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Day 1: Arrive Helsinki
The ever-cool capital of Helsinki kick-starts your exploration of the ‘North’. On arrival, transfer to your hotel, then spend the rest of the day discovering the city your way before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception. Indulge in some of the local flavours at Kauppatori harbour square then stretch your legs along Helsinki’s elegant esplanade. It’s the perfect introduction to your upcoming journey across Scandinavia.
Hotel: Scandic Grand Marina
Day 2: Helsinki Sightseeing – Kuopio
A ‘Local Specialist’ reveals all the highlights of Helsinki and some hidden gems on this morning’s sightseeing tour. See the abstract Sibelius Monument, erected in honour of one of Finland’s beloved composers, the Olympic stadium, the Opera House and Finlandia Hall, with its modern marble façades. From ‘Stadi’ to Finland’s Lakeland, today’s scenic journey takes you through spruce forests and pastoral landscapes to Kuopio, a beloved summer sanctuary for the locals. Soak up the tranquil lakeside setting as you embark on an orientation tour, before continuing to our resort hotel where we dine this evening surrounded by Finnish forests and lakes.
Hotel: Break Sokos Tahkovuori, 2 nights
Day 3: Kuopio Free Day
Don’t resist the urge to explore the area on water on your full free day. You could board one of the many cruises that travel through South Karelia and admire the soul-stirring natural beauty of eastern Finland by boat. Visit the Pikku-Pietari market for a spot of souvenir shopping, then indulge in the kalakukko fish pie, a local favourite. For a bird’s-eye view of the exquisite lake scenery that surrounds the town, head up to Puijo Tower. Your Travel Director will provide suggestions on how best to spend your day.
Day 4: Kuopio – Rovaniemi
Head north through Finland’s lake district to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland. There’s time for a quick stop in the university town of Oulu en route, to watch the outdoorsy locals take full advantage of their liveable city. See how the city spans several islands and visit its harbour and market square before continuing to Rovaniemi where an orientation will take you past the Lumberjack Bridge, the Library and Lappia Hall, home to the city’s theatre.
Hotel: Scandic Pohjanhovi
Day 5: Rovaniemi – Saariselkä
Tell Santa how good you’ve been this year when you visit him at his Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle. ‘Dive Into Culture’ and see his office and post office, where every year Christmas magic happens. Enjoy some free time to explore Rovaniemi on your own or consider delving into the fascinating world of Arctic research and a Rovaniemi of the past when you join an Optional Experience to the Arctic Centre and Pioneer Farm. Later, travel north to the popular winter-sports resort of Saariselkä.
Hotel: Santa’s Tunturi
Day 6: Saariselkä – Honningsvåg
It doesn’t get more north in Norway than Honningsvåg, today’s final destination and the gateway to the North Cape. During your free time, consider joining an optional Sea Birds and Arctic Cruise to explore the chilly waters of the Barents Sea and the creatures that find sanctuary in its midst. After dinner at your hotel, head to the North Cape Visitor Centre to see the Midnight Sun from your ethereal vantage point, the ‘Edge of the World’.
Hotel: Scandic Nordkapp
Day 7: Honningsvåg – Alta
Continue through Norway’s Finnmark region to Alta. You could choose to experience an integral part of Norwegian culture first-hand, joining an optional visit to a Husky farm to meet the Alaskan Husky dogs and encounter the beauty of the Arctic. Arriving in Alta, you’ll view the modern Northern Lights Cathedral before an evening at leisure.
Hotel: Thon Alta
Day 8: Alta – Tromsø
Follow the winding route along the fjords of northern Norway to Tromsø, the ‘Gateway to the Arctic’. Discover a multicultural community which thrives in its Arctic Circle surrounds. The backdrop may be snow-capped, but there’s nothing chilly about the warmth of the locals, as you’ll come to discover on your free evening in this ‘capital of the north’.
Hotel: Clarion The Edge
Day 9: Tromsø – Svolvær (Lofoten Islands)
Keep your cameras ready for a day of soul-stirring views. You’ll journey south from Tromsø to Svolvær, the perfect base from which to explore Norway’s exquisite Lofoten Islands. En route, stop for an exclusive ‘Be My Guest’ dinner with Jorunn, Sven-Magne and the resident goats of Den Sorte Gryte Goat Farm, which has been in the family since the 16th century. Sample the local speciality brown cheese and discover the Norwegian philosophy of friluftsliv before arriving in the gateway to the Lofoten Peninsula. The statue of Fiserkona, the fisherman’s wife, stands at the harbour entrance against a backdrop of cod drying racks, giving visitors a taste and smell of the town’s seafaring roots.
Hotel: Thon, 2 nights
Day 10: Svolvær (Lofoten Islands) Free Time
Lace up your boots and prepare for a day of adventure. The Lofoten Islands is paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and, with a variety of optional activities on offer to explore the surrounding natural beauty, you’re in for a busy day. You could choose to spend your free time hiking, fishing or cruising, or delve into the area’s Viking connections with a visit to the Lofotr Viking Museum. As the sun refuses to set on another spectacular Scandinavian day, you’ll enjoy an evening at leisure
Day 11: Svolvær (Lofoten Islands) – Mo I Rana
Spend the day relaxing as glorious Norwegian landscapes unfold along your journey south. You’ll see glaciers and fjords as you wind your way towards Mo I Rana, re-crossing the Arctic Circle and passing Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park, Junkerdal National Park and the ‘Blood Road’, built by prisoners during World War II. After a day of scenic driving, you’ll arrive in Mo I Rana in time for dinner at your hotel.
Hotel: Scandic Meyergarden
Day 12: Mo I Rana – Trondheim
This morning we journey south to Trondheim, stopping en route in the amusingly named village of Hell, Norway. With Trondheim’s youthful atmosphere and centuries-old Viking heritage, you’ll wish you had more time to visit. This afternoon, you’ll see its 11th-century Nidaros Cathedral, built over the burial site of King Olav II who became the patron saint of the nation. Then, admire the ornamental red portals of the Old Town Bridge and the colourful façades on Kongens gate, one of Trondheim’s main streets.
Hotel: Scandic Lerkendal
Day 13: Trondheim – Geiranger
The ‘Queen of the Fjords’ takes centre stage today and you’ll quickly discover why she is justifiably inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with Nærøyfjord. A special treat awaits as you spend the night at one of Trafalgar’s ‘Stays with Stories’ – Hotel Geiranger, which offers spectacular views and authentic Norwegian hospitality. Join your fellow travellers for dinner at your hotel against the backdrop of your enchanting natural surroundings.
Hotel: Geiranger, 2 nights
Day 14: Geiranger Free Day
Soak up the wonder of this spectacular feat of nature on a full free day to encounter Geirangerfjord on your own terms. Consider an Optional Experience along Trollstigen Road and admire the feat of engineering it took to carve 11 hairpin turns into the steep mountain slope. Alternatively, embark on an optional visit to the Dalsnibba Skywalk for spectacular views of the fjord below with a scenic cruise past its tumbling waterfalls and snow-capped peaks.
Day 15: Geiranger – Lom – Lillehammer – Oslo
High peaks surround you along your journey to Lom, the gateway to Jotunheimen Mountains, where this morning you’ll visit the 12th-century wooden Stave church. Visit Lillehammer, where you’ll learn about the hugely successful 1994 Winter Olympic games, then continue to Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital.
Hotel: Scandic Solli
Day 16: Oslo Sightseeing – Frederikshavn
This morning, join a ‘Local Specialist’ for a sightseeing tour which includes views of the medieval fortress of Akershus, the 19th-century Royal Palace and the impressive modern Opera House which seems to rise up from the harbour’s waters. Visit the wonderland of Norwegian sculptures left behind by Gustav Vigeland in his Sculpture Park. Next, slice across the Skagerrak strait on board your ferry bound for Denmark and the harbour town of Frederikshavn. Its strategic location as a naval base and trading town has left its mark on the city and you’ll have the evening on your own to explore its centuries-old roots after an orientation tour.
Day 17: Frederikshavn – Odense – Copenhagen
Visit Odense, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. Then travel south down the Jutland Peninsula, bound for the island of Zealand and the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The city is as enchanting today as it was when it inspired Hans Christian Andersen to write his celebrated fairy tales, as you’ll discover over the coming days. This evening is yours to explore Copenhagen as you wish. Consider an Optional Experience on an hour-long cruise along the canals followed by a visit to the village of Dragør with its tiny thatched cottages.
Hotel: Island, 2 nights
Day 18: Copenhagen Sightseeing and Free Time
Join your ‘Local Specialist’ this morning for a sightseeing tour through the city’s historic centre. See Christiansborg Palace, the 17th-century Børsen (Stock Exchange) and the demure Little Mermaid, watching over the promenade from her rock. You’ll have a free afternoon to finish your souvenir shopping. Consider heading to the colourful Nyhavn waterfront to rub shoulders with the cheerful locals. This evening, join your travel companions for a rousing Farewell Dinner to toast an epic journey across Scandinavia.
Day 19: Depart Copenhagen
As your journey draws to a close, bid your new friends a fond farewell and prepare for your return trip home
|2020 Dates & Prices||Twin Share||Solo Traveller|
|April: 16, 23, 30||$7,050.00||$8,810.00|
|May: 07, 14, 21||$7,050.00||$8,810.00|
|June: 18, 25||$6,950.00||$8,300.00|
|July: 02, 09, 16||$7,095.00||$8,445.00|
|July: 23, 30||$7,150.00||$8,910.00|
|August: 13, 20||$7,050.00||$8,810.00|
|Meals:||18 breakfasts, 9 dinners|
|Transport:||Luxury air-conditioned coach|
|Accommodation:||17 nights accommodation & 1 night cruising|
|Guide:||An expert Travel Director and separate Driver|
|Entrance Fees & Touring:||Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary|
* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.