Frequently Asked Questions
Using our firsthand experience of our destinations and our many years in the travel industry we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help our guests with some of things we know are important to you. In the sections below we cover somegeneral travel questions as well as specifics relating to some of unique destinations.
We invest a great deal in sending our staff to our destinations and so if your question is not answered below then please do not hesitate to contact one of our travel experts. We all love discussing our holidays and experiences with our guests and so if we don't cover your question below please call us and we'll get the answer for you as quickly as possible.
Will we see the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights are an exciting natural phenomenon and a magical experience to witness for young and old. Bands of colour stretch and dance across the sky, creating a wonderful natural display. Whether you can see them or not is determined by many conditions, which is why seeing them can never be guaranteed. However, the sun is currently at the peak of its Solar Cycle, which occurs every 11 years and solar activity levels are set to be exceptional over the next few winters. This means that it is likely to be the best chance for your family to see the Lights for a generation!
To see the Lights you also need dark skies, which is why they can only really be seen between September and early April. Plus, you also need to be staying within the Aurora Zone, which is the band that circles the Arctic where the Lights are most visible.
The other thing that can potentially stand in your way is the cloud cover. When watching for the Lights, you have to hope for clear skies, as cloud cover will block any chance of seeing the Lights.
Many of the holidays on our website include evening adventures that are dedicated to searching for the Northern Lights and the friendly guides that accompany you will use all of their local knowledge to try and find the best spot for a potential viewing, so hopefully your family will be able to witness this wonderful phenomenon during your time away.
How cold will it be?
On most of our winter holidays you will be provided with Arctic winter clothing for the duration of your stay (it will be mentioned in the ‘What’s Included’ section) and it is always included for activities such as dog sledding and snowmobiling. This winter clothing is designed for the low Arctic winter temperatures and consists of either a one or two piece set of thermal overalls (imagine a duvet made into a suit), which will help to keep your family toasty during the holiday, as well as a pair of winter boots and normally some woolly socks to keep your toes nice and warm.
Our guides will also provide you with large mittens (which are much warmer than gloves with fingers) and in many cases hats are also available to borrow.
Along with the list of items that we mention on our packing list attached to each trip, you should be comfortably warm wearing your own layers under your suit (thermals, fleeces etc) and your thermal winter clothing on top. You may also want to bring along some hand and feet warmers for an extra bit of warmth.
Clothing obviously plays a major part in keeping warm, however it’s also important to keep the family well fed and watered for a day in the Great Outdoors, so make sure that you all take advantage of the Scandinavian breakfasts and fuel up for the day ahead!
If you’re taking part in an activity that lasts for more than a couple of hours, you’ll usually have a break for hot drinks and a snack around an open fire, giving you the chance to have a rest and warm up.
It’s also important to note that some activities, such as dog sledding (when driving the sled) and cross-country skiing are physical activities which, although designed for beginners, will naturally keep you warm, so you may even end up taking off a layer or two!
Although you may experience temperatures as low as -30°C, this is a dry cold rather than the bitter, wind-driven wet cold you may experience in other countries. You may be surprised to see the local children walking to school completely at ease with the climate, so this should reassure you that all will be fine.
How many hours of daylight will there be?
In parts of Lapland, the sun disappears over the horizon in late December and doesn’t reappear until early January. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you will be in complete darkness throughout your holiday!
Thanks to the thick covering of snow, every little bit of available light is reflected off the surface, creating what many in Lapland call “blue light” or “polar light”. This light extends both the dawn and twilight hours, so there should always be enough light to ensure that you can fully enjoy the activities (except during the night time safaris of course), although being out in the dark can add to the magic of the experience as well!
December and January are naturally the months with the least amount of daylight, however this also means that there is more potential to see the Northern Lights, as the skies are darker and you don’t necessarily have to stay up as late searching for the Lights. As the winter months progress, the daylight hours get longer, gaining around 4 hours of daylight each month.
Can we meet Father Christmas?
Yes, you can! Our trips to see Father Christmas are always a minimum of 3 nights and most of them include an intimate and personalised chat with him.
Whether you take part in a family-based private visit or a slightly larger group-based meeting, your family will get the chance to meet Father Christmas, listen to his stories sat around a warming fire and enjoy the magical Christmas festivities.
We know how important meeting Father Christmas is for your family, which is why we only choose experiences that are not commercialised and over-crowded and that aim to give your family a truly wonderful experience.
How do we stay warm?
As mentioned in the ‘How cold will it be?’ FAQ, on most of your holidays you will be provided with Arctic winter clothing for the duration of your stay, which, along with your own inner layers, will keep you nice and warm when outside. During the activities that you’ll take part in you’ll also generate your own natural body warmth, which will help to keep you warm in your thermal gear.
Inside the hotels and lodges that we use, the rooms and communal areas are all fully-heated. You certainly won’t need your thermal gear inside, so feel free to walk around as you would at home.
What if I want to book another activity when I get there?
We always recommend booking activities prior to travel, to ensure availability. If on arrival, you decide you would like to do extra activities in your free time then these will need to be booked and paid for locally. Reception is normally the best place to ask for more information or you can speak to a guide. Unfortunately, we cannot accept any responsibility for activities which fall outside of our holiday package. Please see the Booking Conditions for further details.
What if I want to hire equipment when I get there?
Please check with reception or with one of the guides about the equipment available to hire during your free time. You will need to book this locally and there may be a charge depending on the location.
What do I need to pack and what type of clothing and equipment will be provided?
Please see our detailed packing list for clothing and equipment to take and wear during your trip. This is a wonderfully detailed document which can be found in your online account and also on the holiday webpage.
How will I know if there is an Aurora display during my holiday?
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to predict the Northern Lights more than a few hours in advance. This is because clear skies and optimum solar activity levels are required and forecasting these is a difficult process. Effectively though, you stand the best chance if you are outdoors, away from light pollution and keeping watch on the sky.
How do I photograph the Northern Lights?
Ask our customer service team for some further information on Northern Lights photography and they'll share some hints and tips! You can also download apps onto phones and tablets if you want to avoid the need for any specialist equipment. Of course, the quality of the images is not comparable, but you can still capture a souvenir image in most cases.
Will someone be able to help me with my camera settings?
A lot of the local guides and reps will be able to assist you with camera settings.
What happens if I miss my flight?
If you miss your flight at your initial departure point, you must find the information desk for the airline you are travelling with and inform them of this. They will endeavor to put you on the next available flight to your destination; they may charge for this.
Sadly, we have no control over the airlines and the only people who are able to provide the most suitable arrangements for you are the airline staff. Once you have your onward travel confirmed then please contact your local representatives or our UK office on the out of office number as soon as possible to inform us of the changes – these numbers are all listed on your final travel letter. Then we will assist and arrange your new transfers if necessary. Please note that there may be an additional cost for these.
As many of our trips are located in remote regions of the world sometimes the next available flight may not be until the next day, so please allow plenty of time to get to the airport to avoid missing your flight - we would hate for this to ruin the enjoyment of your holiday. You need to confirm with your insurance provider what you would be able to reclaim from them in such circumstances.
If your flight is cancelled, the airline will inform you of the arrangements that have been made for you, so please contact the airline staff at the airport as soon as possible. Once again, once you have your onward travel confirmed please contact your local representatives, our UK office or out of office number as soon as possible to inform us of the changes. Sadly flight cancellations are beyond our control but we will be happy to assist you with your claim to your insurance company. We will of course endeavor to reschedule your itinerary to try and minimise any changes.
Can I check-in online?
In most cases, you will be able to check in online prior to travel (for some flights with Norwegian Airlines this is not possible, so you check in as normal at the airport). The details of how to do this will be provided approximately one week before departure when your final travel documents and tickets are loaded into your online account. The information required can be found in your final travel letter.
How do I select seats on my flight?
What is my luggage allowance?
Your luggage allowance will vary depending on the airline you are travelling with and the final details will be provided around one week before departure when your final travel letter is loaded into your online account. An indication of the typical luggage allowances included are below for reference only.
Norwegian Air 20kg
Which terminal will I be travelling from?
Depending on the airline you are travelling with, the terminal will vary. You can find this information on any of your receipts in your online account.
Where do I find my transfer information?
Transfer information can be found on your travel voucher. You travel voucher will be available in your online account approximately 7 days prior to travel. You will also be provided with full joining instructions in your final travel letter.
Who will meet me at the airport?
The details of the joining instructions for your chosen holiday will be provided in your final travel letter. This will be uploaded to your online account approximately one week before departure.
Do I need a visa?
If you hold an EU passport and are travelling within the EU, you will not require a visa. Other nationalities should check with the embassy of the country they are due to visit. Obtaining any visas that are required is your own responsibility.
How much spending money will I need to take?
You will need to take enough money to cover the cost of meals that are not included in the trip cost, drinks, additional activities, any tips you may wish to give to guides (completely at your discretion) and souvenirs you wish to purchase during your trip. Most major credit and debit cards are widely accepted in our destinations and the option to set up a tab is typically offered to guests.
What should I wear in the evenings for dinner?
Most of the restaurants you will visit are very casual, allowing guests to relax and be comfortable during the evenings. If you are walking from your room to the restaurant remember you will want to be warm (especially if you are going outdoors), but there will always be somewhere for you to leave your outerwear and to change shoes if you require.
Are towels and toiletries provided?
Towels are provided as standard in all accommodation (with the exclusion of the overnight safaris).
We recommend taking your own toiletries; some hotels do provide them, but it is not standard in all our hotels and it is much more environmentally friendly to take your own.
Are there laundry facilities available at the hotel?
A lot of our accommodation facilities include laundry services on request and by special arrangement; please get in touch with our team to find out if laundry services are available in your accommodation.
Will there be Wi-Fi at the hotel?
The details for each accommodation can be found in the accommodation section of the relevant holiday webpage. Wi-Fi is widely available in most of our destinations but whether it is available in all areas of the accommodation and whether it is free of charge, can vary.
What size are the beds?
Typically, in almost all hotels in Scandinavia, a double bed is formed using two single beds, normally fixed together, as it gives the rooms ultimate flexibility for all guests. If they are made up as a ‘double’ they will have a mattress topper and, as is common in Scandinavia, two single duvets rather than one large shared duvet - providing that extra bit of comfort and no duvet hogs!
Are tea and coffee facilities available in the rooms?
Tea and coffee making facilities are not typically provided as standard as they are in the UK. If it is import to you, we do advise taking your own travel kettle and supplies. Please see the accommodation section of the relevant holiday webpage for specific details regarding your accommodation.
Will a hairdryer be provided?
In most of the hotels we feature, travel hairdryers are available. If there is not one in your room then you can ask at reception as sometimes they have ones you may borrow. In our experience, this can be inconvenient and, they are not normally the most powerful hairdryers, so when we travel we normally choose to take our own.
Can I drink the water?
Tap water in Lapland is perfectly fine to drink; in fact, it is much better to drink than bottled water.
How cold will it be?
The temperatures in Finland vary from south to north, but as the majority of our holidays to Finland are above the Arctic Circle, the information below is based on the average conditions in the Lappish town of Kittilä.
November through to February are the real winter months in Finnish Lapland. During this period, daytime temperatures average between -5°C and -15°C. In rare and extreme circumstances, temperatures can range from 3°C to -40°C in the winter storms. However, you don’t need to be scared by these dramatic temperatures, as the cold is often drier in Finland and wind chill factors are much less of an issue than you find in other countries that experience a bitter, wet cold. These extremes are rare and beyond our control.
Before and during your activities, the guides will always change itineraries for safety reasons, especially if they are in anyway concerned that the conditions are not suitable and therefore not particularly enjoyable either!
Spring starts to come to Finland in the months of March and April and if you travel during this time, the temperatures will be slightly warmer and the days will be longer with more sunshine all around. The snow remains on the ground until May and average temperatures will range between -4°C and 10°C during the day.
During the night, temperatures drop to an average of -21°C in January. However, wrapped up in your cosy winter clothing, your family will be well equipped for the conditions day or night, so that you can enjoy your winter holiday in comfort!
How dark will it be?
Daylight hours vary hugely in Finland.
From mid to late December through to early January, the sun will disappear below the horizon for a few weeks and the whole landscape will be illuminated in a mystical blue glow, which the locals refer to as ‘blue light’ or ‘Kaamos’. The light is reflected by the thick layers of snow, creating a magical light across the landscape.
Generally, your activities will take place within this blue light, but in the months of December and January, the hours are more restricted, so you should be prepared for activities to take place in darker conditions, although this can add to the magic of the experience!
The darker months can also have an advantage over the lighter spring months, as you need dark skies for the Northern Lights to be visible, so you don’t necessarily have to stay up as late to have a chance to see them!
The days get longer as the season progresses and from early January onwards, there are around four hours of daylight, which increases by roughly four hours a month as the season continues.
How expensive is Finland?
As with most Scandinavian countries, Finland is not the cheapest destination when it comes to buying items such as food and drink. This is why we try to keep it simple for you by including breakfast and evening meals, where possible. In the more remote destinations, we will also include lunches.
Our holidays aren’t all-inclusive, so you’ll need to pay for drinks and any extras at your destination. Rest assured that most places accept major credit cards if you want to buy any items while you are out there.
We also recommend taking some Euros with you, so that you can buy souvenirs of your holiday, as cashpoints are not readily available, especially in the more remote destinations.
What is the currency in Finland?
As part of the Euro Zone, Finland’s currency is the Euro. Major credit cards are widely accepted in the destinations that we sell and they are often the simplest way to pay. If you want to buy souvenirs and local handicrafts, you may want to bring some cash with you, as cashpoints are not widely available.
What is the food like?
We often find that Finnish food exceeds our customers’ expectations. Lapland is filled with lakes that provide fresh fish throughout the year and reindeer are also a huge part of the Lappish lifestyle, which is why fish and reindeer will appear on most menus.
Berries collected during the summer months are stored for winter and often served as sides to a variety of dishes, which are well worth a taste and add great flavour.
Fish are caught throughout the year and ice fishing in the winter is one of the most popular Finnish activities, so perhaps you’ll have a chance to taste some locally-caught delights and maybe even one of your own catches!
Although we understand that most people may not want to eat reindeer, the animals are lovingly cared for by their herders, who use the same methods that they have done for generations, producing a tasty meat that is well worth a try.
Some of our destinations have restaurants that are more renowned for their cuisine and others rely on fabulously simple home cooking using local ingredients. In remote areas, fresh fruit and vegetables are limited and so they may not form a major part of the menu. Either way, we find that the food is exactly what your family needs after a day of fun in the snow!
Please let us know if any of your family have any dietary requirements at the time of booking, so that our suppliers can accommodate them to the best of their ability.
If you decide to stop off in Helsinki, we would be more than happy to recommend some restaurants, as there are some great places to eat with the family.
What kind of plug do I need in Finland?
Finland uses the Northern European two-pronged plug (type C), so you will need an adapter if travelling from the UK.
Do we need visas to visit Finland?
If you are travelling from within the EU, no visa is required. For UK nationals, you are able to stay for up to three months without a visa but your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. For anyone travelling on a non-British passport, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have all necessary visas, passport validity and documents in place before you travel. Please contact your foreign office or the Finnish Embassy for details.
How do we get to Finland?
Most of our trips to Finland travel from London, via Helsinki, to airports within the northern part of the country that are closer to the destinations we use. Your waiting time in Helsinki will obviously vary depending on the available flight times. If you would like to stop over in Helsinki, we can arrange this for you, so please discuss this with us at the time of booking.
In some cases, you may fly to Finland via another Scandinavian country, depending on your flight route.
What is the time difference between the UK and Finland?
During the winter, Finland is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During Daylight Saving Time (DST), Finland is 3 hours ahead of GMT.
Do we need to tip?
Tipping isn’t expected in Finland, as all prices and services are included in the price that you pay and it isn’t necessary to add a further tip to this. If you want to tip for good service, then you are certainly welcome to do so, however, often a good way to show your appreciation for good service is to round up the total of your bill.
What should I pack?
What should you to Finland in?
You should travel in comfortable clothes and sensible shoes with a good grip. It is advisable for you to have access to a hat and gloves in your hand luggage.
We recommend dressing for a cold winter’s day in the UK and having a warm jacket available to you on arrival. Generally you only need to cross from the airport terminal to the transfer vehicle but you should be prepared.
What we provide on your holiday:
There is no need to buy lots of expensive cold weather clothing before your holiday. The following items will be provided for you for the duration of your stay in all destinations in Finland
Our suppliers cater for all shapes and sizes from small children through to very large adults.
Thermal overalls: These overalls are the ultimate in insulated outdoor gear. They are big, cosy and designed specifically for the Arctic. You will be given either a one piece suit or a two piece set to wear. This is your outer clothing under which you will wear your additional layers, so they tend to be fairly loose fitting.
Winter boots: The boots are large, well-insulated and very sturdy. They are generally worn slightly larger than normal as you need to allow air to move around the boots as well as needing ample room for thick socks.
Mittens or gloves: Our partners have large, warm gloves available for you to borrow for the activities. Generally these are mittens as they keep your hands warmer than finger gloves.
Hat: Although in many cases clients like to take their own hats they are available for you to borrow should you wish.
Woollen socks: These big woollen socks provide excellent insulation and they are generally loose fitting to allow for the circulation of warm air. You may like to take your own but they will be available for you to borrow.
What you need to take
The equipment provided should keep you comfortably warm however you should enhance your clothing with the following items:
Thermal underwear: Forget sartorial elegance and invest in some thermal long johns and long sleeved tops to wear under your overalls. You should take more than one set if you are travelling for a week as you will wear them every day.
Sweaters: Wool is the best material. We recommend wearing one or two such garments in sub-zero temperatures. They give you added flexibility should temperatures drop or rise.
Fleece jacket: A fleece is an excellent addition to your winter clothing and provides excellent flexibility and warmth.
Tracksuit bottoms: These are ideal for relaxing in the evenings and an excellent additional layer for under your overalls and over your thermals.
Socks: Again, wool is the best material. You should take several pairs both thin and thick.
Mittens: You will be provided with large mittens for activities but you may want to take your own pair. Mittens are recommended over gloves and ideally you should have access to them in your hand luggage.
Hat: Hats are available to borrow for activities however you may wish to take your own. You should take something that covers your ears fully and provides protection from the wind should you require it.
Glove liners and hand warmers: Thin glove liners can provide an excellent extra layer of warmth on really cold days as they fit easily underneath mittens. Hand warmers can be excellent for added comfort especially during long safaris.
Sturdy shoes or boots: You will be provided with winter boots for activities but we recommend taking alternatives that are suitable for snowy/icy conditions. Shoes or boots with good grip are essential for the icy conditions (you may want to consider adding some additional shoe grips). To save on space you may want to travel in these.
Thermal neck warmer: A neck warmer (fleece tube or similar) is excellent for keeping out the cold and keeping your neck and face warm. Balaclava Freshly washed balaclavas are often provided by our activity providers but you may like to consider taking your own. It’s a personal thing!
Head torch: These can be very useful especially if you want to be out Aurora hunting. If you are staying in a wilderness cabin then they are also particularly useful. Ensure you have enough battery life or spare batteries with you.
Slippers and warm comfy clothes: These are excellent for lounging around in after a day of winter activities. They can also be very useful in wilderness cabins after a day on the trail.
Swimwear: Some destinations have swimming pools so be sure to take your swimwear. Although swimwear is generally not worn in saunas in Scandinavia we find many clients like to take theirs with them to wear.
Ski goggles: Although not essential these are especially useful during husky safaris and if you wear glasses or contact lenses. They provide excellent protection from the cold, snow and wind should you need it. These are available to borrow for husky safaris.
Small rucksack: You should take a small rucksack to carry any extra clothing during activities and is especially important during overnight safaris.
Sun glasses: The glare of the sun on snow can be blinding and so you should ensure that you have a good pair of sunglasses that are practical for the activities. In December and January this is less of a problem as the sun is rarely above the horizon during this period.
Suntan lotion and lip balm: You need to take these products with you but you should always take the advice of your guide before applying them. At very low temperatures guides will recommend the best course of protection as products may freeze and it can be dangerous to have these on the skin. High factor sun cream which is waterproof is best. Those which are designed for skiing tend to be ideal as they are designed for doing activities in cold and snowy conditions.
Tissues:These are very useful during safaris, as are wet wipes (although unless you keep them close to your body they will freeze!)
• You won’t want to miss out on the photo opportunities so here are a few hints!
• Ensure you have plenty of film or memory card space before you set off.
• Make sure you remember your battery charger and a travel adapter.
• Ensure you have spare batteries as there will be nowhere to charge anything once out on the trails.
• Batteries perform poorly in cold temperatures so take multiple batteries and store the spares in a warm place (a pocket next to your body is ideal). NiCad and Li ion have better performance characteristics than alkaline batteries but are still affected. There are some restrictions on carrying certain Li ion batteries onboard aircraft. Please see the IATA website for current and up to date information: http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dangerous_goods/pages/lithium_batteries.aspx
• See the separate section on photographing the Northern Lights as this requires specialist equipment.
Towel: (holidays including overnight safaris only) If you are travelling on overnight safaris then you will generally need to take your own towel with you – a travel towel is ideal for space saving.
Flask: (holidays including overnight safaris only) You may want to take a thermos flask so that you can take drinks with you on the trail if the guides suggest it.
How cold will it be?
Temperatures in Sweden vary widely across the country, but as most of our trips here are to destinations that are either in, or close to, the Arctic Circle the information has been based on this area.
The Arctic region is usually covered by snow from around mid-November onwards and this remains on the ground until late April. Temperatures typically range from -5°C to -20°C during the winter period. In rare and extreme circumstances, they can range anywhere between 3°C to -40°C. Although these temperatures may sound incredibly cold, the air here is often drier and wind chills are less of a factor, so it is not as bitter as the wet cold that many of us are used to.
Your guide will be sure to check the weather conditions for all of your activities and will adapt the itineraries if they feel it is unsafe or not suitable at the time. Also, where possible, your family will be provided with Arctic clothing for the duration of your stay, which will keep you nice and toasty when you are outside (along with your own inner layers of course).
How dark will it be?
Daylight hours vary hugely depending on the time of year in Swedish Lapland.
During December and January, the sun doesn’t rise above the line of the horizon for up to 51 days and although this may sound as if you’ll be in the pitch black, each day there are a few hours of polar light between 10am and 2pm. The polar light creates a bluish glow which reflects off the deep snow, making a truly magical sight to see!
As the season continues, the days get longer as the sun starts to come above the horizon and bathe the area in light. However, with the shorter days comes a slight advantage as the skies are also darker for longer, which means that you stand a greater chance of seeing the Northern Lights and possibly not having to stay up for as long as in the months of February to April.
How expensive is Sweden?
As we all know, Scandinavian countries have a bit of a reputation for not being incredibly cheap and Sweden is no exception. This is why, for most of our trips, we will include breakfast for the length of your stay, while others are half board. In the more remote areas, we will include full board.
As our trips aren’t all-inclusive, drinks are not included so you will need to pay for these as well as any extras in the resort.
What is the currency in Sweden?
The currency in Sweden is the Swedish Krona (abbreviated as SEK). Bank notes are available in values of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 and coins come in 1, 5 and 10 krona.
In most places you will be able to use major credit cards for any purchases you want to make and this is often the easiest method. We would also recommend taking some cash with you, as cash machines are not commonly found in the destinations that we offer.
What is the food like?
Swedish food is made up of a variety of dishes that focus on using local ingredients and taking inspiration from the surrounding countryside.
Pork, herring, crayfish, milk, cabbage and potato are typical ingredients in various Swedish dishes and commonly enjoyed meals include pea soup with pancakes, meat stew with onions and potato dumplings with a filling of onions and pork. Fish is used throughout the year, with ice fishing being an incredibly popular pastime and a great way to try your own fresh catch!
Bread is also an important part of their diet and the Swedes create a variety of different tasty types, including flatbread, rye bread and crisp bread, not to mention their love of all things sweet!
Summer fruits and berries are collected and stored for winter and you will no doubt want to try some of the sweet treats, including pastries and waffles, which they pride themselves on.
Please let us know if any member of your family has any dietary requirements at the time of booking, so that our suppliers can accommodate them to the best of their ability.
What kind of plug do I need in Sweden?
Sweden uses the Northern European two-pronged plug (type C), so you will need an adaptor if travelling from the UK.
Do we need visas to visit Sweden?
If you are visiting from within the EU, you don’t need a visa to visit Sweden. UK nationals are able to stay for up to three months. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. For anyone travelling on a non-British passport, it is your responsibility to ensure you have all the necessary visas, passport validity and documents in place before you travel. Please contact your foreign office or Swedish Embassy for all the necessary details.
How do we get to Sweden?
All of our flights to Sweden will travel from London, via Stockholm, and then further north on to one of the airports that are closer to the destinations that we sell. Your waiting time in Stockholm will vary depending on your flight times and if you would like to stop over in Stockholm, we can arrange this for your family.
What is the time difference between the UK and Sweden?
During the winter, Sweden is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During Daylight Saving Time (DST), Swedem is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
Do we need to tip?
At restaurants, a service charge will likely be included in the bill, but a small gratuity is expected for evening meals. If you receive service that you feel deserves an extra tip, then you certainly won’t be offending anyone, but generally taxis, porters and doormen, for example, would only require a modest tip.
How cold will it be?
Depending on where you are in the county, the temperature can vary hugely across Norway. As most of our trips are based in Northern Norway in the counties of Nordland and Finnmark, the weather and temperatures that we mention below will be focused on these regions.
Although Norway wraps around the top of Finland and Sweden, the coastal areas of the country are often not as cold as other countries of a similar latitude, as the Gulf Stream adds extra warmth to keep temperatures milder during the winter. Winter temperatures along the coast therefore tend to be nowhere near as cold as locations in Northern Finland and Sweden. Between November and March, the average temperature near Sortland is around 0°C.
As you head towards the north east of the country, the climate is more similar to Finnish Lapland, with average winter temperatures dropping to around -15°C in Kirkenes. But fear not, as you will be wrapped up nice and warm for any outside activities that your family takes part in!
How dark will it be?
As with other Scandinavian countries that share a similar latitude, the north of Norway has large variations in daylight throughout the year.
During the deep winter months of December to late January, the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon and the landscape is bathed in a beautiful blue tinged polar light, which is reflected off the white snow, so it is never actually pitch black. However, thanks to the long hours of darkness, you are provided with a greater opportunity to catch sight of the Northern Lights and perhaps you won’t even have to stay up as late!
From February onwards, the daylight hours start to increase quickly by around four hours a month and spring conditions start to come through from March to April.
Each month is quite different from one another, but this adds to the joy and charm of a family winter holiday in Norway!
How expensive is Norway?
Due to its high taxation, Norway is probably the most expensive of all the Scandinavian countries with high prices for food, drink and accommodation. This is why we aim to include breakfast wherever possible, as well as half board and full board in the more remote locations.
When visiting Norway, you should be prepared to pay more for your purchases, especially food and drink. Unfortunately we don’t offer any all-inclusive options, so drinks must be paid for directly with the hotel.
What is the currency in Norway?
The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone (abbreviated as NOK). Bank notes are available in values of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 kroner and coins are in 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner.
Major credit cards are accepted in most places and these are usually the easiest way to pay for your items, however we also recommend taking cash with you for smaller purchases, such as souvenirs, because cash machines are not common in the more remote locations.
What is the food like?
In the destinations that we use, traditional Norwegian cuisine is often served. This is similar to other Scandinavian countries, using the natural surroundings of its sea, mountains and wilderness to provide something for all of the family to enjoy.
Norway has a huge coastline that covers more than 25,000km and so fish is a major part of their cuisine. Smoked salmon, cod, sardines, herring and mackerel are widely featured and full of flavour to keep your taste buds entertained! In the more northern coastal regions, particularly Kirkenes, you can even try one of the local specialities: King Crab! They are certainly a sight to behold!
Sheep, elk, reindeer and woodland fowl are also commonly used in recipes throughout the country and in the summer, berries and fruit come into season and are picked and stored for the winter to add exciting flavours to complement your meals.
Please let us know if any member of your family has any dietary requirements at the time of booking, so that our suppliers can accommodate them to the best of their ability.
What kind of plug do I need in Norway?
Norway uses the Northern European two-pronged plug (type C), so you will need an adaptor if travelling from the UK.
Do we need visas to visit Norway?
If you are travelling from within the EU no visa is required. For UK nationals, you are able to stay for up to three months without a visa but your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. For anyone travelling on a non-British passport it is your responsibility to ensure that you have all necessary visas, passport validity and documents in place before you travel. Please contact your foreign office or the Norwegian Embassy for details.
How do we get to Norway?
Most of our trips to Norway travel from London, via either Oslo or Tromsø and then on to one of the northern airports to get you closer to your destination. Your waiting time in the connecting airport will obviously vary depending on the available flight times.
What is the time difference between the UK and Norway?
During the winter, Norway is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During Daylight Saving Time (DST), Norway is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
Do we need to tip?
Tipping in Norway is slightly different to other Scandinavian countries as it is more commonplace, but certainly not expected. On average, 6-10% of your total bill is a respectable amount to add for good service, but it is entirely up to you.
When tipping in a Norwegian restaurant, or when using a taxi, it’s often easier and generally more accepted to tip by rounding up your bill.