We have all gone through a tough year; 2020 has not been easy in any way for anyone. But nothing gives us more hope and gets us more excited than searching for new travel destinations and carefully making some travel lists of places to visit. It is that hope of experiencing new landscapes and cultures that shows that small light at the end of the tunnel. And Scandinavia should be high up on your list for the coming year, read on to figure out why.
Many of us have built a stronger connection to mother nature in the past year or have had a longing feeling of getting closer to nature. The uncertainty of the past year and the focus on being healthy has probably influenced that desire to have a stronger connection with what the earth provides us and it’s a beautiful phenomenon. Scandinavia bursts of places of natural beauty, varying from the south to the north greatly. Especially due to the long-stretched shape of Norway and Sweden, there are many different landscapes to be found between the south and the north.
To find that connection with mother nature in the coming year, here are our recommendations:
Denmark is filled with many beautiful beaches and extraordinary coastlines. Top picks are to go hiking at Møns klint and discover the interesting most northern point of Denmark at the beaches of Skagen. Møns klint, located on the small island of Møn, is a coastline of chalk cliffs, think small version of cliffs of Moher in Ireland but then entirely clad in white chalk. The highest point of the cliff has a drop of 128 meters down to the Baltic sea. This 6km long coastline will provide for some great and easy hikes.
The second spot to discover in Denmark is the most northern point of the country, extremely close to Sweden. The north part of the island Jutland provides a coastline that ends in two seas meeting but not mixing, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, or locally better known as the Skagerrak (North) and Kattegat (Baltic) seas. This amazing phenomenon of the two seas not mixing is due to a different level of density, temperature, and salinity in the seas, which creates an incredibly unusual separating barrier keeping the seas apart. And if you are lucky enough you might even pass some seals sunbathing on the stretch of sand while enjoying the walk along the coast.
When talking and thinking about Norway the first thing that comes up in everyone’s mind are those majestic fjords, and for good reason since they truly are a bucket list item to visit. For nature seekers wanting to absorb Norway’s nature, the fjords need to be visited and the best places to go hiking would be Preikestolen, Hornelen, and Trolltunga. Preikestolen, literally translated to “The Preachers Chair” is a majestic cliff with a steep drop of at least 600 meters down to sea level. It is also possible to arrange a guided tour through the night at the Preikestolen to avoid groups of other tourists.
Both the Hornelen and Trolltunga hikes rise even higher above the sea and provide for some jaw-dropping views and scenery. The Trolltunga hike is for more experienced hikers and recommended to do with a personal guide, which is a plus since you can ask your guide all ins and outs of Norway’s culture and traditions! Besides the great fjords, the north of Norway is a fantastic place to visit for spotting some arctic animals! Think whale watching and the quirky but amazing puffins, part of the penguin family and the only bird that can both swim and fly. Visit the area’s of Lofoten or Tromsø to plan your whale watching experience and book a private boat with guide to really be sure to go to the right spots and have that exclusivity of seeing these wonderous animals jump out from the water.
Lastly, Sweden! Filled with forests for most of the country and an amazing archipelago surrounding the capital city. Of course, throughout the northern parts of Scandinavia you might have a chance to spot the Northern Lights that so far have not been mentioned in this blog post. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a truly magical phenomenon, and make you believe in higher powers if you did not already. Recommended is to not entirely plan a visit to Scandinavia around seeing the Northern Lights, since you cannot demand anything from mother nature, and it will never be a promise you will go home having seen these green rays dancing over the nights sky. However, as long as you are in the arctic circle between the months of November- March there is a good chance you might be able to absorb this magical moment.
Then the Swedish Archipelago, often called the Venice of the North, is one of the most idyllic places if you are able to rent yourself a private lodge on the water. Contrasting to its neighboring country Denmark with its many sandy beaches, the Swedish archipelago is mostly consisted out of rock formations and cliffs. Soaking in the views of the archipelago from your private jetty is in itself a nature experience, and if that’s not enough rent yourself a private boat to tour through the 30.000 islands to really understand why this place is called the Venice of the North.
The coming year we will most probably still have to keep much distance from each other and from bigger crowds and this is something that needs to be taken into consideration when planning your next holiday. Doing so, in combination with going to places where many outdoor activities can be planned can turn out into a fantastic holiday you would otherwise spend walking through crowded shopping streets. Scandinavia has many options of renting your own private cabin to truly stay isolated from other guests and in this way we suggest: add Scandinavia on your post-COVID travel list!
Simone Kruithof is a Partner at Scandinavian Hospitality. Scandinavian Hospitality specializes in luxury villa rentals in the Nordics, bringing a five-star level of service to the privacy of your vacation home, and representing some of the most extraordinary homes in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.