Traveling on some of Scandinavia's most scenic railroads, our tour takes us to the spectacularly beautiful Lofoten Islands and offers several opportunities to see the Aurora Borealis.
About the Tour
On this remarkable adventure we explore Norway and Swedish Lapland, journeying north far into the Arctic Circle where we seek out the magical Northern Lights, all whilst traveling on some of Scandinavia's most scenic railroads.
- Scenic rail journey on the Dovre Railway to Trondheim
- Scenic rail journey on the Nordland Railway, also known as the 'Polar Express', to Bodø
- Journey on the Ofoten Railway to Kiruna
- Ferry and scenic drive to Lofoten Islands
- Rail and coach travel as described
- 10 nights' hotel accommodation
- 18 meals including 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 7 dinners
- Oslo city Tour
- Trondheim city tour
- Guided tour of the Ice Hotel
- Sami Experience
- Porterage included from Narvik to Kiruna
- Intercountry flights are included
- The services of a professional Tour Manager
Day 1 - To Oslo
Our wonderful journey in search of the Northern Lights begins in Oslo, where you meet the group and Tour Manager at our hotel for two nights. Overnight Oslo. (D)
Day 2 - Exploring Oslo
Admire Oslo’s popular sites on a guided city tour. Highlights include the 19th-century Royal Palace, the National Theater, Parliament, the State Opera House and the medieval Akershus fortress. We also stroll through Oslo’s largest public park, Frogner Park, home to the city’s largest rose collection as well as more than 200 bronze and granite sculptures designed by Gustav Vigeland. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight Oslo. (B)
Day 3 - Oslo to Trondheim
Today we leave Oslo and head due north by train, following the line of the Dovre Railway. Our wonderfully scenic daytime journey takes us through the majestic landscape of the Dovrefjell - a mountain range separating eastern Norway from the region surrounding Trondheim. The mountains are part of the Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park, a protected region which is a natural habitat for many rare plants and animals. Later we arrive at our hotel in Trondheim for two nights, located in the heart of the city within walking distance of its shops, restaurants and Bakklandet, the city's old quarter. (B, D)
Day 4 – Discover Trondheim
Situated on the Trondheimfjord, Trondheim is one of Norway’s oldest cities. Get acquainted with this scenic city on a guided tour. We visit the neighborhood of Bakklandet, known for its colorful wooden row houses lining the river and the Old Town Bridge, to Nidaros Cathedral, the coronation and burial church of Norwegian Kings. We continue over the Main Square, passing by the Royal Residence—Stiftsgården—the largest wooden palace in Scandinavia. The remainder of the day is free to explore the city on your own. Overnight Trondheim. (B)
Day 5 - Trondheim to Bodø on the Nordland Railway
We leave Trondheim early this morning and travel north on the Nordland Railway on 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, which claims to be 'the city with the world's most beautiful coastline'. As Bodø is beneath the auroral oval, if the weather is clear, tonight could be your first viewing of the magical Northern Lights. After dinner, we travel by coach to a viewing point, to maximize our chances of seeing the spectral dance of the magnificent Northern Lights. Overnight Bodo. (B, D)
Day 6 - Bodø & the Lofoten Islands
After a leisurely morning, we board our coach for a scenic journey to Bognes where a ferry takes us to Lodingen. Upon arrival in Lofoten Islands, we continue on 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 countless small fishing communities, their houses built on timber piles with seawater under the floorboards and imposing cliffs towering 3,000ft above. We spend two nights at the Thon Hotel Lofoten. Overnight Svolvaer. (B)
Day 7 - The Lofoten Islands & the Northern Lights
This morning, enjoy a scenic drive on Lofoten islands to Nusfjord and Vestvagoy. Upon return, your afternoon is free to explore Svolvaer and the Lofoten Islands at leisure. The islands are home to some outstanding wildlife, including the world's densest population of sea eagles and large numbers of minke whales which roam the blue-watered bays. In the evening we embark on a coach journey to the quiet side of the island where there is hardly any light pollution. These are fantastic conditions from which to hunt for the Northern Lights, as well as making for beautiful views of the wintry landscape. We return by coach to Svolvaer. Overnight Svolvaer. (B, D)
Day 8 - Svolvaer to Narvik
We leave Svolvaer by coach this morning and return to the Norwegian mainland. Our journey once again offers a wonderful opportunity to soak up the region's breathtaking beauty, with views from the coach stretching down sheer drops to the majestic fjords in the valley below. We check in to the Thon Hotel Narvik and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. The ice-free seaport is located 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle and has a number of fascinating attractions including its Red Cross War Memorial Museum, which documents the wartime occupation of Narvik by the Germans in World War II and the bitter air and sea battles that took place for control of the harbor and the iron ore supplies. Also worth a visit is the Ofoten Museum, housed in the old NSB Railroad building, which features exhibitions relating to local cultural history and the construction of the Ofoten Railroad. Overnight Narvik. (B, D)
Day 9 - Narvik to Kiruna on the Ofoten Railway
Today we enjoy a journey on one of the world's most northerly railroad lines, the Ofoten Railroad. Narvik was originally built as a port to export the iron ore mined near Kiruna, and the Ofoten Railroad was built as the link between the mines and the port. We travel on this line across the Swedish border, crossing barren plateaus and traversing steep mountainsides as we make our way to Kiruna, Swedish Lapland's largest city. The railroad's route was painstakingly carved out of the mountains - an incredible engineering project that was largely undertaken by hand. On arrival in Kiruna we have time at leisure. We spend two nights at the Camp Ripan Hotel. Overnight Kiruna. (B, D)
Days 10 - Kiruna & the Sami Experience
This morning we enjoy time at Kiruna's famous Ice Hotel. In the late afternoon we take a 'Sami experience', discovering the lives and culture of Sweden's indigenous people. We travel to a Sami village where we meet the reindeer, enjoy a Sami feast in a 'lavvu' (Sami tent) and listen to local folk tales. We then leave the lights of the village behind, heading into a beautiful landscape of forests and mountains to try and view the captivating Northern Lights once again. Overnight Kiruna. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - Return Home
After your return flight from Kiruna to Stockholm you are free to travel home independently. Flights are recommended from Stockholm. (Day 11 - B)
Thon Hotel Lofoten, Svolvaer (or similar)
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 meters from the hotel. The rooms come with a telephone, flatscreen television, free Wi-Fi internet access, a minibar, and a hairdryer.
Camp Ripan, Kiruna
Just outside of Kiruna we stay at the 4-Star Camp Ripan, a hotel that offers that little something extra. Designed and built to reflect the nature and conservation of this area of Sweden, each room is an individual, cozy cabin, which features a television, a minifridge, and complimentary Wi-Fi. One of the main features of this hotel is its impressive Aurora Spa, with indoor and outdoor pools that are open all year round, and a sauna. There is also a restaurant, serving delicious food with local ingredients.
Thon Hotel, Narvik (or similar)
Narvik is idyllically nested deep inside the Ofot Fjord on a peninsula surrounded by magnificent mountains. This is the narrowest point in the country, so you can cross Norway in a day’s walk. Thon Hotel Narvik is scenically situated at the foot of Narvikfjellet and offers a stunning fjord view. This relaxed hotel with views of Ofotfjord is 1 km from the Narvik War Museum, 2 km from the Narvikfjellet gondola and a 15-minute walk from Narvik railway station.
Straightforward rooms feature flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and tea and coffeemaking facilities, in addition to free Wi-Fi. The restaurant features a terrace with mountain and fjord views.
Scandic Byporten, Oslo (or similar)
Inside the Byporten Shopping Center, this modern hotel opposite Oslo Central Station is a 10-minute walk from the Oslo Opera House. Cozy rooms offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Visit the Lobby bar, a popular meeting place both for local and visitors. Jump in for a glass of wine or a cocktail. Other amenities include a gym and a conference center.
Scandic Bodo, Bodo (or similar)
In Bodo we stay at the 4-Star Scandic Bodo Hotel, located a short distance from Bodo railroad station. Equipped with all the expected modern amenities with tasteful, fashionable interiors and well-appointed furnishings, this is an excellent place from which to explore Bodo. Amenities include an international restaurant and a bar serving drinks from across the world. Rooms all have a television, a minibar, and a hairdryer.
Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, Trondheim (or similar)
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.
The scenic Dovre Railroad connects two of Norway's capital cities - the current capital, Oslo, and the historic Viking capital, Trondheim. Nicknamed 'the trail of the trolls', the railroad runs on 553km of track, following a meandering route through Norway's inland countryside to provide a fascinating cross-section of scenery. Along its route the railroad passes broad farmlands, expansive lakes, babbling rivers, rich deep forests, narrow valleys, and high mountain passes while providing a snapshot of the country's fascinating floral and unique animal and bird life.
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 Ofoten Railroad lies on a headland at the foot of the Fagernesfjellet, between the Beisfjord and Rornbaksfjord, and runs between the iron-ore mines at Kiruna in Swedish Lapland and the port town of Narvik on the Norwegian coast. The modern town of Narvik was developed as a port for the export of the iron-ore, and the Ofoten Railroad was built at the turn of the century as the link between the mines and the port.
At the time of construction, the Ofoten Railroad was both the coldest and northern-most railroad project in the world. The 26-mile (42km) line was painstakingly carved out the mountains - an incredible engineering project that was largely undertaken by hand. The result is a breathtaking route which takes passengers past deep fjords, through the wild, rugged mountains and the barren mountain plateaus north of the Arctic Circle. The Ofoten Railroad Museum is dedicated to the local history of Narvik and the Ofoten Railroad, and is located close to the center of Narvik.
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