While the Northern Lights in Tromso and Finland’s now-iconic glass igloos are absolute Scandinavian holiday essentials, this is the first time we’ve featured both in one winter break. it’s all made possible by the opening of the new Reindeer Ranch, perched on the edge of a lake near the small Finnish village of Kilpisjarvi, less than three hours by road from Norway’s Arctic capital. You’ll enjoy two nights here in one of the ranch’s superb glass-domed cabins, exploring the wilds in the company of your Sami hosts through a programme of optional activities and relaxing each evening with included half-board dining and the use of a traditional wood-fired sauna and outdoor hot tub. That’s all alongside two nights in Tromso itself, where you’ll mix in further Arctic fun with the city’s proliferation of pubs and much-vaunted dining scene.
Tromso, Glass Igloos & Northern Lights
Day by day itinerary
Day 1 » UK/Tromso
Fly to Tromso and take the airport shuttle to the city centre and your waterfront hotel. You’ll then have the rest of the day at leisure, so perhaps take the chance to ride Fjellheisen cable car for sweeping views of the city and its fjord surrounds. Then, in the evening, why not join a Northern Lights hunt to one of several base stations located in the wilderness. Speak to our specialists for the available options.
Day 2 » Reindeer Ranch
Rise early this morning for breakfast and a three-hour bus journey across the Finnish border to the small village of Kilpisjarvi. It’s a delightfully scenic route, skirting vast fjords and snow-dusted mountains. On arrival, you’ll be greeted by your hosts at the village bus stop for the short transfer to Reindeer Ranch. As 12th generation Sami reindeer herders, the Vasara family are the perfect guides for your stay in these Arctic remotes, and their programme of optional activities offers a superb insight into the region’s spectacular natural world. With a free afternoon, there’s the chance to try your hand at ice fishing, head out on snowshoes, or learn about Sami culture with a visit to a local home. Whatever you choose, you’ll return to the first of your included half-board dinners before settling in for the night in your glass igloo accommodation, perhaps enjoying a private display of the Northern Lights.
Stay: Reindeer Ranch
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 » Optional activities at Reindeer Ranch
Today is given over entirely to optional activities. And, there are plenty to choose from. You might decide to delve further into the local culture by spending a day with a local reindeer herder or enjoy all the thrills of a snowmobile safari with everything from beginner’s courses to more challenging trips to nearby Halti Peak. Other options include fat biking, snowshoeing and ice fishing while, for pure unadulterated fun, a slide on the toboggan run is not to be missed. There's even a Finnish sleigh-go-round on site – a traditional carousel on ice. Then, in the evening, perhaps after a warming sauna and another delicious dinner, there's always the chance to head out again on a chase for the Northern Lights.
Stay: Reindeer Ranch
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 » Return to Tromso
This morning is again left free for further optional activities, perhaps ticking off one of the experiences you missed out on during the previous days. Alternatively, take the chance to relax before your transfer back to Tromso for a final night at the same harbourside hotel.
Day 5 » Depart for UK
After a final breakfast at your hotel, you’ll have a full day to explore Tromso before your evening flight home. Perhaps join a husky safari into the Troms wilderness, enjoy an Arctic lunch at the Tromso Ice Domes in nearby Camp Tamok, or head deep into the Lyngen Alps for a distillery tour or snowmobile adventure. In the evening, take the shuttle to the airport in time for your onward flight.
When to visit Scandinavia: a seasonal guide
With such a variety of landscapes and activities, it's hard to define the best time to visit Scandinavia. The answer, really, is that there isn't one. Endless summer days bathed in the midnight sun give way to months of snow-bound fun, when, for many, Scandinavia really comes into its own.
Tromso’s Top 10 Winter Excursions
To help you create your perfect winter adventure, our specialists provide the lowdown on Tromso's best excursions. There's everything from Northern Lights hunts to husky safaris, Ice Dome visits and guided tastings at the world's northernmost distillery.