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6 Days Nordic Wildlife and Aurora Glamping Winter Tour in Northern Norway

Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora, Sjøgata 19-21, 9291 Tromsø, Nord-Troms, Troms, Norway

Winter Tour in Norway

The Aurora Zone invites you to join this winter tour in Tromsø, Norway to hunt the aurora. Tromsø is in the far north of Northern Norway and is a well-known base for aurora hunting. The city has much to offer, but once you escape the lights and head into the countryside, there is a huge potential for witnessing the Northern Lights. Your holiday includes three guided Aurora hunts and the chance to see the lights from the comfort of your own bed, whilst aurora glamping. During the day, you will enjoy a whale and fjord safari, meet a traditional reindeer herder and take part in a five-kilometer dog sled safari. Come and prepare yourself to be amazed by the wonderful nature of this Nordic country.

Key information

  • With a guide
  • Type of transportation: Minibus and catamaran
  • Starts in: Tromsø
  • Ends in: Sommarøy
  • Minimum or maximum number of participants: 2 - 24 persons

Highlights

  • 2 guided Northern Lights hunts
  • Sámi culture and reindeer experience
  • Whale or fjord wildlife cruise by catamaran
  • Dog sledding safari and minibus aurora hunt
  • Service of qualified guides and instructors
  • 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 3 dinners
  • 5 nights' accommodation
  • Return airport transfers

4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 24
Airport transfer included: Tromsø Airport, Langnes
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Accommodation

During the tour, you will be accommodated for two nights at Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora, one night at Camp North Tour, and then another two nights at Sommarøy Arctic Hotel.

Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora

This hotel is well-located in the harbor area of the cosmopolitan city of Tromsø. The hotel has a lovely modern design with free Wi-Fi and stunning panoramic views of the mountains surrounding Tromsø and the Tromsøysundet strait. The hotel has a small gym and an outdoor hot tub set on the rooftop which is one of The Aurora Zone's favorite places to spend an evening in the city.

There is a bar area which is quite popular in the evenings. If you would like to take the opportunity to explore this vibrant city, then your location in the heart of Tromsø couldn't be better for visiting the highlights on foot.

The location is this hotel's real selling point - just 500 meters from the famous Polar Museum, with the Polaria aquarium just a 10-minute walk away. This hotel offers a wonderful afternoon tea for guests which includes coffee and fresh waffles - delicious! A light evening buffet is included for all guests to enjoy.

There is a gym, a sauna, and an exceptional outdoor hot tub on the roof of the hotel. The friendly reception desk is open 24 hours to help you with anything you may need.

The hotel offers 121 hotel rooms each equipped with a flat-screen cable TV and work desk. All rooms are very clean, comfortable, and welcoming. Some of the hotel rooms have a lovely view towards the harbor and many guests enjoy watching the Hurtigruten ships sail into port whilst en route north or south.

Camp North Tour

Camp North Tour is an amazing glamping experience, located on the island of Kvaløya, only forty minutes from Tromsø. The camp is set in a genuinely wild location, with dramatic mountain peaks surrounding a snow-covered valley. There is a central cabin where you will enjoy home-cooked meals, prepared using fresh ingredients. The central cabin is an ideal location in which to relax with a hot drink whilst enjoying the silence of the surrounding wilderness. It is equipped with a fireplace to ensure a cozy atmosphere. There are no showers at the camp, but there is a water pump which provides fresh water whenever you need it.

Sample fresh local produce and delicacies such as reindeer or fish soup which are particular favorites in Northern Norway. There is very little light pollution in the area, so the aurora viewing potential is excellent.

The luxurious tents are equipped with large, cozy double or twin beds and are both bright and spacious. Enjoy the space and luxury of the tent which has a paraffin heater, a seating area, and fantastic views of the northern skies from the windows. There are windows which provide fantastic views of the northern skies and the surrounding landscape. Each tent has a seating area, coffee and tea making facilities, and a minibar with fresh fruit provided. There are toilets in a separate building and a water pump which gives access to fresh water whenever you need it.

Sommarøy Arctic Hotel

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, in the traditional fishing community of Sommarøy, this hotel offers a location with breathtaking views across the water. A recent full renovation and extension (which was completed in 2017) also ensure world-class facilities as well as plenty of Nordic charm. The small island of Sommarøy (summer island) is a thriving community with an active fishing industry so you can be sure of a genuine coastal experience and plenty of freshly-caught delicacies to enjoy at meal times.

The hotel is located around 45 minutes from Tromsø yet its remote location provides a true sense of escape. Despite offering 155 rooms in total (with various room / apartment options), the hotel still has an intimate feel and guests will frequently spend evenings socializing in the bar or keeping watch for the Northern Lights together.

Relax in the hotel's seaside bathhouse which features a woodfired sauna and spacious hot tub. The hotel also boasts an outdoor hot tub with excellent views of the sea and night’s sky.

The hotel has a wine lounge which features a glass wall overlooking the harbor and a central fireplace. This can be booked for small groups or is sometimes open for everyone.

The bar offers an excellent wine list and you can sample a drink from the hotel’s own vineyard in Italy. The hotel also offers free private parking to all guests. The 24-hour reception team will be happy to assist you in booking additional activities or pointing out local sights.

Program

To maximize your Northern Lights viewing potential, The Aurora Zone has included three guided Aurora hunts in this five-night break. You split your time between the city, an amazing aurora camp and the stunning island of Sommarøy and each offers its own Northern Lights appeal. From Tromsø, you will hunt by minibus, allowing you to cover greater distances and outrun any localized cloud cover to hopefully capture a display.

A real Aurora hunting highlight, however, is a night of luxury glamping in a wilderness camp on the island of Kvaløya, roughly 40 minutes from Tromsø. The camp is set in dramatic natural surroundings and the deluxe tents have panoramic windows so if you are lucky, you may witness the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed! During your stay, you will also enjoy a five-kilometer dogsled safari for yet another unforgettable experience. You will then also spend two nights hunting the Northern Lights on the stunning island of Sommarøy which has very little light pollution.

This holiday also allows you to explore the Arctic waters surrounding Tromsø, search for marine and birdlife whilst enjoying stunning views of the fjords during a cruise. The city is surrounded by mountains and the views back towards the land are spectacular. Whilst seals and seabirds are a prime attraction, for departures between December and the 25th of January, the voyage will focus its attention on whale watching. Orcas and humpbacks are annual visitors and so with a little luck, you may witness these majestic mammals.

The island of Sommarøy will then further introduce you to the dramatic scenery of Northern Norway. This fishing community retains its traditions and charm. The Aurora Zone has left your time relatively free on the island so you can explore at your own pace. If you would like to include additional activities, you can add a wildlife safari by minibus to your program and search for the likes of moose and white-tailed eagles.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and welcome

Following your arrival at Tromsø Airport, Langnes (TOS), you will be transferred to your hotel in the city. The Aurora Zone would recommend getting an early flight if possible as the capital of the Arctic is a vibrant place and there is much to explore. The culinary scene here is great and although a light evening buffet is included, they would certainly recommend visiting a local restaurant and sampling some of the Arctic delicacies. If you cannot wait to begin your search for the Northern Lights, a reindeer-pulled aurora sleigh ride is perhaps the perfect introduction to this part of the world.

Day 2: Whale or fjord wildlife safari by catamaran and minibus aurora hunt

Today you will take to the water for an unforgettable boat safari. Depending on your departure date, this will either focus on the fjords and local wildlife or whale watching.

For your departures between December and the 25th January, there should be a chance for you to witness orcas and humpback whales in the region, although their travel plans can never be guaranteed. This trip can last between three and six hours, depending on where the expert guides feel whale sightings will be most likely.

For those traveling after the 25th January then the cruise will focus more on the stunning fjord landscape and marine wildlife such as seals and seabirds. This safari is typically around three hours in duration.

Your evening buffet will be available once again, and after which, you will enjoy your first Northern Lights hunt via minibus. The mobility provided by the vehicle allows you to cover greater distances and hopefully escape any localized cloud cover. Your knowledgeable guide will determine where the best possible viewpoint might be, based on the weather and solar activity forecasts. Throughout, you should keep your eyes towards the northern skies for any flickers of color as the aurora can potentially appear at any moment. If you would like to try aurora hunting by boat, then it is possible for you to upgrade your minibus hunt for a Northern Lights dinner cruise (supplement applies).

Day 3: Reindeer and Sámi culture experience, Arctic aurora glamping, and husky safari

This morning you can enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out and securely storing your luggage, as tonight you’ll be aurora glamping! From the modern city, you will take a short transfer to the island of Kvaløya for a chance to engage in something more traditional. Reindeer herding remains an integral part of Sámi culture, and today you will meet with a local herder at their camp. You will learn a great deal about the lives of the herders and their animals and there will also be the chance for you to feed the reindeer. Lunch will be served in a lavvu (traditional tent) and tales will be told around a campfire. You will be out for around three to four hours in total.

Following on from your time with the herder, you will have some free time in Tromsø before being transferred to the remote wilderness camp for your Aurora glamping experience. The camp is approximately 40 minutes from Tromsø and is located in stunning natural surroundings on the island of Kvaløya, away from the lights of the city. It is the ideal Aurora viewing territory and spending the night in such surroundings really is a privilege.

The adventures are not over for today, however, as you will explore the winter landscape during a five-kilometer dogsled safari. Huskies are synonymous with this part of the world and meeting the dogs is always a holiday highlight. Following on from a full safety briefing, your expert guide will lead the way on the trail, which will take you through the forest and towards the stunning coastline where you can enjoy views of the fjords. Your guide will control the dogs and you will travel two people per sled as passengers. You will be out for approximately 40 minutes.

During the evening you will enjoy a delicious dinner in the camp’s central cabin. Your hosts use local, seasonal ingredients in their food, so be prepared for some very tasty local treats. The warming fire creates a cozy atmosphere, but you should try and draw yourself away in order to keep a lookout for the Northern Lights, either outside or from your cozy tent.

Day 4: Guided drive to Sommarøy and guided aurora camp

Following breakfast at the camp, you will depart on a guided scenic drive to the island of Sommarøy. Northern Norway is known for its stunning fjord landscapes which are simply jaw-dropping. Today you will follow the coastline, which is flanked by mountains, as your local guide imparts some of their local knowledge and you enjoy the views. The drive is approximately one hour in duration and you will have the opportunity to stop and take photographs.

After arriving on the island, there will be some free time for you to settle into your accommodation at the Arctic hotel and explore the village. Sommarøy remains a strong fishing community and the thriving harbor is always a hive of activity and a fascinating place to visit. Lunch will be enjoyed at the hotel. If you would like to relax before your aurora activity, then the hotel does have an outdoor hot tub with stunning views which you can add to your holiday.

During the evening, you will enjoy dinner in the restaurant before a visit to a nearby aurora camp with a local expert guide. Sommarøy has very limited light pollution, so should the conditions be favorable, you won’t have to venture very far to see a potential display. Your guide will use their local knowledge and experience to entertain you during the evening, and hopefully, your efforts will be rewarded. The duration of the activity is approximately three hours.

Day 5: Free day and guided aurora camp

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before having the day free to explore the island of Sommarøy. Sommarøy has some beautiful beaches and these are particularly picturesque in winter when the sand can be covered in snow. There is a strong sense of community here and people are typically very happy to share information about life on the island with visitors. If you want to learn more about the local community you can add an additional guided walk of Sommarøy to your holiday or a wonderful wildlife tour.

During the evening, you will enjoy another meal in the hotel restaurant prior to your second, and final, aurora camp. Once again, you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will lead you to an ideal aurora viewing spot on the small island of Sommarøy. With a little luck, the conditions will be favorable and the Northern Lights will dance and bid you farewell. The duration of the activity is approximately three hours.

Day 6: Departure

Following breakfast, you will be transferred back to the airport in time for your flights home. If you would like to extend your stay then The Aurora Zone can arrange this for you. Please contact one of their travel experts for further information.

Note: Your return transfer is scheduled to leave Sommarøy at 09:00. If you require an earlier or later transfer, supplements will apply. Please contact one of their travel experts for more information.

Location

This tour in Iceland will take you to Tromsø, Kvaløya, and Sommarøy. Tromsø sits approximately 350 kilometers above the Arctic Circle. It is known as the capital of the Arctic and has much to offer visitors. There’s a fantastic culinary scene, some fascinating Arctic heritage and many local attractions to enjoy. Whilst the city is at the heart of the auroral zone, it is away from the city lights that the best displays are found and as the city is surrounded by Arctic wilderness, you don’t have to travel far to witness some amazing aurora displays.

Food

Five breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners, and two light evening buffets are included. The breakfast at Sommarøy Arctic Hotel, which is included in your stay, is served within the on-site lobby restaurant which uses fresh local ingredients where possible.

Norwegian cuisine is inspired heavily by its natural surroundings. With a coastline covering more than 25,000 kilometers, it is not surprising that fish and seafood dominate Norway's culinary scene.

A traditional Norwegian dish which is now a major international export is smoked salmon and this will be commonly found throughout the country. Cod, sardines, herring, and mackerel also widely feature.

In the coastal regions, Lutefisk is also a famous snack. Here fish is hung out to dry on huge drying racks, using a method that has been in practice for thousands of years. The northern coastal regions, in particular Kirkenes, are renowned for freshly caught king crab dishes. These creatures were introduced to the Barents Sea by Russia during the 1960s to provide a valuable catch for Soviet fishermen. Served as a delicacy, they have flourished and spread along the coast.

The diversity of Norway's landscape also provides a natural habitat to a range of sheep, elk, reindeer, and woodland fowl, which are commonly used in recipes throughout the country. If you visit the city location of Tromsø, you will find the culinary scene is incredibly modern, international, and varied with a huge range of restaurants to choose from.

Please let The Aurora Zone know at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements so that the suppliers can accommodate them to the best of their ability. They often have requests to cater for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, fish free diets, etc. and the accommodation providers and guides will always do all they can to cater for them accordingly. They can of course also cater for dietary requirements based on religion, food intolerances, and allergies.

Due to the remote location of many of the destinations, the options can be a little limited for those with dietary needs. Please provide The Aurora Zone with as much information, as far in advance as possible.

Where buffet food is included, there will be a vegetarian option available. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be a little hard to come by in the depths of the winter months in some of the destinations so they can be a little scarce.

If The Aurora Zone is arranging your flights, they will always aim to ensure that the airline is made aware of any dietary requirements. Dietary requirements with the airline cannot always be guaranteed in your experience, so you may wish to consider taking your own food as a backup plan - especially where there is buy-on-board food, as the options can be very limited.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Aurora reindeer sleigh ride (from 202 GBP per person)

Reindeer are synonymous with the Arctic Circle and reindeer-pulled sleighs were historically used by the Sámi people to travel between villages. This is a wonderful experience for those who want to experience some of the traditions of Sámi culture and encounter reindeer up close. It is also an opportunity to escape the lights of Tromsø and perhaps witness a Northern Lights display.

You will travel to a remote camp, deep in the wilderness and in an ideal location from which to watch the aurora should conditions be favorable. Traveling two people per sled, you will then enjoy a safari by reindeer-pulled sleigh, keeping watch on the skies above and enjoying the magic of the experience.

A hearty meal (typically a reindeer stew - vegetarian option available) will be served after the sleigh ride and will be followed by traditional Sámi tales and a joik performance (traditional singing). The activity will take place just outside the city of Tromsø at the same destination as your reindeer feeding and Sámi culture activity, which is part of the agenda.

Guided walk on Sommarøy (from 25 GBP per person)

A guided walking tour of Sommarøy will introduce you to the local community and the age-old fishing traditions which still exist to this day. You will walk down to the quayside and experience the hustle and bustle of the harbor before making your way to the center of the village and stopping at the museum and handicraft center. The tour will also include a visit to the Kaillkråa which is a traditional coffee shop where some of the locals have a personal hook where they hang up their coffee cups when they leave.

Northern Lights adventure with Tesla (from 250 GBP per person)

You’ll be picked up in central Tromsø by your own exclusive Tesla Model X with a certified driver and guide. What better way to search for one of nature’s greatest wonders than in a zero-emission, eco-friendly, and environmentally clean car equipped with a glass roof.

You will be given an introductory talk where you’ll receive your warm suits for the night, followed by a short lesson in Northern Lights forecasting and photography. You’ll then have a brief introduction to our Tesla Model X. This powerful performance car can cruise the winter conditions with ease, taking you to locations out of the light pollution and on the road to the Northern Lights.

The Aurora Zone's professional guides know the area well and will explain the science and history behind the aurora so you get the true insider knowledge. They’ll also help you with your camera settings so you can capture the adventures of the night. You’ll enjoy a meal at one of their favorite local restaurants as well as drinks and snacks throughout the evening. With so many ways to try and see the Aurora in Tromsø, the Tesla tour gives you the option to have a more private and environmentally-friendly experience of the magical display.

Availability: September 15 - March 31

Northern Lights dinner cruise (from 162 GBP per person)

Departing from the harbor in Tromsø, you will set out across the water on a catamaran in search of the Northern Lights. The boat is comfortable with a viewing deck and a heated lounge for you to enjoy as you set off slowly across the water. There is no artificial light pollution out at sea so the skies are dark for aurora viewing, but you are still able to enjoy Tromsø from a wonderful new perspective as you look back at the illuminated city.

The dinner is a traditional Norwegian supper (usually fish based), served in the boat's indoor lounge, whilst you wait for the Northern Lights to hopefully appear in the dark skies above you. The onboard guide’s knowledge about the city and its surroundings, as well as their many years of experience of the Northern Lights, will make for a very memorable experience. Cold weather clothing will be provided.

Sommarøy Arctic Hotel hot tub (from 50 GBP per person)

There are few better feelings than stepping into bubbling hot water, particularly when you are high above the Arctic Circle during the winter time. The Sommarøy Arctic Hotel has an outdoor hot tub which overlooks the ocean and the beautiful winter landscape. You can book this to enjoy during the day, or if you prefer, you can even book this on an evening and sit under the dark northern skies. If you are lucky, you may find yourself sitting below the dancing Northern Lights.

Sommarøy wildlife safari by minibus (from 135 GBP per person)

Northern Norway has a diverse selection of wildlife and many animals can be spotted during the winter months. During the wildlife safari, you will join a local guide and explore the area surrounding the island of Sommarøy in a heated minibus. If you are lucky, you may spot moose, white-tailed eagles, reindeer, and otters. Your safari will include lunch by an open fire and your guide may even bring along his two Alaskan huskies for part of the journey.

What's included

  • 2 guided Northern Lights hunts
  • Minibus aurora hunt
  • Whale or fjord wildlife cruise by catamaran
  • Sámi culture and reindeer experience
  • Dog sledding safari
  • Guided drive to Sommarøy
  • Service of fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
  • Cold weather clothing for the duration
  • Return airport transfers
  • 5 nights' accommodation
  • 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners, and 2 light evening buffets

What's not included

  • Insurance

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 22% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 63 days before arrival.
6 days / 5 nights
from --
Tour information

This tour requires a minimum of two participants.

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