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4th April 2018
Breathtaking landscapes, long sandy beaches, Sea Eagles, authentic fishermen's huts and the freshest fish on the planet! The Lofoten Islands are a magical Arctic archipelago teeming with history, culture, nature and wildlife.
This whole region offers some of the most magnificent, unspoilt scenery you will find anywhere in the world and is a reason why it is so popular with photographers, writers, artists and pure nature lovers. This holiday with hire-car offers the true quintessential Lofoten experience with the majority of your time staying on the islands in traditional fishermen cabins known as rorbuers, surrounded by steep mountains and sharp peaks to explore at your own leisure.
Each destination offers something completely different, but overall they complement one another perfectly.
Arrive Bodø Airport. Collect your hire car from the airport and drive to your centrally located hotel (approx 1 mile). Bodø is the town of Sea Eagles and nowhere in the world is there a larger stock of this majestic bird.
1 night BODØ - Thon Hotel Nordlys (3 star plus)
Mid-afternoon departure by Hurtigruten ship for the Lofoten Islands. This is a lovely, relaxing approach to the islands with magnificent scenery and really showcases the jagged mountain backdrop of the islands. Arrive in Stamsund at 1900 and continue with a leisurely drive to the beautiful little village of Nusfjord, one of Lofoten’s oldest and best preserved fishing villages. Here you will spend the next three nights surrounded by inspiring scenery.
3 nights NUSFJORD - Nusfjord Rorbuer
Days 3 & 4
There is much to see and do in the southern area of the Lofoten Islands. The landscape itself is world famous and we recommend you drive down to the very bottom of the islands and visit Å, Hamnøy and Reine - all extremely beautiful and photogenic areas.
Have a relaxing morning before taking the coastal drive northwards to Svolvær, the largest town on the islands, with one of the most important harbours in Northern Norway. Your rorbu accommodation is located on the island of Svinøya which is attached to the mainland by bridge.
3 nights SVOLVÆR - Svinøya Rorbuer (3/4 depending upon rorbu style)
Days 6 & 7
Explore the northern attractions of the Lofoten Islands. How about a boat trip to the famous Trollfjord for another opportunity to spot sea eagles? (See Excursion tab)
Cross the fjord by car ferry to Hamarøy on Norway’s mainland (duration 2hrs 15 mins). NB! In May and September an alternative ferry crossing will be used due to sailing schedules.Hamarøy is blessed with dramatically beautiful scenery; towering mountains, forests and fertile farmland, skerries and islands, fjords and wide open sea. A relaxing day before enjoying a delicious dinner in your hotel’s renowned restaurant, part of the Arctic Menu culinary network. Day’s driving approx 75 miles (Jun-Aug), 142 miles (May/Sept).
1 night ENGAN - Kobbelv Vertshus
Southwards, alongside Leirfjord, towards Fauske and out towards the coast and Bodø Airport (70 miles). Leave your hire car at the airport. Return flight to the UK or alternatively why not extend your stay in Tromsø - see left for details.
Departure Days: Mon - Thu (other days on req).
Departure Dates: 1 May - 23 September 2018
Duration: 8 nights
Price: Price is based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room in hotels and a rorbu for two people on the Lofoten Islands. Sole travellers and single supplements on request.
|Departure Dates||Price per person|
|1 May - 23 September 2018||£2560|
|The deposit payment for this holiday is £300 per person|
THON HOTEL NORDLYS (3 star plus) - Bodø
Thon Hotel Nordlys is centrally located close to the marina and main harbour in Bodø. The hotel has magnificent views out over the Vestfjord to the Lofoten Wall mountains. The hotel is associated with Egon Restaurant which is where breakfast is served plus a varied dinner menu of light meals including steaks, hamburgers, pizzas and fish dishes. The hotel also has a bar plus a free Nespresso coffee machine in the Reception area. All our featured holidays are based on a superior room with a double bed or twin beds, both with private shower and WC, hairdryer, phone, mini-bar, and TV with a variety of channels plus free WiFi. All superior rooms have a view of Bodø marina/harbour.
SVINØYA RORBUER (3/4 star depending upon rorbu style) - Svolvær, Lofoten Islands
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
Kobbelv Vertshus is a popular guesthouse in a picturesque location overlooking fjords and mountains. Enhancing the view is the terrace where you can see Leirfjord and Baggfossen waterfall. The guesthouse is simple but all rooms are en-suite and include a TV and wireless internet. The guesthouse prides itself on its friendly staff and restaurant which serves locally produced food.
Hege, the manager of the hotel, knows all the local hiking routes and areas of interest. Just ask for her recommendations before setting off or find her fishing somewhere during your exploration!
Nusfjord Rorbuer is located in one of the oldest and best-preserved fishing villages with long Lofoten fishery traditions and therefore offers unique and incredible views of the region. All rorbuer (fisherman's cabins) have modern kitchen facilities and are suitable for the preparation of self-caught fish, but for those who want to relax and experience the work of a chef, the tasteful and exciting alternative to home-made cooking is Restaurant Karoline. As well as the restaurant is Oriana Pub – Nusfjord's own pub where simple tasty dishes are served.
The Lofoten Islands and Hamarøy
We want you to really enjoy your stay in the Nordland region so we have a few suggestions for things we think you should do:
Lofotr, the Viking museum at Borg
1983 saw the start of the excavation of a site in the Lofotens after the discovery of what appeared to be a viking longhouse. Between 1986 - 1989 specialists scholars from the entire Nordic area converged in Borg to assist with and witness the excavations which slowly but surely uncovered the largest house in the Viking world, both in Norway and in Europe. The entire longhouse was recreated exactly as it would have been and is a fabulous and interesting place to visit. For more information click here.
Get up close and personal with the Lofoten Islands by kayak
Our friends at Lofoten Aktiv offer a selection of full and half day trips depending on your inclination and ability. Let us pre-book one of their trips in advance or contact them locally, the choice is yours. For more information click here.
Dinner at Børsen Spiseri
Enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner at Børsen Spiseri, the lovely gourmet restaurant belonging to Svinøya Rorbuer. The restaurant has bags of 'Lofoten Atmosphere' and has a reputation for the quality of its food, especially fish! Pre-book a table for their standard 3-course menu (£43 per person) or their gourmet 3-course menu (£54 per person).
Bacalao Restaurant, Svolvær
Have a leisurely drink and a snack to eat at Bacalao, Svolvær's popular boardwak bar/restaurant. It's a great place to catch the locals...
Stop off at Hamsunsenteret en route from Svolvær to Engan or visit during your stay. The museum is dedicated to the life and work of Knut Hamsun, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920, and is an architectural statement in its own right. For more information click here.
Walking from Engan
Put on your hiking boots and head out on foot from Kobbelv Vertshus at Engan. Just ask Hege, the manager, to recommend the best routes - she knows all the best spots.
Optional Extra: Extend your stay in Tromsø
Price per person £290 - includes domestic flight from Bodø to Tromsø, 2 nights at Scandic Ishavshotel in a superior sea-view room including breakfast and returning home from Tromsø.
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 (and these are some of the FINEST hiking destinations you will ever visit) 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 in Bodø and Svolvær (the two busiest destinations you will be driving around) 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, speeds limits 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!
FOREIGN OFFICE & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE ADVICE
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, click here.