Dog Sledding in Tromsø: What to Expect, Tips, and Best Tours

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No trip to Tromso would be complete without a husky safari! This guide details what to expect when dog sledding in Tromsø, including how to book the best tour for you and your group.

Booking a husky safari in Tromsø is a big decision because it is one of the tours many people travel to the Arctic to do! We answer all of your questions, including what to pack, what to expect, and so much more.

TROMSØ QUICK REFERENCE

Where to stay in Tromsø: Radisson Blu (luxury), Thon Hotel Tromsø, and Smarthotel Tromsø (budget). Alternatively, you can read our guide about where to stay in Tromsø

Top-rated dog sledding excursions in Tromso:

Need insurance for Norway? Be sure to check Norway travel insurance rates and coverage with our recommended provider, SafetyWing.  SafetyWing is a Norwegian company and offers fantastic service.

3 Essential Things to Pack for Norway: Plug adapter (if coming from the US or a country that does not use a European plug), Sea bands motion sickness and seasickness bands (so essential, especially if you're going whale watching!), and a Fodor's Travel Essential Norway guidebook (we wrote the Arctic Norway chapters!).

We recommend the best dog sledding tours in Tromso for all types of travelers, regardless of whether you're fit and active or chilled out and just keen to relax on your Tromso winter vacation!

If there is anything we left out or if you have any questions about dog sledding in Tromso, please let us know in the comments or send us a message.

Should You Go Dog Sledding in Tromsø?

No trip to the Arctic would be complete without dog sledding. 

While this can be a bit controversial and I have had some issues with other animal activities in the Arctic, dog sledding is something I went into not wanting to do because I thought it would be unethical but is something I quickly realized was enjoyable and actually fun for the dogs.

Dog sledding in Tromso tours-3
Dog sledding in Tromsø tours & tips

Dog sledding has been a way of life for many in the Arctic throughout history, with Indigenous people employing our furry companions to help traverse the wintry landscapes of the north for 9,000 years. 

The specially bred dogs have been fine-tuned over the years to become the ultimate runners, able to move quickly through the deep snow and follow migration routes that have been used for centuries under the watchful eyes of their handlers. 

While there are many dog breeds used in husky sledding, when you are dog sledding in Tromsø, you will typically find the Alaskan Husky pulling your sled. 

Although roads have now been built in Northern Norway, you will see many Sami (the Indigenous people of Northern Norway and the Nordics) using dogs to herd their reindeer south each season. 

Dog sledding in Tromso tours-1
My Tromso dog sledding experience - from above!

However, as tourism has grown in the Arctic, dog sledding businesses have popped up to provide tourists with this unique and enjoyable experience. It truly will be one of the most memorable things you will ever do on any of your travels, so I highly recommend it!

Tromsø Dog Sledding Tours (On this Guide)

To be honest, there are so many tours for those looking to go dog sledding in Tromso... but I think there are only a few that are worth the price.

And many of these tours are 'combos'. We can recommend combo tours all day long, but at the end of the day, we believe that the Tromso dog sled companies are experts in just that - dog sledding. 

Tromso Wilderness Center pups
Tromso Wilderness Center pups

Each and every tour on this guide is run by people who live, eat, and breathe dog sledding adventures. The company will often contract the journey out to a family or professionals who are experts in what they do.

We highly recommend booking one of these half-day tours alongside another tour in the evenings (we recommend some throughout). The price of a combo tour is usually the same as booking two separate tours, anyway. And, if something goes awry, like lack of snow, your entire tour is not a miss!

Here is a quick list of the tours we recommend in this guide:

Here are some tour recommendations based on regulations and skill level:

  • Best Tromso dog sledding tour for kids: We recommend this one that is 2 hours long or this one that is guided and only 1 hour long.
  • Best Tromso dog sledding tour for travelers who are not active: We recommend this tour for those who are not in great shape or active. You will be a passenger and not have to do any of the mushing.
  • Best Tromso dog sledding tour for active travelers: This half-day tour is self-guided and a fantastic option. Also, this full-day tour is a great option for those who are looking for a longer experience and adventure.

I recommend Manawa for adventure tours as I am a close partner and they always put their customers and ethics (especially with animals) as a top priority.

Best Tromso Dog Sledding Tours (Half Day Options)

1) Dog Sledding Day Excursion in Tromso

Duration: 5.5 hours
Languages: Norwegian, English
Seasonality: November-April
Meeting Point: Scandic Ishavshotel in Tromso
CHECK PRICES HERE

Dog sledding in Tromso
Dog sledding in Tromso tours

This is one of the most popular Tromso dog sledding tours and it is run by Arctic Travel Company. You will be picked up early in the morning at 9:15am at Scandic Ishavshotel and will be transferred out into the wilderness to a husky farm!

No experience is needed as you learn to be a musher (driver) of the sled or you can sit back and relax throughout the 2-hour journey that takes you on a Norwegian wilderness adventure.

Once your trip is over, you will have a chance to enjoy a hot meal along with some coffee and tea before arriving back in Tromso at about 3pm.

They will provide warm clothing for you but don't forget a hat and gloves! There will be two people per sled. The minimum age is 4 and people of all fitness levels are welcome!

Good to know: This trip starts out in the morning and ends at 3pm, which is an ideal time to relax, have dinner, and then set out for an evening northern lights trip! This is the best way to maximize your time in Tromso.

2) Morning Guided Dog Sledding in Tromso Excursion

Duration: 4 hours
Languages: Norwegian, English
Seasonality: November-April
Meeting Point: Radisson Blue (Sjogata) in Tromso
CHECK PRICES HERE 

Tromso dog sledding tours
Tips and practical information for Tromso dog sledding tours

Operated by the Tromso Wilderness Center, this husky safari is a fantastic pick if you're looking for a half-day tour around some of Northern Norway's finest scenery. The tour leaves from Radisson Blu and will guide you out to Kvaloya, one of the largest islands in Norway.

You will be a dog-sledding passenger and will have 45-60 minutes of thrills as you and your team of dogs wind through the Norwegian landscapes. Professional guides assist and make sure your journey is comfortable but extremely enjoyable!

After the journey wraps up, you will get a chance to hang out with the dogs (there are over 200 of them!) and will have a chance to try a traditional stew called 'Bidos', made of reindeer, broth, and root veggies. You'll be able to enjoy it around a fire.

This is a more relaxed journey than the one mentioned above, so it is meant for younger kids, families, the elderly, and those looking to photograph their experiences.

Kid and husky in Tromso
Dog sledding is a very family-friendly activity

You will be given a meeting time prior to the journey and all transport to and from Tromso is included. The company will also provide warm clothing but please do bring some wool (long underwear) to keep warm!

Good to know: This is the best Tromso dog sledding tour for children and elderly travelers. You will be a passenger on the journey and won't have to do the physical labor (which, trust me, is challenging!) Book this alongside an evening northern lights tour and you won't regret it!

3) Morning Self-Drive Dog Sledding in Tromso Tour

Duration: 4 hours
Languages: Norwegian, English
Seasonality: November-April
Meeting Point: Radisson Blue (Sjogata) in Tromso
CHECK PRICES HERE 

Tromso husky safaris
Hanging out with the dogs was my favorite part of my husky tour!

If you're an active traveler, this is the best Tromso dog sledding tour for you! The tour listed above was all about the relaxing ride as you're pulled by a team of huskies in Tromso. But this tour... is all about the action!

You will be transported to the snowy Norwegian landscapes with Tromso Wilderness Center where you'll end up on a husky farm. You will be informed how to drive a sled and your partner and you can take turns driving and riding if you wish.

Your Tromso mushing experience lasts for about 1 hour (give or take 10 minutes) and when you're done, you'll have a chance to meet the dogs and get to know them (including the puppies). Then, you will have a hearty and hot lunch of Bidos, a reindeer stew.

For this journey, it is important to have a good physical condition. If you're usually active, you should be fine. You must be 16 years of age to take this tour (no exceptions).

Outdoor clothing is provided but it is recommended to wear wool or something warm underneath.

Good to know: This tour leaves you room for another tour that same day! I definitely recommend a northern lights tour that evening. This northern lights sailing excursion is fantastic if you're looking to get out on the water and opt for a different kind of journey. If you're seeking a tour that is on land, this is one of the best northern lights tours in Tromso!

Full-Day Tromso Husky Sledding Tours

Full Day Dog Sledding Expedition in Tromso

Duration: Full day
Languages: Norwegian, English
Seasonality: March-April
Meeting Point: Radisson Blue (Sjogata) in Tromso
CHECK PRICES HERE

Dog sledding in Tromso
Quiet winter landscapes in Tromso

If you're in Tromso in early spring, this is a one-of-a-kind adventure that is perfect for the sportier traveler and the one who is ready for some thrills throughout Northern Norway's exciting landscapes!

You will have a full-day Tromso dog sledding trip ahead of you where you will be responsible for your own pack of huskies and will be able to do the mushing yourself. The journey lasts for 6 hours and you will be winding over the scenery on Kvaloya (one of the largest islands in Norway).

After your Tromso mushing adventure is over, you will head to a lavvu (Sami tent) to enjoy Bidos (reindeer stew with veggies), sweet treats, and tea/coffee.

Preparing bidos in a lavvu
Preparing bidos in a lavvu

One of the best things about the experience is that you sometimes have a chance to see other wildlife along the way - even snowshoe hares, moose, reindeer, foxes, and more!

In order to book this tour, you must be 16 years of age. Be sure to dress warm (wool is recommended), but they will have additional outdoor clothing to help keep you cozy throughout the journey. Please ensure you are of the right fitness level to successfully complete (and enjoy!) this tour.

Tromsø Husky Puppies Experience (Off-Season Option)

Puppy Training at the Husky Home

Is there anything better in this world than puppies? Rhetorical question as we know there isn't.  On this amazing excursion, you will be able to take part in training the next generation of sled dogs.

These little pups who have been born to race and hopefully be champions which require a lot of training and need to learn to work as a team if they are going to be successful.

With a guide, you will take the puppies on a hike in the mystical Arctic countryside. Along the way, you will play games with the puppies which will help their development.

Once you have completed the hike, you will have an opportunity to cuddle and play with the little pups. The 4.5-hour excursion also includes lunch at the husky center. 

What to Pack for Dog Sledding in Tromso

I am listing these suggestions based on the things I did bring with me and thought were a good idea in addition to the things I failed to bring along that I wish I had not forgotten at home or at my hotel. 

You can also read my guide about what to pack for Norway in winter if you want to know more!

  • Sorel snow boots:  These are my go-to snow boots for Norway in winter.  This exact pair is what I wore when I went dog sledding in Tromsø and they kept my feet very warm (with the help of wool socks).  You can check them out here.
  • Helly Hansen Svalbard Parka:  This parka was a lifesaver in Tromsø's harsh climate for me.  I own this exact one.  Helly Hansen is a reputable Norwegian brand that makes high-quality clothing.  Click here to check out the parka.
  • Waterproof mittens:  I always recommend mittens over gloves, especially if you're not used to the cold.  I also think that if you're planning on a husky safari in Tromsø, you will want ones that are waterproof.  These are highly-rated, waterproof mittens.
  • GoPro Hero 7:  You will definitely want to take a cool video of your experience but be sure you don't end up trying to use your phone (which will deplete so quickly from the cold, anyway) to do so!  I recommend this GoPro Hero as it is the one I use for my adventures.  Click here to check prices.
  • Headlamp:  This may seem cheesy, but a headlamp is a great thing to tote along with you for your winter trip to Norway.  It is pretty much always dark and on a lot of your excursions, you will see them pass these out to people. It is a good investment to just have your own.  And it will come in handy for taking photos of yourself in front of the northern lights, too. Click here to see my recommended headlamp.

Dog Sledding in Tromso FAQ & Practical Info

Is Dog Sledding in Norway Ethical?

This is a tough question and I understand why many think it isn't. Is horseback riding ethical? It really depends on the person. For example, I found my whale watching tour in Tromsø to be a bit unethical the way it was run. 

I also found the reindeer sleigh experience to be a bit unethical and I don't recommend that part of the Sami experiences, personally. But dog sledding in Tromsø? I had to find out for myself to see how I felt afterward.

What I found in Tromsø specifically was that the dogs were well taken care of and Norwegian people had high standards for their treatment of these worker pups. 

Husky farm in Tromso, Norway
Husky farm in Tromso, Norway

The dogs were SO excited to see us and were eager to get running.  They were barking loudly, tails wagging back and forth, and they all looked like I did on Christmas Eve growing up. This put me at ease and the entire journey was exactly this way.  

The dogs all had names that matched their personalities, individual homes, and name tags on those homes. You could tell the owners took special care of each and every one of them.

I can not vouch for other destinations around the world, but I found dog sledding in Norway to be ethical.

Temperatures and Weather When Dog Sledding in Tromsø

One thing that people don't realize is that the temperatures in Tromsø will hardly reflect what you will experience on these tours as they are inland or in the countryside a bit. The temperatures are much colder. 

When I went on my Tromsø husky tour, it was -20C (or -4F). It was COLD. I had a huge parka on and they gave us some additional clothing but it was not the most enjoyable experience when it came to the weather.

By the end of the journey, my feet were frozen and I had to sit by the fire in the lavvu just to come back to temperature. 

To be honest, I had been extremely sick prior to this with the flu, so I probably shouldn't have participated anyway.  But, I am glad I opted to do so anyway... it was a blast!

Can Kids Go Dog Sledding in Norway?

Yes, they can, but they will likely need to be accompanied by an adult or an expert musher. It is best to sign up for a 'guided' dog sledding tour in Tromsø rather than a self-guided one.

Family dog sledding in Tromso Norway
Family dog sledding in Tromso

Please also note that many of the self-guided tours do not allow kids under 16 on them, anyway.

Is Driving a Dog Sled Hard?

If you opt for a self-guided dog sledding tour, you will have to navigate yourself and your sled.  It is a bit challenging if you've never done it and are in lousy shape. 

But, if you're in good shape, you will pick it up quickly and have no issue with the process. Guided dog sledding tours are a great alternative if you're not sure your stamina can keep up.

Can You Go Dog Sledding in Summer?

No. But, you can go see the huskies in training by booking a tour to meet the puppies! You will get to learn how they train from a young age for their future work (and you can play with them). 

You can also do this during the shoulder seasons when snow is not around. I did this in autumn actually (but when I was dog sledding in Rovaniemi!

Rovaniemi Finland-25
‘Dog-sledding’ in the off-season
Rovaniemi Finland-27
Husky puppy entertainment

Other Tromsø Winter Tours You Might Like

One of the greatest things about the city is that there is something for every type of traveler... whether they arrive solo, in a family, or as part of a couple. 

These are a couple of recommended tours in Tromsø we think you would like if you're keen on booking a Tromsø husky safari:

Do You Need Travel Insurance for Norway?

Yes, yes, yes. Especially if you're going out husky sledding in Tromsø!  I was in horrific shape when I went and I thought I would pass out at points because I chose a self-guided tour. 

I should have done one with an expert musher. But, I was happy to have travel insurance!  I recommend SafetyWing to fellow travelers as they specialize in affordable rates, great coverage, and are reliable. 

In fact, the brand is Norwegian... so if anyone knows coverage in Norway, it's them.

>> Click here to get a Norway travel insurance quote 

Where to Stay in Tromsø

There are many different places to stay in Tromsø for those traveling there, but I genuinely think that most of the accommodation there is pretty much the same, in my opinion. 

If you get a chain hotel or something in the city center, it will look like most of the other accommodation available there.  I have stayed at a variety of places there and here are my favorite two hotels in Tromsø:

There are so many great dog sledding in Tromsø tours available that I hope this guide helps you choose the one that is the best fit for you and your group.

I honestly think that Norway is one of the best places to go dog sledding in Europe (and the world). God tur!

More Tromsø Travel Guides

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Are you looking to go dog sledding in Tromsø, Norway? This guide answers all of your questions - from best husky tours to what to expect and wear (and more)! | Tromso mushing tours | Tromso dog sledding | Tromsø dog sledding | Dog sledding in Tromso | Husky safari Tromso | Tromso in winter | Tromso itinerary | Best Tromso tours | Tromso things to do | What to do in Tromso | Visit Tromso | Visit Northern Norway | Tromso adventure tours | Tromso dog mushing

 

One thought on “Dog Sledding in Tromsø: What to Expect, Tips, and Best Tours

  1. Analisa says:

    My husband and I were just in Norway but didn’t have an opportunity to go to Tromso. I had no idea dog sledding was so big in Tromso, I guess I know where my next trip is!

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