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Lapland & the
Varanger Peninsula

May 16 - 22, 2025

Contact [email protected] to
reserve your space! 

TRIP REPORTS:     2017      2018

Trip Cost & Travel Planning>    Registration Form>
Tour Registration, Terms, Cancellation Policies>

Combine this tour with
FINLAND: Owls, Grouse & more
May 10 - 16, 2025   Info>

Our Norway tour explores Lapland north of the Arctic Circle and the great wilderness of the Varanger peninsula. Here, spectacular mountain peaks, steep fjord bottoms and glaciers offer opportunities to see White-tailed Eagle, Ptarmigan, Dotterel, Red-necked Phalarope and thousands of ducks and seabirds. The towering sea cliffs of Hornoya, the “bird island”, are home to breeding Thick-billed Murre, Shag, Puffin, and Kittiwake creating an awesome spectacle. The rocky coast and Barent’s Sea offer Yellow-billed Loon, King and Steller’s Eider, Long-tailed Jaeger and more. It is the perfect complement to our Finland tour.


Join us for an arctic birding adventure
like no other!

Day 1/7
If you are not coming from our Finland tour, plan to arrive in Kuusamo, Finland (Airport Code: KAO) to meet our group in the morning. We will do some birding in Kuusamo Region and continue on to Lapland and Norway later in the day. We will arrive in Ivalo late in the day. Time permitting; we might visit some of the famous bog lands of the area. Night Ivalo.


Dotterel by Gina NicholDay 2/8
Today we will explore the vast open arctic landscape characterized by fells. Not technically mountains, these typical hills of Lapland look like gently rising cones of earth and provide spectacular vistas. The bogs and lakesides provide excellent birding locations with a strong likelihood of seeing Arctic Loon, Smew and Lapland Bunting (Longspur).

The Teno River is one of the most important salmon rivers in Europe and it is the border between Finland and Norway. We will drive along the river and visit the delta area in Norway, which is famous for its molting Goosanders (Common Mergansers) and breeding waders and its colony of Arctic Terns. Here we also have fair chances to see some seals and there is a traditional breeding site of Gyrfalcon on the nearby rocks!

From the delta we will continue over to the high altitude tundra and to Båtsfjord, a small harbor town on the northern edge of Varanger peninsula. The tundra is the home of Ptarmigan and Gyrfalcon. Also Long-tailed Jaeger and Dotterel are often seen just by the roadside. Two nights Båtsfjord.


Day 3/9
Bluethroat by Steve Bird.Today we visit the other town on the northern side of Varanger, Berlevåg. The rocky coastline and tundra offer many excellent birding locations. The Kjölnes Lighthouse near the town is an excellent sea watching site offering good chances to see Yellow-billed Loon, Pomarine Jaeger, Great Skua, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls, Gannets and more. Depending on the snow cover, we will venture onto the barren fells to search for Dotterel, Long-tailed Jaeger, Lapland Bunting and Whimbrel.


Day 4/10
We will drive again over the fells and via the Teno Delta to the Varanger Fjord itself. Along the way we will search for waders, Red-throated and Arctic Loons, Steller's and King Eiders, Velvet Scoter, Rough-legged Buzzard, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls, Bluethroat, Arctic Redpoll, Red–throated Pipit, Shore Lark, Snow Bunting and others. Two nights Vardö.


Day 5/11
Today, weather permitting, we plan to make a half-day excursion by boat to the large seabird colonies on the islets of Reinoya and Hornoya (weather permitting), home to thousands of birds. The Hornoya Nature Reserve is the easternmost of the protected bird colonies in Norway, home of about 25,000 pairs of Kittiwakes and 150 pairs of Shags. Northern Alcids breeds here: Thick-billed Murre, Common Murre, Black Guillemots, Razorbills and several thousand pairs of Puffins!

Conditions permitting, there will be nice walk up to the top of the island where there is a lighthouse. From there we will have an excellent view to the Arctic Ocean - with a lot of fishing boats (some of them Russian). The arctic waters are also the home of seals, which we may see from the boat to the island.


We will also do an excursion to Hamningberg connected by a road with Vardö. The road to Hamninberg is something special. The expression "the end of Europe" comes to mind when you travel here. The landscape is wild and calm - with a lot of variations. Sometimes it looks like you are on the moon, the next minute you mistake the beaches for those in the Mediterranean! We can also make a short excursion on foot to the Tundra and to the bog lands. Here we hope to see breeding Red-throated Loons and arctic waders. We will do some sea watching from the Hamningberg, as well and look for Gannets, Fulmars, Skuas or even some whales!

Day 6/12
After breakfast we will start our drive back to Finland. We will make stops for bird watching and for a picnic lunch. Night Ivalo.

Day 7/13
After some morning birding, we need to say goodbye and start our homeward journey from Ivalo airport.


Photos, top to bottom: Displaying Ruff, White-tailed Eagle, Dotterel, Bluethroat by Steve Bird; Puffins, Birds at Hornoya by Gina Nichol; Temminck's Stint by Steve Bird; Razorbills, Birders in Varanger by Gina Nichol.  Below,Red-necked Phalarope
by Steve Bird.


Red-necked Phalarope by Steve Bird.NORWAY:
Lapland & the Varanger Peninsula

May 16 - 22, 2025

Registration Form>    
Contact [email protected] to reserve your space!

TOUR PRICE:  $3695 per person based on double occupancy.  Price based on exchange rates at the time the tour was posted (**see note below). Note:   This tour begins in Kuusamo (Airport Code: KAO) and ends in Ivalo (Airport Code: IVL).  Single supplement: $495 per person, subject to availability.
A discount is available for those booking on both this tour and our Finland tour>.  Combined tour price is $6990 based on double occupancy, $895 single supplement. 

Deposit: $1000.00 per person per tour. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal. 
Use this link
to make your credit card payment.  Please advise [email protected] when you have made payment. 

Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 6 and maximum 12.

Included in cost: Accommodation in double / twin en suite rooms with full board, group transportation on arrival, detailed pre-trip materials and checklists, services of local guide and tour leaders throughout the trip.

Not included: International flight, luggage charges, passport/visa fees, insurance, drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature.  Also, any and all costs arising from pandemic or Covid-19 related issues are not included in the tour cost and are the sole responsibility of the traveler. These include, among others, the costs of Covid treatment, hospitalization, medical fees, transport, meals and accommodation in case of illness or quarantine, and the costs of any Covid tests needed before, during and after the tour.

Tour Code: This is a standard birding tour with all day birding. No particular strenuous walks are planned but there are some uphill treks.  Birding is mostly from open roads, wide tracks and even boats. To see a good amount of specialties you need to be prepared for full days. We will generally start early and either have an early breakfast or return for breakfast. Lunches will be either picnic or at the lodges depending on our schedule.


RESERVATIONS: To reserve your place on this tour:

1) Contact Gina Nichol at [email protected] to confirm availability and hold your place.

2) Review the Terms and Conditions of Booking (pdf download)>

3) Complete the Registration & Release Form (pdf)> and mail it with your deposit of US$1000.00 per person to Sunrise Birding, LLC within two weeks to secure your place. 

>Download & print the Registration Form (pdf download).
Instructions are on the form.

Reservations are held with a paid deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.

Final payment is due by January 16, 2025. Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees). 


**Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in their local currency), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

Cancellations and Refunds:
Please review our Terms and Conditions of Booking (pdf download)> prior to registering for this tour. All cancellations must be made in writing. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality as early as possible. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur.

There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.


Sunrise Birding LLC strongly recommends that you consider purchasing a travel protection plan to protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected in case of delay, injury or illness prior to or during a tour. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss and Delay, Emergency Medical Transportation, Pre-existing Conditions, and more. Get started here>


  • Insurance policy requirements vary and the timing of your purchase can affect coverage. Some insurance providers require that for coverage of pre-existing conditions, a policy must be purchased within 7-14 days of booking. Others, like CSA, offer policies that cover pre-existing conditions as long as the policy is purchased prior to making your final payment for the tour.

  • Trip insurance policy premiums may be non-refundable, but they may be able to be amended or transferred. Check with your insurer. It is important to be sure that the tour is sufficiently subscribed to operate before you purchase trip insurance.

  • Pay attention to coverages provided by your policy. Be aware of the requirements of country or destination can change, so check often. Some policies are now offering Covid related coverages so check with your insurer.

  • US medical insurance plans (including Medicare) often do not provide coverage outside the US. The US State Department strongly advises Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Consult with your insurer prior to your trip to ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider directly or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Be sure to get and keep all documentation of any expenses incurred.


Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at 
Phone: 203.453.6724