page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116
page 117
page 118
page 119
page 120
page 121
page 122
page 123
page 124
page 125
page 126
page 127
page 128
page 129
page 130
page 131
page 132
page 133
page 134
page 135
page 136
page 137
page 138
page 139
page 140
page 141
page 142
page 143
page 144
page 145
page 146
page 147
page 148
page 149
page 150
page 151
page 152
page 153
page 154
page 155
page 156
page 157
page 158
page 159
page 160
page 161
page 162
page 163
page 164
page 165
page 166
page 167
page 168
page 169
page 170
page 171
page 172
page 173
page 174
page 175
page 176
page 177
page 178
page 179
page 180
page 181
page 182
page 183
page 184
page 185
page 186
page 187
page 188
page 189
page 190
page 191
page 192
page 193
page 194
page 195
page 196
page 197
page 198
page 199
page 200
page 201
page 202
page 203
page 204
page 205
page 206
page 207
page 208
page 209
page 210
page 211
page 212
page 213
page 214
page 215
page 216
page 217
page 218
page 219
page 220
page 221
page 222
page 223
page 224
page 225
page 226
page 227
page 228
page 229
page 230
page 231
page 232
page 233
page 234
page 235
page 236
page 237
page 238
page 239
page 240
page 241
page 242
page 243
page 244
page 245
page 246
page 247
page 248
page 249
page 250
page 251
page 252
page 253
page 254
page 255
page 256
page 257
page 258
page 259
page 260
page 261
page 262
page 263
page 264
page 265
page 266
page 267
page 268
page 269
page 270
page 271
page 272
page 273
page 274
page 275
page 276
page 277
page 278
page 279
page 280
page 281
page 282
page 283
page 284
page 285
page 286
page 287
page 288
page 289
page 290
page 291
page 292

Norway is a country of manyspectacular landscapes. From thegentle rolling green hills surroundingOslo, to the harsh snowy tundra of theArctic and the towering mountains, cut bydeep dark fjords, it is a land ofbreathtaking contrasts and beauty. Evenamongst such natural splendour, however,one region stands out. The Lofoten Islandslie deep within the Arctic Circle and offer awild beauty that can best be described ashumbling; their majestic mountains risingvertically out of an inky-blue sea, leavingroom for only a threadlike shore. This is the'Land of the Midnight Sun', a place ofdramatic landscapes, idyllic summers andabundant wildlife; a source of inspirationfor many and the soul of northern Norway. Jutting out from the mainland, the Lofotenarchipelago extends westwards far out intothe Atlantic Ocean and it is this uniquelocation that attracts such a wealth ofwildlife. The open sea, the influence of theGulf Stream and the proximity of thecontinental shelf offer a rare opportunity toexperience the atmosphere and theexcitement of an Arctic whale-watch with adifference. We hope to witness the naturalphenomenon of Sperm Whales gatheringon the edge on the continental shelf,where the warmer Atlantic currents andcold Arctic waters merge to create richfeeding grounds for some of the largestcreatures on the planet. On land we willexplore the spectacular birdlife in one ofthe world's most beautiful and pristinearchipelagos - travelling on the quietroads that snake around beautiful fjordsand through some dramatic countryside,where breathtaking views presentthemselves at every corner.Our 6-day holiday begins with a flight fromLondon, via Oslo, beyond the Arctic Circleto Evenes, from where we continue ourjourney by minibus. The scenery is awe-inspiring: craggy mountains whose jaggedteeth seemingly bite the skyline and trap astring of tiny fishing villages tight againstthe shore. The main highway weaves ascenic route as it hops from island toisland via sweeping bridges andcauseways and occasionally throughtunnels beneath the sea. Our timeexploring this spectacular region will besplit between three nights on the island ofAndøya, on the northern Vesterlån Islands,and two nights at Moskenes on thesouthern tip of the Lofoten archipelago. On one day we will travel north to thepicturesque fishing village of Andenes fora day's whale-watching, the undoubtedhighlight of the tour. On our way out to thewhales' feeding grounds we will visitseabird and seal colonies and keep asharp eye open for the majestic White-tailed Eagles which are frequently seenhere. By spending a whole morning (3-5hours) out at sea we hope to optimise ourchances of seeing several differentspecies of cetacean. Although SpermWhale, the largest of the toothed whales, isthe most frequently observed species, weshould also look out for Minke, Humpbackand Long-finned Pilot Whales, White-beaked Dolphins, and perhaps thedistinctive tall dorsal fins of a patrollingpod of Orcas. While Andøya is not strictlypart of the Lofotens it is one of the mostproductive regions for birds, having adiverse avifauna representative of a widerange of habitats that includes mountains,moorlands, bogs, lakes and woodlands.Species we may expect to seeinclude Willow Ptarmigan,Rough-legged Buzzard, Merlin,Whimbrel, Ruff, Red-neckedPhalarope, Redpoll, Bramblingand Snow Bunting. No visit to the Lofoten Islands would becomplete without the experience of seeingMoskenes. This spectacular region hasbeen sculpted over the millennia byglaciers and other elemental forces,creating one of the wildest and mostfascinating places in Norway. The area ischaracterised by sheer-faced mountainsand some of the oldest rocks in Europe,approximately 3 billion years old. Here,rising to an altitude of 1,029 metres, MountHermannsdalstind dominates the westernLofotens and is one of the highestmountains in the archipelago. We will alsoembrace the rich cultural heritage of theLofotens and during our time in the southof the islands we will observe theprocessing of the region's most importantexport, 'Stockfish' (air-dried cod). Naturally,we will also be making frequent stops forbirdwatching en route, including a visit tothe wetlands at Leknes.The magnificent scenery, wealth of birdand marine-life together with fresh Arcticair will surely combine into a unique andunforgettable experience, but the greatestexperience of all is, perhaps, just beingamongst the Lofoten Islands themselves.While nothing in nature is guaranteed, onething is certain on this tour: enduringmemories of awe-inspiring landscapesquite unlike any other in Europe!Whales & Seabirds ofNorway's Lofoten IslandsA 6-day holiday to the land of the midnight sun, focusing on the whales, seabirds and landscapes of Norway's spectacular Lofoten Islands.Sunday 23rd June - Friday 28th June Cost: £2,295Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationNORWAYLOFOTENISLANDSVESTERLÅNISLANDSSWEDENSORTLANDEVENESANDØYALEKNESMOSKENESANDENESOutline itineraryDay 1Fly Evenes; transferAndøya.Day 2/3Wildlife exploration fromAndøya.Day 4/5Wildlife exploration fromMoskenes. Day 6Fly London.AccommodationComfortable guesthouse on Andøyawith private facilities. On the island ofMoskenes our group will be splitamongst a series of attractive cabinswith wonderful mountain views. Eachcabin has two bedrooms sharing onebathroom. FoodAll included in the price.GradingA. Easy to moderate day walks. FocusWhales, seabirds and mountainscenery. LeaderMalcolm Stott.Single room supplement£395.Web quick search: NOR07103The Lofoten IslandsSperm WhalePuffin

It is Norway's majestic coastal fjords thatso epitomise the country's scenicsplendour; yet, inland, lie some of themost attractive and varied landscapes inScandinavia. Indeed, since agricultural useaffects a meagre 4% of the country,Norway's interior has a great deal to offerthe naturalist, its wild, wide-open spacesharbouring a great variety of interestingArctic-alpine plants and animals. By way offurther attraction, the country's highstandard of living ensures excellentfacilities. Thus, at the end of each day outin the wilderness we may enjoy a retreat toour base in Kamben for the week, a friendlyand comfortable family-run hotel servingplenty of good traditional Norwegian food.Kamben, just four hours by road from Oslo,is ideally situated for botanical exploration,lying just below the tree-line at 790 metres,and just 15 kilometres north of theattractive and convenient town of Gol, insouthern Norway's Buskerud province.Spring, though, comes late to this highplateau of Golsfjellet and its surroundingpeaks, there being a quick and intenseblossoming of plants during the long daysof mid-July. Then, abundant flowers attractnumerous colourful butterflies and otherinsects, whilst breeding birds are highlyactive in their efforts to raise young duringso short a season.Our aim during this week-long holiday willbe to explore and enjoy the region bymeans of day walks from our hotel. From it, we are able to employ a wide range ofwell-marked footpaths that give us accessto the uninhabited and peaceful placeswhere flowers and other wildlife abound.We will range over open moorlands andaround tranquil lakes, wander amongstconiferous and birch woodlands, andascend alongside icy rivers towards thehigher peaks and their rewarding Arctic-alpine meadows. In these magnificentwilderness regions we have the freedom toroam at will in our search for the area'snatural history. It is a place where lichensabound, advertising the clean air. Some ofthe interesting flowering plants that we willfind do, of course, also occur in northernBritain. There, though, they are rare anddifficult to find; here, on the Gol Plateau,they are abundant and grow amongst somany others which are found only at thesemore northerly latitudes. Saxifrages, inparticular, are well represented whilst, in themore open habitats, a wide range ofwillows may be found, from the dwarf Salixherbaceaand S. reticulatato the taller S.myrsinifolia, together with manyrepresentatives of the heather family. Bird species are not numerous here, but doinclude many northern species which arerare in Britain such as Rough-leggedBuzzard, Gyr Falcon and a variety of gamebirds, whilst an appealing selection ofwoodpeckers breed alongside Fieldfares inthe woodland and forest areas. On sunnydays we will be able to enjoy the widevariety of butterflies that make the most ofa short flying season to dance through themeadows and soak in the sun fromsheltered hollows. Numerous amongstthem are members of that most confusingbut elegant of families, the fritillaries. Close to our hotel, we will explore themixed woodland and encumbant bogs, andascend gently to Syningen, at about 915metres, and Storefjell, from which far-reaching views extend over many of ourweek's target destinations. On another daywe will walk through the pine woodlandwhich shelters the Twinflower (Linnaeaborealis), named after Linnaeus, whosefavourite flower this was. Here we will alsohope to see such bird species as Grey-headed Woodpecker and Siberian Jay,before the woods give way to open areasand we continue across streams filled withMarsh Cinquefoil, and down towards Gol toend the day. To the east of Kamben weascend on pleasing paths, throughwoodland and open moorland, to thesummit of Nystolsfjellet, which rises to over1,220 metres. The wide-ranging views fromthe top allow us to scan for soaring birdsof prey, or perhaps glimpse a Merlindashing past. Cloudberry is abundant inthe damper areas, and we should see arange of Alchemillas, and may even find thetiny Bog Orchid and Lesser Twayblade. Tothe north, beyond Tisleifjord, lies theprovince of Oppland, an attractive area oflakes set amongst rounded hills. Here wewill search for Elk, Ptarmigan, Capercaillie,and both Willow and Black Grouse, andalso stop en route to view one of Norway'sfamous elaborate wooden churches. Alsoin Oppland is the mountain of Skogshorn(1,615 metres). This is well worth climbingon a clear day (from a start at 820 metres,not sea level!), being the highest peak inthe region and therefore offering splendidviews over the surrounding mountains andlakes, as well as a fabulous mountain flora. Perhaps the most spectacular day of all,however (provided the weather isreasonable), will be our expedition to thefamous Flam railway. This uses a range oftransport - bus, mountain railway andfjordland boat - to travel through veryvaried mountain and fjordland scenery,including a visit to the spectacular waterfallat Flam, as well as Aurlandsfjord andSognefjord. A remarkable day in which tocombine both montane and coastal plantsand birds (including such seabirds as gulls,terns and auks!). NORWAYSWEDENBERGENSKOGSHORNTRONDHEIMKAMBENGOLOSLOSOGNEFJORD104Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryOutline itineraryDay 1 Fly Oslo and transfer toKamben.Day 2/7A daily programme ofbotanical and naturalhistory walks from ourbase in Kamben.Day 8Fly London.AccommodationA friendly family-run hotel in Kamben,with private facilities.FoodAll included in the price.GradingDay walks only. Grade B.FocusPlants, birds and butterflies.LeaderPaul Harmes.Single room supplement£130.Web quick search: NOR02Norway - Alpine Flowers of the Gol PlateauAn 8-day holiday of botanical and natural history walks amongst the Arctic-alpine flora of southern Norway.Saturday 6th July - Saturday 13th July Cost: £1,295Buskerud province from SkogshornSnow GentianOset, Buskerud