If you’re looking for somewhere to capture the whole family’s imagination – Norway’s Lofoten Islands should do the trick. Embark on an unforgettable family adventure through one of the most stunning natural environments on earth as you channel your inner Viking, kayak through famous fjords and have a midnight BBQ in the light of day. This adventure-packed 10-night journey through the land of the midnight sun is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face. Signifying all that we love about Scandinavian travel, the Lofoten Islands are the perfect combination of awe-inspiring adventure and contemporary luxury and our experts have handpicked the most undiscovered and desirable locations to bring this vibrant adventure playground right to your doorstep. There’s even a private island, a Viking clan and a team of sled dogs. Grab the family, and let’s go.
Jeet, jeet, jeet
Your far-flung adventure begins on touchdown amid the northern reaches of Norway in Tromso where you’ll get acquainted with the ancient tradition of dog sledding with the best mushers in the business – Torkil and Tove at Villmarkssenter. Hike up with the dogs, choosing to either to take up the reins yourself or simply enjoy the ride through a landscape straight out of Narnia. Come evening, it’s sledder’s choice once more as you either retreat to one of our favourite boutique properties in Tromso, Hotel Aurora, or slumber beneath that aurora itself out at Villmarkssenter’s own Aurora Camp. The choice is yours but, if you ask us, little compares to a night out in the wild.
The Last Norwegian Wilderness
Tomorrow, it’s out to Lofoten with a short flight down to Leknes and a quick half hour drive to Nusfjord, one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved fishing villages. Settle down in your home for the night, a unique fisherman’s cabin boasting magnificent views across the bay and beyond, with no one to see for miles and miles. Wake up amongst the incredible scenery and get out to explore this traditional village before heading off to the last Norwegian wilderness of Reine after lunch. Right off the grid and the perfect backdrop for exploring the Norwegian wilderness, the afternoon sees you picking up a paddle and exploring Reine’s world-famous fjords by sea kayak. Then, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, lace up your boots and hike to the top of Reinebringen Mountain for some incredible views of the fjords and Lofoten Wall that’ll make it worth the sweat.
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Spend the next two nights at a private cabin perched right on the pier, shadowed by majestic granite peaks, giving way to stunning views over the fjords. The next morning, the Lofotveggen coastline is just begging to be explored – and what better way to do in that on board your own private rib speedboat? Speed off to Refsvikhula Cave, etched with 4,000 year-old cave paintings, and ‘Bird Mountain,’ where, you guessed it, thousands of birds, from Puffins to the majestic Sea Eagles, nest. It’s like walking in a scene straight out of Ice Age.
Viking warrior for a day
Today is our favourite by quite a stretch; a 78-foot stretch to be exact. You’ll head north to the Viking settlement of Borg and see if you have what it takes to make it as a Viking. Your first challenge: rowing the 78-foot longboat. No Olympic medals required here, just a gung-ho attitude. Pass that test and it’s onto archery and axe throwing before replenishing your strength as you tuck into an authentic Viking meal. From Borg, hop across to Henningsvær, a village made up of a spattering of islets in the waters of Vjestfjord. Home to dramatic scenery and quaint architecture, stroll through the village discovering its quirky eateries and galleries before heading to your private pier house. For dinner, you’ll get the groceries the old-fashioned way by boarding a traditional fishing yacht to fish for your dinner. Reel it in and let your private chef do the rest.
Ain’t no fjord wide enough
Looking out of the window of the pier house, you’ll be able to see the infamous landmark that is Vagakallen Mountain, towering 943 metres above the fjords below. Today, you’ll climb it. One of the most iconic peaks in the Lofoten Islands, you’ll be treated to the most incredible views; the higher you go – the better they get. Coming back down to earth, you’ll spend the next two nights curled up in a waterside apartment on Austvågøy Island where the narrow passageway into the bay make this the perfect spot for escapism. Tomorrow, you’ll glide through the northern fjords on a private traditional sailing boat. A spectacular way to see the Islands, pull out the binoculars and search for orcas and dolphins before exploring the pristine caves that line the fjord. Enjoy a gourmet lunch out on deck before channelling your inner seafarer and giving sailing the ship a go.
Wind down on Manshausen
Spend your last few nights on the remote island of Manshausen, where glass cabins balance gracefully over the water. Despite its peaceful isolation, you won’t be short of things to do here. From hiking mountain ranges over the islands of Maløya and Grøtøya to rock-climbing the red-hued cliffs of nearby Nordskot – there’s something for everyone. However, you chose to spend the day, finish it in style with a soak in your private seawater hot tub. On your final day, switch on your headlamps as you head deep underground and beneath the sea, right into the heart of Resshola cave. The ultimate end to your adventure, a unique snorkelling adventure awaits you after lunch. Dive into the crystal clear waters and discover a whole new breed of marine paradise. In the evening, enjoy one last gourmet meal in the wilderness before falling asleep gazing at the stars twinkling over the fjords.
Tomorrow, a private speedboat will whisk you away to Bodø airport in time for your flight home. The mountains and the fjords may shrink out of the plane window, but one thing’s for sure, this is a trip no-one will be forgetting anytime soon.