Day 1 & 2:
A warm welcome to Skåbu
Magical Jettegryter in Hell
Take the train from Oslo to Vinstra, where you will be escorted from the station to Skåbu – Norway’s oldest village (and the highest settlement in Northern Europe). In 2018, hosts Jannicke and Henrik relocated from Oslo to Skåbu and transformed the local grocery store into a fine family mountain lodge which now prides itself on its excellent kitchen, warm atmosphere and modern facilities. While staying at Skåbu, the hosts will gladly show you their ancient mountain farm with 20 buildings dating back to year 1500. Skåbu is the perfect launchpad for the myriad activities in Jotunheimen National Park. Spend a day with your personal guide and choose between seasonal activities such as moose-scouting, canoeing, mushroom picking, horseback riding, cross country skiing and dog sledding. Venture on a trip to Helvete (‘Hell’), to descend into its spectacular natural potholes, or simply spend the day doing some shinrin yoku.
Day 3 & 4:
Norway’s Most Spectacular Rail Journey
Snaking ascents and inspiring views
Continue with the train to Åndalsnes, where the second part of the journey – from Dombås to Åndalsnes – is known as the Rauma Railway. With its snaking ascent and inspiring views of the Trollwall, it’s easily Norway’s most spectacular rail journey. Transfer to Hotel Aak mountain lodge for a two night stay. Fireside dinners will be served at the communal wooden table in the company of fellow travellers.
Morning brings an electric bike ride, Tour de Trollstigen. Outdoor lunch with panoramic view from Trollstigen. SUP (Stand-up paddleboard) on the Istra and Rauma rivers – this has been compared to rafting on the Amazon. Enjoy an evening walk to Rampestreken Viewpoint in the light summer night and feel on top of the world.
Day 5 & 6:
Foraging in Strawberry Village Valldal
Private transfer travel by bus to strawberry-growing village Valldal. Help with harvesting the world’s most succulent strawberries – they get extra juice and flavour from their 24-hour exposure to daylight.
Spend a day offbeat food foraging. The pleasure of foraging is the way it increases awareness of your surroundings – forcing you to slow down, pause and look around. For our ancestors, foraging would simply have been a way of life, even a necessity. After picking berries, mushrooms and wild flowers, your guide will find a beautiful spot to make a bonfire and prepare food based on what you’ve collected.
In Valldal, check into Juvet Landscape Hotel; a synthesis of raw Norwegian nature, cultural history and modern architecture, or Merete’s Garden; a delightful spa and yoga retreat, for two days of wellness while sleeping in a canvas tent.
Recharge at Tustna Ladestasjon (Tustna Charging Station)
Onward by bus from Valldal on Scenic Route Atlanterhavsvegen (the Atlantic Road) to Kristiansund. Here you will be picked up and taken to Tustna Ladestasjon - 'ladestasjon' meaning recharging centre - for a night in a floating tent. Tustna offers a digital-free environment and a range of experiences to stimulate and revitalise the senses. Sleep in the open air under Nordic night skies, or in eco-friendly huts. You can try your hand at some traditional Norwegian craftwork, lap up the mountains, forest and fjord, or – maybe the most important gift of all – do absolutely nothing.
Day 8 & 9:
Veiholmen; like the Maldives - just cooler!
Islands at the end of the world
Continue on a private boat with its own skipper through a raw, unspoilt archipelago to the outermost rocks of Smøla, Veiholmen. In this remote but beautiful fishing community, you can go kayaking, spot seabirds (including sea eagles), oters and see the giant fishing pens. Spend the next two days soaking up the huge skies, magical light and ever-changing weather at Veiholmen.
Slide your feet into a pair of woolen slippers, sink into the couch and feel the ozone filling your lungs while admiring the views over the Atlantic. A local guide will take you on a ‘værvandring’ (ramble), giving you a feel for the village’s history and its local people through ‘småtta’, or short cuts through private gardens (fences are illegal here!) to make you immediately feel at home.
Back to the Mainland
Return to Kristiansund airport by private boat. Alternatively, take the boat to Trondheim and continue your journey further north.