Steigen Arctic CIRCLE Expedition (JULY)
If you like explore nature with superb surroundings like impressive mountains, waterfalls, forests, fjords, coastal islands and beaches, then this trip might be the one for you. We travel to a variety of wilderness areas and nature reserves. This region, named Steigen in northern Norway, covers 1000 km2 and most of it is pure nature, and it is all quite remote. We will go out hiking, kayaking and wildlife spotting. The coastline with its mountains is impressive, and we plan some great boat trips. Also, hikes to the summits of mountains are on the menu. The Steigen Expedition is one of our most popular ones and a great choice if you are attracted to a trip with expedition atmosphere! You will explore a great variety of landscapes and do a lot of different outdoor activities. Also, a perfect choice if you are a beginner in outdoor life or as your first trip to the Norway. Costs are 1275 Euro (9 days).
WHY CHOOSE THIS ONE...?
Choose this trip if you like to do a lot of different outdoor activities during an awesome 9-day expedition in the north of Norway. So, during this trip we go hiking, kayaking, boating and backpacking in the mountains. You can learn a lot of new skills, so it is a great trip if you have not so much outdoor experience. This expedition is nice if you like to camp in tents for several days and live a back-to-the-basics lifestyle. We also stay overnight in simple cabins in remote areas. If you like more comfort (and don't want to sleep in tents, check our Steigen Outdoor Adventure, which is also organised this month. During this expedition we travel to wild areas and you will explore fjords, valleys, mountains and you can enjoy all those typical Norwegian landscapes. This expedition is a great choice for first-time Norway travellers with a beginner level of outdoor experience. This trip is also often chosen by groups of friends and families who like to include some challenges and adventures.
Facts, dates, costs and general information
Here are the facts of this expedition. 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
8 June 2019 - 16 June 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: STEIGEN ARCTIC WILDERNESS EXPEDITION
Booking code: DUTCH06X
WHICH MONTH TO CHOOSE?
This expedition is also organised in other months. The period of the midnight sun is from the end of May until the end of July. The northern lights may appear in the second half of August, but chances are better in September. The northern light season is from September to April. We can have snow on sea level from mid October until mid April. In May we have to go to the higher parts to have good snow conditions. There is some snow left in the mountains in June. The polar night is from the beginning of December until the beginning of January in this area.
Choose a month and check the details:
The costs of joining this expedition are 1275 Euro.
Flights and transfers are not included. Daily expenses like food, diesel are shared among the participants and the staff (ussualy around 15-20 Euro per day per person). We stay overnight in a mix of tents, and (mountain) cabins. In some cabins we pay a fee to stay overnight. The costs are around 30-35 Euro per night per person. In case of real bad weather or bad weather forecasts we always try to stay in cabins.
LOCATION and how to get there
TRAVELLING TO NORWAY
For this trip you have to travel to Bodø (direct flights from Oslo). This expedition starts and ends in a small fishing village named Helnessund in the municipality of Steigen (Nordland) in the north of Norway. There is a good ferry connection from Bodø. This fast ferry (hurtigbat in Norwegian) takes you in approximately 1 hour from Bodø to Helnessund. Daily departures in the afternoon (around 18:00 on most days). It is a 20 minute walk from the airport to the harbor in the city center where the ferry departs.
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.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 outdoor adventure 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
You can join this expedition without a lot of outdoor experience and if you have a good basic shape. The hikes will be 2 to 6 hours with a backpack in sometimes mountainous terrain. There will not always be trails, so this can make it a bit tougher, but also fun. There are no alpine techniques involved (ropes and so). The kayaking trips have usually a duration of 1 - 3 hours depending on the conditions at sea. This expedition is also interesting for people that have already a lot of outdoor experience and for photographers that like shoot great scenery.
Every day starts with a briefing, and we discuss plans and what to take with you.
LEARNING NEW SKILLS
It is no problem if some activities are new to you. We are happy to teach you the skills needed. If mountain hiking, camp with tents or kayaking is new for you, then we will teach you everything you need to know.
THE ARCTIC IN GENERAL
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 tougher or be a bit out of your comfort zone.
We will stay overnight in expedition tents, tipi tents and (mountain) cabins or traditional cottages. In case of real bad weather or bad weather forecasts (storm or heavy rain) we always try to choose for cottages or cabins, but we are not always in areas where those are available. So, at the times these experiences might be a bit out of your comfort zone.
AVAILABILITY and group size
LEARNING NEW SKILLS
If (mountain) hiking, sea-fishing, tenting or kayaking is new for you, then we will teach you everything you need to know.
NORTHERN LIGHTS AND MIDNIGHT SUN
There are no northern lights visible because of the arrival of the midnight sun (24 hours of day light from the end of May). The period of the midnight sun is more or less from the end of May until the end of July. Northern lights may be visible from mid August.
gear and preparations
This 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, kayak wet or dry-suits and more.
THE ROUGH PLAN OF THE STEIGEN ARCTIC WILDERNESS EXPEDITION
The municipality of Steigen (1000 km2) is located in the north of Norway just above the Arctic Circle. We find here excellent beaches, jagged mountains, dense forests, wild valleys, waterfalls and coastline full of fjords and islands. Nature is breathtaking. It is the perfect playground for all kind of outdoor activities and an awesome area to explore new trails, hardly visited areas and tempting mountain summits. After your arrival in Bodo you travel with a fast ferry to the municipality of Steigen where we pick you up. Together with you we make plans for the coming week, based on weather forecasts and the things you are interested in. We have great plans in mind to explore the nearby mountains, the fjords with hundreds of islands and remote areas that are only accessible by foot. We will take you with our land rover defender or our T4 to different places and guide you into the Norwegian wilderness. On other days we will use our sturdy expedition vessel to remote islands and camp on sandy beaches that will remind you of the Mediterranean. We will use our hiking shoes and kayaks frequently to visit nature reserves and try to observe wildlife. At the end of the expedition we will return to our base in Steigen and you take the ferry back to Bodø or you can choose for a 250 km road trip to the city (option and recommended).
EXPERIENCE THE MIDNIGHT SUN
GREAT SUMMER SCENERY
GREAT TIME TO CATCH SOME FISH
CONNECT TO THE ARCTIC NATURE AND EXPLORING IN EXPEDITION-STYLE
We like to guide you to the Norwegian wilderness and take you to places where probably are no other people around. Life slows down here, and you can hear the silence. We will hike a lot during this trip and explore trails that lead into the mountains, valleys or forests. We will visit remote sandy beaches and follow trails near the coastline with jagged mountains rising out from the sea. We also plan to go cross-country and explore wilderness areas where there are no paths. We cross rivers and explore areas with waterfalls and streams. A lot of fun and a lot to learn. Giant sea eagles and moose are commonly seen. Foxes, hare, otter and seal are shy animals. There is also a group of reindeer around, and the challenge is to find them. But very rewarding if we do.
Exploring the fjords and the steigen archipelago by boat
With our expedition vessel Xplore1 we take you to remote places to hike, observe wildlife or just exploring the beautiful coastline. We like to catch some fish and you are invited to try your luck. We teach you everything you need to know like fishing techniques, filleting and preparing. We cook most of the time on a fire outside or use our smoke oven to get a tasty meal. Encounters with dolphins or small whales is possible when we are out on sea. With our floatation suits we can swim to uninhabited islands with unspoiled beaches. During this expedition we will explore some islands where we haven't been before. This will give you the taste of real adventure. We plan to camp with tents on those remote islands.
We have great plans in mind for some Arctic paddling with our kayaks to one of the archipelagos close to the shore. It is a great way to explore the small rocky islands and gives a unique opportunity to observe for instance birds, otters and seals if we are lucky. We teach you the basics if kayaking is new for you.
Map of the area
Here is a map of the area in which this expedition takes place. Take a close look and you get an idea of the natural environment, distances and possibilities.
Background information about Steigen
We like to tell you some more about the area where this expedition takes place. Information about the climate and wildlife is included.
nature of steigen
So, here is some information about the area that we explore during this expedition. Steigen is 1000 km2 big and has a variety of landscapes and terrain.
The coastline is characterized by dramatic jagged mountains that reach sea level. The coastline has many sandy beaches and very typical are the birch and pine forests that almost meet the sea. There are many islands and islets close to the shore, but also further away. The water is crystal clear and is full of life. It is a great playground for kayaking or (if you dare) some Arctic snorkeling with a drysuit. Some of the archipelagos are nature reserves or bird sanctuaries. There is also a lot of history and remains of older times. There are interesting fjords to explore and just a hike up a hill and get a view over the wide Vestfjord with the Lofoten islands in the background is a treat for your eyes and camera.
The mountains of Steigen
The mountains are steep, but there are trails that also can be done in wintertime (we take crampons or 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. Most of the mountain lakes freeze in the winter time and offer possibilities for ice fishing.
The valleys and forests
The valleys in Steigen offer great opportunities for hikes on sea level, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. If the temperatures are above zero the valleys can be quite wet and swampy with many 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, moose and reindeer are quite common. Pine and birch forests are inviting for a hike and we like to stay overnight in tents or (heated) tipi in wild surroundings.
Glaciers, nature reserves, and national parks
In the south of Steigen, we find the Helldalsisen glacier and this area is part of the Sjunkhatten national park. There are no roads here and the area can only be visited by boat.
Steigen has quite some interesting things to see of the iron age, the times of the Vikings and more recently fortifications from WWII.
There are no northern lights anymore because there is hardly darkness. From the end of May the period of the midnight sun will start, and that means the sun is always above the horizon north of the Arctic Circle until mid August.
facts about the WEATHER AND CLIMATE here
The temperature in this period varies between 1o and 20 degrees Celsius. The warm Gulfstream provides a mild climate during the Arctic summer.
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.
Water temperatures are rising from around 9 to 12 degrees Celsius during the Arctic summer. In shallow areas (near beaches) temperatures can be higher.
wildlife in the area
There are not many people living in this area (2500 in 1000 km2) and there is a lot of wild nature. So, this makes it a perfect place for encounters with wildlife. Remember it is not a ZOO and we have to be lucky, silent and determined.
There is a huge amount of the giant sea-eagles living in Steigen and they can be spotted in the mountains and also near the coastline. We will certainly spot these amazing birds.
Moose and (wild) reindeer can be spotted in the forest, valleys and sometimes close to the beaches. While driving we have to be careful, because they can cross the roads.
Well, there is more to see for example foxes, hare, lynx, grouse, and seabirds.
Near the coast and on the islands we might see seals, otter and sometimes small whales or dolphins. When we are out on the sea with our small expedition vessel we even might see killer whales, but we have to be very lucky for that. that.