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Why Scandinavia is more than just a winter destination

Written by
Alex Carey

The regions of Denmark, Norway and Sweden are often synonymous with snow, Lapland and the northern lights. Thanks to the striking, varied landscapes, long days and unique events, Scandinavia is more than just a winter destination. These are just a few reasons why you should make it your place to head to for the summer!

Watch an outdoor concert
Go hiking in the countryside
Sail through the fjords

Long days and midsummer celebrations

Thanks to its position in the northern hemisphere, the Scandinavian countries receive an average of 18 hours’ daylight in the summer months. Make the most of the long days and warmer weather with plenty of outdoor activities. If you’re there for midsummer, be sure to take part in one of the many magical solstice celebrations, from giant bonfires and plentiful feasts to wildflower picking and traditional dances. The next most popular celebration after Christmas, Scandinavia takes midsummer seriously; Sweden even enjoys the day as a bank holiday.

The Swedish midnight sun

Plenty of coastline

Denmark has 4500 miles of coastline, Sweden 2000, and Norway boasts one of the longest coastlines in the world: 63,000 miles! That’s enough to go round the world more than twice… so there’s not excuse not to take part in one of the endless hiking, diving or exploration opportunities. For the very fit and ambitious, hike to the top of Bremanger – Europe’s highest sea cliff. If heights aren’t your thing, get below the surface to seek ancient sunken shipwrecks and the sealife that now thrives in and around them.

Cities come alive

While in winter the cities (except for locals and a few brave tourists) are unnaturally quiet, summer in Scandinavian cities such as Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm is the polar opposite. The side streets are perfectly lined with an endless stream of welcoming tables and chairs, enticing you to stop and enjoy a coffee and conversation; the parks are filled with captivating outdoor concerts and festivals that go on into the night; and the canals buzz with the sound of boats chugging down the waterways.

Aerial view of the Alesund city at twilight, Norway

Lush green fjords

While in the colder months the skyline of the fjord regions are lined with a thick white layer of snow, in the warmer months, the environment comes alive with colour. Where there was once craggy grey rocks now stands grassy mountains, contrasted against the sparkling blue of the water, creating a mesmerising landscape. Hop aboard a kayak or small cruise boat for a serene sail through the fjords to admire them from below.


Endless winding roads

One of the best parts of summer is being able to drive along with the windows open, allowing the warm, gentle wind to breeze through the car. Thanks to Scandinavia’s endless coastline, it also has plenty of roadways winding through the striking scenery – perfectly designed for an epic road trip. Stop off for picnics and photo opportunities along the way as you absorb the fresh air or make like the Scandis and get on a bike to cycle through the flourishing countryside. Denmark’s gently rolling hills are best for an easy cycle, or for a tough challenge, make your way through Norway’s mountainous regions.

Archipelagos everywhere

Forget Greece and Croatia – Sweden is home to 267, 470 islands, the most out of any country in the world. Its capital, Stockholm, is home to over 30,000 islands alone so make time to explore this vibrant and fascinating city on foot or by boat at your own leisure. For deeper insight into the city’s island life, venture out with a guide who can teach you about local traditions. Norway contains over 50,000 islands, many of which spread far into the Arctic Circle, and Denmark is lucky enough to call the beautiful Faroe Islands part of its country.

Aerial view of Stockholm

If you'd like to explore Scandinavia in the summer, get in touch with one of our travel designers who can put together your perfect trip.

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