- Travel and Places
Why You Should Visit Scandinavia
Scandinavia: Unmatched Beauty
The mere mention of Scandinavia often provokes thoughts of blistering cold and dark winter days. What many people don’t know, however, is that the secret world of this breathtaking northern peninsula is home to a beauty that demands to be seen. From the hard-working locals to stunning fjords, there is something charming to be found in every hidden corner of this unconventional paradise.
There exist a blurred line in identifying the countries of Scandinavia, but most agree that the peninsula includes Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The close proximity of each country presents the perfect opportunity to extensively explore and discover their hidden gems. Whether you visit in the chilly yet beautiful icy winter or in the breezy, sun kissed summer, each season offers many reasons to explore.
Norway is an easy country to want to visit. Why? Simply put, it’s incredibly beautiful. The dramatic contrast between the mountainous scenery and the crystal fjords alone looks like a scene from a fairytale. The weather in Norway sees its fair share of warmth and sunshine during summer days, but be prepared. Winters can be beyond frigid.
The wildlife in Norway is extensive. Polar bears, whales, elk, musk ox, walruses, moose, and even reindeer are just some of the many beautiful animals that call Norway home. Though some sightings are scarcer than others, there are many tours that have been created to help you get within a safe proximity of the majestic creatures.
The capital of Norway is Oslo, a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. This mix of lifestyles creates an atmosphere that is intriguing and full of diversity. Time spent in Oslo is time well spent. Whether it’s strolling through one of the parks or taking in a museum, the things to see and do in this capital are limitless.
Stunning architecture, acclaimed theaters, and fascinating museums—what do these things have in common? For starters, these are all things you can find in the cheerful, cozy country of Denmark. For the relatively small country that it is (less than six million people) Denmark has an amazingly diverse itinerary. Coastline beaches, historic castles, and delicious restaurants are just some of the things you’ll want to visit.
Even in the winter, Denmark’s weather tends to mild. Summers are cool and rarely does it get warmer than eighty degrees Fahrenheit. For animal lovers, there are zoos, wildlife and safari parks from Copenhagen to Hirtshals. Some of these parks, such as Knuthenborg Safari Park, are some of the largest in Northern Europe.
More than five hundred thousand people call the capital, Copenhagen, home. In this hip city you’ll find charming cobbled streets and tightly knit townhouses. The city is urban and modern but not without a certain old world, storybook charm. If you find yourself in Denmark, definitely plan on finding yourself in Copenhagen.
The capital of Sweden is the archipelago of Stockholm, made up of fourteen islands on the Baltic Sea. The city itself pulls you into a culture full of welcoming locals proud of the beauty that Sweden encompasses, and who wouldn’t be? From the majestic heights of the waterfall Njupeskar to the humble quiet of Fjallbacka, the sights in Sweden are gently contrasted and colorfully displayed.
The history in Sweden is fascinating. Norse mythology, the Viking Age, and the history of the Noble Prize are included in the extensive stories of Sweden’s past. You won’t have to search hard to find the museum perfect for you.
Swedish food is adored around the world by thousands people, and with reason. The food in Sweden is savory and sweet, managing to be unique yet familiar. Famous Swedish meatballs, lingonberry jam, and pancakes are enjoyed regularly in this Scandinavian country. Also on the menu? Pea soup, crispbread, and a wide selection of deserts. Hungry yet?
Finland is a world created by contrasts. The country seems to be a different place in the summer and a different place in the winter. Summertime is painted with warmth and constant light. During the summer months of June through August, the days are long (the sun never sets) and the outdoors is fresh and inviting. Winter, though darker and definitely colder, holds its own type of quiet magic. Snowcapped landscapes and frozen waters almost glow in the pale, sleepy glow of the sky while the country is overwhelmed in outdoor activities. In reality, whenever you find yourself in Finland, you’re sure to never be bored.
Helsinki, Findland’s capital, isn’t just charming. It’s dynamic—every corners offers something new and interesting. The city is complete with hip cafes, captivating architecture, and rousing markets. A lot of Finland’s beauty, however, lies in its natural landscapes. Away from the urban scene in Helsinki exists a much more rugged look into Finland’s scenery. The Lakeland, for example, boasts crystal clear waters that reflect their surroundings like an unperturbed mirror. On the other hand, the forests of Karelia are covered in luscious greenery and roamed by a number of woodland creatures.
If you’re looking for unique accommodations in Finland, be sure to consider Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. There you can enjoy the northern lights from a glass igloo or cozy into an actual snow igloo. If igloos aren’t your thing, the resort offers traditional log cabins and suits as well.
The island of Iceland is small, with a population of little more than 320,000, but the country itself pulses with life. The hard working locals of Iceland are creative, welcoming, and friendly. The local culture is interesting and intriguing—it pulls you in the moment you arrive. It’s current, thriving, and cultured. The music scene is lively and the annual Airwaves Music Festival showcases the newest music from all over the world.
There is no denying that the landscapes in Iceland are breathtaking. Emerald mountains, sheer cliff sides, demanding volcanos and graceful fjords charm their way across Iceland’s surface. Though the wildlife is scarcer in Iceland than in other Scandinavian country, what exists is still beautiful. Reindeer, foxes, and a variety of marine life (whales and even dolphins) all call the island home. Iceland has more sheep than people, making the wooly creatures a common sight.
Reykjavik is the quirky capital of Iceland and is known for its unconventional style, creative values, and an overall cosmopolitan vibe. The small city is overflowing with things to see and do, from acclaimed resteraunts to fascinating museums. Reykjavik has a sparkling nightlife and a lively atmosphere—it’s a city that demands to be noticed.