Arctic Explorer

Arctic Explorer

A fly-drive holiday including all the highlights of Arctic Norway - the Lofoten Islands, Tromsø, Alta, Honningsvåg, North Cape and Hammerfest!

The holiday starts in Tromsø, then takes you to North Cape, at the very top of Norway - where the Midnight Sun shines from 13 May - 29 July. At Hammerfest, you put the car on the Coastal Voyage (Hurtigruten) ship and have two days to relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery from a different perspective as you head south towards the magical Lofoten Islands.

You will spend three nights in Svolvær, the ‘capital’ of the Lofoten Islands, then head northwards to Narvik, with the option of a trip into Swedish Lapland, before returning to Tromsø.

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Fly- drive, 13 nights

Prices from: £2895

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01274 875 199

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Day 1

Arrive in Tromsø where you will spend the next two days exploring this ’Arctic capital’.

2 nights TROMSØ - Scandic Ishavhotel (B)


Day 3

Collect your hire car from the Avis office in downtown Tromsø. Take the scenic route including two ferries, through the beautiful Lyngen Alps and along the coast to Alta. (190 miles).

1 night ALTA - Thon Hotel Alta (B)


Day 4

Head north through the wild and desolate landscape, then via a sub-sea tunnel to the island of Magerøya and Honningsvåg (110miles).

2 nights HONNINGSVÅG - Scandic Hotel Honningsvåg (B)


Day 6

Embark on the scenic route from Honningsvåg to Hammerfest (110 miles).

1 night HAMMERFEST - Thon Hotel Hammerfest (B)


Day 7

In the late morning you can put the car on the southbound Coastal Voyage and relax and enjoy the scenery from the ’other side’ as you head south towards Tromsø.

1 night ONBOARD SHIP - Hurtigruten (B)


Day 8

A day of truly spectacular scenery - through the Vesterålen Islands, with a detour into the amazing Trollfjord, then through the narrow Raftsund Strait to Lofoten, arriving in Svolvær at 18.30.

3 nights SVOLVÆR - Svinøya Rorbuer (SC)


Day 9 & 10

Mostly connected by bridges and tunnels, the beautiful Lofoten Islands are all yours to explore as you please.


Day 11

Svolvær - Narvik via the scenic new Lofast road (148 miles). On your free day in Narvik we encourage you to take the spectacular Ofoten Railway all the way up to the Swedish border at Bjørnfjell.

There is an automatic ticket machine at the Narvik station, and then all one need do is jump on the train and settle down for a wonderful sightseeing trip. It takes less than three hours, including a change of train at the border at Riksgränsen. You can however hop off at either Katterat or Bjørnfjell and walk down the Rallarvegen trail to the fjord at Rombaksbotn. Don’t forget to enquire at the tourist information office on Narvik station for information about how to get back from Rombaksbotn to Narvik.

2 nights - NARVIK - Grand Royal Hotel (B)


Day 13

Enjoy the scenic drive from Narvik to Tromsø (150 miles).

1 night TROMSØ - Scandic Ishavhotel (B)


Day 14

Return hire-car to Tromsø airport in early afternoon, prior to homeward flight via Oslo.

Departure Day: Daily according to flight schedules.
Departure Dates: 20 May - 20 Sep 2017
Duration: 13 nights

Price: Price is based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room throughout.

ARCTIC EXPLORER
Dep. Dates Price from
per person
Single supp.
20 May - 20 Sep 2017 £2895 On request

Price includes:

  • Scheduled flights with SAS in SAS Go class from Heathrow Airport to Tromsø (via Oslo) including taxes.
  • Car Hire with Europcar for a period of 12 days based on a VW Golf or similar.  Rental includes unlimited mileage, theft protection, CDW, airport/city surcharge and tax.
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation as detailed based on a double/twin room with shower and WC for two people including breakfast.
  • 3 nights rorbu accommodation in the Lofoten Islands based on a rorbu with bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchenette.  Self-catering.  
  • Overnight Hurtigruten journey from Hammerfest to Svolvær based on an outside unspecified cabin with shower/WC including breakfast and transportation of car.
  • Regional motoring map.

NB! This holiday features two short domestic ferry crossings which are NOT included in the holiday price and should be paid locally, total estimated price approximately NOK450 (£45).

Svinøya Rorbuer***

Svinoya Rorbuer

30 original and newly built rorbu cabins of a high standard. Each cabin has from one to three double bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchenette in conjunction with the living room, and a modern bathroom with shower and toilet. All have cable-TV. All cabins are winter insulated. Considerable emphasis has been placed on maintaining the authenticity of the rorbu cabins. Time-honoured craftsmanship and timber have been preserved in order to provide a feeling of what a rorbu cabin was like in the days when the fishermen harvested the seas of Lofoten on boats with only oars and sails.

Svinøya Rorbuer also includes one of the most distinctive restaurants in the Lofoten Islands. The Børsen Spiseri is housed in a venerable quayside warehouse dating back to 1828. Most of the building's historical attributes have been preserved, providing an atmosphere with an aroma of tar and rope! Both meat and fish dishes are served here, made from Lofoten's unique and fresh, local ingredients. In the same building you find the former general store, which is a tiny museum in its own right. Old wares and equipment from bygone times still hang from the ceiling there, taking you 100 years back in time.

Want to know more about your hosts? Meet the People - Svinøya Rorbuer


Scandic Hotel Honningsvåg ***

Scandic Hotel Honningsvag

Situated beautifully to overlook the Hurtigruten quay and Honningsvåg habour. The hotel is also a good base for those wishing to visit North Cape, just 35 km away. All rooms are equipped with cable TV, wifi and ensuite bathroom. Available car parking. There is a bar and restaurant serving good quality food in the evening and a breakfast buffet in the morning. For an extra bit of indulgence why not head to the sauna? Honningsvåg  has a lot to offer with exciting activities and adventures. This charming village is the most northern in Norway and the world!


Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten ship

We don't like to use the word cruising for Hurtigruten since it is so much more.  This is a wonderful means of transportation and accommodation; no fancy dress parties, cabarets or days at sea with no land in sight - this is a slow, gentle exploration of beautiful scenery with local food, tradition and community involvement.  The true 'Norwegian Coastal Voyage'.

Hurtigruten ships have been a staple along the Norwegian coast since 1893. The current fleet consists of classic ships, ships built in the late nineties, and ships built after the millennium. The ships are regular service vessels carrying freight, mail and passengers along the 2,500 nautical miles of coastline from Bergen to Kirkenes. Accommodation is very comfortable in two, three and four berth cabins (all our clients receive outside cabins with porthole or window) and meals are of a very good standard with breakfast and lunch being substantial buffet meals and dinner being a 3-course served dinner.  Particular focus is placed on locally sourced ingredients from local suppliers - chefs take the opportunity, when in port en-route, to purchase quality foods guaranteed to provide a true flavour of the destinations you visit. Please note, not all our holidays include lunch and dinner therefore do check what each holiday price includes.

The public areas of the ship offer plenty of lounge seating and there is a bar (certain ships will have more than one), cafeteria and shop.


Scandic Ishavshotel ****, Tromsø

Scandic Ishavshotel, Tromso, Norway

This hotel is something of a landmark, located directly in the harbour, with a view across the sound.  This is the very heart of Tromsø and is situated amongst the city's shops, restaurants, bars and within close proximity to the airport bus stop and the Tourist Information Office.  The hotel has a lovely modern restaurant, Roast Restaurant, serving delicacies from the sea and local meat.  There is also cosy bar and lounge area on the first floor.  All rooms are equipped with extremely comfortable beds, TV, telephone, mini-bar, trouser-press and hairdryer and all our clients receive a superior sea-view room as standard. All rooms have free WiFi.  Lift to all floors.  A truly fabulous buffet breakfast is served with a made-to-order omelette station, cold cuts of meat to raw fish, a cooked breakfast and fruit and muesli.


Thon Hotel Alta

Thon Hotel Alta

Thon Hotel Alta is located centrally in Alta, and is within a short walking distance to bars, shopping and entertainment. All rooms are modern double rooms decorated in bright colours with en suite facilities. As near as all rooms have a view over the beautiful Alta Fjord and some overlooking the stunning Northern Lights Cathedral. Half of the rooms are equipped with a mini kitchen and basic kitchen appliances, and are very well suited for longer stays or for families travelling with children. 

A varied breakfast buffet is served every day at Peppes Pizza, which is directly connected to the hotel. Peppes Pizza also serves lunch and dinner offering pizza, pasta, salads and a selection of light dishes.

Here we have provided some extra information that you may find useful.  Let us know if you think we should add anything to the list.

Who is this holiday suitable for?
All those who appreciate amazing scenery, unspoilt nature, the opportunity to view Sea Eagles and those who enjoy walking, hiking, photography and a general lack of crowds.  As you will be driving from place to place you will also need a valid driving licence.

What sort of clothing will I need?
Norway does not have a dress code and most of the time you will find people dressed for the weather rather than dressed for the occasion.  That said, when the Norwegians do have something to celebrate i.e. anniversary, birthday etc they will dress up (men in suits and ties) and you may see family gatherings in some of the a la carte restaurants where this is the case.  This is their choice as special occasions are still marked in this way in Norway.  You may dress how you are most comfortable though common sense is the order of the day - shorts, T-shirts and flip flops will look out of place in a gourmet restaurant in the evening.

For those of you who intend to go hiking then you will need your hiking gear; good boots, outdoor clothing, back-pack and, if going off the beaten track, knowledge of navigation.  Always let your accommodation know if you are going 'off-roading' so they know to look out for you later in the day...

Temperatures on the islands may be a little cooler than in the UK at the same time of the year, however, this may also not be the case!  Suzel commented on one of her good friend's suntans (a friend from the Lofotens) and asked her where she'd been - "My garden" was the response.  They had had three weeks of 27 degrees...  Be prepared for anything.

Are special diets catered for?
Absolutely.  Just make sure you let us know at the time of booking then we can inform everyone who will be welcoming you to ensure delicious alternatives are provided.

How difficult is it to drive in Norway?
Norway is a huge country with a tiny population so it stands to reason that the roads are not the most crowded you will ever drive on!  Like all countries around the world you will find the cities the busiest and more challenging to negotiate, but overall you will find you have time to think about where you are driving and very little traffic compared to home.

Our friends at Visit Norway have put together an excellent information page regarding driving in Norway (rules, regulations, sppeds etc) and we would recommend you visit it by clicking here.

Is there an age limit for driving in Norway?
Not an upper one, no.  With our car hire company you can be 99 years of age; as long as you still have a valid driving license at home then you are OK to drive in Norway.  There is, however, a lower age limit for driving a hire car in Norway and this is 25 years old at prices quoted for our holidays, though you can drive from 19 years of age for a supplement.  This is all to do with insurance and not that we don't like people under 25 years old!

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