Hiking Above the Arctic Circle


Northern Norway is a dreamlike realm where jagged mountains rise out of crystalline seas and exquisite islands, bays, and fjords shelter tiny villages and a deep Viking heritage. High above the Arctic Circle, we’ve created a spirited adventure in the incredibly spectacular Lofoten and Vesterålen islands, the jewels of Arctic Norway. Breathtaking coastal hikes, Viking culture, Sámi reindeer herders, tracking whales at sea, and kayaking under the midnight sun are all part of the journey. Overnights are in historic rorbuer—traditional seaside fishermen’s stilt-cottages converted into simple lodges. Along the way, we’ll meet the welcoming islanders, enjoy unique hikes, and revel in majestic mountains and seascapes, all in the glorious northern summer light.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Bodø / Lofoten Islands

From Bodø, Norway, we ferry across cobalt-blue waters to the Lofotens, enjoying striking panoramas of the magnificent Lofoten Wall, an 80-mile stretch of sheer mountains rising above a string of fishing villages. In the picturesque town of Reine, with its red and white fishermen’s cottages, we hike to the tiny hamlet of Kjerkfjorden, nestled at the head of a deep fjord, for a beach picnic in a spectacular setting.

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Days 4-5
Lofoten / Svolvaer

After a farm-to-table lunch at an organic farm, we explore the Viking heritage of Lofoten, which dates to 500 AD. At the Viking Museum, we can try our hand at axe-throwing or rowing a traditional boat, then settle in for a feast in a longhouse, complete with mead, stories, and song.

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Days 6-9
Vesterålen / Senja / Sami Culture / Midnight Kayaking

We hike to the ancient village of Nyksund and visit a reindeer farm to learn about the culture of the reindeer-herding Sami, Europe’s oldest indigenous people. If the weather is on our side, we’ll head out by boat to look for sperm whales. On one evening, we’ll kayak at midnight under the Arctic night sky, watching as the sheer cliff faces glow with pink light.

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Days 10-12

After a hike along Husfjellet, a spectacular ridge above the sea, we head to Tromsø, Norway’s northern capital. One evening, we visit the Arctic Cathedral for a midnight—yes, midnight—concert featuring Norwegian composers, including Edvard Grieg, and we’ll explore the Polar Museum, with its artifacts from the life of legendary explorer Roald Amundsen. Depart on Day 12.

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Hike the Arctic islands of Norway: Lofoten, Vesteralen, and Senja
Enjoy the long summer light that allows for kayaking and picnics under the midnight sun
Go whale watching—a chance to track sperm whales
Enjoy hands-on experiences at the Viking Museum and a midnight concert at Tromsø's Arctic Cathedral


Length: 12 days
Cost From: $6695  
Arrive: Bodø, Norway
Depart: Tromsø, Norway
Lodging: 11 nights rustic hotels
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

11 hiking days on moderate to steep trails in sometimes rugged terrain, 4-6 hours most days. This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.