Scandinavia has a colorful history bringing visions of Viking ships and conquerors to mind, but this is only a small part of the story. The culture dates back many centuries and has had a relatively peaceful history other than during the Viking period that began sometime in the late 8th century and ended in the year 1066 with the Norman conquest. Charming medieval towns and cities, breathtaking mountains, picturesque fjords and stunning waterfalls await you. Scandinavia includes Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. It is a wondrous and beautiful region which begs to be explored. Tour vacations can focus on Scandinavia only, or be combined with the Arctic Circle.
Visiting Scandinavia, you’ll find great design and architecture all around. Scandinavian life is marked by a distinctive sense of style. You will notice striking Scandinavian design in buildings, shops, hotels, restaurants and even in the clothes people are wearing. There is much to find: everything from the ‘Falu red' cottages of Dalarna and the art glass of Orrefors, to contemporary object design in Denmark and Sweden, making its mark on the international stage.
Scandinavia is a land of amazing beauty with breathtaking mountains and fjords, glaciers and the magnificent Northern Lights. The region offers exciting sights and attractions that suit any visitor. Enjoy all the Viking paths, take a stroll in the many parks and castles, visit the endless designs shops, be impressed by the architecture, holiday in the spectacular fjord landscape, go on an adventure in Lapland or simply enjoy a hot mug of coffee at the many cafés and restaurants.
Best Time to Go: The best time to visit Scandinavia depends on your interests but the most popular months to visit are between May and September with the warmest months in July and August.
The best way to experience Scandinavia is to travel with an experienced tour guide who knows the area and its history. Guided tours are available and offer travelers the chance to relax and see the sights. Tours by train or coach offer a wonderful way to enjoy the natural beauty that abounds and the time to explore the sights on your trek. Some tours also offer overnight mini-cruises of the fjords. With tours ranging from 7 to 31 days there is sure to be one to fit your holiday schedule.
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Travel through the Briksdal Glacier (Briksdalsbreen), go on a cruise around scenic Lofoten, Northern Norway, ski in Trysil, or take a walk through the Royal Palace. Scandinavia is filled with arts and culture, from royal treasures and castles, to Viking and Sami sites, to modern contemporary galleries, to folklore celebrations such as Midsummer.
A visit to the statue of the Little Mermaid, the Louisiana Museum for Modern Art, the Nobel Peace Centre, the Edward Munch Gallery, King Hakon's Chateau, Skansen open air museum, the Culture House, the Viking Museum, the Royal Theatre and Fregatten Jylland are just a few musts.
Denmark wonderfully blends the old and the new with unique modern Danish style intermingled with historic castles and landmarks. Cobblestone streets are found throughout Copenhagen that lead to wonderful galleries and museums filled with masterpieces and Viking antiquities.
Odense was established over a millennia ago and is the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. A picturesque town with castles and troll sculptures gracing the street corners, it is sure to charm visitors.
Finland is a land of variety, offering lovely summers and an amazing palette of colors in the spring and fall with abundant snowfall during the winters in Lapland. With thousands of lakes, Finland is a picturesque destination providing an opportunity to enjoy the serene natural beauty of the landscape. Culture is alive and well in Finland represented by the nearly 100 Finland Festivals each year featuring a variety of music, theater and ballet. For fun, take a stroll along North Esplanade, the premier shopping district in Helsinki. Sitting at the end of the road you will find the President's castle.
Sweden is a favorite for nature tourism and for those wishing to enjoy its cultural side. Stockholm, which overlooks the Baltic Sea, is famous for its historical as well as modern appeal and features vibrant music and entertainment venues, shopping and outstanding cuisine. It is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Scandinavia.
Norway is a land blessed by natural beauty unrivaled anywhere. The capital city of Oslo has much to offer visitors with a variety of attractions from the cultural to sporting activities. A definite must when visiting Norway is a trip through the breathtaking fjords and a wonderful starting point is Bergen, a colorful and picturesque seaside city.