Autumn Northern Lights holiday in Norway, self drive

“This autumn aurora-hunting trip to Norway's Arctic north combines the cool city buzz of Tromsø with the tranquil traditional charms of hideaway coastal communities.”


Tromsø | guided Northern Lights forays | Senja | Sommarøy | Aurora photography tour | Optional: Northern Lights dinner cruise, Northern Lights husky ride, whale watching cruise and husky training

Description of Autumn Northern Lights holiday in Norway, self drive

Departures between 07 Sept - 28 Oct '19 and 05 Sep - 26 Oct '20 (2020 prices subject to change).

This four-night self-drive holiday offers a flexible way to enjoy some of Northern Norway's best spots at a wonderful and often overlooked time – autumn. Contrast the distinctive city buzz of Tromso – dubbed 'Capital of the Arctic' - with rural Nordic charms in the picturesque fishing village of Sommarøy and the stunning island of Senja.

Though many aurora trips take place in the biting cold of winter, autumn is a chance to see the Northern Lights with less chill factor! Tromsø provides plenty to warm the spirit too, mixing impressive 19th-century architecture with sights like the Polaria sealife museum and magnificent Arctic Cathedral.

This trip includes a guided Northern Lights hunt into the countryside around Tromso, but travel after October and the 'Personalise' options in this package include a Northern Lights dinner cruise. Other options include a Northern Lights husky hike, whale watching and discovering how husky puppies are trained for dogsledding.

Your drive to Senja takes you along one of Europe's most spectacular coastlines - and a cosy hotel facing a fabulous Arctic seascape. From here, enjoy a guided Aurora photography tour with brilliant Instagram bragging potential! Moving onto Malangen, traverse woods and mountains pierced by dramatic fjords. Depending on the time of your trip, sit back to gaze at the sea and sky from the hotel hot tub or head off on a guided wilderness trip to try and spot 'the green lady dancing in the night sky'.

The fishing village of Sommarøy provides a fine finale, engaging a friendly community that has kept its heritage very much alive – with the added bonus of plentiful freshly-caught seafood!

Clarion Hotel - The Edge (night: 1)
Situated right in the centre of Tromsø, the Clarion Hotel The Edge puts you in a prime location to explore the ‘Paris of the North’ and is an excellent base to transfer to your memorable activities. Enjoy great views of the brilliant architecture of the city as it reflects in the waters just outside the hotel or head to the 11th-floor sky bar – the only one of its kind in the city – for a vista like no other. The hotel puts great emphasis on being eco-friendly and is built with an environmental classification A. You can keep up with your fitness in the onsite gym with stunning sea views and enjoy tastes of Manhattan made using Arctic ingredients in the ‘Kitchen and Table’ restaurant, .

Sommarøy Arctic Hotel (night: 2)
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, in the traditional fishing community of Sommarøy, this hotel offers a location with breath-taking views across the water. A recent full renovation and extension (which was completed in 2017) also ensures 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 mealtimes. 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 socialising in the bar or keeping watch for the Northern Lights together.

Hamn i Senja (night: 3)
Hamn i Senja can be found on the island of Senja - an idyllic Norwegian fishing village, surrounded by dramatic mountainous scenery. This perfect, peaceful location is an absolute must for those with a genuine appreciation of natural beauty. As Norway’s second-largest island after Hinnøya, Senja can be found midway between Tromsø and Harstad and offers its guests a beautiful array of diverse island scenery with spectacular views of the surrounding fjords, islets and mountains.

Green Gold Villa and Crystal Lavvos (night: 4)
Green Gold Villa is located amongst the Lyngen Alps, meaning that the views from the villa are spectacular. It provides an ideal base for winter activities due to its rural setting and mountainous surroundings. The owner, Francisco, takes pride in giving his guests the best possible service and also acts as your guide while you are staying in his accommodation. Staying here offers a very intimate experience, as the villa provides for small groups. If you decide to sleep in a Crystal Lavvo, you are still free to use the villa and all of its facilities.

Included in the price
* Rental Car: based on two people sharing an intermediate car (Volvo V40, Ford Focus, VW Golf/Polo or similar). Includes unlimited mileage and CDW. (Please note: hotel parking charges will apply and need to be paid for locally)
* 1 night at Clarion Hotel Edge (standard room), 1 night at Sommarøy Arctic Hotel (superior double room), 1 night at Hamn i Senja (suite/1-bedroom apartment), 1 night in a Crystal Lavvo
* Meals: 4 breakfasts and 3 dinners*
* Activities: Northern Lights catamaran cruise, Aurora Camp, hot tub and sauna, Northern Lights workshop (order subject to change)
* Roadmap and route description

*Please note: The hotel's restaurant closes at 9 pm. On your arrival night, if you arrive before 9 pm, a light evening meal will be included at the hotel. Alternatively, and for those arriving after 9 pm, you can explore the delights of this city's culinary scene. The hotel staff will be happy to recommend some local restaurants (payable locally).

*Please note: to arrive in time for your Aurora activity, you will need to book flights which arrive into Tromso earlier in the day. Please speak to our Travel Experts for a quote.

Image credits: Hamn i Senja, Ricardo Torrescredit, Francisco Damm & Tromsø Adventure

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

Departures every Wednesay and Friday 25 August to 15 November 2019

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

The advantage of this self-drive trip is that holidaymakers visit a variety of destinations in Northern Norway. The Scandinavian countries are well-known for simple living and living with an understanding and respect for the environment – whether in the urban or rural environment. From lively Tromsø to quiet Sommarøy, we hope that clients will be inspired by the local love of the environment and apply it back home. What is also advantageous about this trip is that clients travel during the autumn, thus coming to appreciate Northern Norway’s natural splendour in a different season from the more typical choices of winter and summer.

When heading out to search for the Northern Lights, clients will be accompanied and led by experienced guides with a full awareness of the surrounding environment – whether on a minibus hunt, a photography tour, or at a Northern Lights camp. The extra activities which can be added to this holiday are also environmentally orientated. A Northern Lights husky hike takes participants on carefully selected trails and immerses them in an outdoor environment with natural partners – the enthusiastic huskies themselves! Whale watching is carried out by experts who carefully follow feeding cetaceans without disturbing them. It does much to increase visitor understanding of whales and dolphins, allowing them to be seen in their natural habitat, rather than artificial parks.

The Impacts of this Trip

In travelling around different parts of Northern Norway, holidaymakers will meet with a variety of communities. They will support the urban community of Tromsø, which stands out as an intercultural hub in the Arctic. They will hugely benefit the fishing communities of Senja and Sommarøy, who are partly reliant on tourism as a source of finance – this enabling them to not only share their valuable produce with those from abroad, but also their unique culture and way of life, which has been maintained for centuries.

When heading out on Northern Lights hunting activities, clients will learn about the science and mythology of the Aurora, coming to appreciate why they are of such symbolic importance for the local community. We insist on working with local guides to ensure that an authentic sense of life in the country is shared with clients, and that financial benefit remains in the area. The extra activities which can be added to this holiday also build a sense of community – in particular, the Northern Lights husky hike and the Puppy Training session, which develops an appreciation for the local dogsledding industry.


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