We absolutely love this small and unspoilt area of Norway. It is unlike anywhere else in the world with its unique contrasts of white sandy beaches, mountainous and wild coastline, the really friendly local people and excellent chances of seeing the Northern Lights. During this combination tour you will see both the Vesterålen and Lofoten regions in all their glory and the itinerary also incorporates a trip on the world famous Hurtigruten ferry.
This three night break combines a number of real highlights! You don’t need to be a train buff to stagger at the stunning natural beauty and sheer wilderness along the route of the Ofotbanen railway on the way to Sweden. It’s incredible to think how pioneering the construction of this route was over 100 years ago. The Polar Park was also a real highlight for me – I cannot recommend the ‘kisses with the wolves’ experience enough! It’s not a cheap add-on but being so close to those majestic animals is an unforgettable experience.
Day 1: Flights, arrivals and welcome
After the direct flight from Gatwick arrives into Evenes Airport you will be met by a local guide who will assist you in locating the correct vehicle for your transfer to Narvik. Upon arrival you will check into the Rica Hotel and have time to settle into your room before enjoying a welcome meal. Your guide will then meet you in reception for a briefing on the surrounding area and on foot you will explore a little into the countryside and hopefully catch your first glimpse of the Northern lights.
Day 2: Visit to the Arctic Mountain
This morning you will be met by your guide to transfer to Narvikfjellet, known locally as the Arctic City Mountain. Here you will travel by Gondola up to an altitude of 656 metres above sea level – this journey takes just 7 minutes. When you disembark the Gondola you will feel like you are on top of the world! On a clear day you have beautiful views of the fjords, mountains and cities of this beautiful area. Once you have taken as many photographs as you wish you can either choose to enjoy a coffee in the mountain restaurant or there are some short walking trails around the viewpoint. Lunch will be served in the restaurant and at the appointed time the whole group will transfer back down in the cable car for the transfer back to the hotel.
Day 3: An Arctic train journey and Lunch at Tinja Mountain Lodge
After breakfast you will transfer to Narvik train station to board your train which will travel along the Ofotbanen railway – this train journey is considered to be one of the most spectacular in the world. You will join the train on its journey between Narvik to Kiruna in Sweden. This section of the journey with its incredible landscape and dramatic mountain formations is a truly unique and memorable experience. The original route was constructed in 1903 and was a hugely demanding undertaking designed to transport iron ore from the mines in Kiruna to the shipping port of Narvik.
You will travel around 42km from Narvik to the Swedish border and you can sit back and enjoy the scenery change from Fjords to dramatic, uninhabited, wild mountain setting. The stations along the route are in stark contrast to the wild landscape. They are perfectly maintained, small charming buildings which seem to pop up from the wild landscape.
Following the train journey you will be picked up by bus and transferred to Tinja Mountain Lodge where a delicious lunch will be served. The lunch will be based on the traditional Sámi culture and could include Reindeer, salmon and lingonberries. You will then have some free time to relax before transferring to Restaurant Linken in the centre of Narvik for a truly delicious meal. Our MD, Alistair, is a real foodie and he describes the meal at this restaurant as one of the best meals he has ever had in Norway.
Day 4: Polar Park and return home
This morning you will transfer to the Polar Park for a tour of the world’s northernmost zoo. Today you will meet the big predators of the Arctic including Lynx, wolf and wolverine. The Park also has a family of Brown Bears but unfortunately they are likely to be in hibernation during your visit. The Polar Park is also home to moose, red deer, reindeer, musk ox and polar fox. The park is a wonderful way to end your stay in Norway but for a real once in a lifetime experience you can also add the famous ‘kisses with wolves’ experience (supplements apply) where with one of the park employees a small group will enter the enclosure and interact with these magnificent creatures!
After the park you will continue onto the airport to catch your return flight home and back to reality!