Latest post from Travel Ambassador Enora, blogger at A Frog On The Run
When you think about summer holidays, you probably imagine hot temperatures, white sand beaches and cocktails. But summer is also the perfect time of the year to visit colder countries, while the mild weather makes it much more enjoyable. Dare to go a different way this September: go up North!
Now I have to admit, I am in love with the Nordic countries. The magnificent landscapes, the fresh and tasty food, the wild nature, the colourful architecture, there’s nothing not to enjoy there. Well, apart from the weather…maybe.That’s why summer is the perfect season to take a trip to Finland, Sweden, Norway or Denmark!
Sea, islands, colourful architecture and vibrant city life, Helsinki has it all.
In Summer, day light lasts almost all day and all night, the sun setting around midnight to come back around 1.30 a.m. That makes it a great excuse to stay out and enjoy the city by night.
By day, Helsinki has a lot to offer: from visiting cathedrals, to relaxing in a sauna or taking a trip to one of its remote islands, the city is perfect for a weekend away as much as for a full week holiday. Visit the cathedral and take postcards-like pictures, or jump on a boat and discover the island of Suomenlinna and its fortress: the view from the boat and from the island is simply breathe-taking.
If you fancy a weekend away in the countryside, Finland is definitely the place to be. Put on your trekking shoes and discover its forest, camp by a lake, and enjoy a nice little sauna in the middle of nowhere, followed by a plunge in the cold lake as the Finns do. In some places, you can even follow a guide that will take you to watch bears and other wild animals in their natural habitat.
Stockholm, its 14 islands, its colourful architecture and its rich history will, without a doubt, blow your mind. In Stockholm, water is everywhere. That makes it a great reason to jump on a boat or rent a kayak and explore it in the most magical way ! Between the local foods, the museums and the islands you can visit, Stockholm cannot be missed.
If you prefer to indulge, try the local foods and delicacies, then head straight to Gothenburg : the city, located in West Sweden, is the culinary capital of the country. Of course, you’ll have to love fish and sea fruits…
Fancy camping in the forest, picking your own berries and mushrooms, and truly enjoying the wild nature ? Then Sweden is the place to be : everyone has full access to the outdoors, even if that means camping on private property. You can freely enjoy everything that nature has to offer there, as long as you care for it and respect it, of course.
We could not talk about Norway without mentioning the infamous Fjords. Formed during the Ice Age, the landscape in the Fjord region is truly breathe-taking : picture waterfalls, mountains and pure wilderness.
Discover local traditions by visiting small villages and communities, enjoy the unique taste of its fresh and wild fruits and fish, and go whale-watching : the fjords offer you nature like you’ve never seen it before.
Did you know? The Fjord region is also home to Norway’s largest cities, making it very easy to switch from wild nature and time spent reflecting on the meaning of life (you know, as you do when you’re lost in the middle of nowhere), to busy city life, cafes and restaurants, in just a short drive. A perfect combination for a holiday to remember !
Flying to Norway? Take some time to visit Oslo! A vibrant city, combining art, first class restaurants and museums. With a very relaxed way of living (although it is a capital city), you will find it relaxing.
Alternative Summer Destination #4: Denmark
Head South to Denmark, one Nordic country that is full of surprises, especially if you visit both sides of it. Denmark is cut in half by the sea, and both sides look so different from each other.
On the right side of the country, the one close to Sweden, you will find Copenhagen, and a countryside that looks perhaps a bit more « typical » Nordic for a tourist, because it looks much more like… well, Sweden.
Copenhagen, its colourful streets, its seaside and its little mermaid, is perfect for a weekend away. The centre of the capital city is small enough to be easily explored by foot. Visit the hippie quarter, Christiania, or enjoy a picnic in King’s Garden !
On the other side of the country, you will find Aarhus, the second biggest city of Denmark, also located by the sea and surrounded by nature and countryside.
To truly enjoy the country, rent a car and follow the coast, the breathe-taking views and the wildness of the countryside will make it a trip to remember!