COVID-19 Status:

DENMARK open to VACCINATED AMERICANS & canadians.

norway NOW OPEN to VACCINATED VISITORS FROM SCHENGEN & EU COUNTRIES.
PROJECTS A GRADUAL RE-OPENING TO VISITORS FROM ADDITIONAL COUNTRIES.

sweden OPEN TO AMERICANS WHO TEST NEGATIVE FOR COVID WITHIN 48 HOURS OF ARRIVAL & OPEN WITHOUT TESTING TO VACCINATED AMERICANS ARRIVING AFTER 10 OR MORE DAYS IN EU/SCHENGEN COUNTRIES.

LATE-2021 & PROVISIONAL 2022 BOOKINGS NOW BEING ACCEPTED.

SCANDINAVIA

DENMARK | NORWAY | SWEDEN

BERGEN, NORWAY: THE COLORFUL OLD WAREHOUSES OF THE BRYGGEN HARBORFRONT ARE A WORLD HERITAGE SITE WITH POPULAR SHOPS & RESTAURANTS.

Home At First‘s lodgings in Bergen (hotels & vacation apartments) are from 3-10 walking minutes of this scene.

SCANDINAVIA: 3 UNIQUE COUNTRIES SHARING A REGION, A CULTURE, AND A HISTORY —

Explore Scandinavia: Independent Travel through Denmark, Norway, & Sweden

via Car, Rail, Boat, & Plane with Quality Lodgings at Every Stop.

Once home to dreaded Vikings, modern Scandinavia is a playground for outdoorsmen, a laboratory for experiments in social-capitalism, and a cutting-edge center for the latest in style, design, and technology.

          Scandinavia’s northern climate and rugged geography has always inspired and challenged its people. Today’s Scandinavia  a product of their hard work and vision  is an ultramodern society with strong ties to Nature and echoes of History. In Scandinavia, size matters when it comes to waterfalls, fjords, and North Sea oil platforms. Slum-free glass cities encircle wonderfully walkable medieval city centers. Stone Age drawings, modern painting & sculpture, Viking long ships, stories of Nazi resistance (and collaboration), and two sites of Nobel Prize presentations compete for our attention. Dragon boats, fast-flying catamarans, sea kayaks, and giant container ships share the same convoluted coastlines and placid bays. Tiny red cabins dotting remote rocky islands and rockier mountains are the dream houses of the largely urban population. Whitewater rapids, great lakes, and saltwater sounds — once obstructions — are now playgrounds. The fierce Vikings have evolved into sophisticated Scandinavians, happy to welcome you, eager to show you their remarkable landscape and share their compelling vision.

To Explore Scandinavia is to confront the past and imagine the future.


Home At First’s EXPLORE SCANDINAVIA Travel Program in a Nutshell:

 Full-Package Destination 

Includes trans-atlantic flights, lodging in destinations of your choosing, &  appropriate ground transport and/or connecting flights for your itinerary. Ground-only & Lodging-only options available.
Combinable with most Home At First European destinations.

Itinerary Character:

1-Wk. or More in
SCANDINAVIA

Explore Scandinavia independently on your terms. Choose your destinations & how long you wish to stay at each stop. Use public transit in the cities; rental car or trains & boats in rural areas, & flights or trains between cities. 

Lodging Types:

Nightly Hotels or Longer Apartment Stays

Locations throughout Denmark, Norway, & Sweden. City lodgings close to transport, restaurants, shops, & services. Rural locations convenient bases for seeing attractions.

On-Site Costs: Food & Activities

$$$$

Scandinavia can be inexpensive to travel to, but costly to visit, especially restaurants, gas, parking, tolls, ferries, & attraction entries. Use the included “city cards” to save money in Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen.

 Overall Trip Costs:  

$$$$

But, excellent Value, thanks to Home At First’s
low Full-Package prices.

Combinable
with most other Home At First destinations throughout Europe, the British Isles, and Iceland.

Language Spoken Most Everywhere:

English

Expect some English from most everyone. English helps Scandinavians communicate with others, including other Scandinavians, as the Danish, Swedish, & Norwegian languages differ significantly.

Non-Stop Flight Length from
North America

8+ hrs from East Coast;
11 hrs from West Coast

Most North American flights arrive
at Copenhagen, Denmark (CPH), or Oslo, Norway (OSL), or Stockholm, Sweden (ARN), Scandinavia’s 3 biggest airports.

Family Friendly?

♥♥

Kids love the activities, the parks, and the food, but may not like a steady diet of museums, galleries, and historical sites, or an itinerary with long driving hours. Boat trips, ferry crossings, train rides all appeal to young travelers. 

Foodie Friendly?

♥♥♥♥♥

Scandinavian food is not just trendy. It is substantial, different, and delicious, with the accent on fresh, organic, and local. Seafood is an important part of the cuisine, but does not dominate. Try wild, unusual meats: bear, reindeer, moose.

Walkable, Gawk-able

In addition to super hiking in rural Denmark, Norway, & Sweden, most Scandinavian cities have small, historic cores with pedestrian zones. Our lodgings in Oslo, Bergen, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm, & Uppsala are within short walks of  attractions.

Activities

Car Touring
City Strolling & Country hiking
Fjord cruising: Norway
Archipelago & lake cruising: Sweden
 Exploring historic sites
Museums & galleries
Dining: hi-brow & low
Royal palaces & castles
Shopping!
Skiing, skating, mountainbiking. 

The Best Times to Explore Scandinavia:

May through September, & Christmas. Days are long during the peak visitor months of June & July. Long winter night come with the possibility of seeing the Aurora Borealis, especially in artic Norway & Sweden.


Where we go to Explore Scandinavia

Scandinavia Map. Modified from the original in Creative Commons. Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

SCANDINAVIA

WHAT COMES WITH HOME AT FIRST’S EXPLORE SCANDINAVIA INDEPENDENT TRAVEL PROGRAM

HOME AT FIRST CUSTOM-BUILDS INDEPENDENT TRAVEL PACKAGES TO SCANDINAVIA THAT INCLUDE:

Quality Lodgings: throughout 3 Scandinavian countries:

 DENMARK | SWEDEN | NORWAY | 

Norway From its arctic north to its southern Skagerrak straits, Norway is a smorgasbord feast for the eyes. Home At First offers lodgings at quality small hotels — many of them with historic cultural importance — in locations throughout Norway, including:

OsloBergenStavanger  • Hardanger PlateauHardanger Fjord
•  Sogne Fjord  •  Nordfjord  •  Kristiansand & Southern Norway 
•  Lillehammer & Lake Mjøsa •  Ålesund & Geiranger Fjord  
•  Trondheim  •  Lofoten Islands  •  Tromsø & the Arctic North  

Sweden With two coasts fringed with lightly populated archipelagoes, a northland of wilderness tundra & snowcapped mountains, the largest lakes in western Europe, Scandinavia’s largest city and its central city, Sweden is large, diverse, and fascinating. Home At First has an equally diverse selection of quality small hotels in fascinating locations across Sweden, including:

  •  Stockholm & UppsalaGothenburgSweden’s Great Lakes
  • Sweden’s West Coast •  Great Baltic island of Gotland   
•  Sweden’s Heartland: Dalarna   •  Sweden’s Far South: Skåne 
•  Sweden’s Arctic & Lappland: Norrbotten  

Denmark Much smaller than neighboring Norway & Sweden, Denmark packs significant variety into three geographic regions: castles, beaches, forest, romantic islands, vital regional cities, and one of the world’s most livable cities, Copenhagen. Home At First has quality small hotel lodgings in all three regions:.

Zealand: central Copenhagen & royal Roskilde 
Funen: Odense, the home of Hans Christian Anderson
Jutland: in 2 bustling small cities: Aarhus & Aalborg


Custom-planned Individual Independent Itineraries: Choose the Scandinavian destinations that interest you. Choose a single destination, multiple destinations in just one country, or multiple destinations in two or more countries. You can even choose to add stops in other European countries before or after your visit to explore Scandinavia. (See list of combinable destinations, below.) Tell us about your dream trip by contacting Home At First.
         Our expert trip planners create an efficient, logical trip itinerary proposal for you that matches your trip goals. Our free trip itinerary proposal will include suggestions for flights, lodging locations, and transportation within Scandinavia: public transportation in cities, and car rental, train, boat, &/or regional flights for moving between destinations. The trip itinerary proposal comes with a detailed trip cost analysis.

Minimum itinerary length: 7-days in Scandinavia.
As a minimum, itineraries must include at least 7-nights of Home At First lodgings and either transatlantic flights or Scandinavian ground transportation.


Round-trip Flights: Our airline experts plan your round-trip flights to Scandinavia (usually to Copenhagen, Oslo, or Stockholm, but sometimes to Bergen or Gothenburg, whichever of these is the best choice for your needs) from your home airport. Our  price chart  includes round-trip fares based on flights from New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR) to Copenhagen, Denmark (CPH); Oslo, Norway (OSL); or Stockholm, Sweden (ARN). Flights from/to all other airports are available for applicable fare supplements or reductions.


Ground Transport: We recommend and arrange the appropriate ground transportation for your trip. Guests explore Scandinavia traveling by rental car, train, boat, and by regional flights. Tell us your goals and travel preferences; we will propose the right ground transportation for your visit.


• Our On-Site Destination Guides Keyed for Your Trip to Explore Scandinavia help you make the most out of your visit. Includes suggestions for touring, boat trips, hiking & adventure activities, restaurants, shopping, museums, galleries, much more.


Our Scandinavian Lodgings provide English-speaking Hosting dedicated to helping their guests explore Scandinavia confidently, providing recommendations for activities, dining, and services of all kinds.


SCANDINAVIA PRICING

EXPLORE SCANDINAVIA — IMAGES

  • Copenhagen: Nyhavn harbor. Photo © Home At First.
    DENMARK: Nyhavn harbor is a prime attraction in Copenhagen. Home At First's lodgings are close by.

Need help planning your dream Scandinavian itinerary? Contact our Explore Scandinavia specialists here.

                                                                    

EXPLORE SCANDINAVIA:

 

DENMARK

Denmark: shopping in Aarhus - Visit Denmark Photo by Morten Jac.

SHOPPING IN THE OLD CITY CENTER, AARHUS, DENMARK

 

EXPLORE SCANDINAVIA:

DENMARK

  Much smaller than neighboring Norway & Sweden, Denmark packs significant variety into its three geographic regions: castles, beaches, forest, romantic islands, vital regional cities, and one of the world’s most livable cities, Copenhagen.


Home At First Lodging Locations in Denmark:

CLASSIC Locations

Home At First’s Classic Lodging Locations across Zealand, Eastern Denmark:

COPENHAGEN: The capital & cultural center of Denmark
ROSKILDE: Former Danish royal capital and Viking port

NOTE: Except where noted, Classic À La Carte Pricing Applies to these Classic Lodging Locations in Denmark.


ReQUEST Locations

Special Request Lodging Locations Elsewhere in Denmark:

FUNEN: this island is Denmark’s central region. Odense is Hans Christian Anderson’s home city on Funen.
JUTLAND: Denmark’s large western peninsula. Aarhus, on the coast of east-central Jutland, is Denmark’s lively 2nd city, Aalborg is a colorful inland city close to the beaches of north Jutland.

NOTE: Custom-Pricing Applies to all Lodging & Transportation elements of these Special Request Locations in Denmark.


                                                                    

CLASSIC Locations

EASTERN DENMARK

— ZEALAND
Copenhagen & Roskilde

  Denmark’s capital city in all senses, Copenhagen is at once lively, lovely, laid-back, and luxurious. With one of the world’s highest standards of living, one in three Danes lives in greater Copenhagen. Its wealth and commitment to social planning place Copenhagen among the world’s most livable and environmentally responsible urban areas.

Copenhagen: Pierrot at Tivoli. Denmark Tourism Photo by Cees van Roeden.

PIERROT THE CLOWN is a fixture at the pantomime theater in COPENHAGEN’S BELOVED TIVOLI GARDENS AMUSEMENT PARK.

  Although Copenhagen boasts a modern rail, bus, and metro network, one-third of Copenhagen’s workers commute by bicycle. Free bikes and dedicated cycleways invite visitors to explore Copenhagen on two wheels.

Copenhagen: Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg Palace. Photo credit Wonderful Copenhagen.

Changing of the guard at amalienborg palace, copenhagen.

  There is much to see in this royal city packed with parks and palaces, pedestrian zones, playgrounds, and posh, world-class restaurants featuring traditional Danish and New Nordic cuisine.

Copenhagen: passenger boat on Nyhavn. Denmark Tourism Photo by Jørgen Schytte.

COPENHAGEN’S COLORFUL NYHAVN IS LINED WITH SHOPS & CAFES. HOME AT FIRST’S LODGINGS ARE NEARBY.

  Home At First Copenhagen visitors receive the Copenhagen Card, good for public transport throughout the city (and by metro from/to the airport), and valid for entries to scores of Copenhagen attractions.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors staying 3 nights or longer receive the Copenhagen Card valid for city buses, metro (including the Copenhagen Airport line), trams, certain harbor buses (water taxis), and on certain commuter train lines (including the Roskilde line), as well as free or reduced entries for many attractions. We do not recommend car rental for visitors to Copenhagen. 

Roskilde Hotel. Photo courtesy Roskilde Hotel.

HOME AT FIRST’S
ROSKILDE HOTEL

  Home At First offers hotel lodgings in central Copenhagen, a short walk from many principal attractions as well as to a main metro hub station. For those wishing longer stays (5 or more days), we can arrange for apartments near the city center.

Roskilde Cathedral. Photo copyright Home At First.

ROSKILDE CATHEDRAL haS been THE SITE OF TOMBS OF DANISH ROYALTY for 600 years.

  Home At First also offers hotel lodgings in the historic and attractive town of Roskilde — former royal capital of Denmark and Viking center — a 25-minute train commute from downtown Copenhagen.

Roskilde: Den Gamle Bagergaard - The Old Bakery. Photo © Home At First.

ROSKILDE’S OLD TOWN CENTER PEDESTRIAN ZONE FEATURES CHARMING SHOPS. HOME AT FIRST’S ROSKILDE INN IS IN THIS DISTRICT.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Roskilde is an excellent choice for visitors wishing to travel by rental car who do not wish to stay in an urban setting.


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST Location

CENTRAL DENMARK

— FUNEN
Odense

  Denmark’s third largest island, Funen, is the nation’s traditional agricultural heartland, crisscrossed with biking and walking paths and edged with dozens of small islands that attract visitors looking for a quiet beach holiday.

Funen: Odense street scene. Denmark Tourism Photo by Roland Jung.

ODENSE

  Home At First offers hotel lodgings in central Odense, its colorful old town core still paved with cobblestones, a short walk from many principal attractions and near public transportation. By request, Home At First will arrange for lodgings in rural central Funen or on the outlying seashore islands.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Odense may be visited by public transportation, but car rental is necessary for visitors staying in rural or seashore Funen. 


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST LocationS

NORTHWEST DENMARK

— JUTLAND
Aalborg & Aarhus

  Denmark’s Jutland peninsula is the part of Denmark that is not an island: the northern finger of mainland Europe. Jutland’s long coast is line with white-sand beaches, and sustained by artists’ communities and colorful fishing ports. Interior Jutland is widely forested, with winding roads ideal for car touring and cycling, Jutland is also home to Denmark’s second & fourth largest cities: Aarhus & Aalborg.

Jutland: Car touring through the region. Denmark Tourism Photo by Jorgen Schytte.

CAR TOURING THROUGH JUTLAND.

  AarhusDenmark’s second largest city — may be Scandinavia’s oldest city with memories reaching to Viking times, Its city center has several pedestrians-only streets lined with shops and restaurants. With a central railway station, Aarhus can be visited without a rental car.

Jutland: 2 women at a café. Denmark Tourism Photo by Michael Damsgaard.

CAFÉ SOCIETY IS ALIVE IN JUTLAND CITIES & TOWNS.

  AalborgDenmark’s fourth largest city — is inland, but within striking distance of beaches and fishing ports around the northern tip of Jutland. Its walkable, colorful city center is well-served by public transport. With a central railway station, Aarhus can be visited without a rental car.

  Home At First offers hotel lodgings in Aarhus and Aalborg, a short walk from many principal attractions and near public transport. Guests with cars can tour Jutland from their hotel bases.

 

                                                                    

EXPLORE SCANDINAVIA:

 

SWEDEN

Sweden: Royal Guard in Stockholm. Photo copyright Home At First.

GUARD AT THE ROYAL PALACE, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

EXPLORE SCANDINAVIA:

sweden

  With twice the population of either Denmark or Norway,  Sweden has a correspondingly complex society and economy. Most Swedes live in 3 urban areas: Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö. Away from its southern cities Sweden is sparsely populated over a diversely beautiful land area larger than Germany. Home At First’s Sweden travel program focuses on the country’s south, a beautiful region that is also the cultural center of Sweden.


Home At First Lodging Locations in Sweden:

5 CLASSIC Locations

Home At First’s Classic Lodging Locations across scenic southern Sweden:

STOCKHOLM: The Capital & its Baltic Archipelago
UPPSALA: Ancient Scholastic & Ecclesiastical Center
SWEDEN’S GREAT LAKES: mid-way between the coasts
THE WEST COAST: Bohuslän & its Skerries
GOTHENBURG: Central City of Scandinavia

NOTE: Except where noted, Classic À La Carte Pricing Applies to these Classic Lodging Locations in Sweden.


4 ReQUEST Locations

Special Request Lodging Locations Elsewhere in Sweden:

GOTLAND: Great Baltic Island
SKÅNE: Sweden’s far south
DALARNA: Sweden’s heartland
NORRBOTTEN: North Sweden — Lappland & the Arctic

NOTE: Custom-Pricing Applies to all Lodging & Transportation elements of these Special Request Locations in Swede.:


                                                                    

CLASSIC Locations

EASTERN SWEDEN

Stockholm & Uppsala

  Stockholm is Sweden’s capital and its largest city, with 25% of Swedes living within its metro area. Because of it is built across 14 islands — each with a different character — Stockholm seems more a collection of small, walkable communities than a congested modern city.

Stockholm: medieval Riddarholmen, the "Knights' Island". Photo © Home At First.

MEDIEVAL RIDDARHOLMEN ISLAND IS PART OF STOCKHOLM’S GAMLA STAN OLD CITY.

  Some islands are mostly residential. Others are commercial centers, governmental centers, parkland and recreation areas, and home to Swedish royalty. This last is also home to the Gamla Stan historic old city, easily Stockholm’s most popular visitor destination. When not exploring on foot, Home At First visitors find Stockholm easy to get around by public transport: metro, tram, bus, and ferry using the included Stockholm Pass, which also provides free entry to many top city attractions, including the top-rated Vasa Ship Museum.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors staying 3 nights or longer receive the Stockholm Pass valid for city buses, metro, trams, and certain ferries, as well as free or reduced entries for many attractions. We do not recommend car rental for visitors to Stockholm. 

Stockholm: the romantic alleyways of Gamla Stan. Photo copyright Home At First.

THE ROMANTIC ALLEYS OF STOCKHOLM’S OLD CITY, GAMLA STAN

  Home At First offers lodgings in small Swedish hotels in at least 3 areas of Stockholm, including one along a pedestrian street in the heart of Gamla Stan. By special request, we can arrange for lodging on one of the many islets in Stockholm’s Baltic Archipelago as part of a visit to the Stockholm region.

Uppsala Cathedral. Photo copyright Home At First.

13TH CENTURY UPPSALA CATHEDRAL, SWEDEN’S MOST IMPORTANT CHURCH.

  Home At First also offers hotel lodgings in the center of the historic small city of Uppsala, home of the oldest university in Scandinavia and the Church of Sweden.  Uppsala is connected by frequent rail service to Stockholm — a 40-minute commute — as well as to Stockholm’s main Arlanda Airport (16min journey time). Uppsala is a very walkable city with a rich history extending from Viking times. Its 13th century cathedral is Sweden’s most important church. Its large 16th century royal castle houses several museums.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Uppsala is an excellent choice for visitors wishing to travel by car who do not wish to stay in urban Stockholm, but still want access to Stockholm by high-speed rail.


                                                                    

CLASSIC Location

SOUTH-CENTRAL SWEDEN

Sweden’s Great Lakes

  South-central Sweden is midway between Stockholm on Sweden’s east coast and Gothenburg & Bohuslän on Sweden’s west coast. The region has great forests, interesting towns & cities, fine medieval castles, as well as notable agriculture & manufacturing, especially quality glassmaking. But the world-class attractions of the region are its two great lakes, Vättern & Vänern, inland seas ranking among the largest in Europe.

Läckö Castle on Lake Vänern. Photo copyright Home At First.

BAROQUE 16TH CENTURY LÄCKÖ CASTLE, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ON THE SOUTH SHORE OF LAKE VÄNERN

  Home At First offers lodgings in small, classically Swedish hotels by Lake Vättern, in/near the historic small lakeside town of Gränna, an ideal stop en route by car midway between Stockholm/Uppsala and Gothenburg, Bohuslän, or Copenhagen.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Sweden’s Lakeland will need a car rental. 


                                                                    

CLASSIC Location

SWEDEN’S WEST COAST

Bohuslän

  Sweden’s west coast extends about 250 miles from gritty Malmö across the Øresund strait from Copenhagen north along the Kattegat & Skagerrak seas to the Norwegian border not far south of Oslo. The region of Bohuslän covers the northern half of Sweden’s west coast from Gothenburg to the border with Norway. Bohuslän has a convoluted coastline and a rolling, agricultural interior, but it is the region’s inlets, islets, and skerries that give it a unique character.

Bohuslän: Grebbestad harbor boardwalk. Photo © Home At First.

BOHUSLÄN: GREBBESTAD HARBOR ATTRACTS BOATERS & LAND VISITORS TO ITS WATERSIDE SHOPS & CAFéS.

  Coastal Bohuslän is a playground for Swedes, peppered with isolated private cabins, family camps, peaceful hamlets sheltered by coves, and busy colorful villages and towns that harbor fleets of private sailboats and one-time sea shanties turned into delightful café restaurants and boutique shops.

West Coast: Lighthouse on Ursholmen outer island. Photo copyright Home At First.

BOHUSLÄN: LIGHTHOUSE ON URSHOLMEN OUTER ISLAND.

       Bohuslän is ideal for exploration by car. There are prehistoric sites to visit, and fortresses from iron age forts to medieval castles to 20th century citadels. Ferries carry visitors to outer islands crowned with lighthouses, and across the Skagerrak at the mouth of the Oslo Fjord to Norway.

  Home At First offers Bohuslän lodgings in small, classically Swedish hotels, close by the historic small coastal town of Grebbestad, an ideal stop en route by car midway between Oslo and Gothenburg, as well as a drive of 3½ hrs drive from Gränna in Sweden’s Great Lakes region.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Sweden’s West Coast (Bohuslän) will need a car rental. 


                                                                    

CLASSIC Location

CENTER OF SCANDINAVIA

Gothenburg

  Mid-way between Oslo and Copenhagen along Sweden’s west coast south of the skerries of Bohuslän is Sweden’s second city, the major port of Gothenburg. Fully 10% of Sweden’s populace lives in and around Gothenburg. Shipping and manufacturing — Volvo and other major Swedish firms — have made the relatively young (since 1621) city into the economic powerhouse in the center of Scandinavia.

Gothenburg: Tall Ship and Goeteborgsutkiken. Photo © Home At First.

GOTHENBURG HARBOR: TALL SHIP BY THE CITY’S LANDMARK “LIPSTICK” SKYSCRAPER.

         Visitors find that Gothenburg has the most vibrant culinary scene in Sweden, several noteworthy museums, and a famed in-town amusement park, Liseberg. Getting around Gothenburg by tram and canal boat — the city was built by Dutch engineers — means a car is not necessary here.

Gothenburg: Home At First Inn. Photo © Home At First.

HOME AT FIRST’S GOTHENBURG INN.

  Home At First offers lodgings in boutique Swedish inn not far from Liseberg, where guests may leave their cars and explore the city by public transport. Gothenburg’s international airport (Landvetter) is just 25min from the inn, making it convenient for connecting with more distant parts of Scandinavia and beyond.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Gothenburg will not need a car rental. Guests staying 3 nights or longer receive a transit pass valid for city buses, trams, and certain boats. 


SPECIAL REQUEST DESTINATIONS IN SWEDEN

   Home At First can arrange lodging (usually hotels or historic inns) and appropriate transportation for any of four custom-priced, special-request Swedish regions. These special-request Sweden destinations can be visited independently or in combination with any other Scandinavian regions:

Gotland: Great Baltic Island
Skåne: Sweden’s Far South
Dalarna: Middle Sweden
Norrbotten: Lappland & the Arctic


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST Location

Gotland

SWEDEN’S GREAT BALTIC ISLAND

  Of Sweden’s thousands of islands Gotland is by far the largest, about 60mi long and 40mi wide. And unlike most Swedish islands Gotland is far — about 60mi — from the Swedish mainland. With permanent population nearing 60,000, Sunny Gotland becomes much more populated in summer months (especially August) when thousands of vacationers arrive from the mainland. 

Gotland: strolling through Visby. Photo credit: Tina Axelsson/imagebank.sweden.se

STROLLING THROUGH VISBY, PRINCIPAL TOWN OF GOTLAND. VISBY IS A DESIGNATED WORLD HERITAGE SITE AND ONE OF SCANDINAVIA’S BEST-PRESERVED MEDIEVAL TOWNS WITH MORE THAN 2 MILES OF LARGELY INTACT TOWN WALLS. 

Photo: Tina Axelsson/ imagebank.sweden.se

  Gotland is primarily flat, agriculture, and sparsely populated. Nearly half (25,000) of the island’s residents live in the main town, Visby. Visitors like Gotland’s laid-back lifestyle, its fresh foods, its beaches, its easy cycling, and its Viking and medieval history, elements that combine to make the island a Swedish idyll.

  Visitors can travel to Visby, Gotland, by ferry — with or without their rental car — from Nynäshamn south of Stockholm. Journey time is 3hrs. Visitors can also fly from Stockholm (50min), Gothenburg (1hr), or Malmö (1hr) to Visby. Car rentals (if desired) are available at the airport and ferry docks. Lodgings in Gotland can be B&Bs, hotels, inns, cottages, or apartments and are available in Visby and in locations throughout Gotland.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Gotland will find rental cars necessary for efficient exploration of the island. Visitors staying in Visby do not require car rental. Locally available bike rentals are popular additions for visitors to Gotland. 


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST Location

Skåne

SWEDEN’S FAR SOUTH

  Skåne is Sweden’s southernmost region. Unlike most of Sweden Skåne is agricultural and known for its organic farms, fresh food, produce, and regional food specialties. Skåne also is home to Sweden’s third largest city, Malmø, (pop. 316,000) situated on the southwest corner of the country across the Øresund Strait (and connected by the international, rail & roadway Øresund Bridge/Tunnel to Copenhagen Airport and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Skåne: the Øresund Bridge from Malmo to Copenhagen. Photo © Viggo Lundberg.

THE ØRESUND BRIDGE CONNECTS MALMØ, SWEDEN, WITH COPENHAGEN, dENMARK. 

Photo © Viggo Lundberg

  The city of Lund (pop. 92,000), northeast of Malmø, is home to one of Scandinavia’s great cathedrals. Romanesque Lund Cathedral is nearly 1,000 years old. Lund’s Kulturen open-air museum presents a living history of southern Sweden from the Middle Ages to the 20th century on a 2-block site in the city center.

Skåne: Cattle farming. Photo 6113 Credit: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se

SKåNE IS SWEDEN’S LARGEST AGRICULTURAL REGION. 

Photo: Pixel Petersson/ imagebank.sweden.se

  Visitors can travel to Skåne by rental car, train, and flights — most commonly to Copenhagen or Malmø airports, Lodgings in Skåne can be hotels or inns in locations across the region.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Skåne will find rental cars necessary for efficient exploration of the region. 


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST Location

Dalarna

SWEDEN’S CENTRAL HEARTLAND

  Dalarna is a sizeable interior county northwest of Uppsala. A land of lakes, forests, and scattered villages & towns, Dalarna is the size of Belgium but with a population density of just 25 persons per square mile.

Dalarna: Celebrating Midsummer in traditional costumes. Photo 5838 Per Bifrost - imagebank.sweden.se

CELEBRATING MIDSUMMER IN DALARNA 

Photo: Per Bifrost/ imagebank.sweden.se

  Dalarna — “the valleys” — is often thought as Sweden’s historic cultural heartland. Swedes — and foreigners with Swedish roots — enjoy returning to Dalarna to connect with their heritage in a largely natural landscape. Dalarna is especially popular in June at Midsummer when traditional festivities are celebrated in historic costume.

Dalarna - Dalahäst souvenir wooden horse. Photo Credit: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

wooden DALARNA HORSE — swedish symbol MADE IN NUSNÄS ON LAKE SILJAN IN THE CENTER OF DALARNA  

Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/ Imagebank.sweden.se

  Lodgings in Dalarna can be hotels or inns in locations across the region.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Dalarna will find rental cars necessary for efficient exploration of the region. 


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST Location

Norrbotten

SWEDEN’S FAR NORTH: LAPPLAND & THE ARCTIC

  Sweden’s northernmost 25% is Norrbotten county — larger than Ireland — a lightly populated land of great variety. Most of Norrbotten is above the Arctic Circle. Much of its population lives below the Arctic Circle. But, above the line Arctic Sweden is a land apart, full of waiting adventures.

SAMI CULTURE IN LAPPLAND

Photo Lola Akinmade Åkerström/ imagebank.sweden.se

  Much of Arctic Sweden is Lappland, home to migrating Sami people whose traditional lives revolve around their domesticated reindeer herds. Visitors can experience Sami culture close up at the annual Jokkmokk market and elsewhere.

Norrbotten: Dog sledding near Jokkmokk. Photo 1593 credit Staffan Widstrand/imagebank.sweden.se

DOG-SLEDDING AT JOKKMOKK

Photo Staffan Widstrand/ imagebank.sweden.se

  Numerous adventure operators offer arctic experiences, including dog-sledding, reindeer sledding, hiking, skiing, fishing, and snowshoeing.

Norrbotten: Jukkasjärvi — Northern Lights above the Ice Hotel. Photo 5624 Credit Asif Kliger/Icehotel/imagebank.sweden.se

THE NORTHERN LIGHTS DANCE ABOVE THE ICE HOTEL IN ARCTIC SWEDEN

Photo Asaf Kliger/Icehotel/ imagebank.sweden.se

 For those looking to experience the Northern Lights have an excellent chance to realize their dream in Artic Sweden. Probably no experience in Arctic Sweden is better known that staying at the Ice Hotel at Jukkasjärvi near Kiruna, now available year-round.  

Norrbotten: Reindeer on tundra. Photo © Home At First.

WILD REINDEER ON THE TUNDRA NORTH OF KIRUNA

  Visitors can travel to Norrbotten by rental car, train, and flights — most commonly to Kiruna or Luleå airports. Besides the Ice Hotel, lodgings in Norrbotten can be in the tree-tops or in other unusual hotels or inns in locations across the region.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Norrbotten County not traveling with an organized tour will find rental cars necessary for efficient exploration of the region. 

  

 

                                                                    

EXPLORE SCANDINAVIA:

 

NORWAY

Norway - Blonde sisters on Hardanger Fjord Car Ferry. Photo copyright Home At First.

CAR FERRY CROSSING THE HARDANGER FJORD, NORWAY

EXPLORE SCANDINAVIA:

NORWAY

  Not long ago Norway was Scandinavia’s poor relation: too far north, too mountainous, too snowy, with a western coastline too rugged, wet, foggy, and treacherous to handle major shipping or attract tourism. Then, in the 1960s major North Sea oil fields were discovered just offshore, and everything changed. Now Norway is Scandinavia’s biggest attraction: its cities centers of culture & gastronomy; its art & literature world class; its west coast fjords & mountains World Heritage Sites; its traditional foods, once subsistence sustenance, now relished as gourmet.

Lillehammer: Girl knitting at Maihaugen Open-Air Museum. Photo copyright Home At First.

TRADITIONAL NORWAY IS RE-ENACTED DAILY AT MAIHAUGEN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM, LILLEHAMMER

  But traditional Norway runs deep. Scratch Norway’s surface and you will find the old Norway at fingernail depth, if you know where to look. Home At First’s program lets you experience modern Norway and find traditional Norway. And, with options for travel by rail, car, boat, and air, you get to discover the geographic wonders of Norway on your terms and at your preferred touring pace.


Home At First Lodging Locations in Norway:

8 CLASSIC Locations:

Home At First Classic Lodging Locations across scenic southern Norway:

OSLO & ITS REGION
HARDANGER PLATEAU
HARDANGER FJORD
SOGNE FJORD
SANDANE & NORDFJORD
BERGEN & ITS REGION
STAVANGER & LYSEFJORD
KRISTIANSAND & THE FAR SOUTH

NOTE: Except where noted, Classic À La Carte Pricing Applies to these Classic Lodging Locations in Norway.


5 ReQUEST Locations:

Special Request Lodging Locations Elsewhere in Norway:

LILLEHAMMER & L. MJØSA
ÅLESUND & GEIRANGER FJORD
TRONDHEIM
LOFOTEN ISLANDS
TROMSØ & THE ARCTIC

NOTE: Custom-Pricing Applies to all Lodging & Transportation elements of these Special Request Locations in Norway.


                                                                    

CLASSIC Location

SOUTHEASTERN NORWAY

Oslo & its Region

  Oslo — the Norwegian capital founded by Viking kings 1,000 years ago, and modern home to one-third of Norway’s population — is still home to Norway’s royal family, as well as to the Nobel Peace Prize,

  Exploring friendly, walkable Oslo leads to a park in the center of the main boulevard by Parliament, another crowned with the Royal Palace, another displaying world-class art, and still another built around a world-class ski jump.

Norway: Dragon Boat at Viking Museum Oslo. Photo © Home At First.

DRAGON BOAT, VIKING SHIP MUSEUM, OSLO, NORWAY

  Many of Oslo’s top attractions are spread around the city’s extensive harbor area at the top of the Oslo Fjord. Pedestrians move freely around the harbor, stopping to climb the roof at Oslo’s modern Opera House, to inspect the armaments at Akershus Fortress, for a selfie in front of the iconic City Hall, or to visit museums by the City Hall (art & Peace Prize) or cross-harbor in neighboring Bygdøy (Viking ship, Kon Tiki, polar exploration, & Norwegian history).

Oslo: Edvard Munch Museum painting: Madonna. Photo copyright Home At First.

‘MADONNA’ AT THE EDVARD MUNCH MUSEUM, OSLO — CURRENTLY REACHABLE BY METRO BUT SOON RELOCATING TO GRAND NEW QUARTERS ON OSLO’S HARBOR.

  Not all Oslo attractions are easily reached on foot. Fortunately, Oslo has a fine public transit system, with metro, trams, ferries, buses, and trains. The Oslo Pass — supplied to visitors staying at least 3 days in Oslo — is valid for most public transport and entry fees to museums and other attractions.

  Home At First offers lodgings in fine hotels in at least 3 areas of Oslo, including one in an elegant neighborhood a short walk to the palace and the magnificent Vigeland sculptures in Frogner Park.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors staying 3 nights or longer receive the Oslo Pass valid for city buses, metro, trams, certain ferries, and on the Oslo Airport train, as well as free or reduced entries for many attractions. We do not recommend car rental for visitors to Oslo. 


                                                                    

CLASSIC Location

SOUTHWESTERN NORWAY

Bergen & its Region

  Bergen — Norway’s second city offers the best of Norway’s west coast and perhaps of all of Norway in one location — a friendly, walkable city center with history, scenery, culture, food, & art, Its historic Bryggen harbor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and photogenic center attracting shoppers, diners, and people watchers.

Bergen: Bryggen Harbor busy with boats. Photo copyright Home At First.

BERGEN’S BRYGGEN HARBOR: ALWAYS BUSY ON LAND & ON THE WATER

  Bergen is a prime start or end point for visiting several magnificent fjords by boat, car, or train. Visitors can begin or end their visits to Norway at Bergen’s international airport.

NOTE: Arriving or departing Bergen using international or domestic flights, and/or using the passenger ferry services connecting Bergen with Stavanger, Ålesund, Trondheim or other Norwegian and international ports are extra cost transport options. 

  Home At First offers lodgings in fine hotels in Bergen. All are short walks to the Bryggen harbor, and one is quite close to the city’s train station.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Bergen will find having a rental car impractical to use and expensive to park. We advise guests to drop off or pick-up rental cars upon arriving or departing Bergen by car.


                                                                    

CLASSIC LocationS

SOUTH-CENTRAL NORWAY

Mountains & Fjords

  Hardanger, Sogne, Nord — between Oslo and Bergen is a landscape so monumental portions have been awarded World Heritage status. Rising steadily — and at times precipitously — the mountainous landscape climbs 1¼ miles to glaciated peaks. This is the backbone of Norway: rugged, sparsely populated, and starkly beautiful.

Hardangervidda National Park: bridge over troubled waters. Photo copyright Home At First.

HARDANGERVIDDA NATIONAL PARK: HIKING, SKIING, REINDEER, & MOOSE.

  Europe’s largest alpine plateau, the Hardangervidda, covers 2,500 square miles of this region at an average altitude of 3,600′, and is incorporated as Norway’s largest national park, with few human habitations but plentiful moose and large herds of reindeer. With excellent hiking, climbing, and cross-country skiing, the Hardanger Plateau is a favorite playground for Norwegians.

Hardanger Fjord: The Troll's Tongue. Photo © Scott Sporleder/Matador Network/www.fjordnorway.com

THE FRIGHTENING ‘TROLL’S TONGUE’ HIGH ABOVE THE HARDANGER FJORD.

Photo © Scott Sporleder/Matador Network/www.fjordnorway.com

  Along the west coast long, parallel fjords invade the mountainous interior from the North Sea. Norway’s two longest fjords — the Hardanger Fjord and the Sogne Fjord — extend more than 100 miles inland from their sea mouths near Bergen. A third — the Nordfjord — some miles north of the Sogne Fjord, extends 66 miles inland.

Hardanger Fjord: car ferry in mid-fjord. Photo © Home At First.

Car ferry crossing the Hardanger Fjord. Ferries are important links connecting main roads in FJORD COUNTRY.

  These three classic Norwegian fjords offer surprising scenes of ocean-going cruise ships flanked by near vertical mountain walls, colorful villages hugging small inlets, dramatic waterfalls plummeting from the heights to sea level, and car ferries connecting isolated sections of roadway.

Flåm on the Sogne Fjord: Train arriving by Flåmsbana Railway Museum. Photo © Home At First.

AN ARRIVING TRAIN PASSES THE RAILWAY MUSEUM AT FLåM HAVING JUST DESCENDED 3,200′ FROM MYRDAL TO THE SOGNE FJORD. HERE AT FLåM MANY PASSENGERS WILL BOARD FJORD BOATS TO CRUISE THE SOGNE AND PERHAPS CONTINUE TO BERGEN.

  The Hardangervidda Plateau can be explored by car or train originating in Oslo or Bergen. A car is necessary to explore the Nordfjord and the Hardanger Fjord. However, the Sogne Fjord may be explored by a combination of train & passenger boat, or train, boat, and bus, as well as by car. Home At First can put together the ideal itinerary for your interests using your preferred transportation modes.

Sogne Fjord: Village with fjord-side hotel and ferry landing. Photo © www.fjordnorway.com.

a home at first destination village on the sogne fjord. visitors arrive by rental car or by ferry from flÅm  or bergen.

Photo © www.fjordnorway.com

  Home At First offers lodgings in classic Norwegian inns and hotels in the Hardanger Plateau region and in traditional Norwegian villages on the Hardanger Fjord, Sogne Fjord, and Nordfjord. 

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors traveling between Oslo and Bergen via the Hardanger Plateau and the Sogne Fjord have the option of travel by rental car or by a combination of rail and boat. Visitors wishing to explore the Hardanger Fjord or Nordfjord regions can only do so by rental car. 


                                                                    

CLASSIC Location

WESTERN SOUTH NORWAY

Stavanger & its Region

  Stavanger was the primary 19th century emigration point for Norwegian-Americans. Today the city is an ideal touring base for Norway’s southwest coast fjord region. Stavanger has excellent genealogical resources for visitors researching their ancestry.

Stavanger: Skagen restaurant on the Vågen waterfront. Photo © Home At First.

WATERFRONT RESTAURANT at STAVANGER’S lively VåGEN HARBOR. home at first’S HOTEL LODGINGS ARE CLOSE by.

  Stavanger’s harbor is a major port serving the North Sea oil fields. The very walkable, attractive waterfront region is home to excellent restaurants, shops, a quaint old town, and a traditional outdoor market,

  Stavanger is the departure point for cruises up the scenic Lysefjord and hiking excursions to the famous Pulpit Rock fjord overlook.

Stavanger region: hiking above the Lysefjord. Photo by Mattias Fredricksson © Fjord Norway.

FROM STAVANGER EXPERIENCE THE LYSEFJORD AT SEA LEVEL BY BOAT OR from up to 3,500′ ABOVE THE FJORD ON FOOT.

Fjord Norway / Mattias Fredriksson

  Visitors can travel to Stavanger by rental car, or by train from Oslo or Kristiansand. Home At First lodgings in Stavanger are in hotels in the city’s central Vågen harbor district.

NOTE: Arriving or departing Stavanger using international or domestic flights, and/or using the passenger ferry service connecting Stavanger with Bergen (5-6 hrs journey time) are extra cost transport options. 

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors may want to travel to/from Stavanger by rental car, but visitors do not need a car rental in the city. 


                                                                    

CLASSIC LocationS

FAR SOUTHERN NORWAY

Kristiansand & its Region

  Southernmost Norway is a favored summer vacationland to Norwegians, who love its charming coastal fishing villages and the traditional farms & villages of its rugged interior.

  Lillesand, a traditional fishing town of wooden houses — many from the 17th to 19th centuries — wrapped around a protected harbor. Lillesand offers swimming, strolling, fishing, boating, and fine dining in authentic Norwegian surroundings ideal for a relaxing holiday.

Southern Norway: Lillesand harbour. Photo copyright Home At First.

LILLESAND HARBOR

   Home At First’s lodging in Lillesand is a small, traditional inn on the harbor, known for its excellent restaurant.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors staying in Lillesand must have a rental car, which will also prove useful for exploring the coast and interior of the region.

Lillesand Inn on the harbor. Photo © Home At First.

LILLESAND INN ON THE HARBOR

  Almost at Norway’s southern tip is the small city of Kristiansand (pop. 93,000), the region’s historic cultural center with a sizeable old town of wooden houses. Its port maintains regular ferry connections with northern Jutland,  Denmark, across the Skagerrak straits (3.5 hrs journey time). Kristiansand offers a parade of Norwegian history — from prehistoric through World War II — in a busy, prosperous small city with excellent public swimming facilities, and plentiful shopping and dining opportunities. 

Southern Norway: Kristiansand's city hall square with statue of King Haakon VII. Photo © Home At First.

KRISTIANSAND’S CITY HALL PLAZA WITH A STATUE OF KING HAAKON VII, WHO REIGNED from EXILE in ENGLAND DURING THE NAZI OCCUPATION OF NORWAY.

   Home At First’s lodgings in Kristiansand are small hotels by the harbor, within short walking distance of the old town and other popular attraction.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors staying in Kristiansand can arrive by train from Oslo or Stavanger, or can travel by a rental car, which will be useful for exploring the historic coast and rugged interior of Southern Norway.

NOTE: Arriving or departing Kristiansand using international or domestic flights, and/or using the passenger ferry service connecting Hirtshals, Denmark, with Kristiansand (3.5 hrs journey time) are extra cost transport options. 


SPECIAL REQUEST DESTINATIONS IN NORWAY

   Home At First can arrange lodging (usually hotels or historic inns) and appropriate transportation for any of five custom-priced, special-request Norwegian regions. These special-request Norwegian destinations can be visited independently or in combination with any other Scandinavian regions:

Lillehammer & Lake Mjøsa
Ålesund & Geiranger Fjord
Trondheim
Lofoten Islands
Tromsø & the Arctic


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST LocationS

Lillehammer & the Lake Mjøsa Region

INLAND NORWAY NORTH OF OSLO

  The small city of Lillehammer (pop. 28,000) gained international attention as the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics. The attractive city draws athletes to its Olympic ski jump, cross-country tracks, and regional ski slopes. Lillehammer’s Norwegian Olympic Museum is part of the Maihaugen open air living museum which puts traditional rural Norway on display.

Lillesand: Summer jumping at the Olympic Ski Jump. Photo © Home At First.

SUMMER SKI-JUMPING AT LILLESAND’S OLYMPIC HILL.

  At the northern end of Norway’s largest lake, Lake Mjøsa, Lillehammer is some 120 miles north of Oslo — about 2 hours travel by car; 2¼ hours by train.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Lillehammer & Lake Mjøsa will find rental cars necessary for efficient exploration of the region. 


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST LocationS

Ålesund & the Geiranger Fjord

COASTAL NORWAY BETWEEN BERGEN & TRONDHEIM

  The city of Ålesund (pop. 67,000) sits on a narrow peninsula jutting into the North Sea, surrounded by a close-knit archipelago. The city is Norway’s largest fishing port as well as a harbor for commercial shipping and North Sea oil. Its island-like setting and its legacy architecture make it one of Norway’s most attractive cities. Its proximity to the Geiranger Fjord World Heritage Site — accessed by car & passenger ferry — make Ålesund a popular visit stop mid-way between Bergen & Trondheim.

Ålesund. Photo © Terje Rakke / Nordic Life AS / www.fjordnorway.com

ÅLESUND’S PENINSULAR SETTING ON THE NORTH SEA

Photo © Terje Rakke/Nordic Life AS/www.fjordnorway.com

  Ålesund is not quite 8 hours from Oslo by train & bus via the scenic Rauma Railway Line. Ålesund is 7.5 hrs by car from Bergen and about 5.5 hrs by car from Trondheim (or about 7 hrs via the remarkably scenic Atlantic Ocean Road).

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Ålesund & the Geiranger Fjord region — even those arriving by train/bus or boat — will find rental cars necessary for efficient exploration of the region. 


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST Location

Trondheim

COASTAL NORWAY BETWEEN ÅLESUND & LOFOTEN ISLANDS

  Trondheim (pop. 205,000) is Norway’s third largest city, and the historic capital of Viking Norway. It is located on the broad Trondheim Fjord at the mouth of the Nidelva River. Despite its northern latitude, Trondheim’s climate is relatively moderate, being dominated by the warmer ocean rather than the colder inland temperatures.
       Prominent in the city center is Trondheim’s 950-year-old Nidaros Cathedral is Europe’s northernmost medieval Gothic cathedral. The city has several museums, including an important modern art museum, an open-air museum, a science museum, and a rock/pop music museum. Cafés, shops and boutiques are scattered across the city, which has a lively, youthful feel.

Trondheim Sunset. Foap Photo © VisitNorway.com

SUNSET IN TRONDHEIM

Foap Photo © VisitNorway.com

  Trondheim is a transportation center, with a busy harbor, northern Norway’s largest airport, and railway service from Oslo and to points north.

  Trondheim is not quite 7-8 hours from Oslo by train or 1-2 hours by air. Trondheim is also at the junction of major road routes: northeast from Ålesund (under 6 hrs); north from Oslo (about 7 hrs); and east from Sundsvall, coastal central Sweden (about 6 hrs).

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Trondheim arriving by train, plane, or boat will find city buses an efficient and inexpensive means of seeing the city. Those stopping at Trondheim with rental cars will find rental cars useful for exploration of the region. 


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST LocationS

The Lofoten Islands

ARCTIC COASTAL NORWAY BETWEEN TRONDHEIM & TROMSØ

  In a country renowned for its scenic spectacle, the Lofoten Islands may be unsurpassed. The remote archipelago extends some 200 miles southwest from the Norwegian mainland near Narvik. A panoply of precipitous peaks, placid bays, and pristine fishing villages on a string of arctic islands: travel pearls connected by a chain of road bridges, Lofoten invites exploration by car. But Lofoten is not easy to get to, and its accommodations can be spartan, if welcoming.

Northern lights at the Lofoten Islands. Photo © Johny Goerend / brandnorway.no.

THE AURORA BOREALIS DANCES OVER THE
LOFOTEN ISLANDS OF NORTHERN NORWAY.

Photo © Johny Goerend / brandnorway.no

  Driving to Lofoten from southern Norway is far and time-consuming (about 20 hrs drive time) and only recommended for those looking for a challenging road trip of marathon proportions. While it is possible to take the train from Sweden to Narvik and continue onto Lofoten by rental car, the train journey requires a full day. We recommend flying to Lofoten from southern Norway. The few non-stop flights take about 2.5 hrs from Oslo. At the arrival airport you will need to pick-up a rental car to continue the journey to your lodgings: another 1-5 hours.

  Is a visit to the Lofoten Islands worth the trouble and expense? There’s a reason spectacular images of Lofoten appear so frequently on travel calendars. If you decide to go, remember that the success of your adventure will be more than a little dependent on the weather you encounter on this arctic archipelago in the Norwegian Sea well north of Iceland.

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors coming to the Lofoten Islands by train, plane, or boat will need rental cars for exploration of the region. 


                                                                    

SPECIAL REQUEST LocationS

Tromsø & the Arctic

ARCTIC NORWAY NEAR THE TOP OF MAINLAND EUROPE

  Tromsø (pop. 65,000) is Norway’s largest far-northern city, and 3rd most populous arctic city in the world. Built on two islands and the Norwegian mainland, Tromsø’s deep-water port location is warmed by the Gulf Stream. Like much of coastal Norway, Tromsø’s climate is relatively mild given its extreme northern latitude. Being well above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø experiences midnight sun for fully two months (mid-May through mid-July) each year, and “polar night” from late-November through mid-January, a time when the Northern Lights are often visible above the city.

Tromsø's Arctic Cathedral. Photo © Home At First.

TROMSø’S LANDMARK ARCTIC CATHEDRAL

  Tromsø was once the frontier of Norway with Sámi territory (Lappland) and Russia, and had been an important German stronghold during World War II. The city has long been a base for arctic expeditions. Today, Tromsø is important as Norway’s largest fishing port and as an arctic research center. The city is the regional cultural center for far northern Norway.

Midnight Sun. Photo © Home At First.

TROMSø EXPERIENCES 2 MONTHS OF MIDNIGHT SUN

  Driving to Tromsø  from Lofoten is possible in about 7 hours, and a little over 3 hours from Narvik. Flying from Lofoten (Leknes) takes 50min, but there are few flights. Flight time is about 2hrs from Oslo or from Bergen, Driving to the famous Ice Hotel near Kiruna, Sweden, (Swedish Lappland) takes under 6hrs. All of these journey times assume decent weather conditions. However, travelers are advised that travel in the far north of Scandinavia can be adversely affected by extreme weather conditions and the vast wilderness.

  We recommend flying to Tromsø from southern Norway. The few non-stop flights take about 2 hrs from Oslo. At the arrival airport you will need to pick-up a rental car to continue the journey to your lodgings: another 15 minutes. 

TRANSPORTATION NOTE: Visitors to Tromsø arriving by plane or boat will find city buses an efficient and inexpensive means of seeing the city. Those stopping at Tromsø with rental cars will find rental cars useful for exploration of the region. 

   


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Scandinavia readily combines with many other Home At First destinations.

Achieve more than one European travel goal for just one transatlantic airfare.

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