Between Heaven and Earth

From  June to October, discover the colours of the Arctic nature. An itinerary of one week in both Norway and Sweden accompanied by the Midnight Sun and Beavers!  Accommodation in Hotel / cottage. 7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS Day trips 5/6 hours duration – across routes of easy / medium intensity. Expert assistance available for the duration of your stay. Suitable for groups of 2 to 8 people

During the Winter the inhabitants of the Far North  are quick to forget the transformation of the countryside which surrounds them, after a few weeks they get used to the monochrome landscape,  with its plant life, that is at its most lethargic with its growth and when there are only rare appearances from the local animal life.

P1180558Unlike more Southern climes, where the changes  of the seasons take place in more gentle stages, the transformation of nature and  the move from Winter to Spring in the Arctic is almost  apocalyptic in its dramatic differences, much as it must have been during the early days of creation.  From amongst the snow, giant trees, that are unmatched for their power and greatness, suddenly sprout leaves and the whole earth appears to have been covered  by hammer blows that have shaken it to its basic fibres –  as the great composer Stravinsky, who in his  “Spring Fling “- his most ‘famous musical composition –  depicted and represented  the feelings of the primitive men from the Great North who celebrated this incredible annual event.

Our program for the Summer includes outdoor activities in two nature reserves – the Rogen Nature Reserve in Sweden and the Femunmarka Nature Reserve in Norway – a total of a 1000 square kms of rare beauty characterized by forests and crystal clear lakes. Here is the natural habitat of Lynx, Arctic foxes, Bears, Wolverines and beavers.  The whole area has fascinating geological features. Everything is as it was 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age – there are residues of Moraine (glacial debris of soil and rocks) – which have formed a grid on the ground consisting of rocks and lakes and which gives whole area an appearance of  a huge never-ending maze

The daily excursions during this week will be walks of medium / easy intensity and the programmes will be designed and adjusted according to the requirements of the participants. The excursions will last from 5/6 hours and include a packed lunch.  Each trail will lead us to discover an unspoilt land, which at first glance appears to be void of any form of life,  but the huge plateaus that we will cross are very  rich in humus which is vital for the growth  of the carpet of mosses, berries, wild plants, orchids and blueberries which cover the area.

During our tours is not uncommon to come across the Golden Eagle, Capercaillie birds and many other fascinating animals.

First day – the second day. Welcome to Røros Mining Town – Norway – UNESCO: World Heritage site

 Check into Røros in the evening. A taxi will be waiting to take you to your hotel for an overnight stay.

The small town of Røros is full of ancient traditions which are unique and are not found in any other location. Whilst exploring its beauty, it is easy to stimulate all your senses and imagine that you have travelled backwards in time to bygone days. The old mining town is a place that tells its own story visually. P1110673The agricultural and mining activities were historically concentrated in the areas  all around the city and very little has changed since their original construction.   This is a unique place in the world, one of exceptional cultural value, which is why Røros was chosen to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Røros today is still an active and growing community, famous for its high quality products, its mineral processing forges and its culinary delights. What is one of the most surprising facts is that the population of Røros still live and work in buildings dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The second day is also dedicated to this mining town. You will return to your hotel in the afternoon and depart for the second destination, our hotel in Sweden.

Third day Jusnedal – Tevsjon lake and the ghost town

After breakfast, meeting with your guide and a brief introduction to the excursions for the week.

P1200887Departure for Ljusnedal for, “the ghost town.” This small village is situated on the banks of a lake that stretches as far as the eye can see. In the summer the area is filled with many animals. Wild Geese, Reindeer and Elk. The path winds through the Conifer forests for about 6 km. The terrain is relatively easy and will take you to a place where it feels like time has stopped.  The land of the Fairies and the  Elves.  Waterfalls and the sound of river water rushing through the forests accompany us for part of the way. There is a rich vegetation of Mosses, Mushrooms and multicoloured Flowers.  You will be enchanted by the charm of the place. Pristine, quiet.  It is  just nature itself that creates a noise here.

 Day Four – Bolagen trail – the lunar landscape

 After breakfast and after preparing packed lunches we go for a walk across the vast plateau of the Arctic Tundra. A fascinating remote location, which resembles a lunar landscape with Moraine (glacial deposits of soil and rocks) and ultramarine blue lakes. The vegetation is very low level and consists of, Lichens, Blueberries, Moss and Mushrooms, it is a paradise for Reindeer and Golden Eagles. Here, civilization seems a distant memory and a kind of Baptism of Solitude immerses us in a timeless void.

Fifth day   – National Park Hamrafjallet

We are in the Hamra National Park – The trail climbs for a good half an hour amongst the Birch forest and Wild Orchids. Once we get to the top we find ourselves on a stunning plateau interspersed with lakes that makes us feel as though we have gone back in time to when the ancient Sami animal herders allowed themselves short breaks to fish in these crystal clear lakes, particularly for the Arctic Char, a delicious fish and a typical example of the local cuisine which is eaten alongside meat dishes such as Reindeer or Moose.  Weather permitting – sometimes the wind blows very hard – we walk up to a ridge which has breathtaking views over lakes and forests.

Day Six – Rogen Nature Reserve

This day will be devoted to an encounter with the Musk Ox, the last surviving witness from the ‘Ice Age which is in danger of extinction. Our visit will begin in the late morning. The journey will take approximately 30 minutes and then we will arrive inside the reserve. We will visit the small museum and then a guide will tell us about the history and the evolution of the Musk Ox in this area. At the end of the talk we jump in our cars and drive inside the forest until we get close to the animals. We then leave the cars and walk along a trail. We have to be totally silent!! This is a very ancient area, in fact its geography is defined as “glacial” because it is the result of the last glacial erosion which occurred 10,000 years ago. The retreat of the ice has left the area full of Mosses, Lichens and Wood fossils.

Before arriving at the reserve, weather permitting, we will stop in a totally unspoilt area where we can go swimming. On sunny days,  the temperature can reach up to 28 degrees. The crystal clear waters of the Arctic allow you to have a nice P1200878swim before continuing with the rest of your day. This short hike is entirely inside the Coniferous forest that is next to a huge lake. There is a path, which we will be following, but simply by walking along the shores of the lake we can see residue from the Ice Age, such as the huge pieces of petrified wood which have been lying on the banks since time immemorial.  A mysterious atmosphere surrounds us which you can sense throughout the hike.

Day Seven – transfer to the airport / train station

 NOTE: The programmes shown are subject to change and do not always  follow  the precise order or timings set out above due to unforeseen climate changes. The tours will be arranged and confirmed  in detail day by day.