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The Northern Lights and Lapland

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20252026
10 days From £2,795 per person
4.4 stars(204 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

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No Single Supplement

No Single Supplement subject to availability on selected departures. 

Mobility Rating 3

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 marvelling 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, savouring 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 Norway’s oldest city, founded more than a thousand years ago by a Viking king. Explore the historic streets of Bakklandet, lined by colourful 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 the former Viking capital of Trondheim

Meeting our Tour Manager and fellow travellers at London Heathrow this morning, our sensational Scandinavian exploration gets under way as we fly to Trondheim via Oslo.

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 harbourside, just a couple of minutes' walk from the historic city centre. This historic city has a relaxed centre 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
  • Dinner
Day 2 - 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 colourful 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 3 – 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 4 - 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.

**For departures 10/03/2025 and 12/03/2025 we will stay at the Quality Hotel Richard With in Stokmarknes and have tranfers to and from the Lofoten Islands on Days 4, 5 and 6.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - 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 harbour we find a scattering of colourful 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 6 - 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 favoured winter sports destination so there is a friendly buzz about the city during the season.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – 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
Day 8 – 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
Day 9 – 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 10 - 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, we fly direct to London Heathrow, where our spectacular Scandinavian holiday concludes.

Saying farewell to our fellow travellers and Tour Manager, we look back on the fantastic experiences that have enchanted us along the way from Trondheim to Kiruna. Discovering the colourful 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

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

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 holiday 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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Trains

Nordland Railway
Ofoten Railway

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Upgrades

Flight upgrades
London Hotels
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Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 204 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (117)
  2. 4 stars
    (65)
  3. 3 stars
    (11)
  4. 2 stars
    (3)
  5. 1 star
    (8)

K Scott

5 stars

Submitted 4/Apr

Wonderfull experience . Hotels very good but evening meals poor.Tour manager most efficient , knowledgable and very quick to solve problems, would go on any trip with him at the helm.

Collected by Trustpilot

Clive

4 stars

Submitted 2/Apr

We chose the holiday for the "great rail journeys" so were particularly disappointed that we could not leave by rail from Narvik - not your fault, I know.

Collected by Trustpilot

Ms B

4 stars

Submitted 26/Mar

Overall a fantastic holiday with a great variety of trips and activities. We enjoyed all the itinerary but highlights included the Ice Hotel- really an ice art gallery - and husky sled ride. The scenery was stunning from coach and trains - especially in the Lofoten Islands. Our great tour guide Charles was a lot of fun and our skilful driver Sergei kept an immaculate coach. The buffet breakfasts were super, however, there was no choice of meals and Camp Ripan served the same vegetarian main meal on both evenings that diner was included. The group was larger than expected at 41. We travelled from and to Manchester and there was less than an hour between connecting flights at Oslo and Stockholm. We missed our connecting flight to Trondheim and had to rush between gates at Stockholm in order to catch our flight to Manchester. To reduce the risk of missing connecting flights from and to Manchester, It’s worth considering booking a later onward flight from Oslo to Trondheim (we flew an hour later), an earlier flight from Kiruna to Stockholm or even staying overnight in Stockholm and getting a Manchester flight the following day.

from Great Rail Journeys
Dear Ms B, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. It is brilliant to hear that your tour was fantastic and that you enjoyed it all. I am sorry to hear about the issue with your flights and the meals. I will make sure to pass this information over to our team so we can look into it further for the future. Kind regards, Sophie.
1 comment

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Alison Sansum

5 stars

Submitted 26/Mar

Well organised and thoroughly enjoyable.

from Great Rail Journeys
Dear Alison, Thank you for your review. That is brilliant to hear! Kind regards, Sophie.
1 comment

Collected by Trustpilot

Ozetraveller

5 stars

Submitted 25/Mar

What a fantastic tour. Almost everything was as advertised and even the small glitches we experienced were managed expertly by our lovely Tour Manager, Patricia, with a minimum of fuss. On a tour such as this, it would be a miracle for everything to go completely to plan. For example, two major train derailments curtailed the Ofoten Train journey; we ended up with a coach ride to Björkliden and then a 75 minute train ride. However, we knew well in advance that this would occur and we treated it as part of the adventure. It was certainly an event beyond the control of GRJ and I believe it was managed as well as possible in the circumstance and environment. We were well North of the Arctic Circle, after all! But on to the tour as we experienced it. At the outset, I have to say we were incredibly lucky with the weather. We had four days of fantastic blue skies, a snowy day while travelling from Svolvær to Narvik, and mostly blue skies in Sweden. All activities (other than the Ofoten Train, as described above) proceeded as planned and were fabulous - Trondheim walking tour, Nordland Train, Lofoten Islands tour and so on. Our local guides - two of whom were expats from other parts of Europe - were expert, informative and entertaining. But what about the two main drawcards of this GRJ Tour - Northern Lights and Lapland? The Northern Lights are notoriously fickle and unpredictable. We had three fairly good outings and two with no result. But we did try and the locations were good. Personally, my best sighting was on a private hike with a friend out to the harbour in Trondheim, where we were very fortunate to see a short display of vivid green. In Lapland (Sampi) all three excursions were very different and very well done. The Sami Village was beyond my expectations and very informative, topped with a lovely local lunch. The Ice Hotel ticked a long-awaited box and was entertaining and interesting. Finally, the Husky farm and sled ride were brilliant! The farm was interesting and the ride far from token - it lasted 30 minutes and was fantastic. For disclosure - we are in our 70s and my wife has a back issue. We were both fine, but make your own decision if you ever want to try this! While there was a few little problems along the way, there was nothing that detracted from the trip and nothing that was not sorted out. GRJ - we’ll be back!

from Great Rail Journeys
Dear Ozetraveller, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review and share your experience. Those pictures are absolutely brilliant! I'm glad that you had such a fantastic time. I look forward to seeing you on another tour in the future! Kind regards, Sophie.
1 comment

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Judith Smith

4 stars

Submitted 25/Mar

The trip was very enjoyable however, it would be much better with a local guide rather than a trip manager from another country Guides who were provided at points of interest were also from other countries. It would’ve been a much richer experience if we had the opportunity to gain knowledge while traveling on the bus.

from Great Rail Journeys
Dear Judith, Thank you for your review. I am glad that you had an enjoyable time. I will make sure to pass over your feedback to our team so we can look into this further for the future. Kind regards, Sophie.
1 comment

Collected by Trustpilot

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