Ultimate Arctic Adventure

From Tromso to Alta, Kirkenes, Saariselka, Kemi and Rovaniemi, including overnight in a Glass Igloo at the Arctic Snow Hotel
Tromso, Norway © Bjorn Jorgensen/Innovation Norway

This fantastic and comprehensive, guided exploration of Northern Norway and Finland is a true Winter experience. From Tromso it moves on to Alta, then Kirkenes, Saariselka, Kemi and Rovaniemi. The highlights are Tromso city tour including the Arctic Cathedral, a visit to the award-winning Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral, overnight in a Glass Igloo at the Arctic Snow Hotel, a King Crab Safari, reindeer farm visit with sled ride, Husky farm visit with sled ride, a visit to Rovaniemi and the delightful Santa Claus Village, a wonderful day on the Sampo Icebreaker cruise with ice swimming and (weather permitting) a visit to Kemi Snow Castle. Plus you can add some great optional activities.


Day 1 Tromso Arrival

On arrival in Tromso take the airport coach to your hotel. Time at leisure - this university town has a lively atmosphere and friendly locals. Perhaps visit the Polar Museum to learn about the role Tromsø has played in Arctic exploration, and MS Polstjerna, a well preserved sailing vessel from 1949. Or visit one of the several excellent art museums, or sample some local beer at Mack Brewery, the world's northernmost brewery. Overnight at Scandic Ishavshotel, Radisson Blu Tromso or similar. Tonight at 19:45hrs you can join an optional cable car ride up to Mount Storsteinen. After a short transfer from the hotel to the cable car station, you will board a gondola which will transport you to 421m above sea level. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Tromso and the surrounding islands, mountains and fjords. If you are lucky, the Northern Lights may make an appearance!

Day 2 Tromso City Sightseeing incl. Arctic Cathedral & Aurora Camp Visit

This morning enjoy a three hour city sightseeing tour, starting with the world's northernmost Botanical gardens, then Tromso University Museum, where we learn about the nature and culture of northern Norway, and the indigenous Sami people. Next we travel around the island, passing Lake Prestvatn and cross the bridge to the Arctic Cathedral, a masterpiece built by Jan Inge Hovig in 1965. The cathedral reflects north Norwegian nature, culture and faith, with a monumental stained-glass window. We end the city tour with a visit to the Arctic experience centre Polaria, where the co-dependency of sea and land life is both seen and felt. Polaria is located within walking distance from the hotel, should you wish to extend your visit. The afternoon is at leisure. Tonight at 18:30hrs leave town and head to the Aurora Camp, where more than 300 friendly huskies are waiting to greet you, and you can pay a visit to the puppy enclosure! Then enjoy a traditional Norwegian dinner in a cosy Gamme Hut and prepare to search for the Northern Lights - a warm fire outside will set the mood and keep you toasty. Return late to the hotel for your 2nd overnight in Tromso.

Day 3 Tromso – Alta and Optional Northern Lights Sleigh Ride

Today we travel from Tromso to Alta, a trip with stunning scenery that includes two ferry crossings and lunch en route. Sit back, relax and enjoy the views! On arrival in Alta, check in at Thon Alta or similar. Your evening is at leisure. Tonight offers an optional horse-drawn sleigh ride, at a nearby countryside farm. Your sleigh is pulled by a charming Norwegian Fjord horse through the forest and along the Alta River, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the peace and beauty all around you, snuggled warmly in blankets. Along the way, stop for a light supper served around a warm fire. Maybe the Northern Lights will appear!

Day 4 Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral + Optional Sorrisniva Ice Hotel & Northern Lights Search

Today visit the award-winning Alta Museum, on the site of the early settlement dating from 11,000 years ago, with exhibitions on local culture and history. This is Northern Europe's largest and richest rock carving site; here, you can walk on pathways arranged around 2,000 to 6,200 year old rock carvings, showing the life of hunters and fishermen. After a guided tour of the museum we visit the modern Northern Lights Cathedral, an elegant and modern construction with architecture inspired by the Aurora. 2nd overnight in Alta. Tonight offers an optional visit to Sorrisniva Ice Hotel and a search for the Northern Lights. Travel by bus into the countryside to the family owned Sorrisniva adventure facility; perfectly located to maximise your chances of seeing the magnificent Aurora Borealis. Experience the world's northernmost ice hotel, built from the ground every year with different themes. Enjoy the serenity and silence as you wander among handcrafted ice sculptures or perhaps visit the ice bar for a drink. Later, a knowledgeable local guide will take you on a Northern Lights search, to learn more about the natural phenomenon as well as Alta's local history. Your guide will also be happy to help you catch some beautiful images with your own camera.

Day 5 Alta - Kirkenes

Early morning departure from Alta. Sit back and enjoy breathtaking nature and landscapes, as the coach heads Eastwards to Kirkenes through beautiful, northern Lapland. A stop is made for lunch in Karasjok and we arrive, late afternoon, into Kirkenes. Evening at leisure before overnight at Thon Hotel Kirkenes or similar.

Day 6 Kirkenes - Inari - Saariselka, Finland: King Crab Safari and Sami Culture

This morning join a three hour King Crab Safari. This safari was rated one of the best 25 excursions in the world by National Geographic and is great fun. This giant of the sea lives in Kirkenes Fjord and can reach up to 2m across, and weigh up to 15kg. Depending on weather/ice, this excursion might be by boat or snowmobile drawn sleigh (you do not drive the snowmobile, only sit in a sled drawn by the guide's snowmobile). Once the king crab has been caught, transfer to a remote cabin where the crab is cooked for your delicious lunch. Later continue south to the centre of Sami world at Inari, the capital of Lapland. Visit the Sajos Sami Cultural Centre and parliament set in the heart of Sapmi in a unique natural landscape on the shore of Lake Inari, serving as a centre for Sami self-governance, culture, education and know-how. Modern conference premises, facilities and technology go hand in hand with authentic, living Sami culture. Continue onto the tiny village of Saariselka, the centre of Finland's winter sports. Evening at leisure. Overnight at Santa's Hotel Tunturi or similar.

Day 7 Saariselka - Sinetta: Sami Reindeer Safari, Overnight in Glass Igloo + Optional Snow Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi

This morning we make our way to Sinetta, just outside Rovaniemi. Along the way, enjoy a delightful visit to a traditional Sami reindeer farm. Meet the farmers who will be dressed in their colourful Sami clothing, as they tell you the importance of reindeer in Sami culture, and teach you how to throw a Suopunki (Sami lasso). Then relax with a short reindeer sleigh ride, moving through the white landscape, where the only sound you will hear is the music of the reindeer bells. 2 persons per sleigh. Lunch is included at the farm. Afternoon at leisure.

Tonight get ready for a truly magical experience – a night at the unique Arctic Snow Hotel, where you will check-in to your private Glass Igloo. Enjoy the warmth of your Glass Igloo with it's glass roof - weather permitting you can watch for the Northern Lights or the millions of stars, from the comfort of your bed. Your stay includes a traditional Lappish 3-course dinner in a magnificent wooden Kota, where fresh salmon is slowly grilled over the fire in a huge pit.

For those who are feeling adventurous, tonight you can upgrade to stay in a Snow Suite at the hotel. Every year the Snow Hotel is built anew, with local artists designing and creating the ice and wall sculptures that decorate the hotel and Snow Suites. Each Snow Suite is different and offers a unique arctic experience, spending the night as the Sami once did in a snow igloo. A mattress on an ice bed with special arctic sleeping bags keeps you warm in the ambient temperature of 0 and -5 C. Bathroom facilities are located in a warm section of the hotel, just nearby.

You might like to take an optional Snow Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi at the hotel tonight. The snow sauna has walls made of snow and ice - only the sauna benches are made of wood - an astonishing combination of thick steam within intimate snow walls. Afterwards jump into the outdoor Jacuzzi, and admire the Northern Lights or the spectacular starry night skies of Lapland.

Day 8 Sinetta - Rovaniemi: Husky Farm & Safari, Santa Claus Village, Santa's Visit + Optional Aurora Borealis Camp by Snowmobile

After your wonderful overnight stay we head to Rovaniemi. Afternoon visit to a Husky Farm - the barking of happy dogs will welcome you, and the head 'musher' will tell you all about the life of these hard working Arctic dogs. Then enjoy a sled ride - riding in pairs, with one person driving and the other seated in the sleigh, on trails through the forest. Refuel with a traditional outdoor meal of Lappish sausage grilled on the campfire, followed by Lappish pancakes. Then visit the wonderful Santa Claus Village, the official home of Santa Claus. Take a step into this magical world and meet the man himself, send a letter from his Post Office, step across the Arctic Circle and more. This evening perhaps join the optional Aurora Camp by Snowmobile adventure. Drive through the wilderness and discover the phenomena of the northern sky at our Northern Lights base. Experience the Arctic night by driving through the snow-covered forest and on the frozen river to the Aurora Borealis camp. At the resort, you will find a theatre, presenting a film about the myths and facts of this natural phenomenon. You will also have time to roam around the resort, take a brisk sleigh ride or you can just lay back in the snow observatory by the open fire admiring the northern sky. With a little luck, the sky is clear and the Northern Lights may show up! Delicious reindeer burger will be served before your return back to the city. Drivers of the snowmobile must hold a valid drivers' licence.

Day 9 Rovaniemi - Kemi: Snow Castle & Sampo Ice-Breaker Cruise + Optional Magic of the Arctic Dinner

Today we head to the town of Kemi. First we visit to the fabulous SnowCastle* Pure white snow walls surround the gigantic SnowCastle, the biggest of its kind in the world, and built entirely out of snow and ice, with a special snow slide and amazing snow sculptures. Then we board the Sampo Icebreaker for a cruise on this remarkable vessel, breaking though the ice of the northern Gulf of Bothnia** This extraordinary experience includes a guided tour of the ship and a 3-course meal.*** Plus something very different- swimming in the middle of the largest ice field in Europe. Wearing a snug survival and floatation suit, just jump in the sea and float! You stay completely dry and a guide is with you at all times. We return to Rovaniemi in the early evening for a 2nd overnight.

*Construction of the Snow Castle is weather dependent and may not be completed until mid to late January.

**Departure on 10 December 2020 will include a visit to the Ranua Wildlife Park (instead of travelling to Kemi and doing the Sampo Ice Breaker Cruise).

***Subject to final schedules, the Sampo Experience will either include a four hour cruise with lunch on board or a three hour cruise with lunch onshore prior to the cruise.

Tonight there is one last optional excursion offered – dinner and Aurora watching at Snowland, the world's 'coolest' and biggest Igloo Restaurant. Here you will feast on a delicious dinner with local specialities. After dinner, sit out on the restaurant's terrace by the bonfire, searching for the Aurora Borealis one last time.

Day 10 Rovaniemi Departure

Transfer to Rovaniemi Airport and end of arrangements.

2020 departures:
10** December

2021 departures:
14, 21, 28 January
04, 11, 18, 25 February
04, 11, 18 March

For a shorter 8 Day version of this tour, starting in Alta instead of Tromso, please refer to the itinerary below:-

Day 1 Alta Arrival
Day 2 Alta: Alta Museum & Arctic Cathedral
Day 3 Alta-Kirkenes
Day 4 Kirkenes-Saariselka: King Crab Safari & Sami Cultural Centre
Day 5 Saariselka-Sinetta: Sami Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride and overnight in Glass Igloo
Day 6 Sinetta-Rovaniemi: Husky Farm & Safari
Day 7 Rovaniemi-Kemi*-Rovaniemi: Sampo Ice Breaker** & Ice Floating
Day 8 Rovaniemi Departure

*Construction of the Snow Castle is weather dependent and may not be completed until mid to late January.

**Departure on 12 December 2020 will include a visit to the Ranua Wildlife Park (instead of travelling to Kemi and doing the Sampo Ice Breaker Cruise).

***Subject to final schedules, the Sampo Experience will either include a four hour cruise with lunch on board or a three hour cruise with lunch onshore prior to the cruise.

2020 departures:
12** December

2021 departures:
16, 23, 30 Jan
06, 13, 20, 27 February
06, 13, 20 March


Maximum Group Size: 32 persons

All optional excursions must be pre-booked.

Tour Overview

  • Summary

    From Tromso to Alta, Kirkenes, Saariselka, Kemi and Rovaniemi, including overnight in a Glass Igloo at the Arctic Snow Hotel
  • Tour Category

    Northern Lights, Escorted
  • Duration

    10 days


    Dec - Mar

Tour Prices

    • Double pp from:

      $ AUD

      Single from:

      $ AUD
    • Prices may vary according to dates of travel

      INCLUDES: 8 nights hotel accommodation in standard double/twin rooms with private facilities; breakfast daily, 2 x dinners (Days 2, 7), 5 x lunches (Days 3, 5, 6, 7, 9), picnic lunch (Day 8); coach transfer Tromso Airport-hotel (Day 1 only); 3hr guided city tour Tromso and 4hr Aurora Camp Visit (Day 2); Alta Museum and Northern Lights Cathedral visits (Day 4); 3hr King Crab Safari and Sami Culture Centre visit Inari (Day 6); 2-2.5hr Reindeer Farm Visit & Sleigh Ride and overnight in Glass Igloo at Arctic Snow Hotel, Rovaniemi (Day 7); 2hr Husky Safari and Santa Claus Village visit (Day 8); Snow Castle Visit and Sampo Icebreaker Cruise, Kemi (Day 9); shared transfer hotel-Rovaniemi Airport (Day 10 only); services of a bi-lingual guide; transport in modern coach with WiFi (Days 2-9); entrance fees for included excursions; use of outer winter clothing during included activities and safaris.

      EXCLUDES: optional excursions being: 2hr Tromso cable car excursion (Day 1); 4hr Horse-drawn sleigh ride (Day 3), 3-4hr visit to Sorrisniva Ice Hotel and Northern Lights Search (Day 4), 1.5hr Snow sauna & outdoor jacuzzi and upgrade to a Snow Suite at Snow Castle (Day 7); 3hr Aurora Camp by snowmobile (Day 8); 3hr Magic of the Arctic Circle dinner at Snowland (Day 9). All other meals and drinks, gratuities, luggage service at hotels.

Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Our Contact Details

  • 1300 702 833
  • +61 (02) 9904 5424
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Suite 4306, 834 Pittwater Road, Dee Why NSW 2099 AUSTRALIA

Subscribe to our mailing list