Best of Norway’s Great Outdoors | Mountain Travel Sobek

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Best of Norway’s Great Outdoors

Trip Length 11 days

From $5,995

  • Cruise through Norway’s famous fjords, taking in epic views of the glaciated valleys that created these ethereal waterways
  • Go off the beaten track in the unique landscapes of Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella National Park, Geirangerfjord, and spectacular Lofoten Island
  • Experience the very best of Norway’s great outdoors with expert guides on this specially crafted MTS adventure

The best way to fully immerse oneself in a culture isn’t from the back of a tour bus but on foot. In a country as rich in history and as blessed in beauty as Norway, it’s only fair that you experience it up close and personal. On this intimate journey, we’ll explore the best of Norway as we cruise our way through deep fjords, and hike up majestic mountains and across breathtaking landscapes, including the magnificent Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella National Park. We’ll take in the cosmopolitan culture of Oslo, the bustling wharf of Bergen, and the majestic beauty of UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord. From the Northern Lights to Viking lore, from the midnight sun to Norse mythology, Norway promises magic at every turn, both real and legendary.

All hikes described in this itinerary are suggestions, and subject to change with weather and/or the desires of each group.  We will be staying in areas where there are numerous wonderful options for hiking and walking.  Hiking activities will vary, but will remain true to "Moderate" in difficulty level.

Day 1: Arrival in Oslo, Norway

Welcome to Oslo, the capital of Norway! Cutting-edge architecture, world-class dining and unique local shops make this one of Europe’s most sophisticated cities. Upon arrival at the airport, we’ll transfer to our charming hotel, where you will see its philosophy of sustainability put into action and enjoy its delicious, organic fare. After we’ve settled in, we’ll have some snacks and a brief orientation with the entire group. It is then time to get some fresh air as we explore parts of the city by foot, including a visit to the famous Opera House, home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and constructed with a roof that is impressively angled to ground level inviting pedestrians to simply walk to the top and enjoy the panoramic views of Oslo. Tonight we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner in the city. (Transfer time: 25-minutes; Walking time: 2 hours; hiking miles: approximately 2 – 3; no significant ascents or descents.)

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Guldsmeden

Day 2: Oslo Sightseeing – Flight to Bergen

After an organic buffet breakfast, we’ll set out to explore Oslo with a walking tour to the famous Vigelandsparken (Vigeland Sculpture Park). Gustav Vigeland was a Norwegian artist whose sculptures were mostly naturalistic portrayals of human nature. Vigelandsparken was the project that would occupy Vigeland for most of his career: a large series of more than 200 individual sculptures set in Frogner Park, including an entrance, bridge, fountain, circular staircase, mosaic labyrinth, and a stone forest composed of carved figures, all dealing with the various periods in the cycle of life—birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity, old age, and death.

After a relaxing lunch at our hotel in Oslo, we’ll return to the airport and take a short (50-minute) flight to Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city. We’ll check into centrally located hotel, and then take a stroll along the city’s colorful and popular waterfront “kaia.” Dinner tonight is at a restaurant in town. (Transfer time: 45-minutes; Walking time: 2 – 3 hours; hiking miles: 3; no significant ascents or descents.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Zander K

Day 3: Hike Above Bergen – Overnight Cruise

We’ll start today with one of Norway’s most popular hikes—the hike to Rundemanen, high above Bergen!  We’ll hike for 4 to 5 hours (depending on the desired pace of the group) on a good path to a mountain plateu overlooking the city of Bergen. At the top, we’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of distant snowcapped peaks, and neighboring fjords and islands. As the motto goes, “You haven’t seen Bergen until you’ve been to Rundemanen!”

At the end of our hike, we’ll descend by cable car from Mt. Fløyen to the charming Bergen harbor, and to our next accommodation—an overnight cruise aboard the Hurtigruten! We’ll sleep in cabins with private bathrooms, hot showers, and Wifi! (Note: Each cabin accommodates 2 people, unless you have purchased a single supplement, in which case you will have your own cabin.) We’ll have time to freshen up before dinner aboard the boat. Our overnight cruise begins at 8:00pm. Night owls can stay up to enjoy the ever changing scenery as summer months stay light out until nearly midnight! (Transfer time: Total of 10-minutes; Hiking time: 4 – 5 on a good but rough and rocky road; hiking miles: 9 miles; 400’ ascent/1,500’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Overnight Cruise aboard Hurtigruten

Day 4: Cruise the Geirangerfjord – Geiranger – Hike to Storsæterfossen Waterfall

The day begins with a healthy Scandinavian buffet breakfast on board our ship, the Hurtigruten. All morning we’ll relax and take in magnificent views as we cruise deep into the narrow Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO-protected fjord celebrated for its breathtaking mountains, dramatic cliffs, and majestic waterfalls. We’ll arrive in to the tucked-away town of Geiranger around 1:30pm. Upon arriving in Geiranger, we’ll check into our hotel and have time to change into our hiking clothes. We’ll then transfer 5-minutes to our trailhead where we’ll begin our 2 – 3 hour hike taking us high above Geirganger to one of the fjord’s most famous viewpoints, the Storsæterfossen Waterfall. We’ll take our time, enjoying the awesome views of surrounding peaks, and the waterfall before us, before returning down the same trail from which we came. Dinner tonight is at our hotel overlooking the harbor and fjord. (Transfer time: overnight cruise aboard the Hurtigruten, plus 10-minutes total transfer by mini-bus; Hiking time: 2 – 3 hours with stops on a well-maintained trail of stone steps; hiking miles: 2 – 3; 550’ ascent/550’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Geiranger

Day 5: Views from Trollstigen – Hike in the Åndalsnes

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll board our comfortable mini-bus and transfer one hour up to the top of the Trollstigen, a famously scenic serpentine road with 6 viewing platforms along the way, guaranteed to make you dizzy with some of Norway’s most breathtaking views. We’ll stop at Trollstigen’s largest viewing platform which juts out over a ledge hovering 2,788-feet above the valley. We’ll have plenty of time to enjoy this view, visit the Trollstigen café, and explore the paths and steps leading to other nearby viewing points.

After our visit, we’ll continue our scenic drive down into the beautiful valley in Åndalsnes, in the heart of the Romsdal Alps. The valley is surrounded by beautiful mountains, including some of Norway’s most famous peaks: Romsdalshorn, Trollwall, Vengetind, Juratind, Kirketaket and Torshammaren. Here, we’ll stop at our trailhead and begin our midday hike through colorful meadows beneath these peaks, passing gentle streams and glistening lakes along the way. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in this picturesque setting, and then continue on at a leisurely pace making a circle back towards our vehicle.

In the afternoon, we’ll continue to our charming historic hotel. The Hotel Aak was the first tourist hotel in Norway, opened in 1860. It was most recently renovated in 2013, and is now famous for its amazing food unique atmosphere. Winston Churchill's grandfather used to stay at the Hotel Aak when he was exploring in Norway. Kristine Rønning is our host for the night, together with her husband, Odd Erik, who is the Chef. We'll enjoy this charming hotel for the next two nights. (Transfer time: 3 one-hour transfers; Hiking time: 3 – 4 hours; hiking miles: 3 – 4; 500' ascent/500' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Aak

Day 6: Mardalsfossen Waterfall – Free Afternoon at Historic Hotel Aak

We’ll wake to another sumptuous breakfast prepared by our talented chefs, before beginning our morning walk. We’ve planned a short hike along Lake Eikesdalsvatnet to the Mardalsfossen waterfall, one of the ten highest waterfalls in Europe. The fall is 2,313-feet in two large drops. The highest vertical drop (1,175’) is one of the tallest in Norway.

The rest of the day is free to relax, read a book, or explore the natural surroundings on your own. For those who prefer more activity, our hosts are happy to take you fishing at the nearby river, tour the gardens, or arrange for a wine tasting in the farm cellar – just tell your guide what you want to do! (Transfer time: 2 hours (optional); Hiking time: 2 hours at a leisurely pace; hiking miles: 2 – 3; 500’ ascent/500’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Aak

Day 7: Hike to the Aursjøvegen Plateau – Oppdal

Today we’ll say good-bye to our gracious hosts, and continue our journey into the Grasdalen Valley. We’ll start with a 1-hour transfer to the charming town of Eikesdalen, home to just 65 inhabitants. Here we’ll meet with one of the local farmers who will tell us the story of the earliest inhabitants of Norway, and how they lived and survived in nature, fishing and hunting reindeer over 10,000 years ago. Reindeer and people have had a connection for thousands of years in Norway, first by hunting, then through domestication and herding. We can still see archeological signs of the ancient human contact with reindeer today – hunting pits, stone carvings and settlement excavations. We’ll look for these clues during our hike today, and if we’re lucky, we may even see reindeer! The reindeer are often frightened and flee from natural pastures, but do wander freely during certain periods.

After our stop in Eikesdalen, we’ll transfer approximately one hour to the Aursjøvegen, a scenic road featuring several 180 degree hairpin turns through a dramatic landscape that just might take your breath away. As the road twists and bends, it eventually leads to a high plateau, and to a viewpoint from which we can see for miles in every direction. Aursjøvegen is widely known through Europe to be the best area for hiking in Norway – people come from all over Europe to explore this vast network of picturesque, awe-inspiring hiking trails. There will be many options to choose from, both short and long, and our guides will pick the best hike for our group today.

At the end of our hike, we’ll continue along the magnificent Aursjøveien road all the way down to the Sunndal fjord, and to the town of Oppdal (population 6,800), a popular ski resort in winter and hikers’ home base during the summer. Dinner tonight will be enjoyed at our hotel. (Transfer time: 3 hours in two sections; Hiking time: 4 hours; Hiking miles: 3 – 4; 300’ ascent/300' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Skifer Hotel

Day 8: Hike in Trollheimen – Overnight Train to Bodø (North of the Arctic Circle)

After breakfast, we’ll journey into the heart of the rugged mountain range of Trollheimen (or “home of the Trolls”), a vast landscape of green, idyllic valleys interspersed in between high peaks. Trollheimen is often considered the most diverse and beautiful of all of the mountain ranges in Norway. It is surrounded by the valleys of Oppdal, Surnadal, Rindal, Sunndal and Orkladal; features pinnacles up to 5,580-feet high; and is home to a wealth of sparkling lakes.

If the weather is in our favor, we can enjoy a swim in the lake after our hike. If not, we can return to our hotel with time to visit the spa! Later this afternoon, we’ll have an optional visit to Vang, one of the largest Viking graveyards in Norway, located right in Oppdal, where our Guide will explain the intricate Viking burial traditions.

After a nice dinner at the Skifer Hotel’s excellent restaurant, we’ll transfer to the nearby train station and board our overnight train to Bodø, north of the Arctic Circle. (Transfer time: 40 minutes, plus overnight train; Hiking time: 5 – 6 hours; Hiking miles: 4 – 5; 1,800’ ascent/1,800' descent.)

[NOTE: We will sleep in sleeping compartments that accommodate up to 2 adults. Those who have paid a single supplement will have a private sleeping compartment. Sleeping compartments have two 75 cm wide berths with high-quality mattresses, quilts and pillows. Sleeping compartments do not have private WC or showers, but restrooms are located at each end of the train car.]

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Overnight Train to Bodø

Day 9: Lofoten Island

Rise and shine aboard our train this morning, in time for breakfast onboard. We’ll arrive in Bodø at 9:15am. Upon arrival, we’ll board a nearby ferry that will take us to the grand finale of our Norwegian tour – Lofoten Island. This is certain to be a memorable boat trip, with the most magnificent views you can imagine. The Lofoten archipelago, located within the Arctic Circle, is admired for a distinctive landscape of jagged peaks, open sea, sheltered bays of bright Caribbean-blue water, white sand beaches, and windswept grasslands. This will be the crown jewel of our journey, and well worth the effort to get there.

Upon arrival on Lofoten Island, we’ll go directly to our accommodation in the quaint fishing village of Hamnøy in Reine (population 300), known for its charming cafes, restaurants, galleries, shops and more. We’ll have time to shower and change into our hiking clothes before setting off to explore the island. We’ll have time for a short hike on our first afternoon in Lofoten, followed by dinner at one of the local restaurants in town. (Transfer time: 3 hours by ferry, 10 minutes by vehicle; Hiking time: 2 hours; Hiking miles: 2 – 3; 1,000' ascent/1,000' descent.)

(On the next 2 nights, we will stay in traditional Norwegian fisherman's cabins – a unique and special experience!  The fishermen’s cabins have one or two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a large living and dining room with comfortable furniture, bathroom with shower and high speed free WiFi access.  We have reserved one and two-bedroom cabins.  Two-bedroom cabins will have a bathroom for guests of the cabin to share.)
 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Eliassen Rorbuer

Day 10: Lofoten Island – Hike on Vestvågøya – Viking Museum

After a tasty breakfast with good coffee, we’ll begin our day exploring the outer reaches of Lofoten Island. We'll start with a scenic drive to the Lofotr Vikingmuseum, an historic museum built on a reconstruction and archaeological excavation of a real Viking Chieftain's village. After a special “Viking lunch,” we’ll tour the museum, learning about Norway’s important Viking history and culture.

After the museum, we'll have a moderate afternoon hike on Vestvågøya, a centrally located island in the Lofoten archipelago. The goal of today’s hike is to find the perfect “best of Lofoten Island” view, and our Guides are equipped with a few options to choose from, depending on the weather and the group. (One of Lofoten`s Islands many sandy beaches will probably be a great spot, so bring bathing gear if you dare to take a bath in the ocean above the arctic circle!)

We’ll return to Hamnøy with plenty of time to explore the charming village and its many galleries and shops, abundant with tasteful souvenirs. Reine and Hamnøy are perhaps the most famous locations for photography the Lofoten Islands. Most of the photographs taken in Lofoten are from is this area.

Tonight, our farewell dinner is at the famous restaurant, Krambua, located on the harbor in Hamnøy, and specializing in fresh fish – straight from the sea. (Transfer time: 2 hours in two sections; Hiking time: 4 hours; Hiking miles: 3 – 4; 1,000' ascent/1,000' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Eliassen Rorbuer

Day 11: Leknes Airport – Flight to Oslo – Departure

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Leknes Airport in time for our internal flight to Oslo. Leknes Airport is located 28 miles from Hamnøy. Departure flights are subject to change without our notice, but will depart in the morning with every attempt to get you into Oslo before noon. Our currently anticipated flight schedule departs Leknes at 7:45am, arriving in to Oslo at 11:45am.


 

NOTE – 'The Best of Norway’s Great Outdoors' itinerary travels a distance of 1,400 miles in just 10 days.  In order to achieve this, we are dependent on the assistance of planes, trains, ships and automobiles operated by companies that are independent of Mountain Travel Sobek and the mission of our tours.  This itinerary is linked by systems of transportation that are always subject to change on very short notice, or without any notice at all, up until the date of travel.

Trip participants must come to Norway with the same spirit of adventure and willingness to be flexible as is necessary on any authentic adventure – from mountain treks to authentic cultural exchanges to exploratory adventures.  Itinerary changes to accommodate unexpected changes to our transportation timing and/or logistics may be necessary.  This may or may not include changes to type if transportation, changes to accommodations, and/or changes to the timing of daily activities.

  • Breakfast

Jun 09 - 19, 2018

Jun 30, 2018 - Jul 10, 2018

Aug 11 - 21, 2018

Aug 23, 2018 - Sep 02, 2018

pricing

2018 Prices
$5,995 (4-16 members)
$600 internal airfare
$800 single supplement  (includes nights on boat and train)

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Eliassen Rorbuer — Hamnøy

The Eliassen Rorbuer is a truly spectacular resort. Located on the island of Hamnøy near the Reinefjord fjord, it offers an unforgettable experience as guests stay in traditional fishermen’s cabins over the water. There are unbelievable views of the surrounding landscape consisting of fjords, mountains, in addition to the possibility of midnight sun and northern lights. Guests have access to the freshest local food; a diverse selection of mouth-watering Norwegian cuisine with a bit of Italian infusion. Hamnøy is a wondrous place, and the Eliassen Rorbuer provides comfortable and authentic accommodations to adventure seekers who venture to this secluded part of the world.

Hotel Aak — Åndalsnes

Hotel Aak proudly proclaims itself as the first tourist hotel in Norway. Located in Romsdal, this classic hotel originally served as accommodation for mountaineers as they passing through the area. Today, the Aakboasts a great combination of old-town Norwegian character, warm hospitality, and modern luxury. Guests wake up every morning to the smell of fresh bread and peer up at the towering, jagged peaks which surround the town. Hotel Aak is a tranquil place where travelers will feel warmth and enjoy an immersive experience with no shortage of Norwegian charm.

Hotel Geiranger — Geiranger

Offering panoramic views of the Geiranger Fjord, considered by many to be the most beautiful fjord in the world, Hotel Geiranger is a pleasant stay in an epic location. The hotel has 150 comfortable rooms, some with fjord views and balconies. There are several dining options on the property, as well as bars and a lounge, although you'd be remiss to stay indoors too long with the incredible natural wonders that await outside.

Hotel Guldsmeden — Oslo

Hotel Oslo Guldsmeden is perfectly located close to the royal palace, trendy shops, and plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. Stylishly designed and thoughtfully appointed with Persian rugs, Chesterfield couches, rustic wooden furniture and lambskin throws, the hotel is Scandinavian through and through. The restaurant serves delicious, 100% organic food, and there is a Turkish-style hammam with a steam bath, cold water tub and organic spa products that are available for guests to use.

Overnight Cruise aboard Hurtigruten — Geirangerfjord

Hurtigruten uses a fleet of 11 ships that cruise up and down the west coast of Norway. The larger 1,000-passenger ships travel 1,490 miles into the Arctic, while the smaller 290- passenger ships cruise shorter segments. Almost all of them start in or make a stop in Bergen, which is where we board our cruise. The ship we board depends on the specific date we embark: it could be a smaller ship that cruises through the Geirangerfjord and back; or a larger ship that stops in Geiranger on the way to somewhere further north. All ships share a very similar look and feel, with viewing decks, lounges, cafes, bars and gift shops, cafes, and all have elevators between decks.

We’ll sleep in standard, outside cabins on the upper or mid-deck, each with a window (not a porthole), en-suite bathroom with hot shower, twin beds (one turns into a sofa), and Wi-Fi.

Overnight Train to Bodø

Skifer Hotel — Oppdal

Skifer Hotel offers modern, Scandinavian ski lodge-style accommodations in the mountain town of Oppdal. 176 rooms feature amenities such as Dux mattresses, TVs, mountain views and bright, modern bathrooms. Guests can choose between single/double rooms, family rooms or the spacious Slate Suite, which features a fireplace and dining area for up to eight people. The restaurant serves an a la carte menu and a buffet, and there is a wellness spa that offers massages and facials.

Zander K — Bergen

The Zander K is a brand new hotel in Bergen, constructed to be the first of its kind in the city. It embodies a seamless design, complementing the surrounding architecture and offering a variety of amenities to travelers from around the world. The hotel has a relaxing wine bar and restaurant which serves fresh, organic local food making it an excellent place to unwind and refuel after a day of hiking and exploration. Additionally, free bicycles are available for guests who wish to take a trip around town on two wheels. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and show off a form of modern Norwegian architectural flair.

"Outstanding trip—put this one on your bucket list!" Suzanne McDonald

"A trip not to be missed." Sallama Bu Hider   

"Mountain Travel Sobek made our trip to Norway unforgettable. From our arrival to our departure, our guides made us feel welcome. I loved getting off the beaten path and going to places that most people never get to see. Norway is so beautiful and I feel like I got a really good feel for the environment and the culture. I will definitely travel with MTS again." Lisa Zak

"I have taken 12 trips with Mountain Travel Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me. They have each widened my view of the world and its peoples and enabled me to overcome challenges as a hiker and a person." Jane Brooks

"We feel we are fortunate to be able to experience Norway with knowledgeable guides and a congenial group of fellow hikers. It is just the best way to travel!" Marlene Joy Upton

"The Norway Trip was the most exciting trip I have ever been on. We saw parts of Norway people will never see, from Oslo to the Artic Circle." Tim Bye

"Our guides were beyond super, made us feel like we were hiking with old friends, and pulled off a very complex itinerary with grace and savvy." Roger Jenkins

"Norway is an incredible country not to be missed. This trip exceeded expectations in beauty, guides, experience and awakening to a wonderful part of our world." George Shelby  

  • Cruise through Norway’s famous fjords, taking in epic views of the glaciated valleys that created these ethereal waterways
  • Go off the beaten track in the unique landscapes of Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella National Park, Geirangerfjord, and spectacular Lofoten Island
  • Experience the very best of Norway’s great outdoors with expert guides on this specially crafted MTS adventure

The best way to fully immerse oneself in a culture isn’t from the back of a tour bus but on foot. In a country as rich in history and as blessed in beauty as Norway, it’s only fair that you experience it up close and personal. On this intimate journey, we’ll explore the best of Norway as we cruise our way through deep fjords, and hike up majestic mountains and across breathtaking landscapes, including the magnificent Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella National Park. We’ll take in the cosmopolitan culture of Oslo, the bustling wharf of Bergen, and the majestic beauty of UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord. From the Northern Lights to Viking lore, from the midnight sun to Norse mythology, Norway promises magic at every turn, both real and legendary.

All hikes described in this itinerary are suggestions, and subject to change with weather and/or the desires of each group.  We will be staying in areas where there are numerous wonderful options for hiking and walking.  Hiking activities will vary, but will remain true to "Moderate" in difficulty level.

reviews

"Outstanding trip—put this one on your bucket list!" Suzanne McDonald

"A trip not to be missed." Sallama Bu Hider   

"Mountain Travel Sobek made our trip to Norway unforgettable. From our arrival to our departure, our guides made us feel welcome. I loved getting off the beaten path and going to places that most people never get to see. Norway is so beautiful and I feel like I got a really good feel for the environment and the culture. I will definitely travel with MTS again." Lisa Zak

"I have taken 12 trips with Mountain Travel Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me. They have each widened my view of the world and its peoples and enabled me to overcome challenges as a hiker and a person." Jane Brooks

"We feel we are fortunate to be able to experience Norway with knowledgeable guides and a congenial group of fellow hikers. It is just the best way to travel!" Marlene Joy Upton

"The Norway Trip was the most exciting trip I have ever been on. We saw parts of Norway people will never see, from Oslo to the Artic Circle." Tim Bye

"Our guides were beyond super, made us feel like we were hiking with old friends, and pulled off a very complex itinerary with grace and savvy." Roger Jenkins

"Norway is an incredible country not to be missed. This trip exceeded expectations in beauty, guides, experience and awakening to a wonderful part of our world." George Shelby  

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Oslo, Norway

Welcome to Oslo, the capital of Norway! Cutting-edge architecture, world-class dining and unique local shops make this one of Europe’s most sophisticated cities. Upon arrival at the airport, we’ll transfer to our charming hotel, where you will see its philosophy of sustainability put into action and enjoy its delicious, organic fare. After we’ve settled in, we’ll have some snacks and a brief orientation with the entire group. It is then time to get some fresh air as we explore parts of the city by foot, including a visit to the famous Opera House, home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and constructed with a roof that is impressively angled to ground level inviting pedestrians to simply walk to the top and enjoy the panoramic views of Oslo. Tonight we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner in the city. (Transfer time: 25-minutes; Walking time: 2 hours; hiking miles: approximately 2 – 3; no significant ascents or descents.)

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Guldsmeden

Day 2: Oslo Sightseeing – Flight to Bergen

After an organic buffet breakfast, we’ll set out to explore Oslo with a walking tour to the famous Vigelandsparken (Vigeland Sculpture Park). Gustav Vigeland was a Norwegian artist whose sculptures were mostly naturalistic portrayals of human nature. Vigelandsparken was the project that would occupy Vigeland for most of his career: a large series of more than 200 individual sculptures set in Frogner Park, including an entrance, bridge, fountain, circular staircase, mosaic labyrinth, and a stone forest composed of carved figures, all dealing with the various periods in the cycle of life—birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity, old age, and death.

After a relaxing lunch at our hotel in Oslo, we’ll return to the airport and take a short (50-minute) flight to Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city. We’ll check into centrally located hotel, and then take a stroll along the city’s colorful and popular waterfront “kaia.” Dinner tonight is at a restaurant in town. (Transfer time: 45-minutes; Walking time: 2 – 3 hours; hiking miles: 3; no significant ascents or descents.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Zander K

Day 3: Hike Above Bergen – Overnight Cruise

We’ll start today with one of Norway’s most popular hikes—the hike to Rundemanen, high above Bergen!  We’ll hike for 4 to 5 hours (depending on the desired pace of the group) on a good path to a mountain plateu overlooking the city of Bergen. At the top, we’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of distant snowcapped peaks, and neighboring fjords and islands. As the motto goes, “You haven’t seen Bergen until you’ve been to Rundemanen!”

At the end of our hike, we’ll descend by cable car from Mt. Fløyen to the charming Bergen harbor, and to our next accommodation—an overnight cruise aboard the Hurtigruten! We’ll sleep in cabins with private bathrooms, hot showers, and Wifi! (Note: Each cabin accommodates 2 people, unless you have purchased a single supplement, in which case you will have your own cabin.) We’ll have time to freshen up before dinner aboard the boat. Our overnight cruise begins at 8:00pm. Night owls can stay up to enjoy the ever changing scenery as summer months stay light out until nearly midnight! (Transfer time: Total of 10-minutes; Hiking time: 4 – 5 on a good but rough and rocky road; hiking miles: 9 miles; 400’ ascent/1,500’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Overnight Cruise aboard Hurtigruten

Day 4: Cruise the Geirangerfjord – Geiranger – Hike to Storsæterfossen Waterfall

The day begins with a healthy Scandinavian buffet breakfast on board our ship, the Hurtigruten. All morning we’ll relax and take in magnificent views as we cruise deep into the narrow Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO-protected fjord celebrated for its breathtaking mountains, dramatic cliffs, and majestic waterfalls. We’ll arrive in to the tucked-away town of Geiranger around 1:30pm. Upon arriving in Geiranger, we’ll check into our hotel and have time to change into our hiking clothes. We’ll then transfer 5-minutes to our trailhead where we’ll begin our 2 – 3 hour hike taking us high above Geirganger to one of the fjord’s most famous viewpoints, the Storsæterfossen Waterfall. We’ll take our time, enjoying the awesome views of surrounding peaks, and the waterfall before us, before returning down the same trail from which we came. Dinner tonight is at our hotel overlooking the harbor and fjord. (Transfer time: overnight cruise aboard the Hurtigruten, plus 10-minutes total transfer by mini-bus; Hiking time: 2 – 3 hours with stops on a well-maintained trail of stone steps; hiking miles: 2 – 3; 550’ ascent/550’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Geiranger

Day 5: Views from Trollstigen – Hike in the Åndalsnes

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll board our comfortable mini-bus and transfer one hour up to the top of the Trollstigen, a famously scenic serpentine road with 6 viewing platforms along the way, guaranteed to make you dizzy with some of Norway’s most breathtaking views. We’ll stop at Trollstigen’s largest viewing platform which juts out over a ledge hovering 2,788-feet above the valley. We’ll have plenty of time to enjoy this view, visit the Trollstigen café, and explore the paths and steps leading to other nearby viewing points.

After our visit, we’ll continue our scenic drive down into the beautiful valley in Åndalsnes, in the heart of the Romsdal Alps. The valley is surrounded by beautiful mountains, including some of Norway’s most famous peaks: Romsdalshorn, Trollwall, Vengetind, Juratind, Kirketaket and Torshammaren. Here, we’ll stop at our trailhead and begin our midday hike through colorful meadows beneath these peaks, passing gentle streams and glistening lakes along the way. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in this picturesque setting, and then continue on at a leisurely pace making a circle back towards our vehicle.

In the afternoon, we’ll continue to our charming historic hotel. The Hotel Aak was the first tourist hotel in Norway, opened in 1860. It was most recently renovated in 2013, and is now famous for its amazing food unique atmosphere. Winston Churchill's grandfather used to stay at the Hotel Aak when he was exploring in Norway. Kristine Rønning is our host for the night, together with her husband, Odd Erik, who is the Chef. We'll enjoy this charming hotel for the next two nights. (Transfer time: 3 one-hour transfers; Hiking time: 3 – 4 hours; hiking miles: 3 – 4; 500' ascent/500' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Aak

Day 6: Mardalsfossen Waterfall – Free Afternoon at Historic Hotel Aak

We’ll wake to another sumptuous breakfast prepared by our talented chefs, before beginning our morning walk. We’ve planned a short hike along Lake Eikesdalsvatnet to the Mardalsfossen waterfall, one of the ten highest waterfalls in Europe. The fall is 2,313-feet in two large drops. The highest vertical drop (1,175’) is one of the tallest in Norway.

The rest of the day is free to relax, read a book, or explore the natural surroundings on your own. For those who prefer more activity, our hosts are happy to take you fishing at the nearby river, tour the gardens, or arrange for a wine tasting in the farm cellar – just tell your guide what you want to do! (Transfer time: 2 hours (optional); Hiking time: 2 hours at a leisurely pace; hiking miles: 2 – 3; 500’ ascent/500’ descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Aak

Day 7: Hike to the Aursjøvegen Plateau – Oppdal

Today we’ll say good-bye to our gracious hosts, and continue our journey into the Grasdalen Valley. We’ll start with a 1-hour transfer to the charming town of Eikesdalen, home to just 65 inhabitants. Here we’ll meet with one of the local farmers who will tell us the story of the earliest inhabitants of Norway, and how they lived and survived in nature, fishing and hunting reindeer over 10,000 years ago. Reindeer and people have had a connection for thousands of years in Norway, first by hunting, then through domestication and herding. We can still see archeological signs of the ancient human contact with reindeer today – hunting pits, stone carvings and settlement excavations. We’ll look for these clues during our hike today, and if we’re lucky, we may even see reindeer! The reindeer are often frightened and flee from natural pastures, but do wander freely during certain periods.

After our stop in Eikesdalen, we’ll transfer approximately one hour to the Aursjøvegen, a scenic road featuring several 180 degree hairpin turns through a dramatic landscape that just might take your breath away. As the road twists and bends, it eventually leads to a high plateau, and to a viewpoint from which we can see for miles in every direction. Aursjøvegen is widely known through Europe to be the best area for hiking in Norway – people come from all over Europe to explore this vast network of picturesque, awe-inspiring hiking trails. There will be many options to choose from, both short and long, and our guides will pick the best hike for our group today.

At the end of our hike, we’ll continue along the magnificent Aursjøveien road all the way down to the Sunndal fjord, and to the town of Oppdal (population 6,800), a popular ski resort in winter and hikers’ home base during the summer. Dinner tonight will be enjoyed at our hotel. (Transfer time: 3 hours in two sections; Hiking time: 4 hours; Hiking miles: 3 – 4; 300’ ascent/300' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Skifer Hotel

Day 8: Hike in Trollheimen – Overnight Train to Bodø (North of the Arctic Circle)

After breakfast, we’ll journey into the heart of the rugged mountain range of Trollheimen (or “home of the Trolls”), a vast landscape of green, idyllic valleys interspersed in between high peaks. Trollheimen is often considered the most diverse and beautiful of all of the mountain ranges in Norway. It is surrounded by the valleys of Oppdal, Surnadal, Rindal, Sunndal and Orkladal; features pinnacles up to 5,580-feet high; and is home to a wealth of sparkling lakes.

If the weather is in our favor, we can enjoy a swim in the lake after our hike. If not, we can return to our hotel with time to visit the spa! Later this afternoon, we’ll have an optional visit to Vang, one of the largest Viking graveyards in Norway, located right in Oppdal, where our Guide will explain the intricate Viking burial traditions.

After a nice dinner at the Skifer Hotel’s excellent restaurant, we’ll transfer to the nearby train station and board our overnight train to Bodø, north of the Arctic Circle. (Transfer time: 40 minutes, plus overnight train; Hiking time: 5 – 6 hours; Hiking miles: 4 – 5; 1,800’ ascent/1,800' descent.)

[NOTE: We will sleep in sleeping compartments that accommodate up to 2 adults. Those who have paid a single supplement will have a private sleeping compartment. Sleeping compartments have two 75 cm wide berths with high-quality mattresses, quilts and pillows. Sleeping compartments do not have private WC or showers, but restrooms are located at each end of the train car.]

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Overnight Train to Bodø

Day 9: Lofoten Island

Rise and shine aboard our train this morning, in time for breakfast onboard. We’ll arrive in Bodø at 9:15am. Upon arrival, we’ll board a nearby ferry that will take us to the grand finale of our Norwegian tour – Lofoten Island. This is certain to be a memorable boat trip, with the most magnificent views you can imagine. The Lofoten archipelago, located within the Arctic Circle, is admired for a distinctive landscape of jagged peaks, open sea, sheltered bays of bright Caribbean-blue water, white sand beaches, and windswept grasslands. This will be the crown jewel of our journey, and well worth the effort to get there.

Upon arrival on Lofoten Island, we’ll go directly to our accommodation in the quaint fishing village of Hamnøy in Reine (population 300), known for its charming cafes, restaurants, galleries, shops and more. We’ll have time to shower and change into our hiking clothes before setting off to explore the island. We’ll have time for a short hike on our first afternoon in Lofoten, followed by dinner at one of the local restaurants in town. (Transfer time: 3 hours by ferry, 10 minutes by vehicle; Hiking time: 2 hours; Hiking miles: 2 – 3; 1,000' ascent/1,000' descent.)

(On the next 2 nights, we will stay in traditional Norwegian fisherman's cabins – a unique and special experience!  The fishermen’s cabins have one or two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a large living and dining room with comfortable furniture, bathroom with shower and high speed free WiFi access.  We have reserved one and two-bedroom cabins.  Two-bedroom cabins will have a bathroom for guests of the cabin to share.)
 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Eliassen Rorbuer

Day 10: Lofoten Island – Hike on Vestvågøya – Viking Museum

After a tasty breakfast with good coffee, we’ll begin our day exploring the outer reaches of Lofoten Island. We'll start with a scenic drive to the Lofotr Vikingmuseum, an historic museum built on a reconstruction and archaeological excavation of a real Viking Chieftain's village. After a special “Viking lunch,” we’ll tour the museum, learning about Norway’s important Viking history and culture.

After the museum, we'll have a moderate afternoon hike on Vestvågøya, a centrally located island in the Lofoten archipelago. The goal of today’s hike is to find the perfect “best of Lofoten Island” view, and our Guides are equipped with a few options to choose from, depending on the weather and the group. (One of Lofoten`s Islands many sandy beaches will probably be a great spot, so bring bathing gear if you dare to take a bath in the ocean above the arctic circle!)

We’ll return to Hamnøy with plenty of time to explore the charming village and its many galleries and shops, abundant with tasteful souvenirs. Reine and Hamnøy are perhaps the most famous locations for photography the Lofoten Islands. Most of the photographs taken in Lofoten are from is this area.

Tonight, our farewell dinner is at the famous restaurant, Krambua, located on the harbor in Hamnøy, and specializing in fresh fish – straight from the sea. (Transfer time: 2 hours in two sections; Hiking time: 4 hours; Hiking miles: 3 – 4; 1,000' ascent/1,000' descent.)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Eliassen Rorbuer

Day 11: Leknes Airport – Flight to Oslo – Departure

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Leknes Airport in time for our internal flight to Oslo. Leknes Airport is located 28 miles from Hamnøy. Departure flights are subject to change without our notice, but will depart in the morning with every attempt to get you into Oslo before noon. Our currently anticipated flight schedule departs Leknes at 7:45am, arriving in to Oslo at 11:45am.


 

NOTE – 'The Best of Norway’s Great Outdoors' itinerary travels a distance of 1,400 miles in just 10 days.  In order to achieve this, we are dependent on the assistance of planes, trains, ships and automobiles operated by companies that are independent of Mountain Travel Sobek and the mission of our tours.  This itinerary is linked by systems of transportation that are always subject to change on very short notice, or without any notice at all, up until the date of travel.

Trip participants must come to Norway with the same spirit of adventure and willingness to be flexible as is necessary on any authentic adventure – from mountain treks to authentic cultural exchanges to exploratory adventures.  Itinerary changes to accommodate unexpected changes to our transportation timing and/or logistics may be necessary.  This may or may not include changes to type if transportation, changes to accommodations, and/or changes to the timing of daily activities.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Eliassen Rorbuer — Hamnøy

The Eliassen Rorbuer is a truly spectacular resort. Located on the island of Hamnøy near the Reinefjord fjord, it offers an unforgettable experience as guests stay in traditional fishermen’s cabins over the water. There are unbelievable views of the surrounding landscape consisting of fjords, mountains, in addition to the possibility of midnight sun and northern lights. Guests have access to the freshest local food; a diverse selection of mouth-watering Norwegian cuisine with a bit of Italian infusion. Hamnøy is a wondrous place, and the Eliassen Rorbuer provides comfortable and authentic accommodations to adventure seekers who venture to this secluded part of the world.

Hotel Aak — Åndalsnes

Hotel Aak proudly proclaims itself as the first tourist hotel in Norway. Located in Romsdal, this classic hotel originally served as accommodation for mountaineers as they passing through the area. Today, the Aakboasts a great combination of old-town Norwegian character, warm hospitality, and modern luxury. Guests wake up every morning to the smell of fresh bread and peer up at the towering, jagged peaks which surround the town. Hotel Aak is a tranquil place where travelers will feel warmth and enjoy an immersive experience with no shortage of Norwegian charm.

Hotel Geiranger — Geiranger

Offering panoramic views of the Geiranger Fjord, considered by many to be the most beautiful fjord in the world, Hotel Geiranger is a pleasant stay in an epic location. The hotel has 150 comfortable rooms, some with fjord views and balconies. There are several dining options on the property, as well as bars and a lounge, although you'd be remiss to stay indoors too long with the incredible natural wonders that await outside.

Hotel Guldsmeden — Oslo

Hotel Oslo Guldsmeden is perfectly located close to the royal palace, trendy shops, and plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. Stylishly designed and thoughtfully appointed with Persian rugs, Chesterfield couches, rustic wooden furniture and lambskin throws, the hotel is Scandinavian through and through. The restaurant serves delicious, 100% organic food, and there is a Turkish-style hammam with a steam bath, cold water tub and organic spa products that are available for guests to use.

Overnight Cruise aboard Hurtigruten — Geirangerfjord

Hurtigruten uses a fleet of 11 ships that cruise up and down the west coast of Norway. The larger 1,000-passenger ships travel 1,490 miles into the Arctic, while the smaller 290- passenger ships cruise shorter segments. Almost all of them start in or make a stop in Bergen, which is where we board our cruise. The ship we board depends on the specific date we embark: it could be a smaller ship that cruises through the Geirangerfjord and back; or a larger ship that stops in Geiranger on the way to somewhere further north. All ships share a very similar look and feel, with viewing decks, lounges, cafes, bars and gift shops, cafes, and all have elevators between decks.

We’ll sleep in standard, outside cabins on the upper or mid-deck, each with a window (not a porthole), en-suite bathroom with hot shower, twin beds (one turns into a sofa), and Wi-Fi.

Overnight Train to Bodø

Skifer Hotel — Oppdal

Skifer Hotel offers modern, Scandinavian ski lodge-style accommodations in the mountain town of Oppdal. 176 rooms feature amenities such as Dux mattresses, TVs, mountain views and bright, modern bathrooms. Guests can choose between single/double rooms, family rooms or the spacious Slate Suite, which features a fireplace and dining area for up to eight people. The restaurant serves an a la carte menu and a buffet, and there is a wellness spa that offers massages and facials.

Zander K — Bergen

The Zander K is a brand new hotel in Bergen, constructed to be the first of its kind in the city. It embodies a seamless design, complementing the surrounding architecture and offering a variety of amenities to travelers from around the world. The hotel has a relaxing wine bar and restaurant which serves fresh, organic local food making it an excellent place to unwind and refuel after a day of hiking and exploration. Additionally, free bicycles are available for guests who wish to take a trip around town on two wheels. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and show off a form of modern Norwegian architectural flair.

Dates and Pricing

Jun 09 - 19, 2018

Jun 30, 2018 - Jul 10, 2018

Aug 11 - 21, 2018

Aug 23, 2018 - Sep 02, 2018

pricing

2018 Prices
$5,995 (4-16 members)
$600 internal airfare
$800 single supplement  (includes nights on boat and train)

Activity Level Moderate
Trip Length 11 days

From $5,995

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