Home to spectacular natural wonders, outdoor adventures and regional delicacies like pickled herring, Scandinavia boasts some of the world’s most alluring countries that each have their own unique heritage and culture. From joining adrenaline-pumping activities to marveling the Northern Lights, this region of the world appeals to all types of travelers. Next time you’re visiting Sweden, Norway or Denmark make sure to put these adventures at the top of your itinerary.
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Gaze up at the Northern Lights in Norway (Nearby Hotels)
Certainly one of Scandinavia’s most beloved natural attractions, seeing the Northern Lights in person is a bucket list experience. Best seen from September through April, you can marvel at the psychedelic Aurora Borealis dance across the sky. Head to Tromso, Norway for some of the best views, where you can also join a wildlife expedition to spot orcas and humpbacks near Whale Island. The remote Swedish Lapland is another Northern Lights hotspot, where it’s possible to see it after a horseback riding or dog sledding adventure.
Sail the Fjords (Nearby Hotels)
Quite possibly the most spectacular way to explore Norway’s awe-inspiring landscapes, you can hop aboard slow cruises to see its landscapes up close. You’ll be able to explore the unique landscape that has been caused by geological erosion over thousands of years and take photographs that don’t do its natural beauty justice. Whether you spend a day or week sailing along Norway’s coastline, you’re sure to have a memorable adventure admiring its raw beauty. If you only see one fjord, make it the Geirangerfjord with its hiking trails and impressive waterfalls.
Step back in time in Visby (Nearby Hotels)
A walled city with a rich and well-preserved history, Visby is a former commercial outpost and UNESCO-listed city in the Baltic Sea. Immerse yourself in the 12th-century history by exploring its 200 preserved warehouses and merchant dwellings that showcase its Viking trading centre. To explore Visby you can head to the little island of Gotland in Sweden and learn about its rich medieval history.
Explore Kronborg Castle (Nearby Hotels)
One of the most famous Danish landmarks, Kronborg Castle is known from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Facing the sound between Elsinore and Helsing in Sweden, this notable piece of history boasts grand fortifications and bastions that protected the land and was used as a home for the royal family until the 1600s. Take a tour of the castle to admire its beautifully decorated rooms that feature renaissance and baroque interiors, or catch live drama performances in the open-air courtyard in summer.
Retreat to Lofoten Islands (Nearby Hotels)
Sitting in northwest Norway, Lofoten Islands takes an effort to reach its remote location. The isolated islands are north of the Arctic Circle and boast some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country. From steep mountain peaks to glacial waters, you’ll be impressed by its natural beauty, while the colorful fishing huts that line the shores create a picturesque backdrop. You can go canoeing, kayaking or hiking, while guides can show you the best spots for photography.
Meander through the Danish Royal Gardens (Nearby Hotels)
A must when exploring Denmark, the Danish Royal Gardens offers a tranquil retreat away from the city life. Start at The King’s Garden in Copenhagen by visiting the Rosenborg Castle where you can see the statue of Hans Christian Andersen, then walk past the church, garden and castle pond at the Horsholm Garden. Head to Hillerod to see the beautiful Renaissance and baroque gardens at Frederiksborg Castle, which date back to 1720 and features a national museum.
Drive the Atlantic Road (Nearby Hotels)
If you’re up for a scenic drive, get the car and plan a trip along Norway’s famous Atlantic Road. Curving its way through the archipelago of islands on the western coast, it links the islands together and is dotted with a dragon’s back, eight bridges and several viaducts. Watch as the waves crash over the road and stop along the way to admire the spectacular viewpoints.
Stay in an Ice Hotel (Nearby Hotels)
Truly a bucket list experience, staying in an ice hotel is unlike any other in the world. Chill out at this unique accommodation located in the small town of Jukkasjarvi in northern Sweden. You’ll find a collection of deluxe suites to choose from, which are built each year with ice blocks taken from a nearby river. The igloo-type rooms are adorned with colorful murals and ice statues that are created by local sculptors, while it won’t be hard to keep warm with the army issue sleeping bag and reindeer skin blankets. Sit back and gaze at the stars through your skylight.
Go hiking at Preikestolen (Nearby Hotels)
If you’re up for an adventurous hike, visit Preikestolen. Sitting under 2,000-feet-high, you can admire the glacial blue waters of the Lysefjord below by hiking up a steep path. Offering one of the most famous viewpoints in Norway, visit Preikestolen and stand on the edge to get the ultimate photo and soak up its natural beauty. Those who are weary about its challenges can sign up for guided hikes to traverse the three-hour trail.
Sit back on a sandy beach (Nearby Hotels)
Summertime in Scandinavia means you can enjoy soaking up the sunshine late into the day. Copenhagen’s Amager Beach offers an impressive view of Oresund Bridge and has pools fit for kids, while families also flock to Middelfart Marina on the Danish island of Funen. Bisnap Beach in Hals offers a picturesque shoreline with lots of room to stretch out, but if you’re looking for a peaceful beach walk then Bildsoe Beach is most likely what you’re after.
Ride the Korketrekkeren (Nearby Hotels)
Winter sports enthusiasts will delight with a visit to Korketrekkeren in Norway, which is considered the meanest toboggan run in Scandinavia. Shaped like a corkscrew, it is an ex-Olympic bobsled run that spans 1.2 miles and takes 10 minutes to reach the bottom. To get back to the top, you can take a 16-minute metro ride back up to Frognerseteren for another go. You can bring your own sled or rent one on-site, while beginners can sign up for sledding classes.