Like three quarters of us, your vacation rhymes with sun, heat, beaches and palm trees? How we understand you! Too often shunned by travelers eager for tropical vacations. The Vikings in Scandinavia and the Nordic peninsula have many charms to offer. Is heaven on earth hyper-boreal? It’s up to you to judge at the end of this article!
You won’t be stepped on at the beach
The great champions of tourism? France with 90 million overnight stays by foreign visitors, Spain with 83 million and the United States with 77 million. Alongside these giants, Finland with its 3 million annual travelers or Iceland with its 2 million do poorly.
But what a joy not to rush anyone in the museums, to have room in the restaurant and not to cross your neighbors at the beach. Something to make you want to go on vacation in Scandinavia this year!
Exceptional natural sites
Tourism in Nordic lands is often based on the discovery of nature. It would be a shame to do without! In Iceland for example, you can admire geysers, glaciers, black sand beaches, volcanoes, and end the day with a swim in a natural hot spring. A delight ! In Norway and Sweden, the mountains and the fjords are the country’s major natural assets.
Without forgetting the magnificent waterfalls, the southern archipelagos or the forests as far as the eye can see, as well as the North Cape. And in all of these countries, as soon as you travel higher than the Arctic Circle in winter, you are not immune from seeing the famous Northern Lights. The spectacle will be permanent during your holidays in Scandinavia, you will be amazed every day!
When we go on vacation to Scandinavia or the Nordic peninsula, we must not forget that these are territories that have long remained wilder than at home. The forests have not been razed, most of the coasts do not know the pollution of seaside resorts and there are few inhabitants per square kilometer…
The “Vikings” are very respectful of nature, which they consider to be a gift. All this allows for abundant wildlife that is different from that of southern Europe. At the bend of a walk in the forest, you may be lucky enough to spot wolves, bears, moose, wolverines, (it looks like this, be careful: small, but extremely ferocious) or even wild foxes. snows. A real Big 5 of the north! In Iceland it is a little different, but it is not that rare to see whales, penguins or even sea leopards.
No, just because you take a vacation in Scandinavia does not mean that you will only meet descendants of Vikings, far from it! The latter came from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. There are several other ethnicities in the north. The Finns, for example, are not Scandinavians. They come from the Ural Mountains (now in Russia) marking the separation between Europe and Asia.
Their language is very different from those of their Germanic neighbors, and is similar to Saami, a language spoken by the eponymous populations of Lapland. This culture is very different: based on nomadism and reindeer herding, it is closer to nature. There are also the Kvenes of Norway, whose origins are similar to the Saami. So many cultures, customs, traditions and ways of life to discover!
More active vacations to keep fit
Even if it doesn’t freeze, at least not in summer, the temperatures aren’t adequate for days of lazing around either. And since nature is a spectacle in itself, why not take advantage of your Scandinavian vacation to get moving a little? Skiing and snowboarding are obviously the national sports, but there is still a choice in the summer.
The polar lands are a hiker’s paradise: on foot, by dog sled, on snowshoes, there is something for everyone. The cities (very trendy green) are full of cycle paths, and the places are also suitable for extreme sports and sailing. Something to get back in shape (and tanned) at the office!
If you like this article about vacation with the Vikings don’t hesitate to check our post about travel to Estonia!