Scandinavian Sojourn: Experience the Incredible

Scandinavia has so much to offer, that it is a veritable heaven on earth. With stunning coastlines that are amongst the most picturesque in Europe interspersed with lush parklands, shimmering waterways, medieval centres and world-class museums together with innovative, modern architecture – it is no surprise that it is one of the world’s most stunning travel destinations.

From proposals, to elopements, from all-inclusive wedding celebrations to exclusive honeymoons, whether you are setting off on a backpacking adventure, a family fiesta or a relaxing holiday- its time to pack your bag and make this trip!!!

#Bucketlist #Placestovisit

SWEDEN:

Sweden! The word conjures up images of stunning blondes, legendary Vikings and mind-blowing landscapes. It is a wonderfully multifaceted country, replete with untouched archipelagos, incredible design and architecture coupled with coastal islands, inland lakes, vast arboreal forests and breathtaking glaciated mountains.  Both summers and winters have a distinct offering that would behoove you to explore. (Think the midnight sun and the stunning Aurora Borealis to mention the least) However, a unique destination you must make you way to is the ICEHOTEL, rebuilt every winter, in the tiny town of Jukkasjärvi, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. The ICEHOTEL also has a permanent structure that includes luxury suites with private saunas as well as independent art suites that are sculpted by select artists, an ice gallery and even an ice bar to boot!

Insider Recommendation: Get married here. Chase the northern lights. Try ice sculpting, ice fishing, sleighing, a snowmobile safari or even moose watching!

Fun Fact: Despite being a military power in the 17th century and one of the world’s largest producers of weapons, Sweden has not participated in any war for almost two centuries, including both world wars.

 

NORWAY:

The beloved land of the midnight sun is blessed with a multitude of gorgeous fjords and spectacular views. ‘Powered by nature’, Norway is an adventurer’s paradise. You can kayak through waterfalls and paddle amongst coastal islands; you can wild camp at historical sites every night and even hike into verdant mountains.  While there is no guarantee that you will see the northern lights, they dance across the sky in alluring green and white drapes of light, shifting in intensity and are visible throughout the wintery nights from October to March. If you are lucky enough to see them, it is an experience that will live with you forever.

Insider Recommendation: A fjord cruise is an experience of a lifetime and we guarantee that you will be awestruck at the fjords sheer size and grandeur from the water level! Akker Brygge in Oslo has excellent dining options.

Fun Fact: In Norway, you can buy alcoholic beverages only from stores named Vinmonopolet. There are only two in each city, and none in the countryside.

 

DENMARK:

Scandinavia’s greatest little kingdom has something for everyone. Well known for its architecture and lush natural environs, Denmark allows you to choose from incredible boutique design hotels that compliment your individuality to castles and manors that let you treat yourself like royalty, allowing you to relax in the lap of luxury; from quaint country side resorts and spa resorts to elegant hotels in classic Danish designs. You can choose to meet and interact with other travelers and backpackers at one of their many hostels or explore the scenic Danish country side at the many campsites where you can sit back and relax.

Insider Recommendation: For the literary enthused, head on over to Odnese, the largest city on Fynn, which is the childhood home of the world-famous fairy-tale writer – Hans Christian Anderson! Do you still wonder where he got his inspiration?

Fun Fact: Danes have a special word “hygge” for that cozy feeling of togetherness. It means relaxing in great company.

 

LATVIA:

In the recent past, Latvia has nabbed a spot on many a travelers’ itineraries as a ‘budget party destination’ in stark contrast to its incredible natural beauty. Immerse your senses in its pristine forests, medieval castles, pastoral villages and wonderfully sandy beaches. Old Town in Latvia is a UNESCO protected area bursting with architectural masterpieces. Visit ‘The Three Brothers’ a 15th, 16th and 17th century house lined up against each other, whilst taking in the dynamic architecture. In Riga, the landscape evolves depending upon the part of town you walk through – prepare yourself for a vibrant mix of architectural styles and interesting cat statues – ranging from the wooden to art nouveau and from Modern to Gothic. Visit the House of the Blackheads and the Freedom Monument and The Museum of Occupation.

Insider Recommendation: This Baltic hotspot has a host of possibilities, starting at Jurmalas Spa – Resorts to culminating in Riga – The city of Art Deco. Don’t miss out on the Black Balsam – a herbal elixir made from pure Vodka! Priekā!

Fun Fact: The region was historically known as Lettland, and the people were called the Letts or Lettish people.

 

ESTONIA:

Another feather in the Baltic regions cap is Estonia, a country in the Gulf of Finland that encompasses more than 1,500 islands and has a diverse terrain spanning many lakes, rocky beaches and dense forests. It is speckled with castles, churches, hilltop fortresses and museums. Extremely accessible, you can fly, sail, ride or drive to Estonia from anywhere in Europe. Owing to its proximity to Finland and Russia, you will find a wonderful mix of different cultures that influence the lifestyle of the country.

Insider Recommends: Explore the unusual in Estonia. From the KGB Museum to the Rummu Underwater Prison (where convicts were once forced to work); from the Kaali Meteorite Crater Field (Legend has it that it housed an ancient cult) to Tuhala Witch’s Well – a disappearing geyser!! Don’t miss the Pähni Megaphones – a trio of giant wooden megaphones that turn up nature’s song in a remote Estonian forest. The list is endless and so exciting. Are you ready to reconnoiter?

Fun Fact: Estonia is about 50% forest

 

LITHUANIA:

Last on this list, but not to be taken lightly – Lithuania is definitely worth a visit. Vilnius, the capital of this Baltic gem stands out as the northern European center of baroque. It is located bang in the center of Europe and has bountiful scenic beauty – enough to be regarded as one giant film set! Lithuania is a country best known for its architecture, history, nature, handicrafts, festivals and food.

Insider Recommends: Make a trip to explore half the Curonian Spit, a 61-mile strip of sand dunes that keeps the Curonian from the Baltic Sea. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is home to the highest moving sand dunes in Europe, with an average height of 35 metres and some stretching up to 60 metres.

Fun Fact: The country has its own aroma, called ‘the Scent of Lithuania’, with notes of wild flowers, ginger, raspberry, sandalwood and musk. Now you know the scent of this nation!

 

About SNE Northern Europe:
SNE Northern Europe is an up-scale DMC with offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and representational offices in the Baltics. SNE takes great pride in creating bespoke, memorable and unique experiences for their clients and the possibilities that they can craft for you are outstanding. To book incredible experiences and know more reach out to them on http://www.sne-northerneurope.eu/ or call on +46 8 410 90 710 and have a glorious sojourn.

 

Photo Credits In Order Of Appearance:

@asafkliger

DK Photography

@hegnaphotography

@foodtravel_lilife

@sussi_schmidt

@najlepsi_clovek

@deux_itchy_feet

Capricon Travels

Tõnu Tunnel

Janek Alliksaar

@angilo1992

iStockphoto/Jean Assell