We receive a large number of enquiries from people who want to enjoy the stunning scenery of Northern Scandinavia but they don’t fancy some of the more physical activities such as snowmobiling and husky safaris. As a result of this we have created this very leisurely itinerary during which you will be looked after extremely well by a local host and the opportunity to enjoy a range of local cultural experiences combined with a truly memorable way to see in the New Year.
At 68° the Lofoten islands are well above the Arctic Circle and at a similar latitude to Greenland and parts of Alaska. The climate in the islands is considerably warmer due to the Gulf Stream and during winter the average temperature is around -1 to -5°C. The weather can change quickly which means that even if the skies are cloudy then it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for the Northern Lights as the skies could be clear very soon.
This is a wonderful way to celebrate the New Year with a great mix of cultural activities and a chance to view some of the local wildlife. All surrounded by the world famous scenery with the coastline dominated by dramatic mountains, beautiful Fjords and white sandy beaches.
Anybody aged 18 years and over.
"These islands are beautiful all year round and the temperate climate is a welcome change from other parts of Scandinavia. I came home from the Lofoten islands with so many beautiful photographs that many of my family are already considering a visit. The Viking Museum is a must do during any visit and the events are legendary so see the New Year in style, you just need to keep your fingers crossed that the Northern Lights make an appearance to make the night extra special." Amy Griffiths
28th December: Flights, arrivals and welcome
This morning you will fly directly from London to Evenes Airport where you will be met by a driver and transferred to Svolvaer. The transfer will take around two hours and is a great introduction to the beautiful scenery you will explore during your stay on the island. After checking in at the hotel your evening meal is included in the hotel restaurant.
29th December: Visit to the Aquarium and Ice Bar and Gallery
This morning you have some free time and we recommend taking the short walk into the town of Svolvaer to explore this charming destination and enjoy a coffee in one of the small cafes with wonderful views over the harbour.
After lunch you will visit the Aquarium in nearby Kabelvåg. Here you will see a range of fish and other marine life indigenous to the islands. A real highlight is watching the seals and otters at feeding time. There is a short film about the aquarium and also a fascinating exhibition named “The art of Coexistence” which details the history and current conservation efforts relating to the Norwegian fishing, oil and aquaculture industries and the Lofoten Islands attempts to manage these impacts on this unique natural habitat.
This evening a very special experience as you walk to the port in Svolvaer to visit the world’s first art gallery and bar constructed completely from ice. Local artists work will be displayed and everyone can enjoy a drink in the coolest bar in town!
30th December: Tour of Svolvaer and War Memorial Museum
This morning there will be a guided walking tour of Svolvaer (one of the larger towns on the Lofoten Islands) and you can learn a little more about the history of the town and its importance in the Norwegian Fishing industries.
You will then visit the 2nd world war museum on the island. This is a private collection of uniforms, artefacts and memorabilia from the period between 1940-1945 detailing the history of the war years and the impact this had on the islanders.
This afternoon you will visit nearby Hov, a village on one of the other islands named Gimsøya which form part of the Lofoten Islands. There will also be a short visit to Henningsvær for you to explore more of the islands. The transfers and drives between each of your destinations can be just as stunning so keep your camera handy.
31st December: Visit to local farm and New Year celebrations Viking style!
This morning you will transfer to Aalan gård, a fascinating small family run farm which produces a range of natural (and delicious) Lofoten goods. You can learn about the cheese making process and sample some local cheeses made from the farms 200 dairy goats and visit the small farm shop to take home some lovely souvenirs. From here you will visit another of the islands most famous attractions – the local glass blower. He will teach you about the process of blowing glass and display some of his works of art.
From here it’s onto the Viking museum, the Vikings had a huge impact on the life of the islanders and this museum is situated in an exact replica of one of the largest houses discovered on the islands. The long house stands at 83 metres and has won several awards for the displays and events held here. It is currently nominated for the ‘European Museum of the Year Award’ for 2013!
Tonight you will be privilege to one of the highlights of the year in this wonderful museum as you are the guests of honour for the Chieftain and the lady of the house and have our dinner together with his household. The Viking people certainly know how to have a good time and the tales of New Years Eve here are legendary so we are certain you will have an evening to enjoy and remember for many years.
1st January: Departures, transfers and flights
This morning you will transfer back to the airport for your return flights home. We predict it won’t be long before you are planning a return to this wonderful part of the world!