Dog Sledding in Tromsø is an experience you’ll never forget. It’s exciting, fun, and a must-do when you’re in Tromsø. Tromsø is one of the best places in the world for dog sledding! People in this region of the Arctic have been dog sledding for centuries.
This guide answers all your questions about dog sledding in Tromsø, including the best company to book with, what to wear, and deciding which dog sledding tour is right for you!
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Brief History of Dog Sledding
Dog sledding is an ancient practice that started with the native Inuit people in the northern parts of Canada.
In the early days of dog sledding, one dog would typically pull a small load of goods like firewood. Later, dog sledding became more advanced and teams of dogs were used to transport heavier loads and eventually humans through the Arctic regions! Dog Sledding in Tromsø was popular with the Sami people and early Arctic Explorers!
In fact, up until the 1960’s dog sleds were used by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail to some parts of Alaska!
Today, dog sledding has become more mainstream through large races like the Iditarod in Alaska and Finnmarksløpet in Norway.
Should You Go Dog Sledding in Tromsø?
Absolutely! With so many things to do in Tromsø during winter, it can be hard to decide, but I can say with confidence that dog sledding in Tromsø needs to go at the top of your list!
Not only is dog sledding fun and exhilarating, but it’s part of Arctic history and a way for you to connect with the culture. The beautiful snow-covered mountains that surround Tromsø also make it a perfect landscape perfect for dog sledding.
Dog sledding is a great activity for families, couples, or solo travelers.
Where is the Best Place for Dog Sledding in Tromsø?
With so many dog sledding companies in Tromsø, you want to choose one that’s the very best in terms of the care for the dogs and guest experience. Stop your search now because you won’t find a better dog sledding company than Tromsø Villmarkssenter!
Tromsø Villmarksenter is a family-run company located only 25 minutes away from Tromsø city center. They’re one the largest dog sledding companies in Tromsø and have been in business since 1988! The mother and son team behind Tromsø Villmarkssenter is Tove and Torkil Sørensen who both share a passion for dogs and life in nature. Together they have built the best dog sledding guest experience at Tromsø Villmarkssenter.
Best Dog Sledding Tours in Tromsø
Tromsø Villmarkssenter exclusively specializes in dog sledding. This means you won’t find options to combine dog sledding with snowmobiling here. Finding a company that specializes in dog sledding was important to me when I was comparing other dog sledding companies in Tromsø.
I’m not saying that tour companies that offer a broader range of activities don’t practice ethical dog sledding. However, it’s possible those companies may be more tempted to make compromises to the animal’s well-being if they’re busy overseeing multiple activities.
Below are the most popular Husky Tours at Tromsø Villmarkssenter!
Guided Husky Sled Tour
When you’re booking your dog sled adventure at Tromsø Villmarkssenter, you’ll need to decide if you prefer a guided sled tour driven by a musher, or if you want to be the musher yourself! Both tours are the same price – it comes down to your personal preference!
I chose the guided sled tour driven by a musher, and I was very happy with my decision! I really wanted to enjoy the scenery and focus on the experience – which is why I choose the guided Husky Sled Tour. It’s incredible how fast the huskies pull, and I didn’t want to miss a minute of the excitement!
The guided tour with a musher is shared with one other passenger in your sled. It’s the perfect option for couples or families with small children. The entire tour is around 45-60 minutes. You’ll have so much fun it will shock you how fast time goes!
Self-Drive Dog Sledding
Ready to experience what it’s like to be a musher?! Now is your chance to hop on the back of a sled and lead a team of Alaskan huskies on an arctic adventure! This is the perfect option for those who love adventure!
Before you hop on the back of the sled, a team of mushers will teach you the basics of dog sledding so you feel confident to lead your team! You will share the sled with another guest if you’re traveling solo. One will start driving, and the other will sit in the sled. Halfway through, you’ll have the opportunity to switch places!
Is Dog Sledding Difficult?
Dog sledding is not terribly difficult, but if you’re a musher it’s helpful to have good physical fitness. As the musher, you’ll often be required to jog uphill in the snow pushing the sled and switching between balancing on one foot when turning. The dogs are very well-trained, and they know the route, so you won’t need to worry about getting lost!
Dog Sledding Northern Lights
Spend an evening gazing up at the Northern Lights and cuddle with over 200 of your new husky friends. Tromsø Villmarkssenter’s ideal location 25 minutes away from Tromsø city center makes it a great location where the sky is dark to wait for the Northern Lights.
Tromsø Villmarkssenter has two overnight experiences that combine dog sledding with a chance of seeing the Northern Lights that I recommend.
Northern Lights Camp and Dog Sledding
This experience combines the best of both worlds – an overnight stay in a lavuu tent, and a dog sledding adventure the next day! Your trip includes a guided tour of the dog yard, and a delicious dinner in addition to breakfast and lunch the following day.
After a traditional Norwegian dinner, you’ll spend the evening watching the Auroras, relaxing around a bonfire, or cuddling with your new Husky friends.
You’ll sleep in a lavvu tent around an open fire furnished with reindeer skins and high-quality camping gear that you’ll share with other guests. Sleeping in a lavvu tent is a very traditional experience, and something the Sami reindeer herders have done for generations! In the morning you’ll have a delicious breakfast before you’re off on your dog sledding adventure!
I want to make it clear that no experiences at Tromsø Villmarkssenter includes dog sledding at night with the Northern Lights.
In addition to the safety concerns of dog sledding at night, you’ll miss the beauty of the mountain landscape if you dog sled at night. Even if the Auroras do appear, I promise you won’t be able to fully appreciate the beauty of the Auroras with how fast you’re flying on the dog sled!
Glamping and Dog Sledding
Your glamping and dog sledding experience includes all the amenities of the Northern Lights Camp listed above with the bonus of your private cabin. These gorgeous cabins have a glass window above your bed, perfect for stargazing, or with luck watching the Auroras dance.
What Your Dog Sledding Tour Includes
Transportation to/from Tromsø City Center
Transportation in a luxury coach bus is included with all tours. The meeting point is outside the Radisson Blu Hotel in the heart of Tromsø city center. From there, it’s a short 25-minute drive to Tromsø Villmarkssenter.
Thermal Suits and Boots
The team at Tromsø Villmarkssenter provides you with a warm thermal jumpsuit and snow boots! You can store any large bags you don’t want to take on the dog sled here too. The thermal suits were so comfortable and kept us warm so we could enjoy our time dog sledding!
Guided Tour of the Dog Yard
After your dog sledding adventure, you have a tour of the dog yard where you learn how much work and love goes into caring for the dogs at Tromsø Villmarkssenter. This is a great time to ask any and all questions you have about dog sledding as well as what goes into caring for their over 200 Alaskan Huskies!
After touring the dog yard, it’s evident how the dogs at Tromsø Villmarkssenter are an extension of the family. On the tour, you’ll see the race dogs and hear stories about them competing in Finnmarksløpet, Europe’s longest sled dog race, held in Alta, Norway. You’ll even visit the puppies and meet the newest additions to Tromsø Villmarkssenter!
Playtime with Huskies
I love how Tromsø Villmarkssenter gave us plenty of playtime with the Huskies! We never felt rushed at all! All the dogs are so friendly and excited to meet the guests. They’re extremely well-trained, and if you hear them barking – that just means they’re excited to meet you!
A Warm Lunch
Included in all of the tours that I mention in this guide is a warm lunch! After the tour guests warm up with hot drinks in a cozy hut around a fire, you will be served Bidos, a traditional Sami reindeer stew that’s delicious! Bidos is a popular Sami dish that you’ll only find in this region of Norway. If you’re a vegetarian, let the Tromsø Villmarkssenter Team know in advance so they can accommodate you. For dessert, you’ll have a slice of Tromsø Villmarkssenter’s signature chocolate cake – which is delicious!
Price of Dog Sledding in Tromsø
The guided husky tour and self-driving tour at Tromsø Villmarkssenter is 2040 NOK (€190) per person.
The overnight stay experiences that include dog sledding range from 3040 NOK ( €283) to 12,080 NOK (€1,125).
Discounts are available for students.
Why is Dog Sledding Expensive?
Dog sledding in Tromsø will be one of the more expensive excursions during your trip. The Huskies must be taken care of 365 days a year, not just during winter. They eat around 12,000 – 15,000 calories a day when they’re running! The cost of food on top of vet bills when you have over 200 huskies is very expensive to operate.
Can I Dog Sled during Summer?
Dog sledding in Tromsø is not a year-round activity because during summer it’s too warm for the dogs to run. However, during summer Tromsø Villmarkssenter has created a few fun activities that allow you to connect with the Huskies if you visit Tromsø during summer.
Husky Hike during Summer
If you’re visiting Tromsø during summer chances are you enjoy nature and getting outdoors! During the summer months, you can go on an easy hike with the huskies from Tromsø Villmarkssenter!
A guide and one of the lovely huskies will join you on your hike! The dogs are very energetic and are the perfect companion to join you on your walk in the Arctic wilderness!
After your hike, you’ll have a tour of the dog yard and visit the puppy pen for plenty of puppy kisses and cuddles!
Husky Café during Summer
If relaxing in the sunshine with a homemade piece of cake and a puppy on your lap is more your style, then you need to visit the Husky Café! The Husky Café is open during the summer months. You can take a walk in the dog yard and meet all the Huskies who love being spoiled by guests!
Dog Sledding in Tromsø FAQ
What Months is Dog Sledding Available?
Dog sledding in Tromsø is available from mid-November to the end of April. Tromsø Villmarkssenter may cancel, or reschedule your tour for safety reasons if the conditions are not safe for the dogs, or guests. If dog sledding is one of your main reasons for visiting Tromsø, I recommend booking a tour at the beginning of your trip, so in the event that your tour is canceled, you can reschedule.
If I’m a Solo Traveler can I Book a Tour?
Solo travelers can absolutely participate! If you’re a solo traveler, you’ll be paired up with another solo traveler. If you book a self-drive tour, you will still take turns riding and driving.
How Long are the Dog Sledding Tours?
The guided Husky Tour and Self-Driving Tour is 4.5 hours long. The overnight stays I mentioned in this guide pick up at 18:00 and drop off at 13:00 the next day for a total of around 18 hours.
What’s the Best Time of Day to Book Dog Sledding Tours?
I recommend booking your dog sledding tour between 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. to be able to enjoy the daylight. In Tromsø, the Polar Night begins around the middle of November and lasts until the middle of January. During this time the sun does not rise about the horizon. However, despite what you may have heard, that doesn’t mean that it’s dark all the time! From around 10 a.m. until around 2 p.m., the sky has a beautiful blue hue that’s perfect for capturing photos.
Is Dog Sledding Cruel?
Never at one point during my time at Tromsø Villmarkssenter was I ever concerned about the safety, or health of their Huskies. The focus of the entire team at Tromsø Villmarkssenter is centered around the dogs and their well-being.
All of the Alaskan Huskies at Tromsø Villmarkssenter absolutely love to run! No one runs a marathon if they don’t want to – and it’s the same for these huskies! They are mentally driven to pull, and they love nothing more than to run.
Huskies love to be outside, and their extremely thick layer of fur is perfect for Arctic conditions! You’ll see the dogs play in the snow all the time!
If you have any hesitations I encourage you to visit Tromsø Villmarkssenter and come with an open mind! The mushers will answer any questions you have about the care of their dogs. No one knows these dogs better, or what they need to be healthy and happier than their dedicated mushers.
Is Dog Sledding Kid Friendly?
Absolutely! Dog sledding is very kid friendly and great for families. The Self-Drive Husky tours have an age limit of 16 to lead the dog sled. Anyone 16, or younger is welcome to sit in the sled.
Should I Book in Advance?
Definitely book in advance! After Northern Lights tours, dog sledding in Tromsø is one of the most popular winter activities. The Self-Drive Sled Tours and Guided Husky Tours at Tromsø Villmarkssenter require at least a 48-hour cancellation notice in order to receive a full refund.
What to Pack for Dog Sledding in Tromsø?
Tromsø Villmarkssenter provides you with a warm thermal suit and boots! Still plan on wearing at least two warm layers underneath your thermal suit. Bring warm gloves, a hat, and sunglasses. If it’s a sunny day, the light reflecting off the snow will be extremely bright.
Popover Tip: Do not bring hand warmers! The metals within hand warmers contain amounts of iron that can be toxic to dogs if eaten.
Where else can I go Dog Sledding in Norway?
Outside of Tromsø Alta, Norway is another popular place to go dog sledding. Alta is a short 35-minute flight from Tromsø.
Does Norway have Dog Sled Races?
Alta is the home of Europe’s longest dog sled race, Finnmarksløpet, which takes place the second week of March every year. The mother and son duo from Tromsø Villmarkssenter, Tove and Torkil Sørensen, have both competed in Finnmarksløpet! Tove has competed in Finnmarksløpet an impressive 19 times!
If your travel schedule allows, I recommend visiting Alta, Norway during Finnmarksløpet in March to cheer on the mushers! Over 100 mushers drive from all around Europe with their race dogs to Alta, Norway to compete in Finnmarksløpet. The main street of Alta is transformed into the start and finish line.
More Incredible Things to do in Tromsø in Winter
Tromsø, Norway is one of the best places to visit in the world for dog sledding and Northern Light excursions! If you’re looking for other incredible things to do in Tromsø during winter, check out this guide here.
Final Thoughts Dog Sledding in Tromsø
Dog sledding in Tromsø is a memory you’ll have forever! Flying through the Arctic landscape with your team of husky dogs is an incredible feeling. You’re in the best hands with the team at Tromsø Villmarkssenter for the ultimate Husky adventure!
Read More About Europe during Winter
- Tromsø in Winter
- 13 Incredible Things to do in Alta, Norway
- Rovaniemi, Finland: The Ultimate Winter Wonderland
Do you still have questions about dog sledding in Tromsø? Drop them in the comments below!
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