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Lofoten Islands International Chamber Music Festival with Paul Lewis, Imogen Cooper and Leif Ove Andsnes plus magical Senja and Tromsø

12 Nights: 7 - 19 July 2024

£5295 per person sharing a twin or double room
£5995 sole use of a double room
Superior rooms Svolvær, resort rooms Hamn, superior rooms Tromsø

Includes: return flights from the UK to northern Norway, 8 nights Svolvær, 2 nights Senja, 2 nights Tromsø; 15 concerts at venues around the islands, buffet breakfast each morning, 11 dinners, 4 packed lunches plus a complete full programme of sightseeing.
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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 International Chamber Music Festival. We return this summer for our 4th visit to share this magnificent part of the world with you as we enjoy keyboard & chamber music of the highest quality with no less than 15 concerts over six days (performed in Svolvær, Kabelvåg and at churches across the archipelago).

Artists include Paul LewisLeif Ove Andsnes, Martin FröstImogen Cooper, Mark Padmore, Arvid Engegård & the Engegård Quartet. A link to the complete concert programme is provided below. In addition, if the weather looks great, there is always the chance of an impromptu ‘pop up’ concert ‘Under the Midnight Sun’ (as happened in 2023 with a Steinway on the beach at Eggum at 1am!!

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 these islands is that these beautiful views (as shown to the right) are completely accessible and you WILL see them with you own eyes!

We stay eight nights at the 4* Thon Svolvær located directly overlooking the harbour in main town of Svolvær (pop. 4,500) which is situated on Austvågøy, the largest island of the archipelago. We include a complete extra day after the music has finished so that we have the time to get down to the southwestern end of the islands and see some of the magical scenery of Reine and Hamnøy. You can choose just to have the 8 night stay but, when you have made so much effort to head this far noth, why not finish off with 4 additional nights, two on to the magical island of Senja and finally two nights in Tromsø.

Apart from the first and last evening, there are two concerts each evening (at 7pm and 930pm) with each in a different venue - sometimes in and around Svolvær and others further afield. This year the concert format has changed a little in that each will be performed WITHOUT interval so that the second concert will start 30 minutes earlier and end almost an hour earlier than in past years. This should allow us to be back in Svolvær in the midnight sun! 

During our time staying in Svolvær we build our itinerary around the concert programme dining most evenings around 5pm so that we can visit some of the glorious beaches, hilltops & waterside hamlets (including Gimsøy, Vikten, Ramberg, Flagstad, Nusfjord, Moskenes, Henningsvær, Sortland and Kabelvåg) as well as visiting the unique Lofotr Viking Museum and the Lofoten Museum. We spend 3 hours one day with a delicious hot fish-soup lunch aboard the sea cruiser MS Øykongen as we visit the unique Trollfjord with an entrance just 100m wide and sea eagles and many seabirds.

On Monday 15th we travel by coach from Svolvær to Harstad (dropping any guests that are leaving us today at Narvik) The coach continues north with our baggage, while we join a fast hydrofoil for the journey to Finnsnes where we rejoin our coach and cross over to Senja, the second largest island of Norway and truly the land of trolls 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 at the hotel tonight and spend the entire following day exploring this fascinating island. We have a second night at Hamn before 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 hour’s drive to Tromsø for our final two nights in the 'Capital of the Arctic'. We stay on the waterfront at the Radisson Blu Hotel visit the beautiful botanical gardens and ride the cable car up Mount Storsteinen for a fantastic view of the city and region before our farewell dinner at an award winning restaurant located in a traditional Troms building.

Those of you that have pre-registered will have the concert programme in PDF format and we will add a link as soon as it is published (we understand on the 15th January).

Travelling to Lofoten:
We offer included flights to Narvik/Evenes - from Gatwick via Bergen with Norwegian and from Manchester via Oslo with SAS. From Evenes Airport to Svolvær we travel by private coach and the journey takes around 2 hours 20 minutes. We expect to arrive at the hotel in time for a late dinner (in full daylight!).

Flight details (confirmed January 24)

7 July Manchester - Oslo  0940 1235   Gatwick - Bergen 1050 1345
           Oslo - Evenes       1415 1555   Bergen - Evenes  1450 1640

Lofoten ONLY – 8 night stay
19 July Evenes - Oslo       1540 1725   Evenes - Oslo      1540 1725
           Oslo Manchester    1930 2035   Oslo - Gatwick    1850 2010

Complete tour – 12 nights:
19 July Tromsø - Oslo       1225 1420   Tromsø - Oslo     1225 1420
           Oslo Manchester    1930 2035   Oslo - Gatwick    1850 2010

If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements and meet us at the hotel in Svolvær please let us know and we will deduct GB£500 from your tour balance. If you fly independently to Evenes you must arrive either on one of the above flights or on an earlier flight and wait for us. If you wish to depart from Evenes please book the 1540 departure or something later.

Deposit at the time of booking: £1000.
Balance is due not later than 30th April.

Many thanks for the delightful musical holiday in Berlin that you arranged for us all! I thank Stacey and all who worked to make the trip a success.
TB, Cockermouth

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