Dawn at Hamnoy, Lofoten Islands
Aurora Borealis and reflections, Hamnoy, Lofoten islands

Ultimate Arctic Norway - Lofoten and Senja 4-14 March 2024 - fully booked


Ultimate Arctic Norway: Lofoten Islands and Senja 4-14 March 2024


Co-led by Mark McColl and Lee Frost


£3795 per person (sharing discount £350) (deposit £300)


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This workshop takes in two of the most stunning areas of arctic Norway. We’ll spend 6 nights in the Lofoten islands, before heading north for a further 4 nights in Norway’s second largest island, Senja.


The Lofoten islands, an archipelago within the arctic circle, are considered one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Rugged mountains rise straight from the sea, beautiful fishing villages are scattered along the way, and old fishing cabins (rorbu) are numerous. Our arrival into arctic Norway will be via Harstad Narvik airport, roughly 4.5 hrs drive from our first base (Leknes) in the Lofoten islands. We’ll spend 6 nights at the Scandic Leknes Lofoten hotel, which is within easy reach of the picturesque fishing villages of Hamnoya, Sakrisoya, and Reine. There are also a number of nearby beaches including Uttakliev, Flakstad and Haukland that are surrounded by mountain peaks, hopefully clad in snow. We’ll have plenty of time to spend at these locations as well as visiting other areas of the islands, including Ramberg, Henningsvaer and Unstad.


Following our 6 nights in Lofoten, we’ll make the long drive to Senja (approximately 7 hrs). We’ll break the journey up with plenty of stops, and there will likely be one or two photographic opportunities en route. Senja is a truly stunning island - think snow clad mountains rising straight from the sea, red rorbu (fishing cabins) in idyllic settings, and empty beaches. We will visit locations such as Bergsbotn, the Devils teeth at Tungeneset, Ersfjord, and Mefjordbotn as well as shooting from many other stopping points. There are a number of beautiful Rorbu in this area and we will spend time shooting them in all sorts of conditions, hopefully including snowfall.


In addition to the amazing daytime photographic opportunities on this trip, we will also have an opportunity to shoot the aurora borealis. There is probably no better place on earth to see the aurora than arctic Norway. Lee and Mark have both been fortunate to shoot the aurora on many occasions before, so can help with composition as well as the techniques required to make successful aurora images. Bear in mind that we cannot guarantee that you will see the northern lights, but we will do our best to be in the right location if the aurora is active and there are clear skies.


For this workshop we will travel in two 9-seater vans. During the day (weather dependent) we’ll be up before dawn to shoot beautiful arctic sunrises, and will shoot throughout the day until sunset. This time of year gives an excellent amount of light for daytime shooting. At each of the two locations we will not have a fixed itinerary – we will decide on a daily basis what locations are likely to work depending on the prevailing weather conditions. Remember that this tour takes place during the Arctic winter, and occasionally storms / adverse weather can make travel more difficult. Safety will always take priority. If the weather is unfavourable during the day we can spend some time on image processing or reviewing images.


Duration:

10 nights

Accomodation:

4-10 March 2024 – Scandic Leknes Lofoten Hotel, Leknes, Lofoten islands (6 nights)

10-14 March 2024 – Mefjord Brygge, Senja (4 nights)


Included • 10 nights accommodation • breakfast at the hotels • all transportation during the workshop in Norway • tuition from Lee Frost and Mark McColl

Excluded • Flights • Insurance • Lunches / dinners / snacks / drinks not mentioned above


Maximum group size: 10


Equipment needed

• Camera body (plus a spare as backup if you have it)

• Batteries

• Lenses – from wide angle to telephoto. A 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8 and a 70-300mm lens would cover most subjects. To shoot the aurora, a fast wide angle is needed – f2.8 at minimum (or even faster eg. f1.8 if you have it)

• Tripod

• Lens cleaning equipment – a methanol based cleaning liquid (eg. Eclipse) is ideal as it doesn’t freeze at sub-zero temperatures.

• Plenty of memory cards • Laptop and external hard disk to back up images each night

• If you have a drone – bring it along!


Clothing

• Expect temperatures anywhere between zero and minus 15C – however, don’t worry too much as we will never be far from our tour vans, where you can warm up if necessary

• Down filled jacket

• Base layers – top and bottom

• Warm weather proof trousers (ski pants ideal)

• Hat / gloves / hand warmers

• Warm socks

• Boots / arctic wellies (eg. North Face Chilkats, Muckboot arctic sport)

• Microspikes (eg. Kahtoola) / Yaktrax ) in case ground is icy / slippery. I would recommend microspikes over Yaktrax as they are better on ice, and could be essential depending on conditions / location.


Fitness level

• Moderate – it is not anticipated that we will do extensive, physically demanding walking. As with any outdoor activity slips, trips and falls are all a risk, particularly in an arctic environment. All participants must have adequate health insurance in place, and accept that there is a small degree of falls risk in an icy environment.



Pretty in Pink
Uttakleiv sunset, Lofoten Islands
Before dawn, Hamnoy, Lofoten islands
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