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The Great North Tour

(33 days / 32 nights)

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Experience the North in all its magnificence

Get ready for the ultimate Scandinavian adventure. The Great North Tour is the journey of a lifetime, bringing you up close and personal with a rich smorgasbord of diverse Nordic cultures, awe-inspiring landscapes, fascinating wildlife and vibrant capital cities.

This package is dependent on availability – please contact us for availability before confirming the booking online.

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Castles and Royalty, Countryside and natural scenery, Culture and History, Family, Luxury & Lifestyle, Relaxation and Spa

Season

15 May - 15 Sep

Departure

Daily

Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

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  • Day 1: Welcome to the capital of Finland

    On arrival to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, you will be greeted by a driver and transferred to your comfortable hotel in the heart of the city. If you arrive early, we recommend getting the Helsinki Card, offering access to all the main sights, museums and public transport.

    Spend the night in Helsinki. 

    Highlights
  • Day 2: Helsinki to Stockholm by Cruise

    Use this day to explore the Finnish capital, with such sights as the Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, Parliament House, Finlandia Hall, New Opera House, Sibelius Park and the Monument and Underground Temple. In the  afternoon, board your overnight cruise to Stockholm and enjoy the array of facilities available on board — cafes, restaurant and shops.

    Spend the night in the comfort of your cabin on board the ship.

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  • Day 3: Explore Sweden's Historic Capital

    In the morning, the ship navigates through the Stockholm Archipelago, a collection of over 30,000 islands and inlets, as it pulls into the harbor at Stockholm, a city built over 14 of the islands. To see the best of Stockholm after settling into your hotel, we recommend My Stockholm Pass, which gives you free admission to a total of 75 experiences, free sightseeing tours, discounts to a number of restaurants, shops and much more.  Some suggested attractions today include the Vasa Ship Museum and City Hall’s famous Blue Hall, site of the annual Nobel Prize banquet.

    Spend the night in Stockholm.

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  • Day 4: Stockholm at Your Fingertips

    For a great overview of Stockholm, we recommend joining a guided sightseeing tour, either by bus or boat.  Don’t miss the Old Town (Gamla Stan), one of the oldest and best preserved medieval city centres in Europe, where Stockholm was found in 1252. Here you will find many small shops, galleries, souvenir shops and cafés among its colourful and characteristically narrow streets and alleys.

    Spend the night in Stockholm. 

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  • Day 5: Stockholm to Copenhagen by Train

    Board the train for Copenhagen in the morning and enjoy the scenery of southern Sweden as you envision the exciting activities that await you in Denmark! After settling in at your hotel in Copenhagen’s centre, we recommend a stroll down the famous “Ströget” street for some world-class shopping or a bite to eat at one of its many cafes and restaurants.

    Approx. duration of the train trip is 5 hours and 15 minutes.

    Spend the night in Copenhagen. 

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  • Day 6:  Culture Galore in Copenhagen

    With so much to do in this regal city, we recommend picking up the Copenhagen Card, which provides free admission to over 60 museums and free travel on the city’s buses and local trains. Copenhagen is home to such marvels as the Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace (home to Danish Parliament), the old harbour of Nyhavn, the famous Little Mermaid statue and countless other attractions. And no visit to Copenhagen is complete without a trip to the Tivoli Gardens, one of the world’s oldest amusement parks.

    Spend the night in Copenhagen.

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  • Day 7:  Taste of Copenhagen and Cruise to Oslo

    To see (and taste) another side of Copenhagen, we recommend a self-guided tour at the historic Carlsberg brewery, only a few kilometres by bus from the city centre. After sampling this popular beer at the end of your tour, you can decide for yourself if you agree with their slogan: “Carlsberg, probably the best beer in the world”.

    In the afternoon, check-in for your cruise to Oslo. The ship cruises gently up the Kattegat Sund on its way to Norway’s capital city. On board you can take part in the dancing and entertainment or just relax and watch the sunset from the deck.

    Spend the night in one of the ship’s cosy cabins. 

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  • Day 8: Explore Norway's Capital City

    Today is yours to explore Oslo after arriving early to port in the Oslo fjord. From your hotel conveniently located in the heart of Oslo, you have easy access to many of Oslo’s top attractions. Take advantage of this wonderful city with the Oslo Pass, which provides unlimited travel on all public transport, free admission to over 25 museums and discounts on many other attractions, restaurants and shops. We recommend a visit to the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Jump Tower, the Viking Ship Museum, Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Royal Palace, Akershus Fortress and the historic Arctic expedition ship, “Fram”.

    Spend the night in Oslo.

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  • Day 9: A Rail Journey to Remember

    In the morning, head to Oslo Central Station to board the Bergensbanen train for a scenic journey towards Bergen. This railway, voted one of the 20 best in the world, winds though Norway’s breathtaking mountainous terrain through the charming villages of Gol and Geilo. At Myrdal, switch trains for a 20 km detour on the world famous Flåm Railway, which descends nearly 900 metres to the charming village of Flåm, surrounded by the towering mountainsides of theAurlandsfjord*.

    Spend the night in Flåm.

    Departure Oslo: 08:11
    Arrival Myrdal: 12:39
    Departure Myrdal: 13:27
    Arrival to Flåm: 14:25

    * Please note that timings are preliminary and might change without notice.

    We recommend that you book luggage transfer for the Norway in a Nutshell part of your travel. Your luggage will be picked up in Oslo and will be waiting for you upon arrival in Bergen. Pack an overnight bag if you spend the night in Flåm. Price per item is €40.

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  • Day 10: Sail through Fjords to Bergen

    Spend the early part of your day roaming the village of Flåm, perhaps with a visit to the Flåm Railway Documentation Centre to learn about the construction of one of the world’s steepest railway track. The afternoon promises a unique Norwegian adventure as an express boat carries you to Bergen through Aurlandsfjord and Sognefjord, Norway’s deepest and longest fjord. Besides the amazing scenery, this trip is a treat for bird watchers.

    Spend the night in Bergen.

    Departure Flåm: 15:30
    Arrival Bergen: 20:40

    * Please note that timings are preliminary and might change without notice.

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  • Day 11:  Bergen, Centre of History and Culture

    Bergen, the “Capital of the Fjords”, is Norway’s second largest city but retains the atmosphere and charms of a small town. Here, your centrally-located hotel makes an excellent starting point for exploring the cultural and historical highlights of this must-see city. Visit Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which dates back 900 years as a major Hanseatic trading centre. Catch a glimpse of the local culture at the lively Fish Market or ride the Floybanen Funicular to Mt Floyen to enjoy the panoramic view of the city.

    Spend the night in Bergen. 

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  • Day 12:  Anchors Away!

    After a day enjoying the sights of Bergen, you will embark on your Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage in the evening. Norway’s long, rugged westwern coastline is one of Europe’s greatest natural attractions, offering a unique combination of history, culture and breathtaking fjord scenery.

    Spend the night on board the cruise ship in a comfortable cabin with private facilities.

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  • Day 13:  Snowy Peaks to Raging Waterfalls 

    Among the highlights on today’s leg of the voyage is the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Geirangerfjord. The ship gracefully sails past snow-peaked mountains and magnificent waterfalls, such as the Seven Sisters and the Bridal Veil, as it navigates from one fjord to another. Optional shore excursions are available today.

    Spend the night on board the cruise ship.

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  • Day 14:  Experience Medieval Norway 

    Arrive in the early part of the day to the historic city of Trondheim, where you will be able to explore the city on your own or take an optional guided tour. Trondheim, Norway’s original capital, is home to the Nidaros Cathedral—one of Scandinavia’s largest buildings from the Middle Ages—and features many picturesque old wooden houses. From Trondheim, the ship sails onward towards Rorvik, where the southbound and northbound coastal cruises meet. 

    Spend the night on board the cruise ship.

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  • Day 15: Over the Arctic Circle and Beyond

    Today you will cross the Arctic Circle as the ship heads towards the beautiful Lofoten Islands. Along the way, you will be treated to some spectacular sights, including islands and skerries with majestic rock formations.

    Spend the night on board the cruise ship.

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  • Day 16: Tromsø, ‘Paris of the North’ 

    In the morning, the ship passes by the medieval Trondenes Church before sailing across the Vagsfjord and through a magnificent archipelago in the north. Later in the day, you will stop in Tromsø, a lively port of call, often nicknamed the “Paris of the North”. This city was frequented by Russian, British, Dutch and German ships in the 19th century as a base for Arctic expeditions or hunting trips. 

    Spend the night on board the cruise ship.

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  • Day 17: A Treat for Wildlife Lovers

    The Finnmark region's landscapes and wildlife are not to be missed. Rookeries of puffins and gannets lining the cliffs and pods of Orca hunting for herring are common sights here. The ship will call at Honningsvåg, where you can add a non-included short excursion by bus to the famous North Cape (Nordkapp). The cruise continues east towards the pretty fishing villages of Kjollefjord, Mehamn and Berlevag.

    Spend the night on board the cruise ship.

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  • Day 18: The Land of the Midnight Sun

    The exciting culmination of your coastal voyage is a day in Kirkenes, the home of the midnight sun. Situated close to the Russian border, the town features many interesting sights and activities. This extreme location is home to some 3,300 inhabitants, both Norwegians and Sámi people.

    Spend the night in Kirkenes. 

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  • Day 19: Welcome to Reykjavik, Capital of Iceland

    Fly from Kirkenes Airport to Gardermoen Airport in Oslo for your connecting flight to Iceland. On your afternoon arrival at Keflavík Airport, you will be greeted by a driver and and transferred to your hotel in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

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  • Day 20: The Golden Circle

    Collect your rental car in the morning and begin your journey on the classic “Golden Circle” route, home to some of Iceland’s most popular attractions. Start with a visit to the fascinating Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can walk on a path in the rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Next on the route is the Haukadalur geothermal area, where you can see Geysir—the original “geyser”—and its more active neighbour, Strokkur, which spouts water every few minutes. End the circle with visits to the majestic Gullfoss waterfall and the old implosion crater of Kerið.  

    Spend the night in the Hvolsvöllur area.

    Driving distance approx. 250 km / 155 mi. 

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  • Day 21:  Waterfalls and Volcanic Beaches

    Start with visits to the fairytale-like Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can experience walking right behind the misty cascade, and the gorgeous 60-metre high Skógafoss waterfall just a short drive down the road. Further ahead at Vík, you can make a stop at the black volcanic beach south of the village, from where you can view the rock formations Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar. The last stop of the day is to the stunning Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. You also have a chance today to join an exciting guided excursion by foot or snowmobile on a glacier!

    Spend the night in Kirkjubæjarklaustur/Skaftafell area.

    Driving distance approx. 220 km / 137 mi. 

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  • Day 22:  Glaciers and Icebergs

    Enjoy Skaftafell, part of the immense Vatnajökull National Park and a place of great natural beauty with many interesting hiking trails, including a short path to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. This area is also full of opportunities for more adventurous pursuits, such as guided glacier-walking or ice-climbing excursions. Then, head to the amazing Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where you can join a boat ride among the maze of floating icebergs (optional). 

    Spend the night in the Höfn or Djúpivogur area. 

    Driving distance approx. 210 km / 130 mi.

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  • Day 23: Fjords and Fishing Villages

    Your drive along East Iceland today is characterised by spectacular fjords, tranquil fishing villages, rugged tundra and sweeping landscapes. On arrival to the otherworldly Lake Mývatn, you have an abundance of unusual natural wonders to explore, including the Krafla volcano, the curiously-coloured Námaskarð pass, the massive crater of Hverfell and the lunar-like pseudo-craters at Skútustaðir. 

    Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area.

    Driving distance approx. 415 km / 258 mi.

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  • Day 24:  Lunar Landscapes of Lake Mývatn

    Use this day to further explore the surroundings of Lake Mývatn. You can start the day with an optional whale-watching trip from the village of Húsavík, “The Whale Watching Capital of Europe”. Then, drive through Jökulsárgljúfur—part of Vatnajökull National Park, visiting such sights as the hoof-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon and the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss. End the day by bathing in the relaxing geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths, where you can experience the glow of the midnight sun. 

    Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area.

    Driving distance approx.200 km / 124 mi.  

     

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  • Day 25:  Explore North Iceland

    Spend the first half of the day around Lake Mývatn. We recommend a visit to Goðafoss (“The Waterfall of the Gods”) on your way to the charming town of Akureyri, where you will find interesting shops and museums as well as the world's most northerly botanical garden.

    After your break in Akureyri, you can either head straight to Skagafjörður or take a detour on the way there to Tröllaskagi (“The Peninsula of the Trolls”), where you can enjoy fantastic scenery of beautiful mountains, cliffs and fjords. Then, continue through Siglufjörður, which was once the centre of Iceland’s herring fleet, and make a stop at Hofsós to relax in the thermal pool (optional) before arriving to Skagafjörður, an area known for its abundance of purebred Icelandic horses. 

    Spend the night in Northwest Iceland. 

    Driving distance approx. 250 km / 155 mi.  

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  • Day 26:  Journey to Snæfellsnes Peninsula

    Head to Snæfellsnes Peninsula today. On the way you’ll see the countless mounds of Vatnsdalshólar and the beautiful Þingeyrarkirkja church. You may also wish to make stops to the living museum at Eiríksstaðir, home of famous Viking Erik the Red, and the hot geothermal pool of Guðrúnarlaug. Or pay a visit to Stykkishólmur, a picture-perfect fishing village overlooking Breiðafjörður Bay. Here, you can take a walk up to the small hill overlooking the harbour, Súgandisey, for a wonderful panoramic view over the town, sea and surrounding mountains. 

    Spend the night on Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

    Driving distance approx. 260 km / 162 mi.

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  • Day 27:  Snæfellsjökull National Park and Snæfellsjökull Glacier

    Experience the unique Snæfellsjökull National Park, with amazing birdlife, lush valleys and lava fields. It is ideal to drive around the peninsula, exploring Dritvík Cove, Lóndrangar Cliffs as well as Hellnar and Arnarstapi Cliffs with its bursting bird-life and the small villages on the coast. You might wish to test your strength at the stones of the black volcanic beach of Djúpalónssandur like the seamen in past times. On Snæfellsnes, you can choose from a variety of actitivities such as horse riding, hiking, taking a boat-cruise (in summer) or simply relax and take in the glacier’s alleged supernatural energy.

    Spend a night in a hotel or guesthouse in Reykjavík.

    Driving distance approx. 290 km / 180 mi. 

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  • Day 28: Wonders of Ice in West Greenland

    Depart from Reykjavik Domestic Airport for a short flight to the charming Arctic village of Ilulissat, beautifully situated at the mouth of the 56 kilometre-long Ilulissat Icefjord, UNESCO World Heritage site. Upon arrival, you are transported to your accommodation for the next three nights, where you will be able to book your exciting optional excursions (Days 29 & 30).

    Spend the night in Ilulissat. 

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  • Day 29: Explore Ilulissat As You Wish

    Imagine sailing among icebergs weighing up to seven million tons while the midnight sun lights up their great white surfaces. You can experience this in person along with other awe-inspiring optional tours in Ilulissat, including helicopter rides over immense icebergs, motorboat tours to the Eqi glacier with its enormous pieces of calved ice, cultural demonstrations and village walks, whale-watching safaris or excursions to the small, remote settlements in the area. For hiking enthusiasts, the tranquil Sermermiut Valley just a few kilometres from Ilulissat offers spectacular views from a number of marked trails.

    Spend the night in Ilulissat.

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  • Day 30: More free time in Ilulissat

    Enjoy another day for optional activities in Ilulissat. For a truly incredible experience we recommend an evening boat tour in the Icefjord, in which you will sail among icebergs as big as office buildings under the rosy glow of the midnight sun. And for hiking enthusiasts, the Sermermiut Valley just a few kilometres from town offers spectacular views from a number of marked trails.

    Spend the night in Ilulissat. 

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  • Day 31: Flight to Iceland

    Today, it’s time to say goodbye to this majestic land, but you still have the entire morning to join a short optional excursion or do some last-minute souvenir shopping. On the return flight to Reykjavík in the afternoon, enjoy the stunning views over the Ilulissat Icefjord and its surrounding landscapes.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

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  • Day 32: Great Ending in Reykjavik

    As your holiday draws to a close, make the most of your day in Reykjavik with an optional guided city tour, a bit of souvenir shopping at an Icelandic design store, a whale watching tour or a nice, steaming coffee at one of Reykjavik’s many midtown cafes. Adventurous types may also enjoy the rush of adrenaline from a 4x4 super-jeep glacier tour, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience only a short ride from the capital. These tours and other activities can be booked from your hotel.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

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  • Day 33: Departure

    On your day of departure, a shuttle bus will collect you from your hotel in Reykjavík and deliver you back to Keflavík International Airport ahead of your scheduled flight.

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Map

Here’s a map of Iceland, to help put things in perspective.