Tailormade tour The Lofoten Islands touring holiday Norway

8 nights/9 days

Bodø • Nusfjord • Svolvaer • Hurtigruten cruise • Trondheim

This luxury Norway fly-drive touring holiday of the Lofoten Islands offers an in-depth encounter with Norway’s Arctic Circle and the incredible natural beauty of the Lofoten Islands in particular. Stay in the authentic fishing towns of Nusfjord and Svolvaer with one night in Bodø at the beginning and two nights onboard the Hurtigruten cruise ship to round off the touring holiday.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels. From £1,660 per person.

Luxury fly-drive Norway touring holiday with 8 nights in Norway's Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle and overnight cruise on Hurtigruten

Highlights

Bodø • Nusfjord • Svolvaer • Lofoten Wall • Hurtigruten cruise • Trondheim

Day by day

This holiday starts with a flight from London to Bodø via a connection in Oslo. Check in to your hotel in Bodø for one night. The city of Bodø is an excellent base from which to explore some of Norway’s best scenery and natural attractions. One of its most well-known features is the Saltstraumen maelstrom, a small strait home to the world’s strongest tidal current. Here you can witness whirlpools bigger than 10 metres with the water moving as fast as 40 km/h. Slightly further out of the city is Kjerringøy, a small, rural community featuring beautiful alpine landscapes ranging from mountains to white sandy beaches. The Kjerringøy trading post is a museum offering a unique insight into the lives of the powerful local merchants and information about the fish trade of the 19th century. For those looking for more adventurous activities, Bodø offers kayaking, RIB tours and even snorkelling in the surrounding fjords, and fishing is a popular local activity. There are also numerous hiking routes including Keiservarden, which leads up to Keiservarden hill overlooking Bodø, and Mount Ronvikfjellet, one of the top viewing spots for the Midnight Sun in the country. Within Bodø itself the beautiful harbour offers views from its pier dating back to 1904 and the Norwegian Aviation Museum offers an insight into the civil and military aviation history of Norway.

Today you catch a short morning flight to Svolvaer before collecting your hire car. It is then a drive of roughly an hour and a half to your first base of Nusfjord. This journey will take you southwards and introduce you to the incredible scenery to which you will be privy for the next few days. Cross long bridges and skirt around narrow fjords, all intersected with imposing mountains and beautiful stretches of clear water. At certain times the clouds will cover the tops of the mountains, giving the whole area a beautifully solemn atmosphere. The final stretch will see you driving alongside some of the Lofoten Islands’ incredible beaches; the juxtaposition of the clear waters and soft sand with snow-capped mountains on the opposite shore is truly spectacular. Arrive into the fishing town of Nusfjord and check in to your hotel for the next three nights.

Nusfjord is located in an excellent position for exploring some of the best beaches in Norway. The nearby municipality of Vestvagøy is home to Haukland Beach, easily reached by car. This is an excellent spot to see the sunrise or sunset during winter and is a popular summer tourist destination. A further six-minute drive from here you will find Uttakleiv Beach, the most photographed beach in Norway. The magnificent rocky coastline and relatively high chance of viewing the Northern Lights make it an excellent photo spot. For a higher perspective, Mannen is a year-round hiking route above Haukland Beach which takes between 1-1.5 hours and will reward you with stunning views of the rocky coastline. Other popular beaches in this area include Eggum Beach and Vik Beach, the latter of which comprises a long, curving stretch of white sand. The town of Ballstad is located on the southern coast of the Lofoten Islands and features Busknes Church, a red, wooden church consecrated in 1905. A church has stood here since 1324, although the previous buildings have had unfortunate endings due to storms and lightning strikes. Balstad is also home to the most popular brand of cod liver oil in the country, Möller, whose tasting depot offers samples of all three types of tran, a particularly nutritious cod liver oil. Further west in the municipality of Flakstadøya you will find the Flakstad Kirke, a red church built in 1780 with a particularly Russian influence due to the exchange of Russian timber for Norwegian fish. Not far from here is the secluded Kvalvika beach, reachable only via a hike up a moderately steep mountain. Above this is Ryten, a mountain awarding incredible views of the entire area and possible all year round. Further south still is the picturesque fishing village of Hamnøy, where red cabins over a century old hug the shoreline. The journey to Hamnøy is just as much of a spectacle as you will travel over a series of bridges, each one giving views of the fjords and mountains in all directions. Nusfjord itself is one of the best-preserved fishing villages in Norway, and evidence suggests that people have been living here since 425 BC. The Rorbuer, seasonal fishermen huts, date back to the 19th century and make for a very scenic base set against their mountainous backdrop.

Today you retrace your steps up to Svolvaer, the capital of the Lofoten Islands. Check in to your hotel here for the next two nights.

Svolvaer is home to picturesque red Rorbuer set beneath a dramatic mountain range and is an excellent base from which to explore the wonders of the northern Lofoten Islands. Within Svolvaer itself, attractions include the War Memorial Museum, which showcases a wide range of artefacts from World War II, and the North Norwegian Art Centre, an artist-run institution presenting contemporary visual art. Svolvaer’s proximity to the Trollfjord makes it the main starting point for tours to this magnificent natural spectacle, which is narrow enough to be able to drink from the passing waterfalls on smaller vessels. Cod fisheries are an essential part of the town’s economy and you will find cod hung up on racks to dry throughout Svolvaer. One of Norway’s most popular climbing routes, Svolvaergeita, is situated above the city and offers wonderful panoramic views from its twin horns at the summit. Roughly half an hour down the coast you will find the town of Henningsvaer, a seaport which has been dubbed “the Venice of Lofoten”. It consists of a series of islets populated by brightly coloured wooden houses and is a popular climbing location. You will also find the Kaviar Factory and the Galleri Lofotens Hus, which features Norway’s largest collection of paintings from Northern Norway. Another popular activity from Svolvaer is to take a short cruise or fishing tour around some of the lesser-populated areas, and there are multiple options available in the town.

You have most of today in Svolvaer to explore more of the city’s attractions, before dropping off your hire car and boarding the evening Hurtigruten service to Trondheim. Start by passing the Lofoten Wall, a collection of mountain peaks which appear from a distance to form a straight line. The next morning you will cross the Arctic Circle before sailing along the Helgeland coast and the Seven Sisters mountain range, with peaks up to 1,100 metres high. Stop briefly at Sandnessjøen and Brønnøysund, a pretty town with a charming high street and marina. During the summer months it is possible to stop here and enjoy a taste of fresh salmon.

Arrive in Trondheim early this morning and transfer to the airport, where you will catch a flight back to the UK via a short stopover in Oslo.

Holiday price guide From £1,660 per person

Holiday Code SCFD04

Luxury fly-drive Norway touring holiday with 8 nights in Norway's Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle and overnight cruise on Hurtigruten

Holiday price guide From £1,660 per person

Holiday Code SCFD04

Our prices include ● Return flights with British Airways from London to Oslo
● Scheduled flights from Oslo to Bodø and Trondheim to Oslo
● Hire of a group B car for six days
● 1 night’s half board in a Standard double room at the Thon Hotel Nordlys, Bodø
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Harbour Cabin at Nusfjord Arctic Resort, Nusfjord
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Rorbu S room at Svinøya Rorbuer, Svolvaer
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Polar outside cabin on the Svolvaer – Trondheim Hurtigruten
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Possible local tourist tax, usually the equivalent of £1 to £3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers in any cities

Luxury fly-drive Norway touring holiday with 8 nights in Norway's Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle and overnight cruise on Hurtigruten

Highlights of Norway

The numerous fjords: Eidfjord – branch of the Hardangerfjord, Geirangerfjord – precipitous, one of Norway’s signature images, Hardangerfjord – rolling hills and pretty villages, Jossingfjord – vertiginous fjord in the flatlands of the south, Lysefjord – plunging cliffs, cruises and look out points, Naeroyfjord – narrow and very pretty, Sognefjord – Norway’s longest and one of the most beautiful, Trollfjord – very steep fjord on Lofoten, Vestfjord – sheltered bays and pretty villages separating Lofoten from the mainland. The Hurtigruten ferry that covers over 2500 km from Bergen to Kirkenes with over 30 stops. The Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. Stave churches, beautifully preserved in wood, dating from Viking times, for example at Borgund, Lom, Ringebu and Urnes. Viking ships and artefacts, burial mounds and trinkets in museums throughout the country. The red, wooden houses perched stilts over the sea on the Lofoten Islands. The modern architecture of Oslo. Picking wild blueberries, sampling aquavit made from potatoes and caraway, and tasting reindeer steak with cranberries. The charm of Oslofjorden with its pretty, arty village and towns, harbours with sailing boats, islands offshore and beaches. Hike over the Jotunheimen and relish the natural landscape of this stunning National Park.

Cultural highlights of Norway

The architecture of stave churches dating from the Viking era and Viking treasure in museums around the country. The literature of Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun. Folk tales and mythology. The music of Edvard Grieg and the art of Edvard Munch. Contemporary jazz and folk music.

Gastronomy of Norway

Norway’s gastronomy is a clear reflection of its land and sea. From the land come reindeer, venison, lamb, cured meats and potatoes of all types: boiled, roasted and fried. From the freshwater lakes and streams come salmon served grilled and smoked, and freshwater fish. Sea fish is a vast array of cod, haddock, shrimps, mackerel, fish soup, fish balls, salt cod. From the orchards particularly around the Hardangerfjord come apples, cherries and plums as well as berries of all sorts including blueberries, cranberries, bilberries and, a great delicacy, cloudberries. Cheeses include Jarlsberg and brown cheese. Coffee is almost certainly the national drink, followed by beer, of which there are all sorts of craft beers brewed locally, and Aquavit is the national spirit made from potatoes and caraway.

Facts in brief

Capital Oslo
Airport Oslo Gardermoen
Size 323,878 sq km
Population 4.4 million
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