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Norway
Fjords, Forests & Folklore

Starting in the buzzing city of Bergen and finishing in the Arctic wonderland that is Kirkenes, our team travelled through the spectacular west coast of Norway to discover all of the magic that this country has to offer. From brightly coloured timber houses and cosy lighthouse boltholes to husky farms and king crab safaris, this Scandi experience is like no other.

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Norway
Norway
Starting from
£7,500pp
Ideal Length
Two Weeks
Best time to go
Dec-Oct

Day One to Three
VELKOMMEN TIL NORGE

SPECTACULAR SCANDINAVIA

The appeal of Norway as a travel destination is straightforward; it is simply one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Beyond the intimidatingly majestic landscapes of snow-capped mountains, dramatic fjords and thunderous waterfalls, this Scandinavian country is home to a beguiling culture coloured by myth and folklore. Our team travelled from Bergen up the west coast of the country and through to the northeastern town of Kirkenes. Discovering picturesque cities, quaint towns, husky and reindeer farms and even an ice hotel along the way, this was a unique experience that opened our eyes to the splendours of this Scandinavian country. 

Second City

IT BEGINS IN BERGEN

Surrounded by the humbling Seven Mountains, the first destination of the journey is Norway’s so-called ‘second city’, Bergen. A place which at first appears comfortably stationed in an idyllic past, it doesn’t take much time here to realise that Bergen is in fact, very much looking to the future. The spirit of the city is young. In every exhibition, bar or boutique you stroll into, you’ll sense that refreshingly honest artistic attitude synonymous with the ‘Scandi-cool’ lifestyle. During the two days here, explore the city on foot to discover its cultural gems. Head to the waterside to see the iconic colourful timber buildings that date back to 1702, wander through Bergen Kunsthall to see works by international and local contemporary artists and when the weather permits, head up to Mount Fløyen to get unbeatable panoramic views of Bergen and its surroundings. 

DAY FOUR
NEXT STOP – ÅLESUND

Artistic Ålesund

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY IN NORWAY

After spending a few days soaking up the city sights in Bergen, it’s time to head north to the charming town of Ålesund. A 45-minute flight from Bergen, this port town acts as a gateway for travellers embarking on fjord and forest bound adventures. Named by The Times to be the most beautiful city in the country, don’t miss the city itself by rushing off into the wilderness too quickly. Spend a night here at the unique Molja Lighthouse suite at Hotel Brosundet and allow yourself some time to admire the architecture in the vibrant Art Nouveau district, browse through the numerous record shops, walk up to Fjellstua for picturesque views, and sample some of the local delicacies.

Between the Fjords

FROM THE WATER

From Ålesund, you can embark on a number of boat tours to explore the city’s surrounding fjords. Many of these journeys take place over several days, but for an on-the-water adventure that doesn’t require staying onboard overnight, the journey to Hjørundfjord, the closest fjord to the city, is only four and a half hours. For lunch, stop at the world-renowned Hotel Union Øye, an institution dating back to 1891 and considered to be the most beautiful hotel in the country.

Day Five to Seven
ESCAPE INTO THE WILDERNESS

Nature Meets Design

JUVET LANDSCAPE HOTEL

Image courtesy of Juvet Landscape Hotel

“Leave the world behind you” – this is the motto of the Juvet Landscape Hotel, and exactly what you’ll feel like you’re doing when you enter this surreal and beautiful hotel. Seamlessly blending meticulous contemporary design and architecture with raw and rugged nature, the Juvet Landscape Hotel is truly distinct in its conception. A 90-minute drive from Ålesund, the hotel feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere – and it kind of is. Positioned on the famous scenic route between fjord Geiranger and Trollstigen, it is the perfect base from which to discover these breathtaking sites.

The Choice is Yours

A BIRDHOUSE AND A GLASS CUBE

Image courtesy of Juvet Landscape Hotel

The hotel offers guests the choice of two accommodation options; a birdhouse or a glass cube. Named the ‘Landscape Rooms’, the glass cubes are luxury cube-style villas that boast uninterrupted views of the surroundings. Looking out onto the valley, the river or the courtyard, staying here you will feel the divide between yourself and nature melt away as you wake up to forests bathed in the morning sun and fall asleep to inky star-studded skies. Alternatively, the birdhouse rooms are perched on the slopes looking down on the landscape rooms and are inspired by the minimalist design of traditional Norweigan log houses.

Unreal Sights

Within The Wilderness

Regardless of the time of year, Juvet is an ideal location for outdoor adventures to truly immerse yourself in the stunning Norweigan landscape. From skiing in the wintertime, water rafting in the summer months, or fjord sightseeing almost all year round, here, nature really is your playground. Take the one hour’s drive to see the UNESCO fjords, Tafjord and Geirangerfjord then drive through the hairpin bends of the extraordinarily scenic Trollstigen mountain road.

Day Eight To Nine
TO TRONDHEIM

A Student's City

Heading Eastward

After Ålesund, the journey starts veering eastward. A 40-minute flight from Ålesund airport is the next destination on this Norweigan itinerary – the picturesque fjord city of Trondheim. The third-largest in Norway, Trondheim is a waterfront city with a vibrant character heavily influenced by the community of students living here, many of whom are responsible for organising the numerous museum and art exhibitions you can enjoy during your visit. Although unassuming in its appearance, for foodies looking to get a dose of local produce, the Scandic Nidelven is an ideal accommodation option. The waterside hotel is a frequent winner of the country’s ‘best breakfast’ title and works with local suppliers to get the fresh produce for their dishes. While in Trondheim, don’t miss the gothic architectural masterpiece that is the famous Nidaros Cathedral. 

Day Ten
TO TROMSØ

Base Camp

Into The Arctic Circle

From Trondheim, it’s a one-and-a-half-hour flight to the next destination, Tromsø. Or, for a more leisurely journey, spend a couple of nights slowly sailing your way up the coast on the original Norwegian post ship. A cultural hub that sits beyond the Arctic Circle, consider Tromsø as basecamp – the place to acclimate to new surroundings before embarking on a magical Arctic adventure (it was, in fact, the starting point for expeditions to the Arctic in the early 1900s). Located on Tromsø island, although the city is relatively isolated, it boasts numerous cultural sights to explore such as the quirky polar museum filled with taxidermy, the world’s northernmost botanical garden and of course, the landmark Arctic Cathedral. Just beyond the city’s borders are endless landscapes of total wilderness and Tromsø’s love for its natural environment is epitomised in its dedication to sustainable tourism.

Day Eleven to Thirteen
In Kirkenes

Bundle Up!

THE SNOW HOTEL 365

Image courtesy of Snowhotel Kirkenes

The Arctic adventure reaches its climax close to the Finnish and Russian borders in the small northeastern town of Kirkenes, a short flight from Tromsø. Here, guests enter a winter wonderland of eye-opening and adrenaline rushing experiences. For the first night in Kirkenes, stay in the Snowhotel 365 – the first hotel in the world made entirely from snow and ice. All furniture in the rooms (including the beds) are made from snow and ice so be sure to wrap up warm in the thick blankets and furs provided! The walls are adorned with impressive snow sculptures and carvings which are updated frequently as part of the hotel’s recurring competition.

Song of Sami

SAFARIS AND SAMI CULTURE

Image courtesy of Snowhotel Kirkenes

The enthusiastic team at Snowhotel encourages their guests to immerse themselves in all of the incredible activities on offer. With a calendar of experiences that run throughout the year, visitors will be invited to embark on extraordinary excursions led by the highly knowledgeable team. During the winter, hop on a snowmobile-pulled sledge and travel into the snowy landscapes to catch your own giant king crab (which you can then cook up for your own fresh seafood dinner), then visit the husky puppy farm where you will learn all about these incredible animals, their training and how they play an integral role in Arctic society and life here in Norway. Beyond this, guests have the opportunity to meet with the local Sami people, namely the Sami artist John Henrik Mienna who will introduce them to the reindeer and share Sami stories and songs around the campfire.

Room with a View

GAMME NORTHERN LIGHTS CABINS

Image courtesy of Snowhotel Kirkenes

Once you’ve braved your first night in the snow and ice room, for the final two nights in Kirkenes, the Snowhotel offers cosy lodge accommodation inspired by traditional fishing and hunting huts. The (heated) wooden cabins are positioned to give guests spectacular views of the fjord, the starry night skies, and if they’re lucky, the phenomenal Northern Lights.

Day Fourteen
THE END OF AN ADVENTURE

Fond Farewell

LEAVING ONE OF THE HAPPIEST COUNTRY ON EARTH

After two weeks of travelling up the west coast of Norway and into the Arctic Circle, this unique Norweigan adventure comes to an end. The feeling is a refreshing combination of exhausted accomplishment and revitalised energy. The breathtaking landscapes often hog much of the limelight when it comes to Norweigan tourism, but after some time here, you’ll realise that the real stars of the show are the people. From the student baristas sharing local tips as they expertly craft a hot chocolate for you, to the Sami people who generously share their culture and history, there is a glowing pride for this country that is so infectious, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the happiest countries on earth.

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