The Brits continue to show a strong appetite for all things Scandinavian, I mean who hasn’t got some IKEA furniture these days? But how about actually visiting; options include idyllic island escapes, lakeside retreats, incredible train journeys and picturesque coastal drives.
Discover the World has just launched its first full scale summer programme to Norway, Sweden and Finland. Here’s what’s on offer.
Flight accessibility to Scandinavia is now better than it has ever been with even more route options and good value flights. Accommodation is usually of a high standard and you can also expect to dine well with the freshest seafood and organically grown produce playing an important part in Scandinavian cuisine.
From the fells of Lapland in the far north to the laid back archipelagos further south, unspoiled Lakelands in the south east of Finland and the buzzing capital cities of the region, this programme aims to offer a comprehensive range of cultural, relaxing and active holiday options for couples, families and friends.
Island Escapades (Sweden & Finland)
Possibly one of Scandinavia’s best kept secrets, the beautiful island hideaways of Koster, Åland and the Stockholm Archipelago have become increasingly accessible with excellent sea and air connections, and a superb choice of accommodation. The Koster Islands in West Sweden’s Kosterhavet Marine National Park offer the perfect maritime idyll.
Try an underwater snorkelling nature trail, cycle between rural hamlets on the vehicle free roads, try your luck lobster fishing or simply enjoy the secluded bays and sandy beaches.
Countryside Escapes (Finland)
It is a tradition for Finns to escape city life whenever possible and as a result, Finland offers an extensive choice of traditional and contemporary holiday villas in stunning lakeside locations.
Built to a very high standard with all modern creature comforts, most of the properties on a Countryside Escape offer that quintessential Finnish feature – a sauna – and are located within close proximity to water-based activities, hiking and cycling. Enjoy the ‘everyman’s right’ to hike freely, swim or fish in the lakes and even forage for berries or mushrooms.
Anttolanhovi is a collection of art & design villas located near the village of Anttola in Finland. The villas integrate art with everyday household items and natural materials resulting in a contemporary look with minimal ecological footprint. Consider also Lakeland & Eastern Finland for its unspoiled nature, wildlife-spotting (capercaillie, moose, bear, lynx and wolves roam freely here) and numerous water-based activities from white water rafting to wild swimming and kayaking.
Incredible Train Journeys (Norway)
With its striking mountain and fjord scenery, Norway is home to some of the most exciting train journeys in the world. The Over the Roof of Norway tour strikes out from Oslo to Bergen, changing at Myrdal to experience the famous Corkscrew Railway. This 20km track twists and turns from 865m above sea level down to Flåm by the shores of Aurlandsfjord.
Midnight Sun (Lapland)
The midnight sun glows over Lapland during the Arctic summer and now you can experience the best of this Sami heartland on a 14-night self-drive itinerary. It’s great for walking, fishing, cycling and canoeing, Above the Arctic Circle is a comprehensive exploration of Lapland’s lakes, fjords and national parks providing a lovely backdrop to the sweeping open roads. From the lakes and forests of Finland, venture north to the rugged mountains of northern Norway and marvel at the prehistoric rock carvings at Alta.
Stand on the North Cape and look out to where the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans meet and explore the beautiful island of Senja with its fine white beaches.Abisko Mountain Station.
Scandinavian countries are closely linked with relaxed border controls and excellent air, road and rail links meaning multi-centre holidays are possible. Capitals of Scandinavia is a ten-night break taking in all four of the chic coastal cities – Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. Marvel at incredible architecture, delve into colourful history and maritime influences, and enjoy the many beautiful parks and waterways these cities offer in abundance.
If any of the above ideas have taken your fancy (and they have ours) you can get more information and request a copy of a new Scandinavia Summer brochure by calling 01737 214291 or visit www.discover-the-world.co.uk/scandinavia.