Norway, Europe -
Footsteps of Giants
TEEN adventure travel program
June 27 - July 21, 2019 // Limited Availability!
Length: 25 Days
Length: 25 DaysCompleting Grades: 9-12 (must be 15+)
Completing Grades: 9-12 (must be 15+)Arrive/Depart: Alesund: AES [Arrival], Bergen: BGO [Departure]
Arrive/Depart: Alesund: AES [Arrival], Bergen: BGO [Departure]Tuition: $6,895
With nearly 19 hours of daylight in the summer months, Norway is the perfect place to bike, trek, and raft under sunlit Scandinavian skies. On this physically challenging 25-day teen adventure travel program, we don’t just visit Norway — we cross it via hiking, biking and paddling.
I would say that his goals have changed in that he can envision himself doing and becoming more. He can envision a bigger life outside our community and outside our country." - Parent of Liam D., Norway: Footsteps of Giants
Join us as we travel to Norway and pedal, paddle, and hike our way past unspoiled fjords, rugged coastlines, and stunning mountain vistas.
We cover more than 150 miles, traversing a blend of scenery, culture and adventure unsurpassed in beauty. This is the strenuous, life-changing experience outdoor-loving, adventure seekers dream about. Stepping outside our comfort zone, we lead and encourage each other across the ultimate destination: Norway.
Keep scrolling to learn more about this teen adventure travel program as we journey to the land of gnomes and conquer the landscapes of Norway!
Norway // You Don't Want to Miss...
#1 Glacier Lakes in Jotunheimen National Park
Some of the most beautiful lakes in the world were created here tens of thousands of years ago when glaciers eroded the land. Snuggled between mountains and cliffs, their sparkle is breathtaking.
#2 Sea Kayaking
While sea kayaking through Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO-protected fjord, paddlers bask in its beauty while being reminded of epic Scandinavian sagas and Viking legends.
#3 Viking Biking
The Rallarvegen cycle route crosses from mountain to sea through a fantastic highland area starting at 3,300 feet above sea level and peaking at 3,280 feet before descending to the fjord below. The scenery varies immensely from railway workers' barracks to stone bridges. From the Arctic nature across the Hardangervidda plateau to the opulent green Flåmsdalen valley, there is a bit of everything.
#4 Fishing the Fjords
Whether fishing in the deep fjords, the protected archipelago, or the open sea, a large catch can be expected. As a fishing paradise with countless lakes and rivers, Norway covers all the angles for every angler.
#5 Trolls Everywhere!
Norwegian tales are full of giants, dwarves, elves, and assorted folk of faerie, but the most popular tales are of the rascal trolls. Norwegians love their trolls. These friendly creatures can be spotted in cities and in nature, and you can grab a small one to take home, too!
#6 Seven Sisters Waterfalls
Seven waterfalls thunder straight into the fjord with an impressive drop of more than 800 feet. Legend has it that the real ”Seven Sisters” were all unmarried, and the waterfall on the other side of the fjord was named “The Suitor” after several unsuccessful attempts to court the sisters.
#7 Fairytale Town of Ålesund
After an early 20th-century fire destroyed much of the town, Ålesund was rebuilt in its Art Nouveau glory. Perched at the top of the western fjord country, Ålesund is spread over several islands stretching into the Atlantic.
#8 Kvikk Lunsj
Somewhat of a Norwegian Kit Kat – this chocolate fuel is a must for any true Scandinavian hiker (or visitor). A Norwegian will not leave home without this and an orange in his or her rucksack!
#9 Herds of Sheep
What is more idyllic than herds of sheep roaming the rolling hills of the Norwegian countryside? Fortunately, they're usually very friendly.
#10 Bryggen and the Bergen Fish Market
Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a reminder of the town’s importance as part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to the mid-16th century. The sights at the fish market in Bergen include the captivating modern building designed by Eder Biesel Arkitekter.
#11 Wild Reindeer
The last remaining wild tundra reindeer in Europe are found in Norway. These nomadic creatures travel varying distances across the country, especially in the warmer months. As the summer approaches, the reindeers' eyes even change color from a fiery gold in the summer to deep blue in the winter.
Explore: Ålesund, Sognefjord, Bryggen Wharf, Bergen Fish Market, Jotunheimen National Park
9 - 12
In Norway, we stay in tents. Generally speaking, we shower after every adventure section, or around every three to five days. Bathrooms are backcountry style or latrines throughout.
Tuition (Airfare and baggage fees not included)
New York, JFK
A leader escorted round-trip flight will be available (but not required) out of New York (JFK) for those travelers who wish to fly with a leader.
Join in on the fun! Check out #fogRLT for a behind-the-scenes look at photos from past participants and leaders.
Please Note: Footsteps of Giants is an adventurous trip that includes back-to-back days of sea kayaking, backpacking and mountain biking. Summer weather varies in Norway, and we typically encounter beautiful sunshine, some rain and wind, and once in a great while, it may snow on us in the mountains. Due to the remote nature of our adventure activities, we spend little time in towns leaving us with little access to laundry and showers. Participants must be comfortable with camping and be physically fit enough for long, active days.
Said to be born with skis on their feet – Norwegians are ready from birth to live in harmony with Nordic nature. With mountains plunging into the sea, fjords, northern lights and midnight sun, Norway is the perfect place to bike, hike, sea kayak, and raft. And we don’t just visit Norway — we cross it!
We meet in New York at JFK and travel to Amsterdam, then catch a flight to the charming Art Nouveau town of Ålesund, which looks to be taken right out of a fairy tale. Once we are there, the adventure begins.
Sea kayaking through the land of epic sagas and true Viking spirit, we paddle five days on the deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord. Surrounded by majestic snow-covered peaks, massive ice sheets and the wild Seven Sisters and Suitor waterfalls, we see the most compelling landscape in all of Norway.
Giving our arms a rest, we travel inland to Jotunheimen (Home of the Giants) National Park. Jotunheimen gets its name from Norse mythology, which holds that giants – Earth’s original inhabitants – once ruled this mountain range.
We hike up and down the lush green summits and rolling tundra, along meandering valleys of waterfalls in search of Kvikk Lunsj, Norway’s own treasured chocolate bar. We backpack through the open, lake-strewn playground among the highest peaks in Northern Europe with our trusty new companion, Kvikk Lunsj, and find out why it’s a Nordic favorite!
Teamwork comes into play for the next leg. We raft on the Sjoa River—an outlet from Lake Gjende—through boreal forests, floating on freshly melted glacial waters. Then, we trade our paddles for mountain bikes and journey toward the Rallarvegen, cutting across open mountains and passing the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier with dramatic views around every bend.
It’s on to the famous Bryggen wharf and fish market in Bergen, known for its spirited cultural scene. We complete our journey with an epic-sized banquet and a chance to celebrate our Norwegian journey in the Footsteps of Giants.
Arrival (Day 1-2):
Depart the US and arrive in Amsterdam. Then fly to Ålesund.
Discover Nordic Magic (Day 3-4):
Explore the fairytale town of Ålesund and begin to embrace the Norwegian way of life. We meet on Day 4 for an orientation on our kayaking adventure to become familiar with the gear we'll use over the next several days and learn relevant water safety protocol.
Sea Kayak Adventure (Days 5-9):
Paddle the fjords of the Sunnmøre Alps to soak in the stunning vistas. Cruise on your kayak adjacent to waterfalls that spill over the bordering rock. Explore the unique nature and culture of Norway as we stop along the way, searching for folkloric Norwegian giants at every corner.
Whitewater Rafting (Days 10-11):
Take a break with a day of whitewater rafting fun along the Sjoa River. We spend time preparing for our backpacking section of the trip while enjoying life by the river beneath the midnight sun.
Backpacking (Days 12-19):
Hike through Jotunheimen National Park, weaving through verdant valleys, fields of snow, and rocky terrain. Spend your days moving through the landscape with a newfound group of friends as we live life the backcountry way!
R&R and Biking (Days 20-23):
After many days in Jotunheimen, our group takes some time for rest and relaxation, showers and laundry. With our kayaking and backpacking adventures in the rearview, we move onto the final portion of our journey throughout Norway: biking. Hop on a bike and peddle across the Rallarvegen, one of the world’s best outdoor biking routes.
Bergen and Final Banquet (Days 24-25):
Explore the city of Bergen and enjoy the bustling waterfront. Close with a banquet, and head home after saying goodbye to new friends.
International Traveler’s Health
The Road Less Traveled does not require any vaccinations or immunizations to travel with us, other than an up-to-date tetanus shot or booster (within the last nine years). There are no international travel vaccinations recommended for this program.
Norway: Footsteps of Giants Packing List
For an emailed copy of this program’s day-to-day calendar, please call our office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST at 773-342-5200 and we’ll happily send you one!
General Travel Info
It is imperative that no one make any travel arrangements until RLT provides instructions for specific arrival and departure time windows. Those details are typically released in mid-spring.
Families are individually responsible for booking their own airfare to get their student from home to the starting destination on the first day of the trip, and from the ending destination back home on the last day of the trip.
This program offers an optional leader-escorted flight for those families who are interested. All interested students and leaders will meet at the JFK International Airport in New York on the first day of the trip. They will be on the same flight from JFK to Amsterdam, and from Amsterdam to Alesund (AES) going to Norway. Coming back, students and leaders will be on the same flight from Bergen (BGO) to Amsterdam, and from Amsterdam back to JFK.
If you wish to have your participant fly directly into the starting location, please call the office for details.
A Note on Physical Fitness:
Footsteps of Giants is an adventurous trip that includes back-to-back days of sea kayaking, backpacking and mountain biking. Summer weather varies in Norway, and we typically encounter beautiful sunshine, some rain and wind, and once in a great while, it may snow on us in the mountains. Due to the remote nature of our adventure activities, we spend little time in towns leaving us with little access to laundry and showers. Participants must be comfortable with camping and be physically fit enough for long, active days.