Sweden & Norway | Rock Art

Rock art dating from the Neolithic through to the Iron Age is scattered throughout the landscape of Scandinavia. Our journey through Sweden and Norway takes us to the best of these enigmatic depictions - scenes of fighting, sun worship, chariots and boats that shed light on the everyday life and beliefs of the people inhabiting these dramatic landscapes over 3500 years ago.

Led by expert Dr Tertia Barnett, discover a Scandinavia that you never knew existed - stone circles, cairns and carved boulders hidden within Sweden and Norway’s varied and dramatic landscape.

  • Visit the impressive Oslo Viking Ship Museum, home to the world’s best-preserved and first-discovered Viking ships
  • Enjoy a leisurely afternoon gliding along the Alta River, taking in some of the spectacular scenery (and hopefully glimpsing some local wildlife)
  • Marvel at vast expanses of rock art at Hjemmeluft, including a huge panel depicting over 1500 mythical figures


  • Vikings
  • Rock Art
  • Prehistory


  • Special Access

Itinerary 2017

Day 1

We fly to Oslo and transfer to our hotel in Tanumshede.

Day 2

We visit the Vitlycke museum which provides us with a comprehensive overview of Norway’s ancient rock carvings. A short walk to encounter remarkable rock art dating to the Neolithic including the famous ‘Bridal Couple’, sometimes also called the ’Holy Wedding’. We continue to see some of the excellent, well presented Bronze and Iron Age rock art sites in the Tanum region – such as Aspeberget, Litsleby, Fossum, Tegneby, Backa and Ryk. Here we can see varied depictions of ships, warriors, weapons, horses and solar symbolism, including the giant 3m high carving of the spear wielding warrior at Litsleby, thought to be an Iron Age representation of Odin.

Day 3

We traverse attractive woodland and rolling farmland on the hunt for more rock art at Tanum. We enjoy an afternoon visit to Underslös Museum where we are met by the museum’s specialists.

We receive a special evening visit in Tanum led by the museum’s curator, where we see the area’s carvings in torchlight, offering a completely different perspective.

Day 4

We travel north back across the Norwegian border to the Østfold region, where we visit the Solberg Tower interpretation centre, an innovative portal (with fabulous views towards the coastline). Here we explore the rich history of the surrounding region. This includes medieval castles and manors, but above all a fine selection of Neolithic rock carvings and other monuments. After lunch we visit some of these sites, including Hunn, where there are 9 stone circles in addition to burial cairns. We continue to Oslo.

Day 5

In Oslo we visit the Viking Ship Museum within the Museum of Cultural History. Highlights include the wonderfully elegant Gokstad and Oseberg ships as well as a host of archaeological material from elsewhere in the country. This afternoon, we fly to Alta situated in the far north of Norway.

Day 6

We visit Alta Rock Art Museum, the centre for the study and interpretation of the northern group of rock carvings, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of these carvings seem to have been made by hunter gatherers along the ancient shoreline from as early as 5200 BC. Trails from the museum lead around the bay to a series of panels and friezes depicting clusters and herds of animals. We continue our exploration with the rock art at Hjemmeluft, which includes a huge panel with over 1500 figures, thought to depict mythical scenes from the prehistoric belief system.

Day 7

We enjoy a further morning’s exploration of the rock art at Hjemmeluft. We then take a boat trip along the Alta River to see some of the spectacular scenery and hopefully some local wildlife.

Day 8

We return to London via Oslo.

What's Included

  1. Tour Manager
  2. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  3. Meals - All meals included
  4. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  5. Field Notes
  6. Hotels - 3 nights in a 17th century former manor house in Tanumshede, 1 night stay in an elegant Oslo hotel dating from the 1920s, 3 nights in a polished hotel with modern rooms in northerly Alta
  7. Flights - Scheduled return flights from London to Oslo & Alta

Hotel Info

3 nights in a 17th century former manor house in Tanumshede
1 night stay in an elegant Oslo hotel dating from the 1920s
3 nights in a polished hotel with modern rooms in northerly Alta

Useful Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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Guide Lecturer

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