I have just returned from my first ever familiarisation trip with Off The Map Travel.

Ten days of non-stop exploring through Norway and Swedish Lapland, meeting some of our most valued suppliers and ticking several experiences off my bucket list along the way. Since joining the team back in August I have been eager to see some of our most popular and unique destinations as well as experiencing the Arctic first hand. My adventure began in Tromsø where I spent a busy four days dog sledding, snowmobiling, whale watching and even seeing the magical Northern Lights on more than one occasion.

On day five I travelled to Narvik where we visited the Polar Park and experienced the famous ‘Wolf Kiss,’ this was one of the most spectacular and surreal things I’ve ever done, and will never forget! However, I also had the great privilege of being the first member of the Off The Map Travel team to check out several products new to us this year. I want to tell you all about my experiences of these exclusive destinations and why they’re worth venturing to the Arctic for.

Sustainable Luxury Camping Experience

Not only were we the first members from Off The Map Travel to stay at this new camp but we were Lennart’s first ever guests – what an honour! As soon as we arrived we were greeted warmly and taken straight to our beautiful Sami Lavvu. The Lavvu was kitted out with a comfortable double bed, chairs, table and a roaring stove along with cosy furnishings inspired by nature and the Sami culture, such a welcome surprise! We then headed to the main farmhouse for a wonderful dinner of Arctic Char and spent the evening getting to know Lennart. He described his exciting plans for the nature camp as well as his involvement with the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance. His aim is to focus on protecting the Arctic indigenous life in Laponia. He offers a high-end, extremely sustainable and personal luxury camping experience, which I absolutely loved!

Romantic Couples Retreat

This very special lodge is set in a scenic boreal forest perfect for a private and exclusive Swedish Lapland experience located in the Lulea region. The cosy timber lodge has been beautifully renovated with exquisite attention to every detail, the large open fire in the center of the cabin is a key focal point and provides a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere. Whilst you are staying at the lodge all your meals will be provided, you will be served a variety of different Swedish delicacies prepared by your own personal chef every day. The lodge also boasts its own private sauna and hot tub. It is positioned with a perfect view of the star-laden nights sky and the frequent mystic Aurora. Once you have had time to unwind and are suitably relaxed you have the option of trying out some snow-based Arctic activities. Choose from a wide range of private excursions, from learning the traditional art of ice fishing, to Nordic ski touring, to even Northern Lights photography trips – there is something to suit everyone.

Eco Lodge

The concept of an eco-lodge is a very unique and new product in the Arctic which I have been keen to explore. Your experience begins on your journey to the site, your bags are taken care of by your transfer as you wander down through the forests surrounding the lodge. This walk gives you the time to unwind and relax whilst appreciating the magnificent scenery around you. The lodge itself is full of surprises – the interior of the timber built fisherman’s cabin has been beautifully renovated to a very high standard with no expense spared. The lodge has a traditional sauna and hot tub which looks out over the frozen river that wraps itself around the lodge. This is the perfect location to try out exciting activities through some of the most picturesque scenery the Lulea region has to offer, such as traditional husky sledding or snowmobiling.

Brandon Lodge

This was the final stop on my journey and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to enjoy my final night in the Arctic. This lodge is not a new destination to Off The Map Travel but it is one we are keen to highlight due to its very unique location – on an island off the coast of Swedish Lapland! The site overlooks the frozen sea and islands of the Lulea archipelago. The main lodge has a wonderful restaurant, lounge and relaxation area as well as fifteen log cabins facing the sea. We stayed in one of the lovely log cabins and enjoyed a traditional ‘Swedish Christmas Table’ that I would highly recommend to any foodie! The lodge is a wonderful destination for the entire family as all the traditional Arctic activities are possible such as dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing. There is also a small herd of beautiful reindeer living on the grounds which you can meet and feed. There are also some exclusive products which make this lodge destination even more desirable. These include a Hovercraft Pack Ice Tour which takes you to the outer archipelago across the ice fields. There is a large Lavvu which can be rented out for big family dinners and events alongside a hot tub/sauna area. Finally, my favourite product – a Northern Lights dinner hut. This consists of a mobile timber built cabin that takes your whole family into the wilderness to enjoy dinner whilst keeping a look out for the Aurora to appear!

With these new products in mind I have been planning a new and exciting trip which includes one or two nights at each destination, whilst doing lots of exclusive Arctic activities, with the aim of giving you a wonderful diverse experience of Swedish Lapland.

Florence