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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.