13 Nights Iceland, Jan Mayen & Svalbard Expedition

13 Nights Iceland, Jan Mayen & Svalbard Expedition

$14,130.00Price

Are you ready for the Arctic? Majestic icebergs and glacier-filled bays. Mile upon mile of bird-laden cliff. 24-hour daylight. Polar bears. Breeching whales. Zodiac cruises. Remote islands. The list is long and just keeps getting better and better. Join us to make the most of the region’s short summer season, that not only sees bucket list wildlife but encounters the strength of human spirit like nowhere else on Earth. Don’t forget your camera!

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  • For Tromso to Reykjavik departure -

     

    Day 1 Tromso

    Feel your heart flutter, as you catch your first glimpse of that famous emerald haze dancing across the stars, during your visit to this wonderful Arctic gateway. Located in the far north of Norway, a visit to Tromso beckons you to the extremes of this magical country, to explore a fairytale land of jagged mountains, glistening glaciers and husky-pulled sledges. Despite its remote location, you'll discover a perhaps surprisingly cosmopolitan city, with a healthy student population injecting plenty of energy. Sat 250 miles above the Arctic Circle - at 69° north - you can bathe in the midnight sun's glow during summer, before winter brings the thick blackness and starry skies of endless polar nights. The darkness doesn't stop the fun - with a polar night half-marathon taking place in January - but the return of the sun is always a reason for a celebration here. 

     

    To get the best view over the city, take the cable car to Storsteinen's amazing viewpoint. Magnificent views down over the city, fjord and Tromso's arching bridge will unravel before you. Learn more about northerly traditions, polar expeditions and arctic hunting at the Polar Museum. The Science Centre, meanwhile, explains how humans have harnessed and survived these epic landscapes over the years, and explores Tromso's breathtaking natural spectacle - the northern lights. The city is famed for its extraordinary viewing opportunities, which are often said to be the best in the world. The Alpine Botanic Garden is the most northern such garden on the planet, showcasing some of Norway's hardiest plantlife, which survives and thrives at this nose-bleeding altitude.

     

    Day 2 Cruise and Explore Bear Island

    Bear Island is considered Svalbard’s southernmost island, roughly half way between Spitsbergen and Norway’s North Cape. Although the last polar bears were seen in 2004, the name goes back to Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz and his visit in 1596. The island has been used to hunt walrus, for whaling, and even coal mining has taken place. The strategic location on the border of the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea has led to a meteorological station being set up by Norway near Gravodden on Bear Island’s north coast. Some two thirds of the island is a relatively flat plain with shallow freshwater lakes and Ramsar Wetland, while the entire island and the surrounding waters are a Nature Reserve. Bear Island has also been designated an Import Bird Area as it is a staging area for Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese and the steep cliffs south of Sørhamna are home to thousands of breeding seabirds. 

     

    This is a specially protected area where Zodiacs are allowed to cruise along the cliffs around Kapp Kolthoff. In smaller amounts Atlantic Puffins, Northern Gannets, Glaucous Gulls and Great Skuas are found in between the large Black-legged Kittiwake, Little Auk, Common Guillemot and Brünnich’s Guillemot colonies. The constant battering of the sea has not only created impressive sea caves and tunnels, but unfortunately the Russian vessel Petrozavodsk shipwrecked near Revdalen at the base of the limestone cliffs and the waves are causing a continuous disintegration of the remains of the ship.

     

    Day 3-4 Svalbard's Southern Region

    Svalbard’s Southern Region and specifically Spitsbergen’s west coast is less ice-clogged than the rest of Svalbard due to the moderating influenced of the Gulf Stream. Several fjords cut into the western coast of Spitsbergen and have been used by trappers and hunters, as well as the different mining companies that tried to exploit the riches of the archipelago’s largest island of Spitsbergen. Remains of huts and mines, as well as active commercial and scientific settlements can be found and visited. Depending on the time of the season, glaciers can be visited on foot or by sea. Hornsund will reveal fascinating views of geological formations, craggy mountains, spectacular glaciers and a variety of seabirds and seals.

     

    Day 5-7 Svalbard's Northern Region

    Svalbard’s northern region is less influenced by the Norwegian Current coming through the Greenland Sea than the southern region and shows more ice. The northern part of the island of Spitsbergen shows quite a number of impressive fjords, bays and glaciers. The Nordaust Svalbard Nature Reserve includes Spitsbergen’s east coast, the Hinlopen Strait, Nordaustlandet and some islands further east like Kvitoya and Storoya. Several walrus haul-outs, spectacular glaciers, bird cliffs and bird islands, as well as surprising flora in Arctic deserts and the possibility to see polar bears and to visit historically important sites make this an area prone for exploration. Ice conditions will dictate which sites can be seen.

     

    Day 8 At Sea

    Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 9 Jan Mayen Island, Norway

    Humpback and minke whales cavort and feed in the waters around the impressive volcanic island of Jan Mayen with its towering ebony peaks and broad black lava beaches. The primordial landscape is dominated to the north by the 7,500 feet high (2,300 meters) Mt Beerenberg, an active volcano covered in glacial ice that last erupted in 1985. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, a landing is possible at this rarely visited outpost. Visitors may walk to the research and weather station, or beyond, for birds-eye views of the meteorological station and the long black sandy eastern shore of the island. Birds to be seen here may include Atlantic Puffins, Northern Fulmars, and Snow Buntings.

     

    Day 10 At Sea

    Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 11 Husavik, Iceland

    There's simply nowhere better than Husavilk - the European capital of whale watching - for getting up close and personal with the majestic giants of the ocean. Feel the awe as whales breach the waves around you, before gulping in air and plunging away with almighty tale flicks. Pretty Husavik is framed by the majestic Húsavíkurfjall mountain, which swells up behind, creating a stunning backdrop for the town's tiny wooden warehouses, cherry red houses and undulating fishing ships. The little wooden church has been a beacon of light, guiding tired fishermen back to the shores of Iceland's oldest settlement, since 1907. Let the wind rip through your hair and the sea speckle your face, as you ride waves out among the region's almighty marine creatures, who throw their weight around so spectacularly. Sail among gentle giants in Shaky Bay, spotting humpbacks, minke whales and the world's biggest – blue whales.

     

    You may also see teams of smaller white-beaked dolphins skipping across the waves, displaying the full range of acrobatic skills. The town's whale museum is an interesting journey through Iceland's relationship with the sea giants, while its restaurants serve up local specialities – taste juicy reindeer burger and plokkfiskur, a buttery mash of local fish. Hikes and horseback rides into the surrounding countryside can take you up around Lake Botnsvatn, to views down from the slopes of the Húsavíkurfjall - where purple spired lupin flowers spill down amongst the emerald slopes. From the summit, look out over views of the bay, reaching out to the crumpled snowy peaks beyond. Or feel the full force of this land of natural power, at Dettifloss Waterfall, one of Europe's most powerful, thrashing flumes.

     

    Day 12 Siglufjordur, Iceland

    A tiny town in the scenic north of Iceland, cosseted away by a jagged wall of mountain peaks, Siglufjordur is an isolated gem. With just over a thousand residents, Siglufjordur takes its name from the glassy fjord that stretches out nearby. Iceland's northernmost town, only a single-lane road tunnel, bored through the snow-capped mountains, provides a land link with the rest of the country. This evocative remoteness appealed to dark Nordic Noir writers - and the town has found recent fame as the star of the TV show Trapped. A much warmer welcome awaits you in real life than in fiction - fortunately. Siglufjordur is a historic Atlantic capital of herring fishing, and you can learn of the industry that gave the town its raison d'etre, and powered Iceland's economy at the award-winning Herring Era Museum.

     

    The biggest maritime-themed museum in Iceland, it spreads across three buildings and covers every element of the town's relationship with its fishing waters - from expedition to preparation and preservation. While the industry has dried up since its heyday, wander to the harbour for views of the pretty town's cherry and lemon coloured former warehouses. Swirling seagulls look for offcuts, while fishermen sandpaper and varnish tiny vessels. Take a boat out around the scenic fjord, or embark on lengthy hikes out and above this romantically isolated outpost. The sounds of beautiful duo vocal harmonies and accordions are often heard echoing along the streets, and the Folk Music Museum is an enchanting look into quaint, rural Icelandic culture. The Folk Music Festival causes the town's population to swell dramatically, as visitors make for these picturesque shores to play and perform each year.

     

    Day 13 Bolungarvik, Iceland

    Although the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is further north across the Isarfjardardjup, Bolungarvik is Westfjords’ and Iceland’s northernmost town. Despite its relative isolation, Bolungarvik has been settled for hundreds of years and is already mentioned in the settlement period of Iceland. Located next to rich fishing grounds and the cove of the same name, Bolungarvik has always been a place for fishermen and one of the town’s attractions is a replica of an old fishing station. Just to the northwest is Bolafjall Mountain which blocks off the wind and swell from the Atlantic Ocean. The view from the top (at 638 meters above sea level) not only covers Bolungarvik and the surrounding valleys and mountains, but several fjords and the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Although only 950 residents call Bolungarvik their home, this is the Westfjords’ second largest town. There even is a nine hole golf course (par 71) with 18 sets of tees.

     

    Day 13 Sudureyri, Iceland

    Sudureyri is a typical small fishing village in Iceland’s Westfjords at the entrance of Sugandafjord. Unlike most other fishing villages that date back hundreds of years, Sudureyri was only started in the early 20th century and has some 270 inhabitants. As the Sugandafjord is surrounded by high mountains, the only way to safely reach Sudureyri used to be by boat. Since the village has been connected to the outside world by tunnel (opened only in 1996) it has been visited by those interested in angling and fishing for cod and halibut in the fjord and open water. Just east of the village is the Lagoon, an area that has been dammed off. Cod has been released into the lagoon and visitors are encouraged to feed the fish -this actually is considered the village’s main attraction. The cod can easily return to open waters via a pipe place under the dyke’s road, but many seem to like being fed.

     

    Day 14 Reykjavik, Iceland

    The capital of Iceland’s land of ice, fire and natural wonder, Reykjavik is a city like no other - blossoming among some of the world’s most vibrant and violent scenery. Home to two-thirds of Iceland’s population, Reykjavik is the island’s only real city, and a welcoming and walkable place - full of bicycles gliding along boulevards or battling the wind when it rears up. Fresh licks of paint brighten the streets, and an artistic and creative atmosphere embraces studios and galleries - as well as the kitchens where an exciting culinary scene is burgeoning. Plot your adventures in the city's hip bars and cosy cafes, or waste no time in venturing out to Iceland’s outdoor adventures. Reykjavik’s buildings stand together in a low huddle - below the whip of winter’s winds - but the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church is a solid exception, with its bell tower rising resolutely over the city.

     

    Iceland’s largest church's design echoes the lava flows that have shaped this remote land and boasts a clean and elegant interior. The Harpa Concert Hall’s sheer glass facade helps it to assimilate into the landscape, mirroring back the city and harbour. Its LED lights shimmer in honour of Iceland’s greatest illuminated performance – the northern lights. Walk in the crusts between continents, feel the spray from bursts of geysers and witness the enduring power of Iceland’s massive waterfalls. Whether you want to sizzle away in the earth-heated geothermal pools, or hike to your heart’s content, you can do it all from Reykjavik - the colourful capital of this astonishing outdoor country.

     

     

    For Reykjavik to Tromso departure -

     

    Day 1 Reykjavik, Iceland

    The capital of Iceland’s land of ice, fire and natural wonder, Reykjavik is a city like no other - blossoming among some of the world’s most vibrant and violent scenery. Home to two-thirds of Iceland’s population, Reykjavik is the island’s only real city, and a welcoming and walkable place - full of bicycles gliding along boulevards or battling the wind when it rears up. Fresh licks of paint brighten the streets, and an artistic and creative atmosphere embraces studios and galleries - as well as the kitchens where an exciting culinary scene is burgeoning. Plot your adventures in the city's hip bars and cosy cafes, or waste no time in venturing out to Iceland’s outdoor adventures. Reykjavik’s buildings stand together in a low huddle - below the whip of winter’s winds - but the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church is a solid exception, with its bell tower rising resolutely over the city.

     

    Iceland’s largest church's design echoes the lava flows that have shaped this remote land and boasts a clean and elegant interior. The Harpa Concert Hall’s sheer glass facade helps it to assimilate into the landscape, mirroring back the city and harbour. Its LED lights shimmer in honour of Iceland’s greatest illuminated performance – the northern lights. Walk in the crusts between continents, feel the spray from bursts of geysers and witness the enduring power of Iceland’s massive waterfalls. Whether you want to sizzle away in the earth-heated geothermal pools, or hike to your heart’s content, you can do it all from Reykjavik - the colourful capital of this astonishing outdoor country.

     

    Day 2 Latrabjarg Cliffs, Iceland

    Found in the Westfjords of Iceland, the Latrabjarg Cliff is considered one of the Northern Hemisphere’s largest bird cliffs. Rising up to 441 meters straight out of the water, it is actually a line of several cliffs going from west to east and starting with Latrabjarg. Keflavíkurbjarg, Bæjarbjarg and Breiðavíkurbjarg make up the rest of the cliff. A lighthouse, Europe’s westernmost, marks the beginning of 14 kilometers of spectacular landscape. The seabirds are safe from foxes in the cliffs and find ample food in the ocean beneath. Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Northern Fulmars, Black, Brünnich’s and Common Guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and Great Black-backed Gulls breed in the cliffs and are found here by the millions. It is believed that 40 % of the Razorbill world population is found at Latrabjarg.

     

    Day 2 Dynjandi Waterfalls, Iceland

    Iceland is well-known for its spectacular waterfalls. The iconic Dynjandi waterfall, located in the Westfjords region, is regarded as one of Iceland’s most impressive and majestic waterfalls. At the top, the cascading water is roughly 100 feet wide and tumbles down about 330 feet into the fjord. Its name Dynjandi means, “the thundering one” and its vast size, enormous sound, and sheer force is overwhelming. It has also been nicknamed, ‘The Bridal Veil’ because of the way the water sprays and spreads over the rocks.

     

    Day 3 Vigur Island, Iceland

    Vigur Island is the second largest island in the Isafjardardjup Fjord, measuring 2 kilometers in length by 400 meters in width. It is home to a single sheep farming family, which ferries the sheep in summer across to the mainland, so that the Eider Ducks nesting on the island will not be disturbed. One of the export articles from this small island was eider down and one can still see where the Eider Ducks nest and how the down is collected and cleaned. The small settlement of a few houses is on the southern side, next to a small rocky beach, a concrete wall and floating pier. On approach grey seals can often be seen on the otherwise seaweed-covered boulders. Apart from the grey of the basalt and green of the grass, lichens add a splash of color.

     

    A path has been prepared and the grass cut, so that visitors can leisurely walk across the island to take in the beautiful scenery and to observe the large colony of Arctic Terns, Black Guillemots and Atlantic Puffins usually only seen during the summer months. A meticulously preserved historical landmark, a small windmill dating back to the 1840s was still in use in 1917 to grind wheat imported from Denmark. Viktoria House, one of the preserved wooden farm houses dating back to 1862, is used as a café where home-baked cakes and cookies are offered to guests. One of Europe’s smallest post offices can be found here, too.

     

    Day 3 Cruise Along Hornbjarg Cliffs, Iceland

    If you think you know nature, think again. The Hornbjarg Cliffs are in a realm all of their own. Considered as “the king and queen of Iceland”, the sea-facing cliffs are perhaps one the most memorable places you’re ever likely to experience. They are a palette for the eye; miles upon miles of emerald hills that fall sharply into the deep blue sea. Set against a backdrop of (hopefully) sapphire skies, we guarantee you will never have felt more inspired by Iceland. But, of course, while the Hornbjard Cliffs are without a doubt stunning, it is the birdlife that really places them above the rest. Thousands of Northern Fulmars, Common and Brünnich’s Guillemots, Atlantic Puffins and gulls can be seen in the cliffs or soaring in the updrafts, and while the noise is at times deafening, it is paradoxically eerily silent. The cliffs are part of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and are located in the Westfjords, in the north-west of Iceland.

     

    The total area covers 580 square kilometres (220 square miles) of tundra, and is also home to Iceland’s only native mammal, the enigmatic Arctic fox. The reserve has been protected since 1975 and with no human inhabitants, the local wildlife has been allowed to thrive. To date there are more than 250 species of flowering plant and 30 species of bird nesting in the craggy ravines.


    Day 4 Akureyri, Iceland

    Iceland’s Capital of the North is the gateway to a thrilling land of roaring waterfalls, soaring volcanoes and glorious wildlife. It may lie a mere 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, but Akureyi blossoms with a bright, cosmopolitan feel, and explodes into life during the summer months, when its outdoor cafes and open-air bathing spots fill up with visitors ready to immerse themselves in Iceland’s cinematic scenery. Feel the thundering impact of Iceland’s celebrated natural wonders shaking your bones at Godafoss Waterfalls, known as the ‘Waterfalls of the Gods’. Here, the Skjálfandafljót river unleashes a colossal torrent of water over charcoal-black rocks below. Or, find some peace at the Botanical Gardens, which opened in 1957 and offer space for contemplation - amid plants that bloom with unexpected vibrancy, even at this northerly latitude.

     

    The Lutheran, Akureyrarkirkja Church rises like a grand church organ and is the town’s most striking landmark. The 112-step climb is worth the effort to see light flooding in through its narrow stain glass windows, spreading colourful patchworks across the interior. Magic and mythology are important elements of Icelandic folklore, and you’ll even bump into giant sculptures of grizzled, child-snatching trolls on the town’s high street. Or, meet more earthly - but no less magical - creatures in the waters around Akureyi, where immense blue whales cruise by and dolphins playfully leap. A trip to the northerly Grimsey island will take you on an inspiring adventure traversing the Arctic Circle to a remote island where flame-beaked puffins nod on cliff-side perches and razorbills nest.

     

    Day 5 At Sea

    Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 6 Jan Mayen Island, Norway

    Humpback and minke whales cavort and feed in the waters around the impressive volcanic island of Jan Mayen with its towering ebony peaks and broad black lava beaches. The primordial landscape is dominated to the north by the 7,500 feet high (2,300 meters) Mt Beerenberg, an active volcano covered in glacial ice that last erupted in 1985. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, a landing is possible at this rarely visited outpost. Visitors may walk to the research and weather station, or beyond, for birds-eye views of the meteorological station and the long black sandy eastern shore of the island. Birds to be seen here may include Atlantic Puffins, Northern Fulmars, and Snow Buntings.

     

    Day 7 At Sea

    Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 8-9 Svalbard Northern Region, Norway

    Svalbard’s northern region is less influenced by the Norwegian Current coming through the Greenland Sea than the southern region and shows more ice. The northern part of the island of Spitsbergen shows quite a number of impressive fjords, bays and glaciers. The Nordaust Svalbard Nature Reserve includes Spitsbergen’s east coast, the Hinlopen Strait, Nordaustlandet and some islands further east like Kvitoya and Storoya. Several walrus haul-outs, spectacular glaciers, bird cliffs and bird islands, as well as surprising flora in Arctic deserts and the possibility to see polar bears and to visit historically important sites make this an area prone for exploration. Ice conditions will dictate which sites can be seen.

     

    Day 10-11 Svalbard Southern Region, Norway

    Svalbard’s Southern Region and specifically Spitsbergen’s west coast is less ice-clogged than the rest of Svalbard due to the moderating influenced of the Gulf Stream. Several fjords cut into the western coast of Spitsbergen and have been used by trappers and hunters, as well as the different mining companies that tried to exploit the riches of the archipelago’s largest island of Spitsbergen. Remains of huts and mines, as well as active commercial and scientific settlements can be found and visited. Depending on the time of the season, glaciers can be visited on foot or by sea. Hornsund will reveal fascinating views of geological formations, craggy mountains, spectacular glaciers and a variety of seabirds and seals.

     

    Day 12 Cruise & Explore Bear Island (Svalbard), Norway

    Bear Island is considered Svalbard’s southernmost island, roughly half way between Spitsbergen and Norway’s North Cape. Although the last polar bears were seen in 2004, the name goes back to Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz and his visit in 1596. The island has been used to hunt walrus, for whaling, and even coal mining has taken place. The strategic location on the border of the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea has led to a meteorological station being set up by Norway near Gravodden on Bear Island’s north coast. Some two thirds of the island is a relatively flat plain with shallow freshwater lakes and Ramsar Wetland, while the entire island and the surrounding waters are a Nature Reserve. Bear Island has also been designated an Import Bird Area as it is a staging area for Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese and the steep cliffs south of Sørhamna are home to thousands of breeding seabirds.

     

    This is a specially protected area where Zodiacs are allowed to cruise along the cliffs around Kapp Kolthoff. In smaller amounts Atlantic Puffins, Northern Gannets, Glaucous Gulls and Great Skuas are found in between the large Black-legged Kittiwake, Little Auk, Common Guillemot and Brünnich’s Guillemot colonies. The constant battering of the sea has not only created impressive sea caves and tunnels, but unfortunately the Russian vessel Petrozavodsk shipwrecked near Revdalen at the base of the limestone cliffs and the waves are causing a continuous disintegration of the remains of the ship.


    Day 13 Gjesvarstappan Islands, Norway

    Almost a hundred islands and rocks make up the Gjesvӕrstappan Nature Reserve, one of Europe’s largest and most accessible nesting areas for Atlantic seabirds. Less than 10 nautical miles from Nordkapp more than one million nesting birds have been counted on Storstappen, the largest of the islands, and the minor islands next to it. One of the most significant Atlantic Puffin colonies in North Norway is found in this nature reserve. Zodiacs are the best way to look for the Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Black and Common Guillemots, Northern Gannets, White-tailed Eagles, and Arctic Skuas, Common Eider Ducks, Common Shags and Great Cormorants as well as various other species.

     

    Day 13 Cruising Along North Cape, Norway

    Situated at the very north tip of Norway and inside the Arctic Circle, there is something very special about being (almost) at the top of the world. Called the northernmost point of Europe, the North Cape (Nordkapp in Norwegian) lies about 1,306.3 mi from the North Pole, with no dry land between except for the Svalbald archipelago. Home to where the Atlantic and Arctic oceans meet, this is the true land of the midnight sun – constant spectacular scenic views and 24-hour sunlight lends itself to a sense of giddy informality aboard. Just imagine sipping a chilled glass of champagne at the very top of the world in full daylight at midnight – sensational. Be sure to be on the lookout for hundreds of thousands of puffins, gannets, cormorants, seals, dolphins and whales that make this stretch of chilly water their home. Not forgetting the colourful, compact fishing villages, so at odds with the otherwise this stark, barren landscape.

     

    Day 13 Skarsvag (Nordkapp), Norway

    For those who like to travel far (very far) off the beaten track, then you have found your Nordic nirvana in Skarsvag. Large, sparsely populated (there are just 60 human year round residents), and a joy to all those who revel in stark, unbridled beauty, Skarsvag also enjoys the auspicious title of being the world’s most northerly fishing village. But rolling hills, prolific birdlife and arctic fjords aside, Skarsvag is above all famous for its proximity to the North Cape. Found on the island of Magerøya, the most northernmost point of Europe above the arctic circle is a bucket list basic. Stand beneath the massive metal globe and gaze out onto the Barents Sea, where the only land between you and the North Pole is the Svalbard archipelago. This is truly the land of the midnight sun – in fact, you are so far north that the sun doesn’t even dip beneath the horizon between May and mid-July.

     

    The island’s famous bird cliffs are quite spectacular, and home to thousands of puffins, gannets and cormorants. Those willing to hike to cape Knivskjellodden, the northernmost point on Magerøya, will be rewarded with stunning cliff face views of the North Cape Plateau. Before leaving, head into the impressive North Cape Hall for exhibitions on the North Cape’s history. Travellers have been visiting since 1664, when Italian priest Francesco Negri arrived, so there are some tales to tell! More intriguingly, a tunnel has been hewn into the rock, leading down to the cliff face, complete with a chapel.

     

    Day 14, Tromso, Norway

    Feel your heart flutter, as you catch your first glimpse of that famous emerald haze dancing across the stars, during your visit to this wonderful Arctic gateway. Located in the far north of Norway, a visit to Tromso beckons you to the extremes of this magical country, to explore a fairytale land of jagged mountains, glistening glaciers and husky-pulled sledges. Despite its remote location, you'll discover a perhaps surprisingly cosmopolitan city, with a healthy student population injecting plenty of energy. Sat 250 miles above the Arctic Circle - at 69° north - you can bathe in the midnight sun's glow during summer, before winter brings the thick blackness and starry skies of endless polar nights. The darkness doesn't stop the fun - with a polar night half-marathon taking place in January - but the return of the sun is always a reason for a celebration here.

     

    To get the best view over the city, take the cable car to Storsteinen's amazing viewpoint. Magnificent views down over the city, fjord and Tromso's arching bridge will unravel before you. Learn more about northerly traditions, polar expeditions and arctic hunting at the Polar Museum. The Science Centre, meanwhile, explains how humans have harnessed and survived these epic landscapes over the years, and explores Tromso's breathtaking natural spectacle - the northern lights. The city is famed for its extraordinary viewing opportunities, which are often said to be the best in the world. The Alpine Botanic Garden is the most northern such garden on the planet, showcasing some of Norway's hardiest plantlife, which survives and thrives at this nose-bleeding altitude.

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