Scandinavia, that place of fabled tales where thick rolling green forests meet smart chic cities, is a vast celebration of Nordic culture, cutting-edge design, dramatic fjords and woodland wonders. It’s a place where sunlight becomes perpetual every summer, seasons are proper, and the air is fresh and pure – and yes, a little bit magical. It’s no wonder that famed fairy-tale author Hans Christian Andersen was born in these enchanting northern lands, rich in manor houses, romantic castles and storybook lanes.
The Scandinavian Trio
Where exactly is Scandinavia? It’s a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian Peninsula that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. It’s long drawn travelers for its quaint cottage and café culture, Viking history, medieval fortresses and brilliant natural beauty – where else can you spot a roadside reindeer herd?
Danish Denizens of Design
Charmingly canal-lined, Copenhagen is so much more than Tivoli Gardens, pedestrian-friendly Strøget and the Little Mermaid statue. It’s full of both palaces and castles as well as Michelin-starred restaurants and avant-garde architecture and design. Much further north, Skagen will beguile you with its radiant light and windswept dunes – the perfect place to explore artists’ homes and connect with that quintessentially Danish sense of cozy contentment.
Suave Swedish Style
Stockholm is known for its inviting patchwork of island districts stitched together by bridges and ferries, and is home to some of the most compelling museums and art collections, not to mention fabulous, inventive cuisine. On a smaller scale, Gothenburg is an undeniably welcoming center of creative industry, especially music and fashion. Meanwhile, UNESCO-protected Visby makes for a fascinating step back in time with its medieval churches and narrowing winding lanes.
Norway’s Natural Drama
Overlooking a fjord and ringed by forests, lakes, hills and parks, Oslo will not only astound you with its natural surroundings during woodland walks and sailing adventures, but it will also delight you with its rich seafaring history and eye-catching architecture city-side. Further north on the western side of Norway, the dramatic UNESCO World Heritage site of Geirangerfjord steals the limelight with spectacular views and has been called “the most beautiful fjord in the world.”
Of course, the possibilities in this part of the world extend far beyond Scandinavia. Our voyages to Nordic and Baltic countries, the British Isles and many other Northern European destinations offer a tantalizing blend of culture, innovative cuisine, rich history and fascinating nature.