Combine the arctic capital of Tromsø with the impressive Lofoten Islands, known for its many nature attractions, charming villages off the beaten track, dramatic cliffs and blue-watered bays. Cruise with Hurtigruten from Tromsø via Vesterålen, Raftsundet and the Trollfjord to Lofoten. Spend three full days exploring one of the most beautiful parts of Norway.
This tour can commence in: Tromsø
Arrival in Tromsø according to your own itinerary. Tromsø, which is located in Northern Norway, is the world’s most northern university town and the largest city in the Nordic countries north of the Arctic Circle. The city lies between the sharp craggy peaks of the Lyngen Alps, and combines wild scenery with urban life. Tromsø has many names to live up to, including Paris of the North and the Gateway to the Arctic to name a few. Accommodation in Tromsø.
Breakfast at the hotel. This day is at your own leisure to explore the arctic city of Tromsø. We recommend a visit to the Arctic Cathedral, as well as a trip with the gondola lift to Mount Storsteinen. At 420 metres above sea level you will have excellent view of the city and the surrounding area. Furthermore we recommend a visit to the Polaria Arctic Aquarium, the Polar Museum and the Mack brewery. At midnight you will embark on a southbound cruise with Hurtigruten, the world’s most beautiful sea voyage. If booking Hotel category 1 you will be able to keep your hotel room in Tromsø until embarkation. Accommodation onboard.
In the morning the cruise will reach Harstad, the largest town on the Vesterålen Islands. From there the cruise will continue along the Vesterålen Islands to Lofoten Islands. As an alternative you can join an optional shore excursion across the Vesterålen Islands from Harstad to Sortland. After Sortland the cruise will continue through Raftsundet, the narrow sound that will bring you from Vesterålen to Vestfjorden and the Lofoten Islands. If the weather permits the ship will also make a detour to the Trollfjord from the end of April. Both Raftsundet and the Trollfjord are among Hurtigruten’s highlights during it's southbound cruise from Kirkenes to Bergen. At 6.30 pm you will arrive in Svolvær, the undisputed capital of the Lofoten Islands. Here you will disembark, but before saying goodbye to Hurtigruten you have the possibility to join one of the shore excursions on the Lofoten Islands. Accommodation in Svolvær.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will pick up your rental car for the next three days, allowing you to explore one of the most beautiful places in Norway; the Lofoten Islands (rental car not included). The island group is known for its many nature attractions, charming villages off the beaten track, dramatic cliffs and blue-watered bays. The Lofoten Islands are home and workplace of thousands of fishermen who have learned to live in tune with the moods of sea and sky, settling in villages in sheltered bays and taking full advantage of the temperate effect of the Gulf Stream. Two of the most recognizable sights are therefore the fishermen’s cabins (=rorbu) and the Stockfish which is cod that has been hung to dry on a wooden frame. As you head south-west towards Å we recommend several stops along the way, including a detour to Henningsvær. The road leading out to this charming village is an attraction in itself, but while in Henningsvær don’t miss out on the art gallery Lofotens Hus where you will find the largest collection of North Norwegian paintings from last century. Continue on road E10 to Borg where we recommend a visit at the Lofotr Viking Museum, where you will find a recreation of the largest Viking building ever found, an original chieftain house dating from around 500 AD. As you continue south the scenery becomes more and more spectacular and is characterized by a narrow coastline, steep mountain formations and the strong tidal currents that flow between the islands. The sea and the Ice Ages have formed deep fjords, craggy peaks and a number of coastal caves. Your home for the next two nights is our very own rorbu at Tind, beautifully located by the sea and 5 minutes by foot from Å (see Hotel Category for details).
This day is at your own leisure to enjoy the peaceful surroundings at Tind. Listen to the birds, smell the ocean and get mesmerized by the beautiful views from your rorbu. Prepare breakfast yourself, or go to the nearby restaurant in Å. Afterwards it is time to explore the southern part of Lofoten; the Moskenes region. The area offers great hiking possibilities on marked trails, but we also highly recommend a cruise with the mail boat on the Reinefjord, either during the day or in the evening under the Midnight Sun. The boat will take you to several small settlements in places you will be amazed that people live. If you would like to combine the cruise with a hiking trip you can catch the morning departure and get off at i.e.Vindsted from where you can hike to Bunesstranda beach on the northern side of Lofoten (facing the Norwegian Sea). Return to Reine by boat in the afternoon. Other recommended activities include biking, fishing trips, RIB safari to the Moskenes maelstrom and an excursion to Rafsvikhula Cave. Rorbu accommodation in Tind.
Today you will leave the Moskenes region and head north-east again to Svolvær. Along the route we recommend a detour to the small fishing village of Nusfjord, one of Norway’s oldest and best preserved fishing village (entrance fee not included). Here you will find several Fisherman’s cabins, a traditional country store, private homes, a restaurant and the fish oil mill. As you continue we recommend a stop to visit the glassblower’s cabin Glasshytta in Vikten, where you will find handicrafts made from recycled glass of various different colours mixed with quartz from Lofoten. As you reach Leknes we recommend taking the more scenic route towards Stamsund and along the Vestfjord to Smorten and onwards to Svolvær where you can return your car (unless you want to drive it to the airport). Accommodation in Svolvær.
It is possible to stay overnight in Harstad instead of Svolvær. The drive from Tind takes about 5 hours (300km). It is possible to return your rental car in Harstad but most rental car companies will charge a one way fee.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Svolvær according to your own itinerary. You can either fly from Svolvær via Bodø to Oslo (rental car or taxi to the airport) or take a direct flight from Harstad-Narvik Airport Evenes (return the rental car there or take the public bus from Svolvær).