Visit Trondheim, which translates as ‘a good place to live’, and stroll past the colourful wooden storehouses flanking the river.. Gaze at the immense Nidaros Cathedral, an incredible Gothic building that houses the remains of St Olav, the patron saint of Norway.. Explore the long-adored Lofoten Islands, a patchwork of fishing villages, by land and sea and take in some of the most breathtaking scenery in the entire world.. Finish in Tromso, hundreds of kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, where the arts and culture scene is thriving despite its isolated, northerly location.
Enter a world of extremes where night looks like day, day looks like night and regardless of the season, the scenery’s much more than alright. Leave the Arctic Circle behind and discover northern Norway’s captivating sights and long, fabled history. Begin in the capital, Oslo, and make your way to Trondheim, the Viking city home to the Nidaros Cathedral and the remains of St Olav, Norway’s patron saint. Explore the rugged, unbelievably picturesque Lofoten Islands by land and water before finishing in Tromso, a vibrant city famed for its cultural offerings despite its relative isolation.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Welcome to Norway, where you’ll discover the irresistible charm and eccentricity of Oslo. With so much to see and do in Oslo we recommend that you plan to arrive a few days before the trip begins, so you can see as much of the city as possible. Why not head to the National Gallery of Art to glimpse Edvard Munch's famous painting, The Scream. Tonight why not seek out some traditional Norwegian fare with the group.
Today is a free day for you to enjoy all that Oslo has to offer. Perhaps travel to the nearby area of Holmenkollen and visit the Ski Museum, housed inside the famous monumental Holmenkollbakken (ski jump), which looks more like a work of art than a sports venue. Highlights in the museum include the history of skiing over the past 4,000 years, of Norwegian polar expeditions, and lesser known glimpses from the Winter Olympics at Oslo and Lillehammer. At the top of the jump tower there are 360 degree views of the city, its fjords and forests. Alternatively put some time aside for island hopping on Oslofjord, putting the hammer down at the Viking Museum, browsing the harbour-front Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, tasting local flavours at the food hall Vulkan, exploring the immense Akershus Castle & Fortress, or checking out the cool shops in the Grunerløkka district. There's so much to get stuck into.
Today you'll leave Oslo behind and take the train across the stunning countryside to Trondheim (approximately 7 hours). Trondheim was the first capital of Norway and remains the city where kings go through their coronation. Its name translates as 'a good place to live', with 'trond' meaning 'a good place' and 'heim' home, and it truly is. The city is situated on the Trondheimsfjord and colourful wooden storehouses flank the Nidelva River that runs through town, while the city's outskirts are surrounded by hilly wilderness. There are some great seafood restaurants in town, so why not venture out with the group for a bite to eat in the evening.
Trondheim / Overnight Train
Spend a day exploring Trondheim at your own pace. An absolute must see is the Nidaros Cathedral, an immense Gothic cathedral built from 1070 on, which remains the northernmost Gothic structure in Europe. Quite simply, it's incredible. Trondheim is a great city to explore on foot thanks to a bunch of lovely cafes and the Nordre Gate pedestrian-only area. There are several museums to visit including the Archbishop's Palace, which contains the real Crown Jewels, and the Rockheim Museum, providing a history of Norwegian pop music since the 1950s. Transfer in the evening to the station for an overnight train to Bodo, departing just before midnight.
Bodø / Lofoten Islands
Wake up just north of the Arctic Circle as we pull into the town of Bodø this morning. There's ample time for you to explore this interesting town until we leave on the afternoon ferry to Svolvaer on the Lofoten Islands. Bodø is a modern city as it was essentially destroyed by German bombers during WWII. With a dramatic backdrop of rugged ranges, Bodø has the densest population of white-tailed sea eagles in the world, so once you're done exploring why not grab a drink or some food by the quay and take in the vista while these impressive birds circle above (just watch your food). Board the afternoon ferry to the Lofoten Islands (approx 3.5 hours). Arrival will be at around 9 pm. Upon arrival settle into your comfortable accommodation in the town of Svolvaer.
The Lofoten Islands are known for picturesque fishing villages, pristine nature and, of course, the Midnight Sun. This is viking country, and the beauty of the area is unparalleled and near-impossible to convey in words. Svolvaer, one of the main towns on the islands, relies heavily on fishing and an ever-growing tourism industry as it's used as a primary base to explore the other islands. This morning head out on an excursion by RIB (rigid inflatable boat) to the narrow and steep-sided Trollfjord. On this exhilarating trip around the small islands and skerries of the Raftsundet Strait you'll also get the chance to see sea eagles. Sea eagles have the largest a wing span of any eagle, reaching up to 2.65 metres. It’s a special experience when one circles just a few metres above your head. The afternoon is free and there are several optional activities for you to choose from, so why not enjoy a sea kayaking trip around Svolvaer's picture-perfect harbour or hike through the dramatic granite peaks jutting out of the ocean. Whatever you decide, you're guaranteed a pristine environment and scenery.
Depart the Lofoten Islands on a long but scenic travel day to Tromsø. Start with a local bus ride to Harstad (approx 3.5 hours). You'll have some free time here so perhaps take your time for lunch or explore the little town. Later on continue by local ferry past stunning scenery, plenty of fjords and even a maelstrom to Tromsø (approx 3 hours). Located far above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is northern Norway's major cultural centre thanks to a range of music and arts festivals and an increasing student population courtesy of the University of Tromsø. Enjoy a free evening on arrival in town.
Today you're free to explore Tromsø at your leisure. Learn about the region's fascinating history at the Polar Museum and Tromsø Museum, check out the many art galleries or perhaps take a boat cruise in the surrounding waters (the city is actually built on an island). No visit to Tromsø would be complete without a beer at the city's oldest pub, Olhallen, part of the Mack Brewery that is even older than the pub. It was founded by Ludwig Mack, a baker who cared not for the drunkenness of the townsfolk. Mack started brewing beer in 1877 as a less alcoholic alternative to the spirits drunk by most, and the brewery is still family owned and frequented by young and old, traveller and local, student and teacher.
Your trip comes to an end today. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. If you want to extend your stay in Tromsø we are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability. Please enquire at the time of booking.