All of my life, I have been attracted to the Far North, at first to Alaska but also to Scandinavia. There is nothing quite like north-latitude light for photography. This tour captures the essence of the landscape of northern Norway. Lofoten, an archipelago situated at the 68th and 69th parallel, features startlingly rugged peaks, breaktaking fjords and beaches. Sea eagles criss-cross the skies. In recent years–luckily for visitors–some of the homes in this part of the world have been converted to comfortable living quarters for visitors. And–if sun flares accommodate us–we’re in one of the prime spots on the planet for aurora borealis. With luck and decent weather (never guaranteed in this part of the world), we’ll enjoy that shimmering sky dance that is the experience of a lifetime. We’ve timed this trip to be there before brutal winter cold sets in, but at a time when we have plenty of night sky and fabulous autumn color. We’ll begin the trip in the village of Reine, arguably called the most scenic village in the world. After several days here we’ll move on to Mortsund and Svolvaer.

We suggest taking this tour in tandem with the October 10-21, 2021 tour to the highlands of western Scotland.

Special thanks to Dan Anderson for his beautiful Norway images.

SEPTEMBER 30: HOME

Your journey to Norway begins with an overnight flight, likely connecting through Oslo, and Bodo, Norway to your final destination Leknes (arrive October 1) (LKN).

October 2-4: LEKNES – REINE

Arrive in Leknes Airport by 2pm today, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodations in Reine (45 minute drive). The Lofoten archipelago is made up of a multitude of tiny islets – according to legend, the island chain was created by Thor, flinging fistfuls of rocks into the sea. The main population is concentrated on four main islands, all now linked by modern bridges and tunnels. Overnight three evenings Eliassen Rorbuer or Reine Rorbuer (D; BLD two days), please note lunches may be picnic style to get the most out of your photographic locations.

Your accommodations are situated in idyllic Mortsund, a small fishing village in the heart of the Lofoten archipelago, on the island of Vestvagoy. The island of Austvagoy lies to the east; to the west are Flakstadoy and Moskensoy. This means that there is a short distance to travel for those who would like to see and experience the whole of Lofoten.

Fishing is the lifeblood of the Lofoten Islands. From late January, spawning winter cod – skrei – make their way to the islands from the Barents Sea, attracting fishermen from all along the Norwegian coast. Rorbuer are described as the original temporary homes that these visitors occupied during the three-month cod-fishing season. Nowadays, the numbers of visiting fishermen have declined. Until the mid-20th century, some 25,000 fishermen came to the islands each year; today numbers are more like a 10th of that. But the islanders themselves remain dedicated to, and dependent on, the industry. The key product is torrfisk, or stockfish – cod that has been dried out to a fifth of its original body weight and is exported, primarily to Italy, as a delicacy. The constant salty whiff of stockfish and the huge wooden drying frames that seem to cover every available square foot of level space are as integral to the Lofoten landscape as its rorbuer. Overnight Statles Rorbuer (BLD both days)

October 5 & 6 Mortsund

Your accommodations are situated in idyllic Mortsund, a small fishing village in the heart of the Lofoten archipelago, on the island of Vestvagoy. The island of Austvagoy lies to the east; to the west are Flakstadoy and Moskensoy. This means that there is a short distance to travel for those who would like to see and experience the whole of Lofoten.

Fishing is the lifeblood of the Lofoten Islands. From late January, spawning winter cod—skrei—make their way to the islands from the Barents Sea attracting fishermen from all along the Norwegian coast. Rorbuer are described as the original temporary homes that these visitors occupied during the three-month cod-fishing season. Nowadays, the numbers of visiting fishermen have declined. Until the mid 20th century, some 25,000 fishermen came to the islands each year; today numberws are more like a 10th of that. But the islanders themselves remain dedicated to, and dependent on, the industry. The key product is torrfish, or stockfish—cod that has been dried to a fifth of its original body weight and is exported primarily to Italy, as a delicacy. The constant salty whiff of stockfish and the huge wooden drying frames that seem to cover every available square foot of level space are as integral to the Lofoten landscape as its rorbuer, Overnight Statles Rorbuer (BLD both days)

October 7 & 8 Svolvaer

Svolvaer is the administrative center in Nordland County, Norway. Located on the island of Austvagoya, it is one of the busiest towns in the archipelago. It is a transport hub and has long been an inspiration to many artists. You will find many artists in town, along with local galleries. Svolvaer faces the open sea to the South and is backed by mountains immediately to the North. Overnight Svinoya Rorbuer (BLD both days)

October 9: LEKNES – HOME

After breakfast this morning you will be transferred (approximately 1 hour) back to the Leknes Airport for flight home (time to be announced).  (B)

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There will be moderate walks, those wishing to hike further should be in good physical condition. Terrain may be uneven, wet, or frozen. While hotels selected are the best available, accommodations are basic with either en-suite rooms or two bedrooms sharing a bath.

Land cost: $5295* per person, based upon minimum of 4 paying participants, maximum 11. All our program prices are based on double occupancy.

Single room supplement: $695*, Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate single travelers who request single accommodations, as well as single travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, we are unable to find a suitable roommate, or you are in a single for another reason, you will need to pay the single supplement.

*Note: The trip cost is based upon the current exchange rate with Norway; please note this has been quite erratic of late. If there is an adjustment in the trip price (positive or negative), we will notify participants and make appropriate charges/credits.

The land cost includes:
• Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
• Accommodations based on two people sharing a room.
• Services of driver guide during the tour.
• Breakfast, Lunch (picnic) and Dinner as included in itinerary.
• Extensive pre-departure information and services.

The land cost does not include: International air fare; air fare tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; meals not listed as included; activities listed as optional, or those taken on your own; passport expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature or those not listed in what is included; tips to guides and service staff.

Please contact Strabo Tours if you would like assistance with your International Airfare.
Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds
A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.
If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:
• 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
• 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.• 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.
Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Fitness and Health
The trip is not strenuous and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones.

You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and should be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure). Your tour could also be cancelled or cut short due to reasons out of Strabo’s control and Strabo cannot be held responsible.

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.
There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program.

For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlets, which outline their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. There are various levels of coverage you should be aware of before making your purchase. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll-free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.