Home #WHERETONEXT Scandinavia New Wild Varanger Experience from Up Norway for Summer

New Wild Varanger Experience from Up Norway for Summer

Eight-Day Curated Journey Through the Rugged Arctic Landscapes in Northeastern Norway Explores Rich Indigenous Sami Heritage, Rustic Villages, King Crab Fishing, and Reindeer Herding Traditions

Up Norway, the leading curator of sustainable luxury travel experiences in Norway, is now offering a new bespoke itinerary: The Wild Varanger Immersion. This exclusive eight-day journey invites travelers to venture through Norway’s captivating northernmost landscapes, encounter vibrant wildlife, and immerse themselves in the rich local Sami culture. The Sami are an indigenous people of the Norwegian Arctic, known for their unique cultural heritage, traditional reindeer herding, and deep connection to the natural environment. From water based wildlife safaris and serene reindeer encounters to authentic Sami-guided experiences and luxuriously remote lodge stays, this adventure promises a distinctive blend of unparalleled nature and culture. Ideal for travel through the late summer and fall, the Wild Varange Immersion can be combined with journeys in other parts of the country for a longer excursion.

The Wild Varanger Immersion begins with a peaceful half day Hurtigruten cruise from Kirkenes to Båtsfjord, located in Norway’s northeastern Finnmark region. Known as the Norwegian Coastal Express, Hurtigruten’s coastal ships sail almost the entire length of the country, offering passengers a glimpse into one of the world’s most beautiful sea voyages. The next day, travelers will wake up in the Arctic at Båtsfjord Brygge, an authentic Norwegian coastal fishing village by the Barents Sea. The adventures kick off with a high-speed RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) cruise along the stunning Syltefjord coast, where guests can witness Arctic wildlife, including seabirds, humpback whales, and dolphins. The Syltefjordstauran, a 3 km long and 200 m high bird cliff, is home to thousands of seabirds, including black-legged kittiwakes, puffins, and northern gannets. Experienced guides not only drive guests to see the “Stauran” but also share fascinating stories about life on the coast of the Barents Sea. Other immersive activities in the area include hiking, birdwatching, refreshing dips in natural springs, and visiting reindeer corrals.

The journey continues with a stay at a fully-equipped cabin on the tundra, where guests will spend the following two nights under the guidance of a Sami host. One of the highlights of this experience is a deep dive into Sami reindeer traditions. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about the traditions of reindeer herding, the significance of reindeer in Sami spirituality and folklore, and the sustainable practices that have been passed down through generations. Next, guests will continue to the Varanger fjord where they can enjoy an exciting King Crab Fishing Experience. Led by a professional fisherman, guests will venture out in a fishing boat to taste some of the freshest seafood the region has to offer.

During the final part of the journey, guests will head along the Scenic Varanger Route from Nesseby to Vardø by car, enjoying the unique lunar landscape that feels like the end of the world. The picturesque drive runs through birch woods, marshland, and a rugged cliff landscape, revealing natural surroundings full of contrasts. Proximity to Russia, Finnish immigration, and Sami traditions provide the region with exciting cultural diversity, making the drive one of both breathtaking nature and deep historical significance. There is also a good chance of encountering reindeer along the road. In Vardø, they will visit Vardøhus, the world’s northernmost fortress, and the Steilneset Memorial, an installation by artist Louise Bourgeois and architect Peter Zumthor that commemorates the 17th-century witch trials. After exploring Vardø, guests will stay in a modern, sustainably designed cabin with large panoramic windows, offering a cozy and intimate connection with the harsh Arctic climate. The next day includes a trip to Hornøya Island, a paradise for birdwatching enthusiasts and home to nearly 100,000 birds like sea eagles and puffins. The journey then continues to Hamningberg, where guests will experience the rugged, otherworldly landscape and explore a rustic small village at the road’s end, guided by local experts who will introduce them to the region’s unique flora and fauna.

In addition to the Wild Varanger Immersion, Up Norway offers various other experiences to enhance visitor exploration of Norway. Guests can book this journey independently or as part of a more extensive itinerary. Each traveler will receive a comprehensive pre-trip digital guide with insider tips, travel details, and 24-hour direct chat support with the Up Norway team.