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February 7th, 2021

Why Up Norway?

February 7th, 2021

Written by

Torunn Tronsvang

Founder

What is so different about experiencing Norway as an Up Norway traveller?

Meet three of our travellers who share their Up Norway experiences!

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Trine & Halvor from Norway - Frequent Up Norway travellers

We asked: What did you hope to get out of your journey in Norway by contacting us, rather than booking directly?

In 2020 - the year we both turned 60 - all our international travel plans were cancelled. We decided we wanted to take this as an opportunity to see more of Norway. We had some places in Norway that were on our Bucket List, including Steilneset Memorial; the witch monument by Peter Zumthor in Vardø in Finnmark. We have also had a tradition since we got married to hunt our own grouse for Christmas dinner, and we thought it would be fun to combine grouse hunting in Finnmark with a cultural visit to Vardø.

As we didn't know Finnmark very well, we got in touch with Up Norway, expecting that they would be able to tailor a journey with the best of what Norway had to offer in Finnmark.

We asked: What added value did you get that you believe you would not have gotten had you not booked through us?

We spent 6 days in Finnmark which started with grouse hunting from Mollisjokk Lodge where we also got a unique introduction to native Sami traditions and food culture by our outstanding hosts. Our first objective (and Christmas dinner!) could be checked off!

Our travel curator Torunn convinced us that a stay at the Nordkyn peninsula was something we had to include. Despite the rain (this was September) we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The local museum which was closed was opened just for us, and the local host eagerly told stories about pomor trade and what the close proximity to Russia has meant for this area. One of our favourite encounters was with the local personality Kjell who invited us for lunch in his house and showed us a special cave.

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We asked: What were the experiences you enjoyed the most about your trip?

Dinner with the Sami couple Ailu and Ellinor offered a deeper dive into our Sami past and we slowly began to understand what Norwegianization and Christianity had done to Sami culture. This reality cannot be fully understood without these personal meetings and stories told by those who themselves have experienced them. Our last stop was Vardø where we also had great experiences and met wonderful people with a visible passion for their town. Gry Anita and Frank Cato told us fascinating stories and showed us places we had never found on our own.

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So our best experiences were related to human encounters - people we wouldn’t have been introduced to had it not been for Torunn and Up Norway.

With such a great first experience with Up Norway, it was an easy choice to book our next trip with them too - a trip to Trøndelag. Hotel Britannia had been on our wishlist ever since it was renovated. We could have made the reservation here ourselves, but we wanted more out of our stay in the area.

One of the experiences we would not have gotten had we booked this trip on our own was the lunch at Isak Sellanraa with tea tasting with the ‘babe’ from the tea company ‘Blinde Bonde og babe’. A fun and tasty experience where we learnt a lot about tea and how one can use tea instead of alcohol as pairings for different foods.

We continued our journey in Trøndelag to Stokkøya island. One would think that this coastal area could be harsh in mid-November but we had great weather - 14 degrees Celsius and sun! We met Roar who dished up a fantastic 5-course lunch straight from the sea just metres from where we ate.

Again, it was these special meetings with the people that give the little extra - the reason why we are left with gained wisdom and a better understanding of the way of life in the places we have visited.

After two Up Norway journeys, we are now planning our next 3 trips with Up Norway.

We asked: What is your top tip to travellers who want to venture on a dream holiday to Norway in 2022 / 23?

To those who want to get more out of their travel experience than nature, who want a dream holiday where they meet interesting characters with a true passion for what they do, experience the luxury of getting to take part in their everyday lives and dreams, we recommend booking with Up Norway.

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Claire from the UK - ventured on the longest Up Norway journey ever, August - December 2020

What did you hope to get out of your journey in Norway by contacting us rather than booking directly?

In-depth knowledge of Norway as a country. An ability to see beyond the "normal" tourist destinations and direct me to the road less travelled, so to speak.

What added value did you get that you believe you would not have gotten had you not booked through us?

Definitely the flexibility. I am an 'ad-hoc' traveller, meaning that if I hear of a destination from a local I will make a sudden and random decision to go, if I feel it is of interest. My travel curator Henriette was always willing to adapt as required and I truly and greatly appreciated that. It was also the guidance...if I was trying to decide between destinations, she gave me very clear advice which always made my decision easier.

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What were the experiences you enjoyed the most about your trip?

This is such a tough question. I loved it all. However, the place that got to me the most was Vardø. The witch museum was just extraordinary...in fact the whole Varanger area was exceptional.

What is your top tip to travellers who want to venture on a dream holiday to Norway in 2021 / 22?

Be willing to explore. Even in the "tourist" areas of Norway, there are so many hidden gems if you have a willingness to take a look. Talk to locals, take that road that suddenly appears....just be willing and have an open mind. Norway is FAR more than the fjords and the high country. Norway is truly one of the most magical places I have had the privilege of visiting. Take your time and be willing to follow the magic wherever it wants to take you.

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Steph, Erik and Thor Hystad - Americans living in Norway

What did you hope to get out of your journey in Norway by contacting us rather than booking directly?

We wanted to find experiences that were hidden in our trip research blind spots. Many amazing places in Norway don't have a great web presence, and we didn't want to miss them.

What added value did you get that you believe you would not have gotten had you not booked through us?

Up Norway suggested detours from our original route that ended up being some of our favourite experiences. They found family-friendly hikes for us that were perfect for a toddler and ageing dog in locations that were breathtakingly beautiful.

What were the experiences you enjoyed the most about your trip?

We LOVED Tafjord and the hike to Reindalseter. We enjoyed our campsite at the far end of this gorgeous fjord so much that we extended our stay another day and night.

What is your top tip to travellers who want to venture on a dream holiday to Norway in 2021 / 22?

Don't let search engines plan your trip! Work with people who actually know the country and genuinely care about you having the experience of your dreams.

Now that you have heard from some of our travellers, see some of our Travel Curators' personal favourite journeys here.

5 Reasons to Travel Up

Genuine Experiences

Norway is a treasure trove brimming with pristine places to visit, unparalleled adventures to experience, and remarkable people to meet. We know where the gems are hidden and we’re eager to share them with you.

April 24th, 2022

Up Guide - Luxury Our Way

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April 24th, 2022

Up Guide - Luxury Our Way

Taking in the natural beauty that Norway has to offer, Up Norway can offer you a smörgåsbord of truly unique hiking experiences. Learn more about Norwegian Luxury - Luxury our way.

Sondre Sommerfelt in collaboration with Up Norway

A cosmopolitan travel writer