LOFOTEN OUTDOOR ROAD TRIP (DECEMBER)
CHRISTMAS, EXPEDITION version
If you have the mindset of an explorer and like to travel the less paved roads on the famous Lofoten Islands, then this is outdoor road trip is an excellent choice! We go back-to-the-basics and visit places where hardly people come. During this 9-days expedition we go hiking, climbing peaks, do some snowshoeing and explore the fjords with kayaks. We take you to places with superb surroundings like dramatic mountains, waterfalls, impressive fjords, forests and remote beaches. Other ingredients are: slow travelling, driving the small roads and enjoying the expedition atmosphere of exploring new areas. We think this road trip has a very nice balance of sweat, adventure and challenges. Costs are 1375 Euro (9 days).
WHY CHOOSE FOR THE EXPEDITION VERSION?
This expedition version of the road trip to the Lofoten Islands is great for people that like to be in nature and do not mind back-to-the-basics travelling in colder seasons. We stay overnight in a mix of expedition tents and wood-stove heated tipi-tents. We can decide to stay in cabins or cottages for example when we expect bad weather or just to have a cosy evening inside. It is up to you!
WHAT IS AN OUTDOOR ROAD TRIP?
We love road trips. Let us explain what's so special about this travelling 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 the road, we will pass all those picturesque places that you see on all the classic Lofoten pictures, and that is very nice. But travelling becomes special if we explore the small roads and go to 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. Lofoten 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 December 2019 - 26 December 2019 (9 days)
LOFOTEN ISLANDS OUTDOOR ROAD TRIP EXPEDITION VERSION
We know that this can be bit complicated period to travel. If the dates does not fit, ask us and maybe we can adjust dates a bit and make it work for you! There are special arrangements possible for families and bigger groups.
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.
The costs of joining this road trip is 1375 Euro.
NOT INCLUDED AND SHARED COSTS
Flights and transfers (ferries to Lofoten) are not included. Daily expenses like food, drinks and diesel are shared among the participants and the staff. Usually these costs are around 15 Euro per day. A few days during this trip we might stay in a local (mountain) cabin or cottage, depending on the weather conditions and what we like. The costs of staying overnight in a cabin or similar are around 30 - 45 Euro per night per person on the Lofoten Islands. We pay this to the locals or owner of the cabin.
When we stay overnight in tents and in tipi tents with wood stove there are usually no costs (we stay in wild surroundings). In some areas we can choose(if we like) for a camping ground with facilities like showers or a sauna). Costs are between 15 - 25 Euro per night per person.
There is an option to go out with a rental boat at sea to do some fishing. We share the costs of rent, but we have probably quite some free fish from the sea.
LOCATION and how to get there
This road trip starts in Bodo in the north of Norway. You fly on Bodo (usually with a stop and a change of flight at Oslo). Bodo is a small and convenient airport and you can walk to the city center or take a bus. At the end of the expedition, you take a catamaran ferry from Svolvaer to Bodo. This takes 3,5 hours and you will cruise through some great fjords. The costs of the ferry is around 40 Euro.
TRAVELING BY TRAIN IN NORWAY (OPTION)
An option is to enjoy a 17 hours train ride from Oslo to Bodø. Check vy.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 Bodo if you like.
We pick you up in the city centre of Bodø. Probably around noon, but depending on the actual schedule of the ferry to the Lofoten Islands. A week before the start you will receive a briefing by email with all the practicalities.
LEVEL AND SKILLS
Moderate, but can be a bit tougher when we got heavy snow, wind or rain. You need good and warm outdoor clothing. The hikes will be 1,5 to 6 hours. You will be a lot outside during this expedition, but we warm-up somewhere frequently.
There are special arrangements possible for families and larger groups
We will stay overnight in expedition tents or a tipi tent with a wood stove. A few days during this trip we might stay in a local (mountain) cabin or cottage, depending on the weather conditions and what we like.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS
Max 8 persons
BIG GROUPS AND FAMILIES
There are special arrangements possible for families and big groups
This is the expedition version of the Lofoten Islands road trip. If you do not want to stay overnight in tents choose for the comfort version of this trip (during daytime in the outdoors and in the evening in cosy accommodation).
gear and preparations
This road tripis 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.
RENT FROM US
In case you do not have all the gear and you do not want to buy, then you can rent equipment from us, like backpacks, sleeping mattresses, kayak-suits, snowshoes and more.
If you like to bring your own tent, cooking equipment or for instance fishing rods you are welcome to do this! No problem.
THE ROUGH SKETCH and route
Our adventure starts in the city of Bodø in the north Norway. Bodø is located north of the Arctic Circle and has a small and convenient airport on walking distance of the city centre and that is the place where we pick you up. To get to the Lofoten Islands we have to cross the wide and scenic Vestfjord. The car ferry will take us there in a bit less than 4 hours. We arrive in the village of Moskenes and we travel to the spot where we make our first basecamp. In the next days we will slowly travel in a north-easterly direction and explore the main 4 islands of the Lofoten. Although the main road is absolute scenic, we aim for the small roads that lead to remote areas. The days will be filled with outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, snoehoeing and more. The road trip ends in the village of Svolvær and a fast passenger ferry will take you back to Bodø. It will take about 3,5 hours and it is a very scenic sea journey.
THE SCENIC ROADS
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 Svolvær (on the island Austvagøy). 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 off-the-beaten-track wilderness areas. We take often the small and sometimes dirty roads that takes us to wild places, frozen lakes, forests, mountains and beaches.
This adventurous road trip to the Lofoten islands is loaded with outdoor activities. They can be tailored to your interests and how tough or easy you like it. Let us take a look.
During this road trip we go to several wild areas to hike scenic trails or do some cross-country trekking in places where there are no trails. During this expedition we also try some new trails based on our research or stories told by locals.
If we have a bit deeper snow we will use snowshoes for hiking. It is great fun and we do a short course so you know how it works. We will takes some sleds (pulka) with us in case we have to transport tents and other equipment.
To get the great views of the Lofoten islands we go to some summits or higher plateaus. Our daily plans to decide where to hike up are based on snow conditions, weather forecasts and what we like to do as a group. When it is slippery we will use crampons.
OUTDOOR LIFE AND BASECAMPS
To stay overnight we will set up a basecamp in nice surroundings. Usually we stay two days in a camp to reduce logistics and enjoy slow travelling. We will mostly cook outside and preferable on a cosy fire. You can learn a lot of outdoor skills.
SEA KAYAKING IN THE FJORDS
Sea kayaking is excellent to explore the fjords. Of course we need a calm day with not so much waves and wind. If kayaking is new for you, we will teach you the basics. The distances are not too long because of the temperatures.
If we have a thick layer of ice (best January - April) we can try some ice-fishing on the lakes. To make a hole in the ice is hard work. Once you are ready it is relaxing and it can be a challenge to be patient. We teach you all you need to know.
A video impression of one of our guests
Alisha Bube (USA), a guest of us, composed this video of her trip with Dutchexplorers.com. 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!
Exploring and staying overnight in wild places
During the road trip we make several camps in wild surroundings. Usually we stay two night at one place to avoid too much logistics. From the camp we drive to different spots for our outdoor activities. On some days we end up in a charming cabin or a cosy (fishermen's) cottage in a small village. We make plans on daily basis. Our decisions what to do are based on weather forecasts, road conditions and things that we as a group like to do.
COOKING IN THE OUTDOORS
We love cooking in the outdoors. In the evening we like to cook healthy simple meals, including our version of traditional Norwegian dishes. So, prepare for cosy evening around a fire on a beach or close to a cabin. In case of bad weather we prepare food in our tipi-tents or find a gapahuk (sheltered grill-place).
WILDLIFE on the lofoten islands
On the Lofoten Islands, we can see quite some wildlife, but we have to be lucky, and the chances are bigger in remote areas. Usually, we have encounters with moose, sea eagles, foxes, hare and otter. Along the coast, we might spot seals. For whales, we have to be very lucky, but sometimes we spot some small whales or dolphins from the shore. Depending on the season we can see different birds, but the seagulls will always be around. To have a good chance of observing wildlife, we have to be silent and determined.
ICE FISHING IN the LOFOTEn
Ice fishing is fun, relaxing and a great way to connect to nature. On most of our Lofoten road trips we try some ice fishing and the best months are in the period from January untill April. Sometimes the thickness of the ice is enough in December (Noevember is rare). We like to teach you what we know if ice fishing is a new thing for you.
OBSERVING THE NORTHERN LIGHTS in THE LOFOTEN
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 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 and in fact every minute.
CATCHING THE AuRORA BOREALIS
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). A camera works better than a phone, although there are some apps to control shuttertime and more. There are apps that predict the northern lights and the strength of the activity of the sun (KP-index). But those predictions are often not accurate. To check outside frequently is an important thing.
If you like to add more activities to the trip then here are some suggestions. If you have other ideas, please tell us and we can probably make that work.
DEEP-SEA FISHING LOFOTEn
If you like we can go out fishing at sea for cod, pollock and mackarel. The Lofoten are famous for fishing and it is not hard to catch a meal. We can rent a boat for a couple of hours and try our luck at sea. We share the costs of boat rental.
SOME EXTRA COSTS
shared costs depending on group size
SURF CLASS UNSTAD
We love to visit the Atlantic coast because there are fine beaches with famous waves. If you are in for a surf class we can arrange that. It is fun and the surf centre has awesome suits that keep you comfortable even in winter time.
SOME EXTRA COSTS
depending on which course you choose
Map of the area
Here is a map of the area in which this road trip takes place. Take a look and you get an idea of the natural environment, distances and possibilities.
MEET THE LOCALS
We think that next to exploring the Norwegian wilderness, an essential part of travelling is to connect with locals. Life in the North is unique and we lived there for several years. So, we know the area and the locals good. So, you can learn a lot about local history, culture and life in the Arctic.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ROAD TRIP
WHAT are the temperatures?
The temperatures in this period are between -4 and 10 degrees Celsius probably. Weather changes quickly in the Arctic, so we have to be prepared for all kinds of weather.
IS THERE A DAY-TO-DAY ITINERARY?
No, that is not possible. 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. We discuss the plans every day with you and we like to hear your opinions, questions and dreams.
Are the drives long?
No, we like to be in the outdoors. The drives are usually a couple of hours on a day and often less. Sometimes when we have for instance rainy weather we can do some longer drives and do a bit of slow road tripping to get a good view of the landscapes.
What if i get cold?
Do not worry too much. We can warm up if we get a coffee somewhere after a hike or sometimes visit a bar in the evening. Our tipi-tents have a wood stove, so that is quite comfortable in the evenings to warm up or dry clothes. So most of the time you are quite warm before you go into your sleeping bag. Occasionally we can choose to stay in a cabin or similar to add and enjoy a bit of comfort.
what to do when I do not want to sleep in tents?
No problem. Choose the COMFORT version of this road trip and we stay overnight in cabins, fishermen cottages, and other cozy accommodation.