Arctic Norway & Midnight Sun on the Lofoten Isles
Experience life in the arctic circle and feast like a viking.
Travel the length of Norway aboard some of the world's most impressive railroad lines, discovering its delightful cities and island communities along the way. Experience life in the Arctic Circle and feast like a Viking on our fourteen day tour.
Highlights and Inclusions
- All rail and coach travel throughout
- Scenic journeys on the Bergen, Flåm and Rauma Railroads
- The Nordland Railroad to Bodø, within the Arctic Circle
- 12 nights' hotel accommodation
- 20 meals including 12 breakfasts and 8 dinners, including a Viking plank feast with beer and a farewell meal in Oslo
- Guided walking tour of Bergen
- Visits to Borgund Stave Church and Dalsnibba viewpoint
- Cruise along Geirangerfjord
- The Trollstigen road to Åndalsnes
- Free time in Trondheim
- Exploration of the Lofoten Islands including Nusfjord, Uttakleiv beach and Henningsvaer
- The services of a professional Tour Manager from start to finish
Day 1 - International Flight to Oslo
Board your international flight for the journey to Oslo. (Air travel not included in your cost)
Days 2-4 - Oslo and Bergen
Meet your group and Tour Manager in Oslo at the Thon Opera Hotel. We explore Oslo on a guided tour on the morning of Day 3, visiting some of the most beloved sights of the Norwegian capital, including the incredible Opera House, the City Hall, and the stately Royal Palace. Following the tour, we continue to the station for our train journey to Bergen. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel and venture to a local restaurant for dinner. The city of Bergen is surrounded by seven mountains and is based around its harbor. In the Bergenhus district there are well-preserved medieval buildings. On the other side of the harbor is the Klosteret area, which has beautiful 18th century wooden houses and charming alleys, where you can take a stroll out to the Nordnes peninsula. We take a sightseeing tour on Day 4 with a guided walking tour of the city that includes the old Hanseatic waterfront of Bryggen, the narrow streets of Bergen, and the local fish market. (Day 3 - B, D, Day 4 - B)
Days 5-7 - The Flåm Railroad & Geirangerfjord
Today we enjoy two scenic journeys by rail, beginning with the Bergen Railroad. The train makes its ascent into the rugged mountains, traveling alongside deep fjords and passing through numerous tunnels hewn out of the solid rock before arriving at Myrdal, where we board the famous Flåm Railroad for an unforgettable ride along one of the steepest lines in the world. A branch line of the Bergen Railroad, the scenic Flåm Railroad takes passengers on a wonderful 12.5 mile (20km) journey up one of the steepest railroad lines in the world. On its journey from Flåm, located at the innermost corner of the Aurlandsfjord, the train negotiates horseshoe curves, twists, turns and 20 tunnels - 18 of which were drilled by hand. The scenery is truly spectacular, with rivers and waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and remote farms passing by the window as you travel towards Myrdal at 2,838 feet (865m). This evening we enjoy a Viking plank feast, with a selection of local beers, in the atmospheric Ægir Brewery, a traditional Norse-style building set beside Aurlandsfjord, its focal point an imposing central fireplace. We set out by coach into the rugged landscapes of southern Norway on Day 6, making our way to Geiranger. En-route we visit the rare Borgund Stave Church and the Dalsnibba viewpoint, Europe's highest fjord view at a staggering 4,500ft elevation.
On Day 7 we enjoy the beautiful scenery of Geirangerfjord by boat, cruising the calm waters of this UNESCO-listed site. Acclaimed for its stunning, unique landscape this nine-mile-long branch of the Storfjord (meaning 'Great Fjord'), the magnificent Geirangerfjord boasts towering walls that overlook some of Europe's finest scenery. Along Geirangerfjord's shores, a number of high waterfalls - including the Seven Sisters and the Suitor - plunge straight from the lofty forests to the smooth waters below. There are also a scattering of abandoned farm buildings dotted along the steep shores. In sunshine, this UNESCO World Heritage site is alive with color and contrasts - the lush greens of the trees clinging to the rock contrasting with the deep blue water and the brilliant white of the snow-capped peaks in the distance. When it rains, countless waterfalls appear from nowhere, flowing majestically and crashing down into the water below. (Day 5 - B, D, Day 6 - B, D, Day 7 - B)
Days 8 & 9 - The Rauma Railroad & Trondheim
We make the journey to Åndalsnes today along the serpentine Trollstigen mountain road*, which offers cinematic views over the mountainous valleys and their crystalline waterfalls. From here we travel on the famous Rauma Railroad to Trondheim, our base for the next two nights. The 71 mile long railroad line delivers a spectacular journey through magnificent, contrasting landscapes. We navigate the same course as the emerald waters of the River Rauma for much of the trip, the tracks following the river as it winds around the hillsides below jagged mountain peaks.
On Day 9 you are at leisure to explore Trondheim's broad avenues, old warehouses and pretty timber dwellings. Founded in the 10th century, Trondheim is one of the oldest cities in Norway - as well as one of its largest - and is brimming with history. Having been the former seat of the Norwegian kings, the wealthy city of Trondheim was also a Scandinavian spiritual center throughout the Middle Ages. In 1681 a huge fire damaged much of the city, though this was swiftly rebuilt in a grand style, much of which survives today. Trondheim is widely regarded as a leading city of culture; Norway's first newspaper was published here, and the country's very first theater opened its doors here a few years later. As well as discovering the city's broad avenues, old warehouses and pretty timber dwellings, you could visit the Ringve Museum which features a collection of musical instruments from all over the world. Trondheim's association continues with the Rockheim Museum, exhibiting the historic of popular music. The pilgrimage site and stunning green-roofed cathedral of Nidarosdomen is a must-see. (Day 8 - B, D, Day 9 - B)
Days 10 & 11 - Across the Arctic Circle to Bodø
Departing Trondheim, we catch the train to Bodø. We travel north on the Nordland Railroad for a 452-mile journey to Bodø. The route takes us through the beautiful and varied landscape of northern Norway, past gently sloping hills and distant mountains, majestic lakes and deep forests, rocky coastline and views across small islands and out over the open sea. We cross the Arctic Circle - 66 degrees north - shortly before reaching the town of Lonsdal, the highest point of the railroad. The train reaches Fauske before turning due west for the final short section of the journey to Bodø. Also known as the 'Polar Express', the Nordland Railroad is rightly one of the world's most famous, passing unconquerable landscapes that are a delight to experience. Vast, ever-changing environments as far as the eye can see stretch out from our comfortable carriages as we strike out across Norway's dramatic landscape, watching as clear blue lakes, sparkling fjords and the spectacular Svartisen Glacier roll by our windows.
On Day 11 we board a speed ferry to Svolvaer, the tiny capital of the stunningly beautiful Lofoten Islands. Described as Europe's most dramatic and spectacular islands, the Lofoten Islands are tethered to mainland Norway by a series of bridges and resemble spikey, wired teeth. The islands are home to small fishing communities, their houses built on timber piles with seawater under the floorboards and imposing cliffs towering 3,000ft above. After a late dinner this evening, we take a night time excursion to Gimsoy Beach, where we see the never-setting Midnight Sun and enjoy hot drinks at the beach as our local guide tells us stories about Lofoten and the Midnight Sun. (Day 10 - B, D, Day 11 - B, D)
Days 12-14 - The Lofoten Islands & Home
We continue to explore the Lofoten archipelago today on an excursion that includes the traditional fishing village of Nusfjord, 'Europe's most romantic beach', Uttakleiv, and some free time in Henningsvær. Uttakleiv has an untamed beauty that is irresistible for photographers and those seeking rugged isolation. With its wandering tidal pools and emerald waters, punctuated with black boulders, your time here represents the quintessential natural experiences Norway has to offer. On the morning of Day 13, we transfer back to Oslo. Here, we enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. You bid farewell to Norway on Day 14, when you make your way to the airport for your flight home. (Day 12 - B, D, Day 13 - B, D, Day 14 - B)
*The opening date of Trollstigen Road varies due to road and snow conditions. Early departures before mid-June may travel on alternative route.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Thon Hotel Opera, Oslo
The modern Thon Hotel Opera is perfectly located next to Oslo Central Station and just a short walk from Karl Johans Gate, the city's main pedestrian thoroughfare. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar serving snacks and light refreshments, a sauna and fitness studio. The rooms are comfortably furnished and facilities include climate control, a television, telephone, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, Bergen
The Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz is situated on Bryggen, Bergen's historic waterfront, close to the famous fish market and the Fløibanen Funicular Railroad. The hotel has a restaurant and a lobby bar. All rooms feature light, modern décor and are well equipped with a minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, telephone, television and a hairdryer.
Scandic Havet Hotel, Bodo
The centrally located, 4-Star Scandic Havet Hotel in Bodø sits scenically between the Norwegian sea and the town. Located north of the Arctic Circle, this is an area known for its nature - a place where you can experience the magic of the midnight sun. The restaurant and the bar is set high in the hotel, so you can enjoy spectacular views as you dine or relax with a drink. There is also a gym and a laundry service (payable locally). The rooms also offer stunning scenery, and come with complimentary Wi-Fi, a hairdryer, an in-room safe, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Fretheim Hotel, Flåm
The Fretheim Hotel in Flåm is a long-standing favourite with our customers. Surrounded by nature, the hotel has an impressive view of the nearby fjord and surrounding mountains. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and coffee shop. Rooms are equipped with television and a hairdryer.
Union Hotel, Geiranger
Located on the edge of the beautiful Geirangerfjord, the Union Hotel features a lounge, two restaurants, three bars and a terrace serving light snacks and drinks, where guests may enjoy the magnificent views over the fjord. The hotel also has an indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, an outdoor pool (seasonal) a spa offering various therapies and treatments (pay locally) and a fascinating vintage car museum. Rooms are comfortably furnished and feature a telephone and television.
Thon Hotel Lofoten, Svolvaer
The Thon Hotel Lofoten is perfectly located in Svolvaer Harbor, within easy walking distance of the town's attractions. The hotel has a restaurant and a bar and guests enjoy free access to a local gym 200 metres from the hotel. The rooms come with a telephone, flatscreen television, free Wi-Fi internet access, a minibar and a hairdryer.
Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, Trondheim
The Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel is situated in the heart of Trondheim, within walking distance of its shops, restaurants and Bakklandet, the city's old quarter. The hotel has a bar which serves a selection of meals and drinks. The rooms feature stylish, contemporary décor and come equipped with individual climate control, a telephone, television, minibar and a hairdryer.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest railroad journeys in the world, this high-altitude trip through southern Norway links the old Hanseatic city of Bergen and the Norwegian capital, Oslo. The harsh climate experienced in this part of the world has produced a landscape that is breathtaking and wild, and the Bergen Railroad enables us to soak up the spectacular views whilst relaxing in warm, comfortable carriages.
A branch line of the Bergen Railroad, the scenic Flåm Railroad takes passengers on a wonderful 12.5 mile (20km) journey up one of the steepest railroad lines in the world. On its journey from Flåm, located at the innermost corner of the Aurlandsfjord, the train negotiates horseshoe curves, twists, turns and 20 tunnels - 18 of which were drilled by hand.
The scenery is truly spectacular, with rivers and waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and remote farms passing by the window as you travel towards Myrdal at 2,838 feet (865m).
The Nordland Railroad runs from the historic Viking capital of Norway, Trondheim, to the beautiful city of Bodø in northern Norway. The railroad is 729km in length, making it Norway's largest mainline railroad. It is also one of only a few railroad lines in the world which cross the Arctic Circle. The railroad, which is also called 'the train of the midnight sun', takes passengers through the beautifully varied scenery of northern Norway and includes views of lakes, rivers and fjords, as well as the spectacular Svartisen Glacier.
The Nordland Railroad crosses the Arctic Circle (66 degrees north) just before reaching Lonsdal, the highest station on the line at 512km above sea level. This part of Norway is famous as an ideal place to view the Northern Lights. During the summer, in fine weather, the sun remains visible 24 hours a day.
After reaching Fauske, the most northerly point on the line, the railroad turns due west to Bodø, regarded by many as the city with the world's most beautiful coastline.
The Raumabanen Railroad
Our spectacular journey on the 71 mile (114 km) Raumabanen Railroad begins in the village of Dombås. The train takes us along the valley carved by the River Rauma, offering magnificent views of the awe-inspiring crags, peaks and plateaus of the Alpine massif along the way.
Just beyond Verma, the train enters the semi circular Stavem Tunnel, which reverses the train's direction, taking us back in the direction from which we have just come, before crossing the famous Kylling Bridge.
Further along the line we pass Trollveggen (Troll Wall), the tallest vertical rock face in Europe and then continue through the wild, awe-inspiring landscape towards the town of Åndalsnes on the shores of the beautiful Romsdal Fjord. Åndalsnes is the terminus of the Raumabanen Railroad, and from here we continue our journey by coach.
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