The mere word Scandinavia leads to a wealth of images and connotations. From fascinating fjords and evergreen forests to endless wilderness and spectacular scenery, Scandinavia has managed to become one of Europe’s most enticing and adventurous travel destination. Positioned close to the Arctic Circle and packed with cosmic northern lights, the region is just breathtaking regardless of the season.
Scandinavia’s seasons are extreme – it’s either really cold or mild. There’s no real summer here; and yet some people love this place just the way it is. The countries that comprise this beautiful region are Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark. All of them are unique in their very own way. Enjoy the “real” Scandinavian region by checking out these amazing destinations.
Scandinavia is a country for those who love adventure, although it is also a fascinating place for those who prefer a slightly slower pace of life. The off-season can be a very cheap time to travel to this country, most airlines will offer fifty percent discounts on their normal fares. Of course, the off-season does see temperatures of well below zero and only between two and four hours of sunlight a day! But, to fully experience the real Scandinavia you must visit these places in the winter:
Breathtaking Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are additionally known by the name Aurora Borealis; the closer you get to the magnetic poles the better you will be able to see this amazing light display. The sky is full of reds, greens and yellows; a sight that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Polar Nights & Arctic Sunsets
In the middle of winter it is possible to get a polar night; the sun never actually rises above the horizon! The landscape is covered with an eerie glow and you will remember the experience forever. The lack of sunlight has been known to trigger depression in the locals after several days, so don’t stay too long! As for the Arctic sunsets, these are a mixture of the clear cold air and the sun barely peeking over the horizon; which create some of the lost spectacular sunsets in the world; even if they are in the early afternoon.
Winter Activities – Skiing, Dog Sledding, Snowboarding
Scandinavia is a fantastic place to enjoy some world class skiing; whether you enjoy cross-country, downhill or even prefer a little snowboarding there will be somewhere to practice. Alongside this it is possible to go dog sledding; sign up to a three or four day tour and be guided through the back roads, across icy terrain and even massive frozen lakes. Add an extra element of excitement by taking part in a dog sled race! The dog sled is a piece of history and still remains one of the most efficient and effective ways of travelling across the ice.
Scandinavia is the heart of reindeer land. It is possible to go in a wildlife safari and see hundreds of reindeer, alongside elk, foxes and polar bears. The truly adventurous can see these magnificent creatures up close by using a snow mobile and exploring the fjords and canyons. There are even traditional; working reindeer farms to visit and stay at.
Ice Racing – More Challenging than Meets the Eye
Driving on ice is a tricky skill to master, but in parts of Scandinavia it has developed into races across huge parts of the frozen landscape. Aside from the obvious crashes caused by losing control of their cars, some unfortunate drivers lose their cars to the icy waters when they underestimate the thickness of the ice.
Burrow a hole thorough the ice and drop a line in to see what you can catch! Finland’s Lapland is an ideal spot for Ice Fishing. Adventurous travelers will have the chance to catch pike, trout, burbot, grayling, and more. So if this is your passion and you’re not scared of a little cold, then go ahead and give ice fishing a try.
Admiring the Ice Palaces
Every year giant ice palaces are built and are open between December and March. There are hotels, bars, restaurants and even a chapel to say a quick ‘I do’. Some hotels are booked well in advance so make sure you have somewhere to stay. The Ice Hotel in Sweden is worth checking out. Apart from a spectacular architecture, the edifice is quite a comfortable accommodation facility.
Live with the Sami
There are approximately 80,000 native Sami living in Scandinavia and it is possible to experience their lifestyle and culture. You can spend time with them on their farms, try their traditional food and even sleep in traditional wigwams.
Just three hours away from the capital of Sweden is Jokkmokk, the site of the famous market which showcases everything from the ancient Sami culture; it is an experience that must be seen once in your lifetime. There are also a host of Christmas markets which run Scandinavia 2016 holidays through December and allow you to experience traditional food and drink.are there real stripper conventions?, northern alaska lights, restaurants open christmas eve in Lancaster county pa