A trip for everyone, dedicated to travelers, nature lovers and photography and adventure enthusiasts.
NORWAY - LIFE IN THE ARCTIC SUMMER
Wildlife, environment, peoples, landscape, and life in a unique world under the midnight sun
DURATION: 8 days
MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 12
DATES: 24-31 july / 1-8 august
ACCOMMODATION: Special facility – Campground
TRANSPORTATION: SKUA Nature van – Boats
MEALS: Kitchen in the facility – Restaurants – Packed lunch
DIFFICULTY: Easy – Support from guides expert about the area and photography
The tours are accompanied exclusively by SKUA coordinators.
ALWAYS CHECK “VIAGGIARE SICURI” WEBSITE: http://www.viaggiaresicuri.it/
PRECAUTIONS AND VACCINATIONS: In accordance with the applicable health regulations: https://www.viaggiavventurenelmondo.it/info/covid
About the middle of the cold season, the snow begins to melt and the sun rises again on the horizon over the Barents Sea. In the summer months, the dark night disappears and makes way for 24 hours of daylight. This expedition takes you to Finnmark with the goal of photographing Northern Europe’s most iconic landscapes in the light of the eternal sunrises and sunsets: colorful harbor houses, Norwegian fjords, and a lighthouse on the Barents Sea.
From Kongsfjord we travel along the long coastline of Varangerfjord in a photographic adventure that takes us from the highlands of Berlevag to the forests of the Finnish taiga to discover the most unknown Arctic: street art, abandoned houses, Nordic traditions, and small fishing villages. We will visit Hornoya Island on a boat trip in search of whales, where hundreds of sea birds will fly overhead. We will venture into the World War II underground bunkers, once buried by winter snow and now easily explored.
We will discover the legends of witches and witchcraft that lurk in the fishing villages. We will spend long days with the ever-awake nature that moves between forests and northern bays: reindeers, hares and rock ptarmigans lose their white color and show new patterns of fur and feathers as they try to blend into the snow-free environment.
Let the Varanger Peninsula surprise you and join us on this expedition beyond the Arctic Circle!
PARTICIPATION FEE: 1.700€
- all transfers – accommodation
- accident insurance
- insurance coverage
- use of suitable and special vehicles
- expert environmental and photographic guide
- driver and fuel
- meals and accommodation for guide and driver
- possible stays in photo hides
- access to sites/activities for which a permit is required
- all activities mentioned in the report
- private room supplement
- tips and any additional activities not described in the report and itinerary
- group experience
- Arctic activities
- midnight sun
- expert guides
- support by photographic staff
Itinerary in brief
Ivalo – Kaamanen – Kongsfjord – Berlevag – Vardo – Kiberg – Vardo – Hornoya – Hamninberg – Batsfjord – Syltefjord – Ovre Pasvik – Grense Jakobselv – Kirkenes
We will land in Ivalo, a city about 250 km north of the Arctic Circle, and drive from there into the eternal taiga, a landscape that will characterize the first part of our journey. Along the way we will stop to admire and enjoy the spectacular landscapes that emerge after the thaw and keep an eye out for enchanted nooks and crannies where small streams begin to flow again after a long winter of inactivity. We will have lunch in Kaamanen, where the local restaurant has set up a series of bird feeders that are also frequented by red squirrels, so we can photograph these little acrobats both in pose and in action.
At sunset, we will continue our tour of the fishing villages along Varangerfjord and will have a chance to see large European eagles. On the way to our accommodation in Kongsfjord we will drive into the northern Norwegian highlands, which offer unique opportunities for landscape photography in the light of an eternal sunset. We reach the town of Kongsfjord, surrounded by Arctic tundra, at dusk, but thanks to the many hours of light we can continue to photograph the docks and harbor houses with the sky reflected in the Barents Sea.
From our accommodation in Kongsfjord we will drive to Berlevåg, the northernmost municipality on the Norwegian mainland. The route will be one of the highlights of our trip: The road winds through three small fjords where tundra and cliffs merge to form impressive, green-covered cliffs. Along these cliffs, home to white-tailed eagles, gyrfalcons and groups of reindeer, sea and mountains intertwine, and small bays serve as meeting and resting places for seals and many seabirds. In the town of Berlevåg we will visit an old fish oil factory, now closed and abandoned, but still hiding old machinery. We will then document the fish landing of an active fishing industry, the main occupation in the town. In the afternoon, on the way to Kongsfjord, the spectacular route presents itself once again in a different light and we will stop to photograph the midnight sun between the fjords.
Arriving in Veines, we will walk among the colorful houses that make up the guesthouse
On the third day, we will drive along the north coast of Varangerfjord to the town of Vardø, which is located on an island connected to the mainland by an underwater tunnel. Along the scenic route we will visit parts of the settlements of Austertana, Tana Bru, Varangerbotn, Nesseby, Vadso, Ekkeroy and the entire coastline of Varangerfjord, which is overflown by white-tailed eagles that mainly stay in the area of Kiberg. In the Vardo area we will photograph some interesting interiors as well as several abandoned fishing warehouses. Along the way we will stop to photograph the street art in Vardø, a town known primarily for graffiti by well-known artists.
In Vardø we will visit some cultural highlights like the Witch Monument or the Drakkar Leviathan, a kind of old Viking ship that is supposed to represent the history of the coexistence of man and nature on the coast of Northern Norway. We will reach our base camp in Kiberg, where we will prepare a barbecue over a blazing fire in the middle of the Arctic tundra. We will sleep in tents in the eternal light of day, in comfortable warm sleeping bags, under the watchful eye of the white-tailed eagles in flight that will follow in the light of the midnight sun.
In the morning we will return to Vardø, from where we take a boat to the world-famous island of Hornøya, the jewel of the Barents Sea. Hornøya Island is home to a colony of more than 100,000 seabirds. It is a unique enclave where we can photograph puffins, guillemots and razorbills, as well as European shags. It will be a unique opportunity to capture the courtship rituals of the couples, the exchange of gifts or the fight for the territory. We will also go whale watching on our sea tour and perhaps enjoy the wonderful view of the whales of the Barents Sea. After having lunch in Vardø, we will visit the village of Hamningberg – weather permitting. The scenic road gives us the opportunity to make several stops to photograph landscapes and abandoned houses. On the way back, we will pass a machine warehouse and a car graveyard, where we will take stunning portraits of the workers.
On the way back to Kongsfjord we will make several stops to photograph the surrounding fishing villages in the endless light of the sunset.
On our 5th day, we will drive through a variety of unspoiled landscapes: from the cliffs of Varangerfjord, stretching along the great Tana River, to the highlands around Batsfjord. We will take a long route through the highlands around Kongsfjord and photograph mountain hares, which are difficult to spot because of their new summer fur. The colorful houses that surround the area add hues to the water of the harbor and make for pleasant reflections in our pictures. We will spend the afternoon in Syltefjord, where we will visit a fish drying plant and other traditional Nordic buildings that will serve as inspiration for some architectural images.
Weather permitting, we will visit the spectacular colony of Northern gannets near the village, which can only be reached by boat. We will return to Kongsfjord to rest after this intense and very long day of reportage photography.
Kongsfjord has a rich history dating back to World War II, and several German bunkers still stand on the Veines peninsula. A spectacular trail will take us to the top of the hill overlooking the village of Veines. During the hike we will enjoy extraordinary cliffs on the Barents Sea. In the morning we will stop at a sheltered viewpoint where we can enjoy a well-deserved packed lunch surrounded by white-tailed eagles and other seabirds. We will then drive down to Veines beach, where we will learn about the history, tradition and nature of Finnmark at the visitor center.
In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to take photos in the hides in Kongsfjord, where we can observe different animals coming to the feeding stations. For dinner we will enjoy king crab – excellent Nordic haute cuisine – caught in the Barents Sea, in the guesthouse restaurant.
In the morning we will pack our suitcase and leave Kongsfjord to meet with local Sami artisans to photograph their handicrafts. Our route will take us to Øvre Pasvik, a national park on the triple border with Russia and Finland. On the way we will see grebes, western capercaillie, white-tailed eagles and reindeer. We will also visit the church of Neiden, which is in the middle of the forest. At lunch time we can have a barbecue in the forest, surrounded by the sounds of nature.
Later we will reach the border where we can see the Russian forest from the Norwegian river bank. We will stay a while to photograph the landscape from the rocky beaches of the last Norwegian village Grense Jakovselv and then return to the forest to look for some abandoned houses. We will spend the last night in the park enjoying the midnight sun in the heart of Øvre Pasvik forest.
We will wake up early to reach Kirkeness Airport, where we will say goodbye and look forward to our next adventure together.
Whooper swan, taiga bean goose, common eider, common scoter, velvet scoter, common pochard, goosander, red-breasted merganser, western capercaillie, northern fulmar, gyrfalcon, European golden plover, purple sandpiper, red-necked phalarope, long-tailed jaeger, black-legged kittiwake, great black-backed gull, Arctic tern, puffin, common murre, thick-billed murre, razorbill, bar-tailed godwit, red-throated pipit, red-throated pipit, red-throated pipit, twite, Lapland longspur, reindeer, moose, fox, stoat, grey seal, harbor seal, red squirrel, mountain hare, humpback whale, fin whale and white-beaked dolphin.
Hide – Professional photo hides
The hide or photo hides are special structures for observing wildlife, perfectly integrated into the environment and able to comfortably accommodate 1 to 6 people, depending on their size. They are in strategic points to increase the possibility of observing wildlife at close range, and to guarantee participants discreet comfort and optimal photo conditions. There are hides made of different materials, shapes, and features, but all have the goal of approaching animals without disturbing them and minimizing the impact on the area.
In these structures, wildlife never come into contact with observers and photographers: visitors remain hidden behind special glass windows or camouflage nets. In this way, the animals do not get used to the presence of people and do not change their natural behavior. The wild nature of the animals is respected, and they can continue to visit their usual areas undisturbed.
The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that can be observed north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, where the sun is visible 24 hours a day around the summer solstice. This is the opposite phenomenon to the polar night. The number of days in a year with midnight sun is greater the closer one gets to the pole.
Since there are no permanent settlements near the pole in the Southern Hemisphere (except for some Antarctic bases inhabited by scientists and military personnel), the populated regions that enjoy this phenomenon are all in the Northern Hemisphere, as in the case of Norway. In Varanger, from May to the end of August, the nights turn into days again.
In May, June, July and August, the days get longer and temperatures rise in the Arctic regions. This is the time of nesting and the first flights on the Varanger Peninsula, the ultimate destination for spring migration of seabirds. There are many seabirds that have mated in the spring and now have to raise their young during the summer on the various Arctic islands.
In early July, these birds begin their fall migration, leaving their nests empty and accompanying their young chicks on their first flights to new lands where they spend the winter. Mammals such as the mountain hare, the red fox and the stoat change their winter coats as the disappearance of snow makes them easier to spot. Moreover, the tireless search for food for their young attracts them to fishing villages, from where they can be easily observed. It is also common to see groups of reindeer and moose protecting their young.
- Photo lenses: For those interested in nature photography, focal lengths of at least 200/300 mm or duplicators suitable for this purpose are recommended. For photographing people and the environment, other optics are recommended.
- Polarizing filters
- ND Filter
- Lightweight rain protection for camera and optics (RAINSLEEVE type)
- Clothing suitable for local temperatures
- LED headlamp
- Multi outlet for charging several devices at once
- Sunscreen and/or moisturizer
- Check the required documents depending on the current health situation in Italy and in the host country.
- If you book flights independently, given the health situation, it is advisable to choose tickets that include a refund in case of cancellation or change of itinerary.