Antarctica & Arctic
Discover the Islands and sights of Northern Norway
a Destinations d > Scandinavia & The Baltics > Arctic Lights & Whales
4 nights accommodation, airport transfers and local transportation, most meals, and tour leader.
17 Jan; 07 Feb; 07 Mar ‘19
‘Spectacular’ is no overstatement for the Vesteralen Islands in Northern Norway. The archipelago sits within the Arctic Circle and offers an intoxicating cocktail of fjords and mountains all teeming with wildlife, from soaring eagles to sea otters, reindeer and whales. Our base on Buksnesfjord is perfectly located to explore the beauty of
this landscape by day and its skyscape by night.
Back to Scandinavia & The Baltics Tours
Great location for Northern Lights
Dramatic Arctic Scenery
Whale watching and other fantastic wildlife - moose, seals, sea eagles
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We meet at the Friluftssenter on Buksnesfjord for a warm welcome before settling in to our accommodation and heading to the restaurant for dinner. (D)
Weather in the Vesteralen is unpredictable, and we may well re order some of the activities to better suit the conditions, however we often start our trips by exploring our immediate surroundings. The Friluftssenter enjoys a fanstastic location, just 50m from the shores of Buksnesfjord with views over the surrounding mountains. Our main focus today will be nearby Lake Kringelvann which sits a few kilometres from our accommodation in an impressive valley. This area is home to moose, arctic foxes and many species of bird. The lake itself can be reached on foot or in an adapted trailer pulled along by Nigel on his quad bike.
The track is easy to follow for those that wish and winds through the forest and down to the shores of the lake itself, at the head of the valley. We can head out onto the lake, try some ice fishing or explore the valley a little further, trying to spot wild moose amongst the trees. Lunch is taken outdoors by a fire and consists of a simple but satisfying soup with local bread. Should the ice fishing go well there may be an arctic char or two to add to the grill! (B)(L)(D)
Though our base on Buksnesfjord is spectacular, it is well worth exploring these islands further. Today we take to the bus and drive across the main bridge to the next island, Andoya. This island is home to some of Norway's most beautiful beaches including northern Europe's longest, by the village of Bleik. We will also see the fishing village of Nordmela, one of those at the heart of the island's fishing industry. If conditions are with us we may see seals and eagles from the road.
Our journey includes a stop at the dramatically named Andoya Space Center which launches rockets regularly to study the Aurora. On arrival we are shown round the visitor centre and watch a short film on the science behind the Aurora and the work done on Andoya to study it. We then begin our interactive experience with a mission simulation. There is a ground control centre and a simple flight shuttle simulation, allowing each of us to play a role. Getting into the spirit of this is great fun and an innovative way of bringing the science to life. The space centre visit can be done in the morning or afternoon, depending on weather conditions. (B)(L)(D)
We have introduced a whale watching excursion this year, and for our last full day we drive up to Andenes at the northern tip of the Island. Here we are issued with Arctic oversuits and get ready to board the boat. In winter these waters play host to Humpbacks, Fin and Killer Whales and the whale centre itself has plenty of information and displays to complement the trip. This excursion in particular may be changed to another day if conditions dictate.
We will take a packed lunch to eat once back on dry land, after which we transfer back to the Friluftssenter for free time to explore and enjoy further photographic opportunities, as Nigel fires up the outdoor hot tub for those that wish.
Larger groups will have to split into two 'shifts' for the hot tub. Other options include a short walk to a small frozen lake just behind the Friluftssenter. The lake feels totally secluded as it is surrounded on 3 sides by steep slopes and a walkway has been installed to allow easy access. Alternatively the shores of the fjord are just over the road, and worth exploring to enjoy the views across and behind it.
For our final night we head up to the Friluftssenter's Lavvo for a traditional meal around a roaring fire, a fitting end to our time in the Arctic.(B)(L)(D)
Our trip ends at Evenes Airport. (B)
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