Arctic Circle Express ACJ21
|Resort:||Arctic Circle Express ACJ21|
|Operator:||Great Rail Journeys|
Majestic mountains and heavenly Norwegian fjords combine with the tranquil landscapes of Sweden on an epic journey that includes every great Scandinavian rail experience. On this exciting 17-day holiday, we visit the fascinating cities of Stockholm, Trondheim, Bergen, and Oslo, also travelling beyond the Arctic Circle to the ‘Land of the Midnight Sun.’
Days 1-3 – London, Stockholm and stersund
We fly* from London Heathrow to Stockholm for 2 nights.
On Day 2, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Stockholm that takes us to City Hall, the Royal Palace, Ostermalm, Lngholm, the Royal Djurgrden, and the Old Town. We take a traditional Swedish ‘fika’, or coffee break, relaxing over a hot drink and slice of home-made cake. This afternoon is at leisure. We depart Stockholm on Day 3, taking the InterCity train to stersund, nestled on the shore of beautiful Lake Storsjn.
*Please note: you will need to take your luggage from the UK with you on your flight, as opposed to it travelling via our luggage transfer service.
Day 4 – The Inlandsbanan and Lapland
We leave stersund and head north to Sorsele today, travelling through some of Sweden’s most glorious scenery as we head towards the untamed wilderness of Swedish Lapland. Our journey on the Inlandsbanan tourist train takes us through a landscape of crystal clear lakes and towering forests, towards the ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’. On arrival, we make a visit to the Inlandsbanan Museum before getting a real taste of Lapland with a visit to a Sami village in Slagnas. From here we transfer to Arjeplog, where we spend the night. Dinner tonight is served Scandinavian style, around an open fire in a tipi.
Days 5-8 – Crossing the Arctic Circle and the Ofoten Railway to Narvik
Today, we travel by coach to Jokkmokk, crossing the Arctic Circle on our way. After a free morning on Day 6, during which entrance to the local Sami museum is included, we enjoy a journey on one of the world’s most northerly railway lines, the Ofoten Railway, seeing Sweden’s breathtaking mountain scenery segue into iconic Norwegian landscapes. We arrive into Narvik which we explore on Day 7, visiting the town’s war museum to learn about the pivotal role Narvik played in the Second World War.
Day 8 is spent travelling to Fauske via coach. On arrival in Fauske, we board our train to Verdal which takes us along the incredible Nordland Railway on the ‘Polar Express’. We avel past awesome fjords and bristling forests, disembarking in Verdal and spending the night in Stiklestad.
Days 9-10 – South to Trondheim
This morning we take a guided tour of Stiklestad, the site of King Olav’s death in 1030. After lunch, we travel by coach along Norway’s rugged coastline south to Trondheim. Late this evening we arrive in Trondheim, Norway’s Viking capital.
Day 10 includes a guided tour during which we’ll visit the Old Quarter, Bakklandet, Nidaros Cathedral, and the Royal Residence. The afternoon is free for you to continue exploring one of the oldest cities in Norway.
Day 11 – The Rauma Railway
Today we join the 71-mile-long Rauma Railway for a spectacular journey through magnificent, contrasting landscapes. We navigate the same course as the emerald waters of the River Rauma for much of the journey, the train tracks following the river as it winds around the surrounding hillsides. As we climb over rounded mountain peaks and smooth plateaus, we are treated to awesome views across the expansive, unspoiled national parks that stretch into the distance.
On arrival into ndalsnes, we transfer by coach to Geiranger, travelling via Trollstigen for a 2 night stay at the Union Hotel Geiranger. The hotel stands at the head of the Geirangerfjord, one of Norway’s most picturesque sites.
Day 12 – Geirangerfjord boat cruise
Today we enjoy the beautiful scenery of Geirangerfjord by boat. As we cruise along the serene waters, the steep sides of the fjord tower over our boat. Afterwards, we take a scenic drive via Hellesylt back to our hotel.
Day 13 – Through the Fjords to Flm
We leave Geiranger by coach, continuing our scenic voyage through Norway’s incredible fjord country. We travel along valleys hemmed in by lofty mountains and along steep-sided fjords, every bend in the road offering a new perspective. We pause en route at Dalsnibba viewing point and Kaupanger stave church. We reach Flm at the head of Aurlandsfjord, our base for the night.
Day 14 – The Flm Railway to Bergen
Today we enjoy a superb excursion on the Flm Railway. Our rail journey takes us up into the mountains along one of the steepest lines in the world, twisting and turning regularly as the railway does its best to accommodate the extreme terrain. We reach Myrdal and make the return journey to Flm, where we board a luxury eco boat for a cruise across Sognefjord with a difference. After disembarking, we make our way by coach to Bergen.
Days 15-17 – Bergen, Oslo, and London
Today we are treated to a guided walking tour of Bergen, a harbour city surrounded by 7 striking mountains and noted for the wonderfully preserved medieval buildings of its Bergenhus district. We stop for a delicious seafood lunch at the picturesque fish market, before taking a coach tour of Bergen’s dramatic bridges.
We board the train to Oslo on Day 16, making the journey on Northern Europe’s highest railway line, the Bergen Railway. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel.
On Day 17, we transfer to the airport for our flight* back to London Heathrow.