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must-see stops on a tour of scandinavia

When people from outside Europe consider visiting the European continent on vacation, they usually focus on the same few countries. For Americans in particular, the United Kingdom and Ireland often hold the most appeal. Beyond that, you’re more likely to talk to your travel agent about visiting Spain, France, Italy, and perhaps Germany than anywhere else. There’s plenty to recommend about all of those locations, but there’s another area of Europe that deserves to get a little more attention from tourists. As you’ll have deduced from the title of this article, we’re talking about Scandinavia.

You'll find the Scandinavian region in the northernmost reaches of Europe where the weather is a little colder, but the warm welcome that awaits you makes up for it! For the uninitiated, the countries that make up Scandinavia are Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. They're all gathered closely together, so if you put together a careful travel plan, it's possible to visit several of them within the same one to two-week trip.

Aside from being a beautiful country, each country in Scandinavia has its own charms and appeals. It's a visually stunning and historically significant region. This is, after all, where the Vikings came from. The legendary warrior race still has a huge influence on our culture today, from the popular 'Vikings' television series to the huge number of Viking-themed games you'll find at online slots websites. Admittedly, you could probably make a case that without the television show, there wouldn't be quite so many Viking-themed online slots. Otherwise, Bonanza mobile slot is one of most popular game these years and the public has a huge amount of enthusiasm for the topic.

With so many countries to think about and so many potential places to visit, you’ll probably want to narrow things down a little before setting off on a Scandinavian trip. Here’s our take on the best “can’t miss” locations that the area has to offer.

Norway’s Geirangerfjord

You might have heard it said that Norway is the country of fjords, but you might not know what that means. In simple terms, a fjord is a long narrow lake or sea, and Norway has more than anywhere else in the world. In fact, it has more than one thousand! The greatest of all those fjords is Geirangerfjord, which runs on for nine miles with a one-mile width, surrounded on all sides by cute cafeterias, bars, and other tourist destinations. It's an outstanding area of natural beauty, and it wasn't without reason that UNESCO has decided to include it on its World Heritage Site list. The multiple waterfalls make it worth the trip alone. There are various ways to see the fjord, including some highly recommended cruises, but you could also hike the route or visit it by bus if you prefer.

Sweden’s Ice Hotel

This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a hotel, and it’s made of ice. You probably think that’s a terrible idea based on temperature alone, but thousands of visitors would disagree with you. It’s a huge attraction now, but it all started as a single dwelling in the northern Swedish town of Jukkasjarvi during the 1980s. Visit it today, and you’ll find a massive site containing seventy different bespoke ice rooms. New rooms are added every year with ice carved out of a nearby frozen river, and most of the rooms come with their own sculptures and carvings, all created by talented local artists. You’ll be perfectly warm in a sleeping bag with a hotel-issued thick blanket, and the view of the stars through your room’s skylight has to be seen to be believed. Visit the hotel bar before you head off to bed for a nightcap, and you won’t be disappointed. We could wax lyrical about the uniqueness of this hotel all day, but a respected journalist has already done that for us.

Finland’s Loyly Sauna

There's only one thing to do after you've spent a night or two in the cold of the Ice Hotel in Sweden, and that's head off for warmer climates in Finland. Finland isn't warmer than Sweden as a country, but that hardly matters when you're inside the steamy surrounds of the Loyly Sauna. The people of Finland like to keep warm, and so saunas are popular in the country, but this one in particular is special. The view of the Baltic sea alone would make it stand out from the crowd, but the fact that you can go straight into a smoke sauna after bathing in the sea is a real treat. It also happens to come with one of the finest restaurants in the whole region. If you're a little shy, you can request a private sauna room as opposed to the larger communal ones - although these get booked up quickly, so you'd be best served to make a reservation well in advance of your trip.

Denmark’s Oresund Underwater Bridge

You're going to have to travel between Denmark and Sweden at least once during your Scandinavian trip, so why not do it via the most spectacular means available? We don't like to lend ourselves to hyperbole on this website, but we think this might be the most incredible driving experience in the world. This five-mile road runs right over the Oresund Strait and then dives below the waves into a tunnel that carries you through to Amager in Denmark. One moment you're on an architecturally-stunning bridge in Sweden, and the next moment you're climbing back out of the darkness on Denmark's shores. There's nothing quite like the feeling of driving across a thin strip of land with nothing but the sea either side of you - and it's probably not for the faint-hearted for that reason - but if your nerves can cope with it, this will be the most memorable fifteen minutes you ever spend inside a car.

You've probably noticed that we've only listed four locations. That's because the rest is up to you. Scandinavia is yours to explore from Copenhagen to Reykjavik, and the best way to have fun with it is to find your own way. This part of the world contains some of the planet's friendliest people and most awe-inspiring sights - but you have to seek them out for yourself! 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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