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Jacada Photo Journal: Scandinavia

A tour of the Nordic highlights

Written by
Michele Santomassimo

Alec and I took a trip around Scandinavia, trying local traditions, meeting local people and immersing ourselves in the local culture. From an overnight stay in the iconic Icehotel to a wilderness orientation course, we experienced some of the best Nordic activities the wild and wonderful regions of Norway and Sweden have to offer.

Sweden

Stockholm

Starting in Sweden’s effortlessly cool and stylish capital, Stockholm, we took a sweet-making class set in a 19th century store.

Guided by a master of his art, we learnt how to mould candy, intertwining stripes of red and white, in the traditional Swedish way.

Perfect for big and little kids!

sweet-making-stockholm-sweden

To get a better orientation of our surroundings, we ascended buildings in the old town and took a rooftop tour of the city.

Whilst it was initially quite scary (don’t worry, you’re very securely affixed to the zip lines), it was exhilarating to get a unique perspective of Stockholm!

rooftops-stockholm-sweden

What is a trip to Sweden without paying homage to one of the country’s best exports!

We stopped by the ABBA museum to learn more about this iconic group, even experiencing what it’s like to go on stage with them and admiring the many fabulous costumes.

abba-museum-stockholm
Gothenburg

Following a short train ride from Stockholm, marveling at the flashes of pretty scenery on the way, we arrived in Sweden’s other cosmopolitan city: Gothenburg.

Here, we took part in another cookery class, savoury this time, and made some tasty Swedish delicacies. Afterwards, we took a trip out to the islands on the west coast.

This is Sven, who guided us out on a fishing boat trip from Hönö, one of many islands making up the archipelago off the west coast.

He taught us how to catch fish (as you can see he’s the expert!) and we learnt about the history of the area along the way.

Lapland

After a stay in the vibrant cities, we made our way to the more remote countryside in Swedish Lapland where we stopped at the Tree Hotel. Here, there are seven unique and individually designed rooms nestled amongst the thick forest.

Sleep high above the treetops and enjoy fantastic views across the landscape.

tree-hotel-sweden

From one adventure to another, we then moved to the famous IceHotel, First conceptualised in 1989, the incredible hotel is completely built from scratch every winter. More aligned to a piece of art, it’s crafted by ice sculptors from around the world in different designs each time.

Whilst it looks chilly on the exterior, there are many cosy nooks, including a heated bathroom, to ensure you stay warm!

icehotel-sweden

A cool experience, we stayed the night in one of the sculpted bedrooms with an adjacent bathroom (not made of ice!) – something completely unique ticked off the bucket list!

Aside from staying in the hotel, you can also take part in other winter activities, such as learning to ice sculpt, dog sledding with huskies or snowmobiling.

bedroom-icehotel-swedish-lapland

The woody wilderness was the perfect opportunity to learn about how to survive in remote areas.

In this handy orientation, we were taught how to make fire from wood, how to make a shelter using materials available and how to navigate without the use of technology.

Norway

I then left Alec as he continued on to Norway, starting in Oslo where this photo was taken, with the harbour just peeking though.

He then moved onto Vik, beyond Bergen following some relaxing train journeys through spectacular scenery.

oslo-norway

Black stave churches carved out of wood are almost exclusive to Norway, although at one time they were located in other parts of Europe.

This one located in Vik is the Hopperstad church.

Resembling Viking styles, or something out of Grimms’ Fairy Tales, this church dates back to 1130 – the oldest known stave church in the world.

This blue image is a photo of Lærdal Tunnel, the world’s longest road tunnel stretching for over 24 kilometers.

Whilst not a main focal point of your stay, it’s a fascinating feat of engineering and it’s incredible to observe the structure of the cavern as you drive by.

An exhilarating end to a truly Scandinavian trip!

Laerdal-Tunnel-Norway

If you'd like to experience the delights of Scandinavia, get in touch with one of our expert travel designers who can help create your perfect itinerary.

Call: 866 610 1533 or Enquire now

Our favourite trips to Sweden and Norway

From
 
Highlights of Sweden

On this action-packed 11-day trip, the wonders of Sweden will come to life for you. From historic cities to stunning natural scenery and outdoor fun, there are numerous memories waiting to be made.

You’ll begin this exciting trip in the heart of Stockholm where your private guide will introduce you to many of the city’s most famous landmarks. Visit the City Hall and then see the impressive shipwreck at the Vasa Museum before exploring the hidden alleys of Gamla Stan. You’ll also have the opportunity to see how the king and his family live in the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

Breathe in the scents of botanist Carl Linnaeus’ labours at the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Uppsala. You will also get to see both the modern Uppsala University, and the original institute, the Gusatavium, which was built in 1625. This part of the tour will also include a stop at the tombs of King Gustav Vasa and two of his wives.

Your next stop is Gothenburg, where you’ll stroll through the beautiful city taking in some of its highlights. From Masthuggs Church and the popular fish market, to the Great Harbour Canal and Götaplatsen – there is plenty to discover. After a visit to Kungälv, you’ll take a short ferry ride to the Island of Marstrand. The small island is home to the famous Carlsten’s Fortress.

Finally, you’ll head to the breathtaking Swedish Lapland where you will stay at the Icehotel and Treehotel. Your journey from the airport to the Icehotel will be by sled as you’re whisked along through the snow by a team of huskies. Once you’re settled into one of the ice suites for your first night, you’ll enjoy an ice carving lesson. Over the next couple of days you’ll go snowmobiling and participate in a sauna ritual. Moving over to the unique Treehotel you will get the chance to try some ice fishing, and go on a thrilling dog sled ride.

As the trips draws to a close, you will visit the historic World Heritage Church Village of Gammelstad where you will get insight into the region’s culture.

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From
 
Magical Winter Escape to Norway and Sweden

From a garden of sculptures glittering with snow, to thrilling horse and dog sled rides through old towns and across vast plateaus – winter is a spectacular time to visit this part of the world. Whether you enjoy feeling the pulse of a modern city or slowing down to learn about local traditions in the countryside, this trip will be full of heart-warming memories.

You’ll kick off this fascinating journey in Oslo as you head out on a tour of the city specially designed according to your interests. See some of the city’s highlights as you go to places like the Viking Ship Museum, the large open-air Norwegian Folk Museum, Vigeland Sculpture Park, and the impressive Holmenkollen ski jump.

From Oslo, you’ll fly to the town of Røros where you’ll take a horse sledding tour through the historic centre of town, Bergstaden. This region has an interesting history as a mining town, and you’ll get to visit the copper mines if you’re interested. Take a guided walk through town and stop by the Røros Museum and Røros Ziir.  Get a glimpse of the cultural heart of Norway as you visit a Sami family and learn about their traditions and the art of reindeer herding. Make the most of the wintery landscape with a dogsledding tour across a mountain plateau.

Your next stop is the vibrant city or Trondheim, home to thousands of students, and also where you’ll find the Nidaros Cathedral which was built in 1070. After that, you’ll cross over into Sweden and spend some time in the small village of Åre. Do some ice fishing on a frozen lake and take a gastronomic walk in snowshoes, stopping in at some of the locals’ favourite places and sampling some of the most popular dishes in the area.

Leave small town life behind you as you head to the busy city of Stockholm for the last leg of your trip. Your guide will introduce you to some of the city’s highlights, like the Royal Palace, City Hall, Vasa Museum and the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan.

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