Sandi Toksvig talking about her honeymoon and arriving on the Lofoten Islands said "It is as if you are breathing fresh air for the first time..it is so pristine and the sea so clear - I don't think I have ever been so happy". Milena Grenfell-Baines and I had a similar experience some years ago when Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (who was Artistic Director that year) encouraged us to travel 1,000km north from Oslo into the Arctic Circle and experience the Lofoten Piano Festival. In July 2019 we made our first visit with a group of music lovers and in 2022 we will once again share this magnificent part of the world with you as we enjoy keyboard & chamber music of the highest quality with 13 concerts over six days during our time in Svolvær with artists including Paul Lewis, Kathryn Stott, Dénes Várjon, Arvid Engegård & the Engegård Quartet. A link to the complete concert programme is provided below.
We have set out to create a unique itinerary that combines some wonderful music with the breathtaking beauty of this archipelago situated within the Arctic Circle between the 68th & 69th parallels - as far North as the Canadian Yukon, Greenland and Siberia!
No matter what you read in advance about the Lofoten Islands the first-hand experience surpasses your expectations. Often when you see tourism photos of a place you think to yourself – “we will never get to see that view without our own boat or helicopter” but the reality on the Lofotens is that these beautiful views (as shown to the right) are completely accessible and you WILL see them with you own eyes!
We stay seven nights at the 4* Thon Lofoten located directly overlooking the harbour in main town of Svolvær (pop. 4,500) which is situated on Austvågøy, the largest island of the archipelago before continuing on to the magical island of Senja and finally two nights in Tromsø.
On Sunday 17th We travel by coach from Svolvær to Harstad. The coach continues north with our baggage and we join a fast hydrofoil for the journey to Finnsnes where we rejoin our coach and cross over to Senja.
Senja, the second largest island of Norway is truly the land of trols and giants. It has a mystery and energy unlike anywhere else I have experienced. We stay at the remote but astonishing Hamn in Senja Resort looking directly west over the Norwegian Sea. We have dinner and local entertainment at the hotel tonight and spend the entire following day exploring this fascinating island.
Late in the day we cross by ferry from the northernmost port on the island and cross by ferry from Botnhamn to Brensholmen from where it is about an hours drive to Tromsø for our final two nights in the 'Capital of the Arctic'. We visit the beautiful botanitcal gardens and ride the cable car up Mount Storsteinen for a fantastic view of the city and region. Following our farewell dinner we cross the harbour to the Arctic Cathedral for one final concert at midnight!
The complete concert programme for our visit is available here:
We fly with SAS from Manchester via Oslo to Evenes (or Norwegian from Gatwick via Bergen to Evenes) and then have our own coach for the entire tour. From Evenes Airport to Svolvær the journey will take around 2 hours 20 minutes. We expect to arrive at the hotel in time for a late dinner (in full daylight!).
Flight details (confirmed March 22)
10 July Manchester - Oslo 0925 1220 Gatwick - Bergen 1050 - 1345
Oslo - Evenes 1415 1550 Bergen - Evenes 1450 - 1640
20 July Tromsø - Oslo 1040 1230 Tromsø - Oslo 1320 - 1515
Oslo Copenhagen 1335 1445 Oslo - Gatwick 1745 - 1905
Copenhagen - Manchester 1735 1830
If you prefer to make your own travel arrrangements and meet us at the hotel in Svolvær please let us know and we will deduct GB£400 from your tour cost.