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“A beautiful evening at Birk Husky”
Review of Birk Husky

Birk Husky
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Svanvik
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Attraction details
Owner description: BIRK husky, Norwegian Lappland - right at the border to Russia!Your provider of cosy accommodation, good local food and exclusive dog sled adventures.We have cozy cabins and rooms in our cozy b&b guesthouse for rent. And we do serve local food in our Viking long house or in our Sami lavvu.During the fall season you can come along on our wagon tour with our huskies and from December to mid April we go on sled tours with our dogs.For dog sledding we are truly exclusive with a maximum of 8 guests on all our tours - often described as the highlight of our guests holiday to the north! Welcome!
Perth, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A beautiful evening at Birk Husky”
Reviewed April 6, 2014

We selected Birk Husky from various operators via Internet before we left Australia, and were delighted with our evening experience. We were collected from our hotel in Kirkenes at 5 pm, and returned at about 10.30 pm. The dogs were very patient with elderly and slow Australians, and allowed us to help harness them, then give them snacks and unharness them after sledding; the ride in twilight and then full darkness was marvellous and exhilarating. The staff were great, they fed us and looked after us very well – a special mention for Tom our guide who was terrific; also very patient with beginners. Then to finish a great evening, we were provided with a beautiful sighting of the Northern Lights on the way back to town – perfect.
We would not hesitate to recommend Birk Husky to anyone looking for a fabulous experience with lots of interaction with the great dogs, and we hope to return and stay longer next time.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Rhelma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle
Level Contributor
83 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“great food, great dogs, great vistas”
Reviewed March 27, 2014

What can I say, we didn't stay at Birk Husky, I just wish we had. A whole day dog-sled out into the taiga forest to some bird feeders. A campfire, toasting fishcakes, garlic bread and sausages under the able tutelage of our guide who taught us as much as we needed to know to get the dogs into their harnesses and on their way. I played Lara wrapped in fur in the sleigh with Celia mushing. At one point she overturned the sled so I took over. It was great. Mile on mile of perfect snow & forest and then fresh coffee and red-hot sausage around the fire.

In the evening we eat in their loghouse - the food was fab although it is a slightly smokey experience but hey - that's how the Vikings lived. The Cream of forest mushroom with King Crab soup was to die for. The Reindeer stew fantastic with beautiful fresh veg.

Apparently the B&B is also senstational [said the other travellers rather than the guide] Easy to see Siberian Jay & Tit and Pine Grosbeak

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank drcolin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BIRKhusky, Owner at Birk Husky, responded to this review, March 29, 2014
Thank you for good words - we truly appreciate it!
Welcome back another time, maybe then you have time to sleep over!

Best regards
Trine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taiwan
Level Contributor
75 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“warm arctic hospitality”
Reviewed March 20, 2014

The title kind of sums up our experience, both about the wonderful people at Birk Husky and the great dogs!

We did the overnight wilderness cabin tour, and stayed a day after in the Birk B&B.

Trine was always timely and helpful with email responses, and was very accommodating with our requests.

Tom, our guide, with Anna and Tim, were all very helpful and pleasant. They took care of details of making sure we were properly outfitted, informed of how to drive the sledge, how to harness the dogs and assemble our team, without making us feel overwhelmed with information.

When we booked the overnight trip, we were ready to "rough it" a bit being (like going out to get snow for water) in the wilderness cabin, but really aside from no electricity and running water (and an (very clean) out house that you need to get into arctic clothing to go out to use), there really was no inconvenience or "roughing it" because the team made sure we were taken care of, well fed, with warm water to wash hands with before the meal, (ear plugs were also provided in case of snorers - but we didn't need them that night) etc.

A fire was already going for BBQ when we got to the cabin (it was a funny experience handling frozen ketchup and mustard - only in the arctic), the indoor fireplace was toasty, and candles over the dining table gave the cabin a warm glow.

The team clearly had a lot to take care of in a timely manner (cooking, getting water, heating up the sauna...), but they did so in a very quiet, low-key manner, even sitting down chatting and joking with us - it was like we were all talking and relaxing and suddenly dinner appeared... We were not sure how they managed to do all that without making us feel they were running around working hard (that's team work!) - They ran a tight ship with a very relaxed feel.

The first day we were on the tour happened to be the first day of Chinese lunar new year. Upon learning this, Tom went and got sparklers for us to celebrate the holiday with while we sat around the fires on reindeer skin outside roasting burgers and hot dogs (in lieu of firecrackers, which would probably upset the dogs and the snow-covered environment). That had to be one of the most special Chinese New Year's Day for us. :)

With the hands-on approach, we really got to see how the different dogs had different personality, and we loved how excited and eager they get when they are out pulling the sledge. The sledge can go pretty fast, and we did manage to tip over once. But with the thick arctic clothing and the thick snow, no harm done.

We also got to experience truly unique local food - reindeer stew (dinner), king crab soup (lunch next day), arctic char (dinner at the B&B), and even cloudberries, not in season but a sweet topping made from freshly frozen ones. We had only heard about it and knew it was not the right season, so seeing it as part of the dessert after dinner was a pleasant surprise.

After the tour, because we were staying at the Birky B&B, they had us keep the arctic gear for the sledge ride so that we would be warm while walking around the premise (or going out at night to look for northern lights), and just return it at our convenience before we check out. That was very thoughtful, and we really needed the warm gear.

The team was very helpful, accommodating, and just super hospitable - and it was also wonderful to see that they interact like a family rather than business associates. Trine took time to answer our questions and shared a lot about the local traditions and way of life, like we were old friends. The whole experience at Birk Husky left us feeling warm and toasty, inside and out, despite the sub freezing temperature.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank dimsumcafe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BIRKhusky, Owner at Birk Husky, responded to this review, March 29, 2014
Thank you, we truly enjoyed your stay with us!
Loved your photo of the bread made out of cloth berries sent to us on Facebook!

Best regards
Trine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
513 reviews
292 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 331 helpful votes
“So good, we did it twice, 25 km and 40 km”
Reviewed February 22, 2014

Birk Husky tour
Tour is from 10:00 hrs (pickup) to about 16:30 uur. Actual husky riding is about 2 hours (25 km).
The hotel had not heard of this operator which is located 50 min drive away along the Russian border, too far for the Hurtigruten cruise. After arrival, our small group of 6 were dressed in warm clothes. We got to retrieve our dogs from their doghouses, harness them, attach them to the sled line and drive ourselves the whole time through the low hills, forest and varied terrain, stopping now and again to switch drivers. Some of the bends were difficult to negotiate, but we stayed on the sled. Upon returning to the kennel area, we gave each of our dogs a big chunk of frozen chop meat which they gobbled down almost whole! Then we needed to unhook and return our dogs to their doghouses and hang of the harness. It is the whole deal – from start to finish. Afterwards in a large square wooden ‘laavo’ a delicious reindeer stew was served accompanied by bread and a glass of wine (or beer, both extra cost) facing a warm open fire.

Birk Husky Tour (40 km).
We liked the dogsled tour so much, we called to see if it was possible to do it again the following day. There were no other tour operators who offer this unique experience, letting you participate in every step of dog sledding. And driving 100% of the time. We were the only ones on the tour today. After harnessing our six dogs, Tom asked whether we were in a hurry to return to town because if not, we could take a longer, different route, than yesterday. We had no plans and were thrill when he offered this option. With just the two sleds, we could make good progress and speed because we didn’t have to stop to wait for others. Tom lead in his sled, constantly looking back to see if we were okay. We ran over a few small trees and missed several bigger trees by inches. Great fun. We fell off two times, but held on and the dogs stopped immediately. At one point I was driving and filming at the same time. Suddenly Tom took a 90-degree right turn and our dogs followed suit. Unfortunately I was holding onto the sled with the wrong hand to steer it around the sharp corner. The sled whipped around the corner like an amusement park ride. We would have made it, but the sled hit a bank of soft snow, stopped abruptly and we toppled over. Tom came quickly running back to check if we were okay and found us laughing our heads off. Wow, that was fun. It was a super manoeuvre, pity about the soft snow. We covered over 40 km and visited a mini hideout hut which used to be a logger’s cabin. We needed to crawl through the small door opening. Once inside, it was quite cosy and we enjoyed a cup of warm tea. Today we were served a delicious King crab stew in the laavo warmed by an open fire. A fantastic exhilarating experience. A top activity.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank huys25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BIRKhusky, Owner at Birk Husky, responded to this review, March 29, 2014
Thank you for your visit and your review -we do appreciate it!
Welcome back some other time!

Best regards
Trine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guernsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Really enjoyed the 'Birk Husky' experience”
Reviewed February 4, 2014

We added a trip to Birk Husky at the end of a Hurtigruten trip.

We thoroughly enjoyed our day with the Huskies. From getting them out of their kennels, harnessing them, attaching them to tzhe sled and then a very long (30KM) trip. The 2 of us shared the driving, guided by Tim.

A memorable trip! Quite expensive - but not by Norwegian standards - but worthwhile.

Wrap up warm and if you are tall (like me) make sure you have your own full set of warm clothing

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank MontyWsx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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