Early spring, as the days get longer, is a beautiful time of year in the Arctic - and travelling by dog-sledge is to experience its true spirit. The silence is only broken by the hiss of the sledge runners and the panting and padding of the dogs.
Our expeditions in the mountains and high plateaux around Dividalen in Northern Norway have been organised and led by our Norwegian friends for many years. Trees stand stark against the snow in the valleys and by day the low sun suffuses the snow covered landscape with pink, whilst when the night sky is clear, the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) create a vivid and dramatic display.
We can arrange short trips and extensions such as a visit by skidoo to the Sami (Lapp) people in their summer or winter camps. Traditionally a nomadic community, the Sami have farmed reindeer for centuries, following them along their grazing corridors from winter to summer pasture and back again. See them at work with their animals and enjoy a thrilling ride by reindeer sledge, as well as accepting their rich hospitality.
The coastal scenery of the Lofoten Islands is simply breathtaking. Turquoise waters, idyllic coves and glorious sandy beaches form a picturesque backdrop to the brightly painted cabins and craggy hillsides which are strewn with berries in autumn and thick with snow in winter. The coastline is dotted with seabirds, ducks, offshore seal colonies and the occasional minke whale.
We offer exciting cross-country skiing, camping and dog sledging expeditions in Spitsbergen, or, if you are looking for something truly unique, we can organise a private dog-sledging experience in Northern Norway or Spitsbergen exclusively for you and your family or a small group of friends. We can tailor-make expeditions for summer and winter, from three hours to a journey of up to three weeks.
Fiona’s travel tipsTOP TIP: We provide superbly warm sledging suits and thick felt-lined boots so you will never be cold.
GREAT DAY OUT: The polar museum in Tromsø – it has wonderful atmosphere. The Northern Lights Planetarium or ‘Polaria’ is also well worth a visit.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Stunning displays of the aurora borealis in the night-time sky in the depths of winter (if you’re lucky)!
BEST MEMORY: Sledging through spindrift across a frozen river.
DON’T MISS: Summer Island – it’s just one and a half hours’ drive from the Lofoten Islands which are five hours’ drive from Skjaerhaugen. Both offer cosy and comfortable cabin accommodation.
BEST TIME TO GO: January to early April has the best snow conditions for sledging. July and August for walking and camping.
STAY: A night at the Ice Hotel – the world’s largest igloo!
“ Norway's spectacular fjords, soaring mountains, innumerable torrential waterfalls and astonishing roads surpassed our expectations. Driving was a great way to immerse ourselves in the countryside, the mountain passes were thrilling and the ferries a highlight, time to admire the fjords from sea level. Overall a super trip, full of great memories.”
Professor Marion McMurdo and Dr Grant Hutchison, Norway
“The three days/two nights I spent at Isfjord Radio were wonderfully relaxing – easy hiking by my standards, the open boat trip to Alkhornet and the glacier-face (picnic on the beach) was bracing, the food was exceptional – fine dining really.”
Anne Robinson, Walking in Nordenskiöld
“A good, challenging camp/hike tour in extreme polar outback. I particularly enjoyed hiking in the hills with the team. They were spread across different hotels at the start and the other travellers had not been pre-informed as well as me. Thank you for your help and for all the arrangements.”Alan Haselden, Hiking across Nordenskiold
“We board the plane from the Arctic with heavy, heavy hearts & many tears. This trip has been an overwhelming experience for all three of us. Safe to say that it has been the most memorable, incredible holiday we have ever had!!! And we've had many amazing holidays.”
Karen Chaloner, Dog sledding in Arctic Norway
“Everything went like clockwork from the moment we contacted you. We were delighted with our welcome, food, warmth. Your pre-trip information, your representatives. In fact just everything. We would certainly recommend Arcturus as a firm to deal with for a memorable holiday in every respect.”
Evina Montgomery, Explore Dividalen, dog sledding in Norway
“It was a very special holiday and the activity of dog sledging is amazing. The break was exactly the right length of time for beginners and our Norwegian hosts and guides were excellent.”
Stephen and Elaine Bailey, Dog sledging in Dividalen
“The equipment provided locally was great – we were warm, dry and comfortable in our suits and boots. The dogs are incredible, always keen to go and tireless. It was obvious the guys knew them very well and respected each individual dog for its attributes. Of course I cried like a baby when we waved goodbye to them all from the Ice Hotel… And finally, how could I forget! On the last night of our dog sledding we had a fantastic viewing of the northern lights. Fiona thank you very much for arranging the trip which all went so smoothly.”
Jude Perry and John Verschaeren, Dog sledge The King’s Way: Crossing Norway into Sweden