Frequently asked questions
Photography tours of Norway
Please read through our frequently asked questions page, if you still have any extra questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
How do I get to Svolvaer, Lofoten?
The easiest way to get to Svolvaer is via Oslo Gardermoen airport (OSL). From there, you can fly direct to Svolvaer airport (SVJ) or dependent on flight carrier via Bodo. Domestic flights in Norway can be purchased from www.wideroe.no, www.sas.no or www.norwegian.no. You can also arrive via the Hurtigruten ferry service.
Note: we offer one transfer each way for the main flight to/from Svolvaer. Other arrival/departures transfer options on own unless agreed in writing from Beyond the Lens Tours. It is a 5-10-minute taxi ride from the airport or ferry terminal to our accommodation base.
What is the accommodation standard like?
We have opted to stay in quality authentic Rorbuers or equivalent for a great Lofoten experience. They have been carefully refurbished to suit the needs and comforts of a modern lifestyle. These can be a combination of 1, 2 or 3- bedroom style apartments with kitchens and lounge areas on a shared basis. However, private facilities are provided for each couple, twin share or single. The Rorbuers are connected to Wi-Fi and have standard amenities provided.
What type of transport do you use?
We charter a minibus which has 16 seats in a combination of double and single seats. It is a modern and comfortable alternative to a minivan that allows us to spread out comfortably with room for our photography gear and luggage racks overhead for your day bags/coats/tripods etc. Although we limit our tours to 6 persons this is for a more personal and comfortable experience. We have an experienced local Lofoten English speaking driver. We also have free Wi-Fi on board the minibus.
What are the baggage restrictions for this type of tour?
Due to limited luggage space in the minibus we ask that you bring one piece of main luggage (we highly recommend duffel style wheel bags over large, hard suitcases) plus your camera/ day packs and a tripod. We have overhead luggage racks suitable for your day gear. You will need to be able to transfer your own luggage from the minibus to your accommodation.
What can I expect from the meals?
Breakfast and dinners are at the local restaurant based at our accommodation. On occasion we may have a reservation for dinner within the local fishing village.
Dinners – mainly 3-course restaurant prepared traditional meals with locally sourced ingredients for the season.
The food choices are predominantly dishes made from Lofoten’s unique and fresh local ingredients. Most likely but not limited to: Fish dishes – Bacalao, Stockfish, Arctic Char, Halibut, Cod, Salmon; Lofoten Lamb, Reindeer, Local Cheeses, and Local Specialities.
Dishes are prepared in both traditional and international style.
What if I have special dietary requirements?
Please let us know your specific requirements and we will do our best with our suppliers to meet your needs whilst on tour.
What fitness level is required?
All our tours require an easy to moderate level of fitness. You require the energy and motivation to be on the go every day but at a relaxed pace. On a couple of nights be willing to go hunt for the Northern Lights.
However, if you wish to have a more relaxing day or night away from the group or days touring you may spend your time at our local accommodation where you can explore the surrounding area on your own; partake in other activities on offer (at your own expense) like a relaxing sauna or spa if available, a hike, kayak etc. if you wish for a more relaxing day away from the photography locations this is your choice and we will try and accommodate where possible.
What kind of weather can I expect?
Lofoten enjoys a milder climate compared with other parts of the world at the same latitude, like Alaska and Greenland, thanks due to the temperate waters of the Gulf Stream. However, the weather is highly unpredictable in Lofoten. There is no reason to worry as the conditions and light changes constantly. Please be prepared for either cold, wintery conditions and layers for warmth in March or warmer, sunny days with possible rain and showers in September. Please be sure to read our clothing list to ensure you are adequately prepared for all weather possibilities.
Average March temperatures -2C to 6C
Average September temperatures 3C to 14C
Will I be able to experience a snowy, wintery landscape?
Yes, most likely on our March tours as it is at the end of their winter season. There is still plenty of snow around and it can be knee deep in some shooting locations. However, September is Autumn or Fall and snow showers can occur later in the month but not to the depths of our wintery March trips.
Will I be able to see and photograph the Northern Lights?
This is a natural phenomenon. Whilst we make every endeavour to find the right locations for photographing or seeing the Northern Lights there are many factors that contribute to a fantastic sighting. If the weather is good and no heavy cloud cover, we have dark, clear skies with no light pollution then we hope to see the aurora. However, nothing is guaranteed. March and September are both optimal times for seeing the Northern Lights in Lofoten from around 9pm to midnight we have a fairly good opportunity.
What can I expect on the Sea Eagle, RIB Safari tour?
The Sea Eagle is the largest eagle in Northern Europe with a wingspan of up to 2.65m. There is a large presence of Sea Eagles in Raftsundet on our trip to Trollfjord. These are incredibly photogenic birds as they come ever so close to our boat in search of fish so be sure to keep your eye locked onto the flight trajectory for some incredible photo opportunities. We will set our cameras before boarding the RIB boat to maximise our chances of that perfect shot.
All floating suits, life jackets, helmets, gloves, balaclava and safety glasses are provided by the tour operator and it is recommended to wear warm clothing.
Please note on the Sea Eagle Safari tour it is not recommended for people with back problems or pregnancy. Please advise if you may have any issues with this tour when booking.
What can I expect from the local photographer guides?
We have engaged some of the most respected photography guides in Lofoten. They will have their own unique style and they specialise in landscape, nature and Northern Lights photography. They will help with techniques, tips and settings especially for Northern Lights photography. With their local expertise they will share their prime locations with us and help us to capture the very best of Lofoten for our own treasured memories.
What is the itinerary going to be like?
We have a fabulous itinerary that allows us to spend quality time in a destination, so you can really explore and take in the location, relax and unwind with 3 nights in Svolvaer – 2 at the start of the tour and one night at the conclusion; 2 nights in Nusfjord/Leknes region and 2 nights in Reine. With fewer travellers we have the flexibility to explore each region of Lofoten by maximising our time on location and less time getting on and off buses and checking into accommodation. With our comfortable minibus with Wi-Fi we can spread out and enjoy our days touring from one great location to the next and by staying in our 3 designated accommodation places we minimise the driving required each day to our immediate location shoots. It also allows us the opportunity at night to hunt for the Northern Lights either by transport or from the comfort of our Rorbuers from a local viewpoint. With so many great places to visit each day we can explore based on the weather and lighting conditions though sometimes we have to make the most of the weather we are given. We pride ourselves on a relaxed pace amongst our small group of like-minded travellers and with smaller groups we offer a more personalised service. We will invite local professional photographers to join us on 3 occasions to show us their best locations, offer advice, tricks and tips to maximise our photographic potential and in between we can practice our new-found skills.
After exploring the many sides Lofoten has to offer each day we have the luxury of a beautifully cooked restaurant meal waiting for us on our return. The luxury of small group travel is having almost everything organised for you.
A local driver who gets us safely from A to B, local professional photographers who show us their secret locations and a tour guide to ensure you get to experience the true Lofoten.
I’ve never been on a travel photo tour before, is this for me?
Our tours are specifically designed to meet the needs of the discerning traveller. If you love to travel with like- minded people, photograph amazing destinations in small groups then you will enjoy our tours. If you are not a photographer but enjoy travelling and immersing yourself in a destination you will also enjoy our tours. We don’t spend our relaxing time focused on photo workshops, tutorials or post-processing but enjoy the evening over dinner and then our own free time, unless hunting the Northern Lights with our professional photography guides or sightings at our local village accommodation.
What level of photography is required and is it a requirement for these tours?
All of our tours are open to all levels of photographers whether novices or keen enthusiasts along with non- photographers or partners of photographers who are passionate travellers that love to immerse themselves in a location. Our only criteria are that you have a passion for travel photography or enjoy spending time at different but interesting locations. Whilst we are mainly focused on landscape photography and our locations are geared mostly around scenic options there will be places that you may be happy to just wander and explore on your own with or without your camera.