Scandinavia: 10 Bucket List Experiences
There is so much to do and see in Scandinavia, from sleepy villages and sophisticated cities, to stunning fjords and mountains ranges, it can be hard to decide the best places to visit, particularly when you have limited time.
These are our picks for the best experiences in Scandinavia.
1. Drive along the wild Atlantic Road
The Atlantic Road, known as ‘The Road in the Ocean’ has been called the world’s most beautiful drive and has been voted the “Norwegian construction of the century”. The road connects the island of Averøy with the mainland via a series of small islands and islets spanned by a total of eight bridges over 8,274 metres.
2. Stay in the heart of beautiful Bergen
Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, was founded over 900 years ago with roots to the Viking Age and beyond. The very first buildings were situated in Bryggen, now a world heritage site consisting of the old Hanseatic wharf and buildings. The colourful façade of Bryggen is home to many of the city’s restaurants, pubs, craft shops and historical museums.
3. Ride the Flam Railway, one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys
The Flåm Railway is a spectacular train journey travelling 20 kilometres between Myrdal and Flåm in Norway. Along the way you can see rivers that cut through deep ravines, waterfalls cascading down the side of steep, snow-capped mountains and farms clinging dizzily to sheer slopes. The Flåm Railway makes a photo stop at the beautiful Kjosfossen waterfall.
4. The Lofoten Islands, a photographer’s dream
The Lofoten Islands are known for dramatic mountains, deep fjords, sheltered beaches and picturesque villages. Located in the Norwegian Sea, far above the Arctic Circle, one of the best ways to explore the islands is by boat. Be sure to visit the Lofotr Viking Museum which offers a glimpse of life in Viking times.
5. Explore the old town of Stavanger
Stavanger’s old city centre offers Norway’s best preserved wooden house settlement, consisting of more than 170 white wooden houses. You will also find colourful restaurants and cafes along the waterfront, ideal for a relaxing drink. Within walking distance is the city’s many museums, such as the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, Stavanger Art Museum and the Norwegian Canning Museum.
6. See the iconic Pulpit Rock
Climbing to the top of Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) by the Lysefjord is one of Norway’s most popular hiking trips. The hike takes about 4 hours return, including a stop at the top. You can also view the famous Pulpit Rock on a cruise to the Lysefjord. On the fjord cruise you will be able to see mighty mountains, waterfalls, colonies of seals and secluded farms.
7. Visit Copenhagen, the home of Hans Christian Anderson
One of Europe’s oldest cities, the stylish Danish capital features progressive modern architecture, stunning palaces, Michelin starred restaurants, pretty canals and cobblestoned streets. Nyhavn, once home to author Hans Christian Anderson, is a popular waterfront district lined by brightly coloured 17th century townhouses, bars and restaurants – ideal for a bite to eat after a day of exploring.
8. Sail along the dramatic Norwegian coast
The Hurtigruten cruise along the west coast of Norway, north of Bergen, is regarded as one of the most iconic travel routes in the world. Along the route you will visit many seaside ports, see more than 100 fjords including the stunning Gerainger fjord, and cross the Artic Circle. Travellers can travel from port to port or select from cruises ranging from 6 to 12 days.
9. Take in the incredible views along the Trolls Path
Trollstrigen (Trolls Path) is one of the most famous scenic drives in Norway and is known for its 11 thrilling hairpin bends and steep 9% gradient. The 55-kilometre route twists and climbs through a mountainous terrain of waterfalls, fjords, tunnels and lakes. According to Norwegian folk legend, trolls roam through the mountains of Trollstigen every night, but change to stone when they are hit by sunlight each morning.
10. Discover the museums and parks of Oslo
Oslo is Norway’s largest city and is known for its green spaces, captivating landmarks like the Opera House and great museums. Many of these are on the Bygdøy Peninsula, including the waterside Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Viking Ship Museum, with Viking ships from the 9th century. Worth visiting is the Vigeland Park, the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist.
Tick off this bucket list on our exciting new ‘Scandinavia, In the Footsteps of Vikings’ tour