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The Northern Lights and Lapland

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You are viewing the 2025 itinerary. Select your departure year
20242025
11 days From $3,995 per person
4.4 stars(21 reviews)
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Embrace the wonders of winter in Norway and Sweden, seeking out the magical Northern Lights on the idyllic Lofoten archipelago and in snowy Swedish Lapland

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2025 Tour code: NLW25

About the tour

Beautifully scenic Scandinavian rail journeys convey us from the ancient Viking capital of Trondheim to wintry Kiruna in Swedish Lapland, as we enjoy many opportunities to be dazzled by the ethereal Northern Lights.

Admiring amazing landscapes, the fantastic Nordland Railway carries us across the Arctic Circle to Bodø. From here, we explore the spellbinding Lofoten Isles, before entering Sweden on the Ofoten Railway. A wonderland of wintry experiences awaits as we uncover the culture of the Sámi people, visit the iconic Ice Hotel and embark on a husky-hauled sleigh ride.

Unforgettable Experiences

Seek the ethereal Northern Lights
Seek the ethereal Northern Lights
Travelling to some of the most ideal destinations in which to view the spellbinding Aurora Borealis, we have the best chance to witness the phenomenal spectacle of the Northern Lights.
Stay on the magical Lofoten Isles
Stay on the magical Lofoten Isles
Spend two nights uncovering the delightful atmosphere and rich cultural heritage of this charming archipelago, visiting quaint fjordside fishing villages and marveling at peaceful snow-capped mountains.
Admire beautiful scenery on two famous rail journeys
Admire beautiful scenery on two famous rail journeys
Be transported in comfort through some of Scandinavia’s most spectacular landscapes on the Nordland Railway from Trondheim to Bodø and from Narvik to Kiruna on the historic Ofoten Railway.
Learn about the fascinating culture of the indigenous Sámi
Learn about the fascinating culture of the indigenous Sámi
With an expert local guide, discover the history and lifestyle of the Sámi people, meeting their reindeer, savoring an authentic lunch in a traditional ‘lavvu’ tent, and being captivated by timeless folk tales.
Enjoy a husky sleigh ride in Swedish Lapland
Enjoy a husky sleigh ride in Swedish Lapland
Embark on a thoroughly delightful husky safari, gliding through the snow on a sleigh hauled by these energetic dogs. Stopping midway, savour a traditional Swedish ‘fika’ by the campfire.
Uncover the Viking capital of Trondheim
Uncover the Viking capital of Trondheim
Discover the oldest city in Norway, founded more than a thousand years ago by a Viking king. Explore the historic streets of Bakklandet, lined by colorful houses, and visit the largest wooden building in northern Europe.
Marvel at the incredible Ice Hotel
Marvel at the incredible Ice Hotel
Accompanied by a local guide, enjoy a truly sensational experience – exploring this world-famous hotel, built from scratch every year from hand-crafted blocks of ice harvested from a nearby frozen river.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Olso

Fly to Oslo and transfer on your own to your hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Oslo.

Day 2 - Arrive in the former Viking capital of Trondheim

Make your way back to the airport where you join up with your tour manager and fellow travelers. Our sensational Scandinavian exploration gets under way as we fly to Trondheim.

Separated from eastern Norway by the mighty Dovrefjell Mountains, Trondheim was founded by Olaf Tryggvason, a Viking king, more than a thousand years ago.

On arrival, we transfer by coach to our modern 4-Star hotel in the stylish harborside, just a couple of minutes' walk from the historic city center. This historic city has a relaxed center filled with restaurants, shops and attractions - and there is time for a stroll to get your bearings before we enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel's restaurant.

Near our hotel are some museums, including one dedicated to Norwegian pop music, as well as a statue commemorating great Norse explorer Leif Erikson - believed to be the first European to set foot on continental North America nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Guided tour of ancient Trondheim

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we meet our expert local guide who will share some of their knowledge of this historic city on a sightseeing tour.

We explore Trondheim's Old Quarter, known to locals as Bakklandet, where we admire traditional painted wooden houses, cobblestone streets and colorful waterside buildings. Our guide also shows us the impressive 18th-century Baroque Stiftsgården, the largest wooden building in northern Europe.

The rest of the day is free for to continue sightseeing at your own pace. There are many attractions waiting to be explored, such as the Ringve Music Museum and the 12th-century Archbishop's Palace - a treasure trove of archaeological discoveries. Nidaros Cathedral, the world's most northernmost Gothic cathedral was built in the 13th century and is an architectural masterpiece, with its remarkable rose window depicting the day of judgement.

Vibrant Trondheim has an impressive range of restaurants for you to try tonight, from tapas and Italian food to vegan and Asian cuisine.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Crossing the Arctic Circle on the stunning Nordland Railway

Leaving Trondheim early this morning after breakfast, we join the spectacular Nordland Railway. Affectionately known as the Polar Express due to picture-book snow scenes as it makes its way across the Arctic Circle to Bodø, this 453-mile route passes through some of Norway's most amazing landscapes.

We witness sunrise over wintry northern Norway, passing frozen lakes, snow-covered mountains, tranquil fjords and frosted forests, enjoying a glass of cava as we celebrate crossing the Arctic Circle. Enroute, look out for reindeer in the mountains or the elusive sea eagles soaring over the picturesque coast.

As the train reaches Fauske, it turns due west along the shimmering shore of Skjerstad Fjord before arriving in Bodø - known as the city with the world's most beautiful coastline. Transferring to our hotel overlooking the idyllic marina with views across to nearby islands, we enjoy dinner together.

Situated above the Arctic Circle, there is a chance that we could witness the majestic Northern Lights, although our best opportunities are still to come!

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Stunning Lofoten Isles cruise and seeking the Northern Lights

After breakfast we take a scenic coach journey of around four hours, travelling from Bodø to Bognes where we catch the ferry to Lødingen on the Lofoten Isles. After disembarking, our scenic drive continues to Svolvær, the tiny capital of these stunning islands, described as Europe's most dramatic and spectacular archipelago.

The Lofoten Isles are tethered to mainland Norway by a series of bridges that resemble spikey, wired teeth and we stay in this wild landscape for two nights. Set beneath the auroral oval, the Lofoten Isles are one of the world's best locations to see the Northern Lights. We venture out by coach to seek the wondrous yet elusive spectacle, before returning to our Svolvær hotel for dinner. If the weather is clear, after dinner we have another chance to experience their spectral dance for ourselves on our Northern Lights hunt.

* Sightings of the Northern Lights are dependent on weather and overall conditions.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Colourful villages of the enchanting Lofoten archipelago

A scenic drive follows breakfast at our hotel, as we travel with a local guide to one of Norway's oldest and best-preserved fishing villages, Nusfjord.

Huddled around its quaint fjordside harbor we find a scattering of colorful wooden cabins, known as rorbu, painted mustard, cream and crimson. Contrasting beautifully against the craggy peaks and deep blue waters, this makes for a picture-postcard scene of Norwegian coastal life. Once home to cod fisherman who used to hang their catch outside their homes, this seafaring heritage is still visible in Nusfjord today, with former community buildings such as the old fish oil factory and smokery having been lovingly renovated.

We continue amid the sensational Lofoten scenery to gorgeous Vestvågøy. This spellbinding island is renowned for its agriculture, but it is the sandy beaches, snow-capped mountains and enchanting landscapes that capture the hearts of visitors.

Dinner is served back at our Svolvær hotel tonight, after which we can venture out to look for the Northern Lights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Dramatic scenery on a journey to mainland Narvik

Saying farewell to Svolvær after breakfast at our hotel, we set out by coach to make our return journey to the Norwegian mainland. The scenery is dramatic, and we have a chance to soak up the region's natural majesty on one of the most scenic routes in Europe, with views stretching down to magnificent fjords in the valley below.

On arrival in Narvik, we check into our hotel and have some free time to explore before dinner at the hotel. This ice-free seaport is located 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle and has a number of fascinating attractions, including the Red Cross War Memorial Museum, which documents the occupation of this vital port in World War II. Also worth a visit is the Ofoten Museum, with exhibits relating to local history and the construction of the Ofoten Railway. Narvik is also a favored winter sports destination so there is a friendly buzz about the city during the season.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - To Sweden on the magnificent Ofoten Railway

A highlight of our holiday awaits today as we travel on one of the world's most northerly railway lines, the Ofoten Railway aboard the Arctic Train.

Waking up in Narvik, we have breakfast in this city that was originally a hub to export iron ore mined near Kiruna. With miles of tundra and wilderness between the two, the Ofoten Railway was built to transport this valuable commodity from Sweden to the Norwegian port. The railway's 27-mile route was painstakingly carved out of the mountains in an incredible engineering project - largely undertaken by hand - and it takes us across the Swedish border, through barren plateaus and alongside steep mountains to Kiruna, Swedish Lapland's largest city.

On arrival in Kiruna, we transfer to our accommodation in Camp Ripan. Surrounded by forests and rolling hills, we spend two nights in individual cabins. Not only is there chance of seeing wildlife strolling by, but it's also an excellent place to view the Northern Lights. There is free time this afternoon to relax or enjoy the spa facilities before we have dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 9 - Traditional Sámi experience and Ice Hotel visit

We discover the lives and culture of Scandinavia's indigenous people after breakfast today as we embrace a special Sámi experience. We travel to a Sámi village where we a local guide introduces us to the reindeer. These animals are very important to the Sámi way of life as many people are involved in semi-nomadic reindeer herding. We also get the opportunity to feed these beautiful animals. As we learn more about life in the picturesque camp, we enjoy a Sámi-style lunch in a traditional tent called a 'lavvu' and listen to age-old folk tales.

In the afternoon we visit Kiruna's world-famous Ice Hotel. This spectacular monument is constructed afresh every year since 1989 from huge, hand-sculpted blocks of ice sourced from the nearby river. We tour its frozen rooms with a guide before donning warming clothes to visit the Ice Bar for a chilled drink served in ice glasses. We are then transferred back to Camp Ripan for a relaxed evening in our private cabins.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - Husky safari through a winter wonderland

Enjoying breakfast at our beautiful hotel, we look forward to an amazing morning excursion - a unique husky safari experience.

With a pack of energetic huskies at the helm, steered by an expert guide, we set out on a large sled through the snowy scenery. Our trip takes us through a winter wonderland on a thrilling ride that's been part of Scandinavia's snow-laden culture for generations. We stop midway through this fantastic trip to warm up and enjoy the atmospheric views. Here, we take part in a traditional Swedish 'fika' - another of the country's most cherished traditions. Gathering round a campfire, we enjoy a hot drink and a Swedish sandwich.

Around midday, a coach transfers us back to Camp Ripan, where there is an afternoon to unwind or wander through the birch forests of the Midnattssolstigen (Midnight Sun Trail) that passes by our camp. This evening, we enjoy a farewell dinner together at the hotel's restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Homeward bound

After our final breakfast at fantastic Camp Ripan, we transfer by coach to Kiruna airport for a connecting flight to Stockholm. From the capital, passengers take the internal flight from Kiruna to Stockholm and after that are free to make their way home.

Saying farewell to our fellow travelers and Tour Manager, we look back on the fantastic experiences that have enchanted us along the way from Trondheim to Kiruna. Discovering the colorful buildings showcased the long history of the Viking capital, before we travelled to Bodø and on to the Lofoten Islands. This charming archipelago revealed jaw-dropping views and idyllic fishing villages, while the Ofoten Railway carried us across the border into Sweden.

Kiruna's picture-perfect winter scenes delighted us as we discovered the culture of the Sámi people, embraced the beauty of the Ice Hotel and enjoyed an amazing ride on a husky sled. And, of course, hopefully we saw the magical Northern Lights!

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Thon Hotel Nordlys, Bodø

Thon Hotel Nordlys, Bodø

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Camp Ripan

Camp Ripan, Kiruna

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Quality Hotel Grand Royal, Narvik

Quality Hotel Grand Royal, Narvik

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Scandic Narvik Hotel, Narvik

Scandic Narvik Hotel, Narvik

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Thon Hotel Lofoten, Svolvaer

Thon Hotel Lofoten, Svolvaer

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Clarion Hotel, Trondheim

Clarion Hotel, Trondheim

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Trains

Nordland Railway
Ofoten Railway

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Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 21 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (11)
  2. 4 stars
    (8)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

GOLDSTEIN, DANIEL FREDERICK

5 stars

Submitted 29 Mar 2023

An exciting adventure! Great tour director who was able to adjust things we had planned due to weather conditions.

Collected by Trustpilot

Bonnie Diciacco

4 stars

Submitted 28 Mar 2023

This was a very fun trip!!! We felt lucky to get to see the Northern Lights which was the main reason for going. Some of our accomodations weren't quite up to par, but our tour guide was great!

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SEIDEN, LORI ANN

5 stars

Submitted 27 Mar 2023

Our trip exceeded our expectations, and our tour manager, Angie, was awesome!

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Doug

5 stars

Submitted 24 Mar 2023

This was a super trip. One of our top favorites !!

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MEYER, MICHAEL

5 stars

Submitted 22 Mar 2023

Excellent experience (albeit cold). Visited several locations in Norway and Sweden, and of course always on the lookout for the Northern LIghts....and we saw them!! Other excursions (Sami village and dogsledding) added to the adventure.

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KEIM, RICHARD LEE

4 stars

Submitted 20 Mar 2023

The hotel on Lofoten Island was terrible and needs to be replaced on future tours

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