Scandinavia, who doesn’t want to see the Midnight Sun?

When contemplating Scandinavian countries you will likely think of ice and snow, huskies and reindeer, winter activities such as skiing and the Northern Lights. But, visit the same destinations in the summer months and you will get sunshine and swimming, berries and bears, warm-weather activities and the Midnight Sun. If you want a change from the usual destinations in the Meditteranian why not consider these options.


Midnight Sun Photography and the Wilderness of Nellim – Finland. From £895 pp. This picturesque location is a photographer’s dream. In early summer it is bathed in daylight 24 hours a day and the wonder of the Midnight Sun provides photographers with a unique light in which to shoot. With an expert local photography guide at your side you will experience the best of Lapland in the summer. Three nights staying at the Nellim Wilderness Lodge and the Sarmi Wilderness Lodge – full board, two sharing costs from £895 pp. Travel between 23rd May and 22nd July. Includes flights (Heathrow).


Abisko and a Midnight Sun Adventure – Sweden. From £1,375 pp. Amongst Abisko’s magnificent scenery you can enjoy an area of pristine wilderness, forests and mountains through which you can take a guided hike. Visit the Norwegian city of Narvjik to enjoy fjord and valley scenery and jump onto a chairlift to the top of Nuolja Mountain for a panoramic view of the Midnight Sun. Lastly, take time to capture the solar phenomenon with your camera in the company of a renowned photographer who will guide and provide tips. Four nights staying at the Abisko Mountain Lodge – full board, two sharing costs from £1,375 pp. Travel between 25th May and 19th July. Includes flights (Gatwick).


Kuhmo - Wild Brown Bear Adventure – Finland. From £836 pp. This adventure holiday will take you close to the Russian border to the small town of Kuhmo, which is surrounded by stunning wilderness. You will go cycling, hiking and bear tracking, as well as take part in the famous Elk Safari. During your stay you will head closer to the Russian border where your real adventure begins. Deep in the forest you will stay in a hide for the night to experience a real 'Wild Brown Bear Adventure'. Bears are common here, so hopefully you will spot one tonight. You may also see wolves, wolverines or lynx. Three nights staying at the Hotel Kalevela, part board, two sharing costs from £836 pp. Travel between April and October. Includes flights (London).


The Best of Northern Norway - 10 Day Self-Drive Tour. From £1,610 pp. This wonderful trip merges the culture of Tromsø with stunning fjord views, dramatic mountain landscapes and beautiful white sandy beaches. Throw in the charming fishing villages of Sommarøy, coastal whale watching and a range of activities such as kayaking, hiking and boat trips, and you’ll certainly not be bored. Set your own pace to explore the fjords, the best of northern Norway, where you won’t have to venture far to find the unexpected. Nine nights staying in a range of hotels, B&B, two sharing, costs from £1,610 pp. Travel between 1st June and 21st August. Includes flights (Heathrow).

Artisan Travel specialises in Scandinavian visits, it naturally has a range of wonderful winter destinations … that are now also perfect for a summer visit. 



Fitness, you see these mad people jogging in the Heat

I recently stayed in a villa overlooking the marina in Cala Dor Majorca, if I looked in one particular direction I could see plenty of people running, (not the locals) I did have to ask myself why? I suppose unlike me they may be worried about being a future burden on the NHS, if you are too, check these out. Destinations that combine getting all hot and bothered, my term for exercise, with revitalising spa treatments.


Madeira: Galo Ayurveda Relaxation

Rediscover full body well-being this summer with an Ayurveda spa holiday off the southern coast of Madeira. With the advice of Ayurvedic Doctors and lifestyle consultants, tailor your daily spa treatments to suit your needs; whether working to encourage weight loss, cure insomnia or sooth back pain. Combine detoxifying spa treatments with healthy cooking classes and daily Ayurvedic meals to cleanse and revitalise your body. Enhance your wellness journey with daily yoga and meditation sessions, together with a variety of fitness classes, from BodyPump to Zumba and spinning to Pilates.

7 nights at Galo from £1,105pp or £1,240 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme, return flights and transfers.


Portugal: Longevity Wellness Booster

Whether you need a complete lifestyle makeover, or just crave a wellness getaway, escape to Portugal’s stunning Algarve coastline this summer and discover your best self at Portugal’s leading thalassotherapy and medical spa. With medical consultations and biophysical evaluations, the wellness experts at Longevity will analyse your current body condition, and get you quickly started on your personalised relaxation and wellness transformation. Between marine inspired spa treatments, shape up with a personal training session and enjoy a range of complimentary fitness and wellness activities including slim circuit, Pilates, healthy living workshops and much more.

5 nights at Longevity from £1,980pp or £2,250 for single occupancy. Price includes half board, a wellness programme, return flights and transfers.


France: Terre Blanche Spa Slimming

Situated between the Eastern Provence and the French Riviera, you’ll be amazed at how much your body can transform in such a small amount of time at this multi award-winning spa retreat. Designed to increase your slimming potential, specialist therapeutic spa treatments range from anti-cellulite body wraps to detoxifying body scrubs. A dream destination for a summer weight-loss holiday, feel the benefit of personalised Aquabike coaching and a choice of complimentary group classes, from circuit training to bum and tums. Enjoy daily healthy juices to achieve healthy slimming that will have your health and weight back on track.

7 nights at Terre Blanche from £2,870pp or £3,770 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a wellness programme, return flights and transfers.


Spain: Shanti Som Healing Retreat

Embrace a healthier lifestyle this summer with Shanti Som’s Healing Retreat in Southern Spain. Aimed at those on the edge of burnout and who need to revitalise tired bodies and minds; a garden of waterfalls, streams and fountains and a spectacular mountainous backdrop, provides the serenity you need to de-stress and reenergise your life. Give yourself the gift of holistic health with restorative Ayurveda spa treatments, re-connect with nature during daily stress releasing nature walks and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul with daily yoga and meditation.

6 nights at Shanti Som from £2,680pp or £3,110 for single occupancy. Price includes full board, a wellness programme, return flights and transfers.


Greece: Blue Palace Thalassotherapy

On an island of untamed beauty, indulge in a spa holiday this summer that draws from the best of its natural surroundings. Release your skin’s natural glow through thalassotherapy and marine inspired spa treatments, utilising the therapeutic properties and natural minerals found in sea water, mud and seaweed. Renowned for its effects on stress relief, weight loss, anti-cellulite, muscle and joint healing, this specialised spa retreat covers a range of well-being needs. Achieve a healthy body boost during your stay with a variety of group fitness classes, including, body workout, aqua aerobics and yoga.

7 nights at Blue Palace from £1,775pp or £2,370 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a wellness programme, return flights and transfers. 


Guaranteed to see the heavenly Bodies


There was lots of media hype in relation to so called eclipse over Britain, it turned out to be a massive anti-climax for most due to the cloud cover. So for those who are interested in all things celestial, why not head for the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and enjoy the annual meteor showers that are seen in the crystal clear skies from the comfort of Kasbah Africa?


The showers are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids, when they enter the earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds, on parallel trajectories. They get their name from their apparent origin, the constellation of Perseus and are associated with the Swift-Tuttle comet which is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 133 years.


The nights of August 12th to 13th is the culminating point of this cosmic rain and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, with zero light pollution and clear skies, are the perfect place to observe it; Kasbah Africa is the perfect place to stay.


The recently renovated, British owned, nature lodge has just eight suites and is located in the Ouirgane region of Toubkal National Park with views over the Azzaden River Valley from its elevated position. The rooms have wood-burning fires plus a telescope and binoculars so you don’t have to try and get those through the airport.


A three night break in August costs from £261pp, based on two sharing, includes three nights’ full board accommodation plus a choice of either a guided walk or a ‘Cooking with Berbers’ experience.


The price also includes return transfers from Marrakech airport (approx. 1 hour each way).  Flights are extra and cost approximately £190 return


Icelandair increase frequency from Birmingham Airport

Icelandair has announced that it will increase services between Birmingham and Reykjavik from two flights per week to four, starting in February 2016.

The new flights from Birmingham Airport will operate each Tuesday and Saturday, in addition to the current Monday and Thursday services, bringing the frequency in total to four weekly flights from 1st February - 28th March 2016 inclusive.