to be a responsible traveler! Thanks for any info!

    1. Author

      Hi LeighAnn, I understand your concern and I actually asked them this question when I was there.
      From everything they told me and everything I read, Tromso Villmarkssenter treat their dogs extremely well. You see it in the way people working there interact with the dogs and how excited the dogs are to go sledding. It’s as if they are having the time of their lives… Really. I don’t know how to better explain it, but once you are there, all your doubts go away.
      Don’t hesitate – it’s a wonderful experience and – at least with this company – I feel very confident to say that they treat their animals extremely well. It’s as if they are one big family.

      1. Hi Jurga,

        Thank you so much for your response. That is reassuring that you got good vibes when you visited! We are looking forward to it!

  4. Hello Jurga!

    Loved this post. I’m going to Tromso next week and you just convinced me to do the dog sledding. I wasn’t sure because as you pointed out, it’s an expensive experience, but the way you decribed it made me realise it is worth it.
    I would just like to know wich company you did it with?

    Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Patricia, I did this husky sled drive tour. The same company also has sled ride tour. It’s basically the same experience, the only difference is that with the second option you don’t get to do any driving yourself and just sit in the sled.
      Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done and would definitely do it again.

      1. Thank you so much for the quick reply.

        I was already thinking about going with this company, glad your experince with them was good!

        Also, did you by any chance do the Aurora Chase Tour with this same company? I’m asking this because I noticed they have a package that includes the dog sledding during the day and the aurora chase tour at night. Since I want to do both of the tours, I’m considering if their service concerning the aurora tour is as good as the dog sledding!

        thank you so much in advance

        1. Author

          Hi Patricia, no I didn’t do it with them. The problem with auroras is that you never really know how the weather will be, so if you book a tour that just stays in one place the whole evening, your chances to see them are much lower. If you are lucky and it’s a clear night, you might even see the Northern Lights even in Tromso town, but if you just go to a place and stay there the whole time and by any chance that place is covered in the clouds that evening, you won’t see much.
          I therefore recommend this highly-rated small group aurora tour in Tromso to my readers. They drive as far as reasonably possible to try to find clear skies and make sure you see the Northern Lights. It’s an excellent company with a very good reputation.
          Hope this helps.

          1. Thank you so much again! You were really helpful. And your blog is amazing!!!
            Best wishes

      2. Hi Jurga,

        Thank you so much for all the useful tips and information. We now have your packing list and we are steadily reading through all the links. All of this put together is going to make our trip in January 2020 just unforgettable ! Thanks again !

        1. Author

          Glad to hear that, Graham. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time in Tromso. It’s a real winter wonderland!
          Happy travels!

  5. Hi! What time of day did you go sledding? Would you consider an evening tour in December or do you think that not being able to see the scenery would take away from the adventure?

    1. Author

      Hi Karen, I went dog sledding in the morning – leaving Tromso around 10am if I recall well. It was nice to enjoy the scenery, but I think it can be special at night too. Especially if you get to see the Northern Lights as well.
      I’m just not sure if I’d want to drive the sled in the dark, especially if you haven’t done it before and don’t know the area well. The dogs are well trained, but I think I’d rather leave the driving to a local musher if going in the dark.
      I did reindeer sledding in Tromso one evening and it was actually really fun, although there were no auroras that night.
      Hope this helps.

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