Travel through spectacular scenery to the ‘top of Europe’ to witness the breathtaking sight of the Midnight Sun and Polar Ocean. This grand tour allows you to uncover the hidden gems of Oslo, the capital of Norway, and explore the city of Tromsø, famed for its viewing point for the Northern Lights. On this unforgettable holiday you’ll also experience traditional Sami culture as we travel through Finland and Sweden.
You will stay in a combination of 3-star and 4-star hotels throughout your tour.
You will stay for one night each at the following hotels: Scandic Grand Marina, Helsinki; Original Sokos Hotel Alexandra, Jyväskylä; Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, Rovaniemi; Lapland Hotel Riekonlinna, Saariselka; Reisafjord Hotel, Sorkjosen; the Quality Hotel Grand Royal, Narvik; Fru Haugans Hotel, Mosjoen; Scandic Hell Hotel, Hell; Scandic Helsfyr Hotel, Oslo.
You will also stay for two nights at the Scandic Hotel, Honningsvag.
Fly to Helsinki where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Your tour coach arrives in Helsinki and will meet you later this morning. Why not join our optional sightseeing tour to see the highlights of Finland’s capital. A local English-speaking guide will reveal the history and facts about this great city. We will see the Senate Square and the Cathedral, the Market Place, the National Gallery building, the Parliament, the Sibelius Monument and Finlandia House. We continue our journey north to Jyväskyla for an overnight stay.
We continue north into the Finnish countryside this morning, with a vast area of dense forest and charming lakes. Be the first to spot a reindeer! They tend to hide for most of the time, but occasionally appear in small groups. You will soon get used to this elusive creature, which has helped in the development of this great country of traditions, both physically as a working animal, and also as a local delicacy. We pause for lunch in the town of Oulu on the Gulf of Bothnia, which separates Finland from Sweden. From Oulu we travel on north to the town of Rovaniemi, just below the Arctic Circle, for an overnight stay.
Although it is summer in Finnish Lapland, be prepared to share the customs of a country where Santa Claus is “King”. We start with a visit to the imposing Santa Claus Village just outside Rovaniemi, where you can stand on either side of the Arctic Circle. Look out for the white line painted on the ground denoting the latitude! After lunch we continue north through charming forested countryside to Saariselka for an overnight stay.
Location: Sami Village; North Cape and the Midnight Sun
A day to remember today as we travel onwards to the true “Land of the Midnight Sun” and our base for two nights. We stay in the fishing town of Honningsvag, just 28 miles south of the North Cape at the very top of Europe. En route we pause at the Sami Village in Karasjok and learn about the lifestyle of the Sami people who have lived in the Nordkalotten area for centuries. This proud race are some 50,000 in number all living in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia with their own culture, language and history.
Whilst there why not enjoy an optional Storgammon lunch. This really is an experience not to be missed. Step back in time and Sami culture and enjoy a typical Lappish meal of cured salmon, delicious reindeer stew, followed by cloudberry pudding. This delightful meal will be served in a Lavvu, the traditional summer home of the Sami people, which is very similar to the Native American tepee. A truly unique place to eat!
After experiencing the Sami way of life we continue our journey to Honningsvag for a two-night stay. This evening is the highlight of the tour as your drivers take you to the magnificent North Cape. The viewpoint is at latitude of 71 degrees 10 minutes 21 seconds north and you will be as close as you can get to the top of the world whilst remaining in mainland Europe. This really is an invigorating spot to be! We will leave late evening so that you will be at the Cape at midnight, so don’t forget your sunglasses! (Please ensure you take some warm clothing. Although we visit during the summer months, it can be chilly). The lure of the North Cape has drawn people from all parts of the world for centuries. The first tourist to visit was the Italian Francesco Negri, who stood here and surveyed the landscape in 1664. A lot has changed since that time and the magnificent 5000 square metre North Cape Hall is a vast complex offering every amenity from café facilities to a large souvenir area. We return to our hotel in the early hours of the morning.
Spend the day at leisure in the quaint fishing town of Honningsvag. Alternatively, why not join the locally operated optional excursion to two of the municipality’s five fishing villages. Firstly to Skarsvag, the northernmost fishing village in the world where you will visit the Nordkapp Jul og Vinterhuis which is decorated in the Norwegian Christmas tradition and local crafts are for sale from the North cape area. We then continue to Kamoyvaer, the smallest of the fishing villages with only 110 inhabitants, a fish factory, a small fishing fleet, a little lighthouse and a picturesque harbour. See, also, probably Europe’s smallest school with six pupils and one teacher!
Our journey today is by local coach as we leave our hotel and begin our journey south. We travel back along the scenic road following the shores of the Porsangen sea inlet, then travel through the hills of the northern Finnmark area to reach the sea again at Alta. There will be free time for you to obtain lunch before we continue to our hotel in the Storslett/Sorkjosen area for an overnight stay.
Today we re-join our leger coach and follow the shores of the Lyngenfjord and cross the Karfjord and Ullsfjorden to Tromso, the capital of northern Norway and gateway to the Arctic. At a latitude of 70 degrees it is the same as Alaska and Siberia. After a short visit we travel south across the area of Troms, passing Fossbakken to reach the lovely town of Narvik and our hotel for tonight. The town is beautifully located on a peninsula between the Beisfjord and the Rombakfjord at the foot of the spectacular Fagernes Mountain.
Never far from the Swedish border or the sea, we travel south, and through the area of Nordland, crossing the Arctic Circle to arrive at Mo i Rana or Mosjoen for the night.
Alongside lakes and fjords we maintain our journey south to the city of Trondheim, which holds a special place in Norwegian history and culture. It was the first capital of Norway and is still the city where new kings receive their ceremonial blessing.
Why not join our optional guided sightseeing tour to learn more about this charming spot and enjoy the view from the Tyholt Tower – truly breathtaking! Situated by the Trondheim fjord, Trondheim is surrounded by lovely forested hills, with the River Nidelva winding through the town. It has been and still is a popular pilgrimage site, an ecclesiastical centre a regional capital and a centre for commerce and administration. Our local guide will reveal the highlights on this sightseeing tour.
We then continue to the village quaintly named Hell and our base for tonight. The small village has become a tourist attraction because of its name and people like to have their photograph taken in front of the station sign. What was possibly Norway’s most popular postcard, at least amongst English speaking tourists, showed the station with a heavy frost on the ground – Hell frozen over, although there was no caption to make the point. In actual fact the name Hell derives from an Old Norse word meaning overhang or cliff cave!
We leave Hell and travel south to Oslo for an overnight stay. In the evening, after dinner, why not join our optional guided sightseeing tour to introduce you to the sights of the Norwegian capital. We will see the “Stottel” or Royal Palace, built between 1825 and 1848, the “Domkirke” or Cathedral, dating from the late 17th century, the Stotinget or Parliament and Karl Johans Gate, Oslo’s main street.
Transfer to Oslo airport for your return flight to the U.K.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Boasting over 35 years’ experience and an interesting and varied selection of planned itineraries, Leger Holidays has become the leading provider of escorted touring holidays across the UK, Europe and beyond. In addition to being able to take you to the most incredible destinations throughout the world, this award-winning company provides an excellent choice of experiences and great-value escorted tours to ensure you get the very most out of your holiday. With Ledger Holidays, you can relax in the knowledge that everything will be taken care of from the moment you book.
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