Experience life in the Arctic Circle and feast like a Viking
Travel the length of Norway aboard some of the world's most impressive railway lines, discovering its delightful cities and island communities along the way. Experience life in the Arctic Circle and feast like a Viking on our thirteen day tour.
Following a direct flight* from London to Oslo, we transfer to our hotel, enjoying dinner on our arrival. We explore Oslo on a guided tour on the morning of Day 2, visiting some of the most beloved sights of the Norwegian capital, including the incredible Opera House, the City Hall, and the stately Royal Palace. Following the tour, we continue to the station for our train journey to Bergen. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel and then you are free for the rest of the evening.
The city of Bergen is surrounded by seven mountains and is based around its harbour. In the Bergenhus district there are well-preserved medieval buildings. On the other side of the harbour is the Klosteret area, which has beautiful 18th century wooden houses and charming alleys, where you can take a stroll out to the Nordnes peninsula.
We take a sightseeing tour on Day 3 with a guided walking tour of the city that includes the old Hanseatic waterfront of Bryggen, the narrow streets of Bergen, and the local fish market. After a seafood lunch there will be a tour of Bergen's bridges by coach.
*Please note: your luggage will travel on the flight from the UK with you, as opposed to via our luggage service.
Today we enjoy two scenic journeys by rail, beginning with the Bergen Railway. The train makes its ascent into the rugged mountains, travelling alongside deep fjords and passing through numerous tunnels hewn out of the solid rock before arriving at Myrdal, where we board the famous Flåm Railway for an unforgettable ride along one of the steepest lines in the world. A branch line of the Bergen Railway, the scenic Flåm Railway takes passengers on a wonderful 12.5 mile (20km) journey up one of the steepest railway lines in the world. On its journey from Flåm, located at the innermost corner of the Aurlandsfjord, the train negotiates horseshoe curves, twists, turns and 20 tunnels - 18 of which were drilled by hand. The scenery is truly spectacular, with rivers and waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and remote farms passing by the window as you travel towards Myrdal at 2,838 feet (865m). This evening we enjoy a Viking plank feast, with a selection of local beers, in the atmospheric Ægir Brewery, a traditional Norse-style building set beside Aurlandsfjord, its focal point an imposing central fireplace.
We set out by coach into the rugged landscapes of Fjord Norway on Day 5, making our way to Geiranger. En-route we visit the rare Borgund Stave Church and the Dalsnibba viewpoint, Europe's highest fjord view at a staggering 4,500ft elevation.
On Day 6 we enjoy the beautiful scenery of Geirangerfjord by boat, cruising the calm waters of this UNESCO-listed site. Acclaimed for its stunning, unique landscape this nine-mile-long branch of the Storfjord (meaning 'Great Fjord'), the magnificent Geirangerfjord boasts towering walls that overlook some of Europe's finest scenery. Along Geirangerfjord's shores, a number of high waterfalls - including the Seven Sisters and the Suitor - plunge straight from the lofty forests to the smooth waters below. There are also a scattering of abandoned farm buildings dotted along the steep shores. In sunshine, this UNESCO World Heritage site is alive with colour and contrasts - the lush greens of the trees clinging to the rock contrasting with the deep blue water and the brilliant white of the snow-capped peaks in the distance. When it rains, countless waterfalls appear from nowhere, flowing majestically and crashing down into the water below. After disembarking, we take a scenic drive from Hellesylt to Geiranger.
We make the journey to Åndalsnes today along the serpentine Trollstigen mountain road*, which offers cinematic views over the mountainous valleys and their crystalline waterfalls. From here we travel on the famous Rauma Railway to Trondheim, our base for the next two nights. The 71 mile long railway line delivers a spectacular journey through magnificent, contrasting landscapes. We navigate the same course as the emerald waters of the River Rauma for much of the trip, the tracks following the river as it winds around the hillsides below jagged mountain peaks. On Day 8 you are at leisure to explore Trondheim's broad avenues, old warehouses and pretty timber dwellings.
*The opening date of Trollstigen Road varies due to road and snow conditions. Early departures before mid-June may travel on alternative route.
Departing Trondheim, we catch the train to Bodø. We travel north on the Nordland Railway for 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 railway. The train reaches Fauske before turning due west for the final short section of the journey to Bodø. Also known as the 'Polar Express', the Nordland Railway is rightly one of the world's most famous, passing unconquerable landscapes that are a delight to experience. Vast, ever-changing environments as far as the eye can see stretch out from our comfortable carriages as we strike out across Norway's dramatic landscape, watching as clear blue lakes, sparkling fjords and the spectacular Svartisen Glacier roll by our windows.
On Day 10 we board a speed ferry to Moskenes before taking a scenic coach journey 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 small fishing communities, their houses built on timber piles with seawater under the floorboards and imposing cliffs towering 3,000ft above. After a late dinner this evening, we take a night time excursion to Gimsoy Beach, where we see the never-setting Midnight Sun and enjoy hot drinks at the beach as our local guide tells us stories about Lofoten and the Midnight Sun.
*Please note: you will need to transport your own luggage for this rail journey
We continue to explore the Lofoten archipelago today on an excursion that includes the traditional fishing village of Nusfjord, 'Europe's most romantic beach', Uttakleiv, and some free time in Henningsvær. Uttakleiv has an untamed beauty that is irresistible for photographers and those seeking rugged isolation. With its wandering tidal pools and emerald waters, punctuated with black boulders, your time here represents the quintessential natural experiences Norway has to offer. On the morning of Day 12, we transfer to the airport to fly back to Oslo*. Here, we enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. We bid farewell to Norway on Day 13, and fly* from Oslo back to London.
*Please note: your luggage will travel on the flight with you, as opposed to via our luggage service.
Please note, hotels may differ depending on departure date.
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.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
NEW FOR 2020: Inclusive Luggage Transfer
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Experience life in the Arctic Circle and feast like a Viking