Scandinavian countries

Scandinavian countries

Dive in to the history of these three charming Scandinavian countries and take in the great outdoors along the way. From Helsinki’s bays, bridges & islands, to the wild natural settings of Finland’s Nuuksio National Park, to cosmopolitan Stockholm, beautiful Gothenburg, and charming Copenhagen – explore three countries with three distinctive identities.

Boating in Stockholm’s archipelago is an exquisite summertime activity not to be missed. Rent a sailboat or wooden boat, paddle through the city, and explore Stockholm’s unique character from the water.

Scandi culture, charming capitals Nordic cuisines, wild outdoors Break in to a sweat in a traditional Finnish sauna in Helsinki and take a dip in one of the public baths.

See where the Nobel Prize is awarded at Stockholm’s City Hall, and catch the panoramic view from its 348-foot tower.

Have a steam at the 19th century Hagabadet (bathhouse) in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city.

Day 1 & 2 - Helsinki, attractions and sightseeing

Have a taste of Finland at the Old Market Hall on Helsinki’s waterfront. The harbour is the heart of the city. Watch the giant ferries glide into port – it is a defining memory and an essential Helsinki experience.See the beauty of this stunning Nordic city on a sightseeing tour with live commentary from a knowledgeable guide.The city tour takes in the most interesting parts of Helsinki, such as the historical centre with Senate Square, the Presidential Palace, City Hall, the Parliament building, Finlandia Hall and the Opera House.Marvel at curvaceous and quirky metallic Kiasma – an elegant contemporary building and a symbol of the city’s modernization.Learn about traditional Finland at the Seurasaaren Ulkomuseo island museum with a collection of historic traditional houses, manors and outbuildings transferred here from around Finland.Relax with a sauna and swim at the Yrjonkadun Uimahalli art deco baths – a fusion of soaring Nordic elegance and Roman tradition.Take your pick of bars and clubs in cool downtown Helsinki. The Arctic Icebar is carved out of ice, including tables and bars.Get to know Helsinki’s new Design District – there are over 60 home decoration and gift shops, numerous fashion shops & boutiques, lots of jewellery and antique shops, as well as two leading design museums – the Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture. Tuck in to delicious Finnish cuisine at one of the many restaurants here – based on fresh and natural ingredients, Finnish food is typified by simplicity and purity of taste, with lots of delicious fresh fish including perch, whitefish, salmon, crayfish and Baltic herring.

 

Day 2 & 3 - Wilderness outdoor trip to Nuuksio National Park

Within easy reach of the Finnish capital you can escape into wild natural settings and enjoy beautiful Finnish scenery, with lovely lakes, green forests and rugged crags. Pack up your backpack and take one of the circular trails in the National Park that start and end in front of the Haukkalampi Nature Information Hut. Choose from 2km, 4km or 8km trails that pass by small lakes and ponds, wonderful valley scenery, mossy spruce forests, and beautiful heathland – and see lots of flora and fauna along the way.Visit a nature centre that showcases some of the jewels of Finnish nature and see exhibitions about the flora and fauna of Nuuksio and the capital region.Enjoy some fishing on one of the many lakes, or go birdwatching – there’s a birdwatching tower by Lake Matalajarvi. Pick berries and mushrooms and treat yourself to Nuuksio’s tasty bilberries, lingonberries and yellowfoot chanterelles.There are around 30km of cycling routes in the park, so hop on a bike and explore on two wheels, or relax on horseback – there are lots of bridle paths too.

 

Day 4 & 5  - Stockholm attractions and sightseeing

Fly to Stockholm, Sweden’s glittering archipelago capital.Explore Stockholm, a stunning mix of old and new architecture with a vibrant city feel, surrounded by shimmering blue water and an archipelago of around 24,000 islands.Have fun squeezing through Sweden’s narrowest alleyway in the Old Town – Gamla Stan, great for shopping too.Be transported up 130 metres in a glass gondola to the top of the Ericsson Globe, the views of the city and its islands are spectacular.And marvel at the 600-room Royal Palace, sitting atop the Gamla Stan, where tapestries, arms and armour, and the crown jewels are on display. And witness Viking history at the Vasa museum.Visit Uppsala and Sigtuna, two nearby ancient cities, full of charming wooden buildings.Take advantage of extra daylight and stay out late at one of the city’s nightclubs, they’re open until 3am.

 

Day 6 & 7 - Gothenburg – attractions & sightseeing

There is lots of history and culture to soak up in Gothenburg. The city boasts a fine opera house and theatre and you will find one of the country’s best art museums, as well as a fantastic applied-arts museum. Soak up the history of the city too, from the ancient port that gave the city its start, to the 19th century factory buildings and workers’ houses that helped to put it on the map.If you’re looking for nature, the wild-west coast and the tame green fields are both within striking distance.Taste the local cuisines at many of the fine restaurants here – many serve the traditional and rustic Swedish homely fare called ‘husmanskost’, and enjoy world-class fish and shellfish.A must-visit is the historic bath-house – the Hagabladet, that dates to the end of the 19th century – enjoy the pool, massages, and a roman bath, that are all made the more impressivie by beautiful architecture.Walk around the Horticultural Society Park that has wonderful tree-lined paths and 5,000 roses – it’s a flower-lover’s dream. And visit Gota Place, in the centre of town, that is marked by an exquisite statue of Poseidon holding a codfish.Rent yourself a Canadian canoe at Delsjon in the east of the city. Paddle to your heart’s content, stop off for picnics, explore the surrounding forest and discover both lakes – Stora and Lilla Delsjon. Or why not navigate Gothenburg’s canals all the way out to the city’s southern archipelago?

 

Day 8 & 9 - Copenhagen – sightseeing & attractions

Explore Copenhagen on foot - the city is small and compact.Take in three royal palaces – the 18th century Amalienborg Palace and square with is four impressive rococo buildings, the beautiful medieval fortification of Kastellet set in a peaceful green oasis, and the magnificent renaissance Rosenborg Castle.A network of bridges and drawbridges connects the two main islands of the city. Don’t miss the Nationalmuseet – set inside an 18th century royal residence with exhibits on stone age and Vikings. And visit the vibrant Tivoli Gardens – an amusement park created in 1840.Start your fairytale tour at the statue of The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen Harbour. For over 100 years, she has impressed visitors on her rock and is the most photographed statue in Denmark.Colourful Nyhavn, overlooking the bustling harbour in Copenhagen’s centre, is where Hans Christian Andersen spent most of his life living in three different houses – nos. 18, 20 and 67 - and writing many famous tales. No. 9. Nyhavn, is the oldest house dating back to 1681, Relax over dinner at one of the cosy restaurants in the harbour and rest your feet at the quayside.The 17th century Round Tower in Copenhagen is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe and the views of the city from here are extraordinary. See the library hall where Hans Christian Andersen would sit and write his fairy tales.Stop off at Fairy Tale House in Copenhagen - an interactive museum with hand-written manuscripts, live readings and Hans Christian Andersen’s study.

 

Day 10 - Depart

Breakfast at the hotel Check-out from the hotel.

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