An exclusive 7 day Drive & Discover Road Trip holiday exploring the spectacular glacial rock formations, indented bays, huddled red ochre fishing villages and bone white sandy beaches, all overflown by the Arctic birdlife of the Vesteralen and Lofoten Archipelagos . You'll meet Bjorn Utsol several time contestant in the world’s most northerly endurance dog race; reindeer herders Laila & Arild Inga , Sailor Engineer turned whale spotter Jeremy Asen , Northern Lights fanatics Rob Stammes and Therese van Nieuwenhoven . You'll see Minke & Orcas, moose wandering close to the road, cormorants, gannets and sea eagles and of course the unmatched bewiching beauty of the Northern Lights dancing with Cassiopeia in the northern sky.
Sitting in the embrace of Langoya’s mountains, the Sortland has a functional exterior and a somewhat retro 60’s public area interior: all mottled white slate tiles, white painted brick work with slatted vertical blinds and tube down lighters. There is a large breakfast room with glazing on two sides and seating on two levels broken up into comfort zones. The 46 twin rooms all have private WC/Shower and were all renovated in 2010 and, whilst on the small side, are magnified by being painted a muted white, set off by natural wooden flooring and brown rugs. There is a ‘library room’, lined with books and manuscripts by local boy made good Lars Saaby Christensen, which also serves as a bar and a la carte dining room and a small lounge area in reception with a small stock of soft drinks, beer, sweets and snacks for sale and coffee on tap for free.
Meticulously built with reclaimed timber in the style of fisherman’s Rorbuer each cabin has from one to three double bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchenette adjacent to the living room, and a modern bathroom with shower and toilet. All are winter insulated and have cable-TV.
Fly from the UK 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle to Evenes in Northern Norway. Meet our car hire rep who will brief you on winter driving and drive (1 1/2 hrs) the E10/85 motorway to Sortland on the Vesteralen Archipalago. Check in to the recently renovated Hotel Sortland where you will stay for 3 nights.
After breakfast drive up to Andenes for a tour of the Whale Centre before boarding M.S. Reine and sailing out into the Norwegian Sea. Your skipper will be particularly looking out for Humpbacks ‘flipping’ their fan tails and sky hopping Orcas with their characteristic white markings feeding off the migrating herring. With our exclusive arrangement you can also opt, depending on the weather conditions, for going to sea in a RIB for a more 'up close & personal' experience. Return along the western coast of Andoy stopping as often as you want for photo stops, a must see being the diminutive village of Bleik with its two mile bone white beach.
after breakfast drive the short distance to Bjorn and Hilde Utsol’s clapboard home where they keep a small pack of cross bred Alaskan and Siberian huskies. In their guest Lavvu, Hilde talks through mushing techniques, fortifies you with hot coffee and introduces you to the dogs. After helping rein up yours to a traditional larch wood sled, mush in the surrounding snow layered countryside returning to the lavvu for lunch.
after breakfast board a Hutrigruten steamer which docks just across the road from the hotel for a 4 hour cruise south to Svolvaer on the Lofoten archipelago. Like a ruby in this diamond studded section of the famous Hurtigruten route the passage bewteen the two archipelagos is marked with jagged mountain peaks topped with snow, circling artcic terns and and circles of mist. Dock at 6.30 and drive the short distance to your hotel.
after breakfast set off along the southern shore of the Lofoten Archipelago to discover what for many Norwegians, is considered the ‘soul’ of Norway. Stop at Ballstad dominated by the imperious Skottinden on the Buksnejorden, Reine with its waterside Rorbu and working fishing fleet and the Gulf Stream bathed village of Ramberg for lunch at the eponymous Gjestegard. Continue to Å with its cluster of mustard and rust coloured buildings sheltered from the Atlantic by vertiginous rock faces before stopping at Vitken for a demonstration of a local glass blower’s art. On your return journey stop off at the Viking style long house at Loftr from where you can also sopt for Northern Lights.
Take a day out to wander in in Svolvaer with its in the evening drive over to Rob Stammes and Therese van Nieuwenhoven's Polar Light Centre at Straumnes. In their lecture room you'll be able to see the evening's aurora activity on a special monitor before taking a night walk to the beach where it is dark, apart from lights from fishing boats and other islands.Here you can view the auroras from the north and later from the east above the mountain to the west with the sound of the waves and the green colour of the northern lights reflecting in the sea.
After breakfast drive through snow-capped mountain landscapes to Karingen and Maret & Peder Buljo’s ‘Boazorvazzi’ (The Reindeer Sheperd Café) for lunch during which Maret & Peder recount their Sami heritage, their work to preserve it and walk you to their Herd in the Corral. Continue on to Evenes airport and return your car before your return flight to the UK.
Guide prices are in part based on our mid-level contract air fares which are veriable in real time unlike our ground supplier contract costs which are generally fixed. We don’t do fancy lead in prices and the time you confirm your booking always use the lowest air fare available. This may mean the confirmed price of your holiday being slightly less or more than the guide price in which case a proportionate reduction-supplement will apply. Carpe Diem = the earlier you book the better, especially for public & school holidays.