The Artisan Blog

Mark McFaul

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It might still feel very much like autumn here in the UK but the snow has most definitely arrived in the Arctic Circle! The onset of the new winter season is something that we get very excited about here at Artisan Travel. Not only do the winter months allow for a whole range of exciting Arctic activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, but they also give our clients some of the first opportunities to go in search of the Northern Lights!

Alex Charlton

Travel inspiration for summer 2019

Written by Alex Charlton
Wednesday, 22 May 2019

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Here at Artisan Travel, we have a vast range of bucket list summer holidays, skilfully designed by our trusted Travel Experts with you in mind. We'll take you from the sun-drenched islands of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast to Northern Norway to watch the Midnight Sun over the sublime fjords, to the Azores to snorkel alongside dolphins, to Madeira to explore exotic botanical gardens and to Gozo to indulge your passion for photography. Here are our top destinations for you:

Mark McFaul

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As we enter the winter months, it can be tempting to simply wrap ourselves in a blanket and curl up in front of the television. But here at Artisan Travel, we believe that winter is a great season to get out and explore some incredible destinations and experience some wonderful bucket list activities.

Mark McFaul

7 of our favourite winter escapes

Written by Mark McFaul
Thursday, 06 September 2018

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As the summer sun begins to fade and the dark nights start to return, some travellers might be tempted to pack their passport away for another year. However, we believe there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the arrival of the winter months.

Now don’t get us wrong we love sunny escapes to places such as Croatia, Madeira and the Azores and there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy some of the last of the summer sun if you want. However, what these destinations can’t offer, as excellent as they may be, is the chance to enjoy some truly great bucket list, Arctic experiences.

Lauren Wiggett

My road trip to Norway

Written by Lauren Wiggett
Thursday, 14 June 2018

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When I was asked to drive in Norway for the first time, it is fair to say that I was a little apprehensive! Not only because I would be driving on the other side of the road but also because I knew very little about the country either.

Lauren Wiggett

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Despite it being May I have to say that I was surprised to be greeted in Finland by blazing sun and a nice warm temperature of 21°C! Having got off the plane it was time to jump into the hire car and start our Finnish adventure.

Ali Mclean

Hot Destinations For 2018

Written by Ali Mclean
Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Cold, dreary weather, post-festive season torpor, and back-to-work blues; welcome to the joys of January. How do we recommend you cure your mood?

Start planning your 2018 adventures of course!

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We have a vast variety of bucket list holidays all around the world, skilfully designed by our Travel Experts with you in mind. We'll take you from the wilds of Finland to the sun-drenched island of Gozo; the fjords of Iceland and Norway to the volcanic paradise of the Azores.

Dawn Kitson

At this time of year, the sun does not set in Northern Norway. Whilst slightly disorientating at first, I soon came to really enjoy the never-ending days and the opportunities this opened. In this time of the Midnight SunNorwegians sleep less – they fish, they kayak, they BBQ, they island hop – more daylight means more time to enjoy the splendours of the land and socialise until the early hours.

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At around 11.30pm the sun dips toward, but never quite reaches, the horizon. The Norwegian fjords and mountains are bathed in a pinkish golden glow and the scenery looks all the more idyllic, exuding a sense of warmth and serenity. As strange as it sounds, one of my favourite things to do was to simply sit on the water’s edge and enjoy the colours of the light.

Dawn Kitson

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One of the key highlights of the trip was the chance to spend time on the island of Senja. Having listened to colleagues rave about it for years, it was a place I was eager to see. I can confirm that it does indeed live up to the hype.

Dawn Kitson

It didn’t really occur to me until afterwards, but to see a whale in the wild is truly a magnificent experience.

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We were lucky enough to see four sperm whales up close off the coast of Norway (although, as Daniele our guide pointed out to us, your eyes play tricks with you at sea and what feels like 20 metres away is more like 80) and it makes you feel overwhelmingly humbled to witness an animal that has swum in our oceans for more than 5 million years.

Dawn Kitson

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The adjective ‘beautiful’ is banned in our office so I have had to delve into my thesaurus to accurately describe what I thought of Norway on my recent stay. Glorious, splendid, gorgeous, lovely and stunning are a good way to start, but perhaps most accurately, my overall thoughts on the parts of Norway we explored were that they were so easy on the eye that it was almost laughable.

Ali Mclean

Today is the United Nation's International Day of Happiness and as expected the World Happiness Report 2017 was released. Here at Artisan Travel, we are thrilled to see that Norway was crowned the happiest country on Earth. However, we are actually not very surprised, as we can see why those who live and travel there fall in love with the magic and wonder it beholds.

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Here’s why we love Norway!

Ali Mclean

Time to "Man Up" (Part 2)

Written by Ali Mclean
Thursday, 05 November 2015

Continued from TIME TO MAN-UP (PART 1)

Option 1:  Go directly from the sauna into an icy plunge pool

It feels like being overcome by a panic attack

Believe it or not, this is the easy option!

Ali Sauna (10)

From the comfort of a warm sauna........
(Image: Visit Finland)

 

Rush from the warmth of the sauna and submerse your body in the icy waters of a purpose built plunge pool – essentially, a big hole in the ice! The secret is to just go for it, hesitation can often result in failure and a dash back to the sauna's toasty sanctuary.

Ali Mclean

Time to "Man Up" (Part 1)

Written by Ali Mclean
Wednesday, 04 November 2015

Time for my Fellow Northumbrian to "Man-Up"

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the recent program on ITV called The Land of the Midnight Sun featuring Alexander Armstrong but felt little empathy for his winter swim in the Norwegian Sea near Tromsø.

Tromsø’s position on Norway’s west coast means that thanks to the Gulf Stream it is generally warmer than other towns and cities located at similar latitudes. As Armstrong stripped down to just his swimming trunks, the temperature was -4°C and as he strode purposefully into the icy, grey waters the sea temperature was an admittedly chilly -1°C (the salt content means that sea water has a lower freezing point than fresh). That’s pretty cold by anybody’s standards but compared to what goes on elsewhere in Northern Scandinavia, this was a walk in the park on a balmy late summer evening.

Dawn Kitson

Norwegian King Crab

Written by Dawn Kitson
Monday, 15 September 2014

One of the more memorable evenings of my visit to Northern Norway was spent in the home of a local fisherman who specialised in King Crab.I will admit right from the start that I on the whole don't eat seafood, but still found this whole evening a wonderful local experience.

King Crabs are rather famous on the north coast of Norway, namely in Kirkenes and the North Cape of the country.

Despite their immense popularity as a local delicacy, we learnt that King Crabs are not native to this region and were in fact introduced artificially by Soviet Scientists in the 1960s to provide a new valuable catch for Russian fishermen. Their native home is the Barents Sea surrounding Alaska where the population is declining, despite strict fishing controls, yet here on the coast of Norway they are thriving.

Amy Hope

Discovering Senja in Norway

Written by Amy Hope
Wednesday, 08 January 2014

I have been lucky enough to visit Tromsø in Norway several times in recent years, both in the summer and winter months, and I really like the city. It has a lot to attract people, including some mind-blowingly good restaurants, lively bars, cute little shops and a really beautiful harbour area.

I thought I had seen most of what Tromsø and the surrounding area had to offer, but it was only on my recent visit last summer that I learnt of the island of Senja....

Senja Scenery

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