The stunning Nordic countries have to be seen to be believed. From the imposing glaciers of Iceland to the picturesque fjords of Norway, the charming, dreamscape palaces of Sweden and Denmark to the isolated indigenous communities of Lapland and Greenland, the Nordic countries will enchant you at every turn.
Best Way to See Nordic Countries
To travel through this unique region is to experience breathtaking scenery and landscapes beautiful enough to make your spirit soar. This is a land of contradictions: steeped in history yet utterly modern, as strongly associated with the Vikings from yesteryear as its cosmopolitan cities; as famous for its never-ending summer days as its black star-spangled nights, when northern lights dance across the sky.
It is a truly magnificent to behold, so here are some of the very best ways to see it.
Take a Cruise around Norway
Step aboard one of Hurtigruten’s Norwegian cruise ships and sail into a dazzling sunset. Watch the stunning landscape pass from the comfort of the deck whilst the crew introduces you to some unforgettable people.
Cruises are available year round, so you can choose whether to experience Norway as it bathes in endless sunlight, or as the Northern Lights glitter above you.
Winter, summer, spring or autumn, the country is enchanting, and a sea-faring voyage is guaranteed to show you it at its very best.
Ride a Fjord Horse in Fjord, Norway
Travel to Tjøstheim Ridesenter in Ryfylke and go horseback riding in the fjords and mountains of Norway.
Ride up steep mountainsides shrouded in mist to look out over the stunning vistas below.
On the way, experience the fairytalesque beauty of the fjords and the woodland bordering the summit.
When you reach the top, take a deep breath of mountain air and enjoy seeing the world stretched out below, with a clear view all the way to Stavanger.
Go Dog Sledding in Greenland
Let Greenland’s powerful huskies take you for a ride across the country’s frozen landscape. Wrapped up snugly in the warmest sealskin, comfortably seated amongst a pile of reindeer furs, watch the frozen wastes fly by as the sun blazes down on you, the only sound the heaving breaths of the dogs and the quiet crunch of the snow compacting beneath the sled.
Dog sledding is a thrilling treat for anyone with a touch of wanderlust or a hunger for adventure. Escape the world for a little while; it will just be you, the snow-covered wilderness and a pack of beautiful hounds to lead you in a thrilling dash across the snow.
Take a Reindeer Ride in Lapland
The reindeer is an icon of Finnish Lapland. They are so populous in the region that the number of deer equals the number of citizens in the province.
So when in Rome… jump on a sleigh and ride them like Santa! This ancient Sámi method of travelling is the best way to get close to the festive icons.
A sleigh ride is the very essence of that magical holiday experience that travel agents promise to deliver: steeped in ancient tradition, sit back and glide through a snowy forest in a wooden sleigh, all of your festive childhood fantasies coming to life around you.
Cycle in Denmark
It is claimed that Denmark is the world’s best country for cycling, and Zealand, its largest island, is a biker’s paradise. With a quaint landscape combining little villages full of thatch-roofed cottages and castles straight from the pages of a fairytale, it provides scenery which simply begs to be seen.
The beach is a vast expanse of pale sand, dunes rising up behind it, dotted with brightly coloured beach huts. The roads are well-signed and largely flat, the streets enticingly lined with little chocolate shops. Stop at the roadside to drink in the sweeping views out to sea, before coasting back to a cozy hotel at day’s end, where you can tuck into the excellent regional cuisine.
Hiking in Sweden
Sweden is a perfect destination for a walking holiday, with excellent hiking across the length and the breadth of this vast country. Offering rich cultural heritage areas in the South, transforming into wild mountainous expanses in the North, Sweden is a land of open skies, far-reaching horizons and untamed wildernesses.
Companies such as Nature Travel offer an extensive variety of guided and self-guided tours to suit any intrepid adventurer. Packages range from scenic walks through the forests of Dalsland to hut-to-hut tours on the King’s Trail in Lapland and journeys through the mighty wilderness of Sarek.
Wherever you want to go and whatever you want to do, from city sightseeing to exploring the wilds of the Nordic countries, there is a holiday package to suit everyone, whether that’s a leisurely cruise around Norway or dog sledding in Greenland. A tour custom-tailored to you is guaranteed to give you a truly unforgettable travelling experience. Or just go skiing in the Swiss Alps
Things To Do In Trondheim
Trondheim is a city beautifully located by the Norwegian fiords, and is one of the oldest cities in the country.
From once having been the capital city, and a significant trading center for northern Europe, there is plenty of history to explore on a visit to the city.
Here are three sights not to miss…
Tronheim’s most significant landmark is the Nidarosdomen (cathedral) and is a great place to visit.
This cathedral dates from 1070 and has rows of statutes of bishops and saints along its façade. Get up close and personal to these figures and there are many small features to be spotted.
Look particularly for the small sad or happy faces where the arches end.
Indeed, a day of face spotting on this Europe travel trip will be a long lasting memory for sure.
Norway is best known, amongst Europe travel circles, as the home of the Vikings. It would go amiss then to side step the Rustkammeret.
They have displays of war weapons etc starting from the Viking era right up to World War 11 and beyond. Since the entrance is free, take the opportunity to make some great holiday videos and photographs of the uniforms, Nazi propaganda and even more weapons here.
History buffs will be very interested in this exhibition.
Ringve Manor House
Music lovers are catered for here too with the Ringve Manor House. The story goes that a Russian woman fell in love with a rich Norwegian merchant and ended up marrying him.
After this, she started to put together a collection of musical instruments from all over the world.
In a converted barn, the instruments are all on display and tourists can take photos as long as they don’t use flash facilities.
In the house, wander around rooms that have been decorated in the time of the composer it represents.
For example, there is one room dedicated to Beethoven, one to Chopin and so on.
No photos allowed in this part of the museum, unfortunately, but the guides play on the instruments to give the visitors an idea of what they sound like.
(photo credit: 1)