LOFOTEN ARCTIC OUTDOOR ROAD TRIP (MARCH)
photography edition / back-to-basics version
If you like hiking, climbing peaks, snowshoeing and visiting remote places where hardly ever people go, then this Lofoten Islands Outdoor Road Trip is the right choice for you. We will visit nature areas with superb surroundings like dramatic mountains, waterfalls, snug fjords, forests and remote beaches. If you like to see the islands from a different perspective then we will also bring our kayaks (optional) for some awesome paddling in the fjords . We explore with a 4x4 land rover defender or our T4 and stay overnight in a mix of expedition tents, tipi tents, cabins and cottages. This is a great trip for people that like to explore non-touristic areas, but also for photographers and we make sure you have enough time to do your thing. Costs are 1375 Euro (9 days).
WHAT IS AN OUTDOOR ROAD TRIP?
Okay, let us explain what's so special about this concept. A road trip is a great way to discover and explore a vast area in a short time. Second, a road trip is excellent to visit more remote not-touristic areas and make great hikes or camp in wild surroundings. On our way, we will pass all those picturesque places that you see on all the pictures, and that is very nice. But travelling becomes special if you explore hardly visited spots that are not so easy to reach. That's where we like to take you and that's why you should travel with us. Off-the-beaten track!
FACTS, DATES, COSTS AND GENERAL INFORMATION
Here are the facts of this outdoor road trip. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or if you want to discuss your plans. Check also our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for answers on general questions.
Dates and booking information
18 March 2019 - 26 March 2019 (9 days)
Ask us for alternative dates this month if you want to make a reservation for a group of two or more people. We will try to arrange that for you!
Name: LOFOTEN OUTDOOR ROAD TRIP MARCH (BASIC VERSION)
Booking code: DUTCH03C
WHICH MONTH TO CHOOSE?
This road trip is also organised in other months. Snow conditions are the best in the period November to April. Northern lights are visible in the period September to April. The period of the midnight sun is from the end of May until the end of July. The polar night is from the beginning of December until the beginning of January.
Choose a month and check the details:
The costs of joining this road trip are 1375 Euro. Last Minute offer 1275 EURO!
Flights and transfers are not included. Daily expenses like food, diesel and ferries are shared among the participants and the staff (around 20-25 Euro per day per person). We stay overnight in a mix of tents, (mountain) cabins and traditional (fisherman) cottages. The costs of cabins and cottages are shares amongst participants and staff (20 - 40 Euro per night per person). On most trips, we stay around three nights in cabins or cottages (depending on weather and wishes).
LOCATION and how to get there
TRAVELLING TO NORWAY
This road trip starts in Bodø in the north of Norway (in the afternoon). You fly to Bodø (usually with a stop and a change of flight at Oslo). Bodø has a small and convenient airport and you can walk to the city centre or take a bus or taxi. At the end of the road trip, you take a catamaran ferry in the morning from Svolvaer to Bodo. This takes around 3,5 hours and you will cruise through some great fjords. Arriving time is around 9:30 AM.
TRAVELLING THROUGH NORWAY BY TRAIN
Another option to get from Oslo to Bodø is to enjoy a 17 hours train ride. We advise an overnight stay in Trondheim and cut the trip in two parts. So, you can travel both parts in the daytime and enjoy the scenery. Check www.nsb.no for more information about traveling by train. The so-called minipris ticket can be an economical way to travel (only online available and you have to buy it well in advance).
TAKE YOUR TIME
We recommend that you arrive 1 day before the start of this road trip in Bodo and take some time to acclimatise and get rid of travel and work stress. We can give you suggestions for (budget) hostels or hotels in Bodø if you like.
LEVEL AND SKILLS
Almost everybody who is a good basic shape can join this trip. All outdoor activities are not very demanding, but you will be a bit tired at the end of the day. The hikes will be 1,5 to 4 hours. There will not always be trails, so this can make it a bit tougher, but also fun. Note that we are in the Arctic and weather changes quickly. So, in case we are surprised by non-forecasted weather all outdoor activities can become more tough or be a bit out of your comfort zone.
BEGINNER LEVEL OF OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE
You can join this trip even if you have a beginner level of outdoor experience. We like to teach you new skills or help you expand your comfort zone.
We will stay overnight in expedition tents, tipi tents with a wood stove, (mountain) cabins and traditional (fisherman) cottages. In case of bad weather or bad weather forecasts (storm or heavy rain) we always choose for cottages or cabins. We cook our own meals (inside or outside on a fire) and like to work with local products like dried fish and other ingredients.
AVAILABILITY and group size
LEARNING NEW SKILLS
If (mountain) hiking and snowshoeing is new for you, then we will teach you everything you need to know.
Great trip if you are interested in photography. During this trip we give photographers the time they need to do their thing. We can also assist you when you are a new beginner in photography. We take a drone with us to make some arial footage (pictures and video). It is no problem to bring your laptop with you or a drone.
Kayaking is an option with no extra costs (you can rent a suit from us if you do not have one). A short kayak course is included.
There is also a more luxury version available of this trip if tenting is too far out from your comfort zone. In the luxury version the hikes are time being in the outdoors is also a bit shorter. Check the details!
The northern light season is from early September to late April. So, if we are lucky (no clouds and enough solar activity) you have chance to observe the aurora borealis.
gear and preparations
This road trip is organized north of the Arctic Circle. So, you need warm clothing, good shoes and outdoor gear like sleeping bags and more. You receive a detailed packing list after you made your booking. This packing list tells you about the things you need to have and also gives you a lot of practical information. In case you do not have all the gear or if you do not want to invest, you can rent gear from us, like backpacks, sleeping mattresses, snowshoes and more.
A video impression of one of our guests
Alisha Bube (USA), a guest of us, composed this video of her trip with DUTCHEXPLORERS. The movie was shot in March/April. We think it will give you a good impression of this amazing road trip to the Lofoten Islands. Enjoy the views!
To discover the real identity and beauty of the Lofoten Islands it is necessary to leave the paved roads, avoid the tourist traps and get in touch with nature and scenery. We will take you there!
THE ROUGH SKETCH OF THE LOFOTEN ISLANDS OUTDOOR ROAD TRIP
Our road trip starts in Bodø on the mainland of Norway where we pick you up. After crossing the wide Vestfjord from Bodø with the ferry (more or less 4 hours), we will arrive in the village of Moskenes. Our plan is to travel slowly in a north-easterly direction from the village of Å to Svolvær. During this road trip we will explore the nature of the islands of Gimsøya, Moskenesøya, Vestvågøy, Austvågøy and Flakstadøya. We aim for the small roads that leads to remote areas. There we will find places to hike, snowshoe, kayak or explore a mountain trail surrounded by awesome scenery. Every day we travel to different areas and the drives are never too long. We explore by foot, snowshoes or kayaks (option). The road trip ends in the fishing village Svolvaer where you take the boat back to Bodø. During this road trip we make day-to-day plans and we like to hear your wishes and interests.
If we have fair weather you will experience impressive sunrises and sunsets So, there is a lot to shoot if photography is your thing. In the evening we hope for clear skies and good conditions for observing the northern lights.
EXPLORE our pictures
Adventurous hikes, mountain trips and snowshoeing
We have some great areas in mind to explore. Some are between mountains, and others are along the rugged coastline of the Lofoten Islands. We plan to explore remote beaches, fjords, high plateaus and hidden valleys where hardly people come. The duration of the hikes will usually be between 1,5 and 4 hours, but can easily be adapted. In case we have deep snow on sea level we will use snowshoes during the hikes. It is also possible that we use snowshoes or crampons higher up in the mountains in this time of year. We teach you the basics if snowshoeing is new to you. You will hike with a daypack (30 L) with some clothes, snacks, water and your personal belongings. On some hikes we will use expedition sleds (pulks) to transport food, equipment or tents.
The actual weather has a significant impact on our day-to-day plans. So you need to be able to handle fast-changing scenarios. Apart from weather forecasts and road conditions, we plan activities and routes based on the interests of all participants. So no worries about that!
Staying overnight in great surroundings and cosy evenings
After a day of exploring we will head for a place to spend the night. Usually, we end up in a charming place in small village or somewhere in nature with wild surroundings. We sleep in a mix of expedition tents, tipi tents with wood stove, mountain cabins or cosy fishermen's cottages. To camp in the snow is great fun, but when we have heavy rain or storm we choose for cabins or cottages. In the evenings there is enough time to relax, read some books, listen to the stories of others or work on your pictures. No problem if you like to go out for a stroll or hang out with some locals. We check frequently outside if there are northern lights and if they do we will travel to a good spot to observe the lights. In the evening we like to cook healthy simple meals, including our version of traditional Norwegian dishes. Preferable we do that outside on a fire and you will be involved. You can probably learn something from us about back-to-basics cooking, fire making, wood chopping and great but simple recipes.
We love cooking in the outdoors. So, prepare for cosy evening around a fire on a beach or close to a cabin. No problem if you have a special diet!
KAYaking the fjords of the lofoten islands (OPTIONAL)
We love kayaking in the Lofoten on a calm day. You will be rewarded with complete different view of the mountains and the fjords. During this season the kayak tours will be relative short because of the low temperatures. You will wear a drysuit that protects you from the cold water. We will search for places that are a bit enclosed end not exposed to wind. If you are lucky you might observe a seal or otter. When you are very lucky you can have an encounter with a (killer) whale. You can try some fishing out of your kayak. If you are not experienced with kayaking, we will teach you the basics. Kayaking is optional, but included in the travel costs.
FOCUS ON PHOTOGRAPHY IN THIS EDITION OF THE ROAD TRIP
In this March edition of the Lofoten Islands road trip we especially welcome photographers. It does not matter if you are experienced or beginner. During this road trip and the hikes we make sure there is enough time to shoot pictures or movies. We can even assist you to get great shots. We will also take our drone with us and you are welcome to get some experience in flying and shooting footage. Of course we will be outside if the northern lights are there.
ICE FISHING On THE LOFOTEN ISLANDS
Ice fishing is a superb adventure and it is a great way to connect to nature. Drilling a hole in the ice of sometimes 50 cm or more is hard work, but after that you can relax and taste the adventure of catching your own meal. Success is not guaranteed and you need to be patient and determined. But in awesome surroundings it is just a pleasure. There are some nice lakes waiting for us, but we have to check the ice conditions (thickness) first. Watch our movie and get the idea...
CULTURE AND LOCALS
Visiting a country and exploring nature is a great thing to do, but it will be a better experience if you connect to locals and get to know the culture and history. We have
.spent quite some winters in the Lofoten, and for that reason, we know a lot of people and places. We like to connect you to those people and give you the opportunity to.learn from them. Our guides love to do the same. Sharing stories about adventures, history and their personal life. After this road trip, you probably know quite some more about the Norwegians and their habits.
Map of the area
Here is a map of the area in which this expedition takes place. Take a look and you get an idea of the natural environment, distances and possibilities.
CURIOUS? HERE ARE MORE DETAILS....
We like to tell you more about topics related to this road trip. Select one and get the details...
nature of the lofoten islands
The Lofoten Islands cover an area of 1225 km2 and have a variety of landscapes and terrain.
The coastline is exposed to the weather systems of the Atlantic Ocean and characterised by steep jagged mountains that reach sea level. Along the coast of the islands, you will find sandy beaches and deep fjords. The water is crystal clear and is full of life, cod and pollock are among them. There is also a lot of history and remains of older times (Viking age). There are interesting fjords to explore and just a short hike up a hill will give you a breathtaking view over the wide Vestfjord with the mainland in the background. There are a lot of fishing villages along the coast and they are a main attraction for the summer tourists. The islands of the Lofoten archipelago are connected with bridges and tunnels. It is an enjoyable and scenic road trip to travel from the village Å to Svolvær. We will leave the main road frequently to travel to areas and explore places that are off-the-beaten-track.
THE MOUNTAINS OF THE LOFOTEN
The mountains are steep, but there are trails that also can be done in wintertime (we take crampons and snowshoes with us). The views are magnificent and there are cozy cabins in the mountains and also in the lower areas that we can use for staying overnight. Many lakes freeze in the winter and offer possibilities for ice fishing.
THE VALLEYS AND FORESTS
The valleys on the Lofoten Islands offer great opportunities for treks or snowshoeing on sea level. If the temperatures are above zero the lower areas can be quite wet and swampy with small streams to cross. So hiking is quite adventurous out here. There are a lot of waterfalls and some of them will be frozen in the winter. Encounters with foxes, otter or moose are quite common. Because of the wild climate here the pine forests are not large, but we know some great places to have a stroll and enjoy the smell of pine trees. If we find a nice spot we can pinch our tipi tents (optional) somewhere in the wild.
NATURE RESERVES AND NATIONAL PARK
In the north of the Lofoten (on the border with the Vesterålen) we find the Møysalen National Park. A very interesting park to visit, but we don't know yet if we can reach it (depending on time, weather and road conditions).
In the evening and at nighttime the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, may be visible. We need enough solar activity, no clouds (that's an important thing because it blocks the view) and it is necessary that we frequently check outdoor. It appears at certain times in the evening or at nighttime, but we never know when. Sometimes it lasts for 10 minutes on other times it goes on for hours. Also, the strength might vary from day to day.
KNOW YOUR CAMERA
If you are serious about taking pictures then an important accessory is a tripod. So don't forget (it is on the packing list that you receive from us). Get to know your camera before you leave. The first trick is to adjust the ISO and shutter-speed.
facts about the WEATHER AND CLIMATE
The temperatures in this period are between -10 and 10 degrees Celsius probably. Weather changes quickly in the Arctic, so we have to be prepared for all kinds of weather. Because our plans are depending on weather conditions we make daily plans for our activities. So you need a flexible mindset and expect that the plans we make can change due to weather and road conditions.
wildlife in the area
If we are lucky we can observe quite some wildlife. Near the sea we can spot seals and otter. In remote areas we can spot moose, foxes, hare and grouse. There are of course a variety of birds to observe, including sea eagles with a wing span up to 2,5 meters! If we are very lucky we might see Orcas.
The Lofoten Islands are connected with bridges and tunnels and there is one main road that leads from the village A (on the island Moskenes) to Svolvaer (on the island Austvagoy). This road (E10) is about 130 km long and leads through very mountainous and scenic areas. It is also full of bends and can be quite slippery in this time of year, but with our studded tires (spikes) we will manage. During this trip we will explore nature areas along this road. So we take the small and sometimes dirty roads that takes us to wild places, frozen lakes, mountains and beaches.