Amidst mighty medieval, morphological and cultural connections lay the vast terrain of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. In the general run of things, kingdoms of Norway, Denmark and Sweden form Scandinavia, and broadly its territory also expands to Åland Islands, the Peninsula of the Faroe Islands in Finland, and Iceland. The more widespread inclusion is comparable to Nordic countries, including Svalbard and Jan Mayen, the detached Norwegian islands and Greenland, an integral range within Denmark.
Each of these countries is either listed as the richest, the happiest or the most advanced in the world. My travels across Scandinavia introduced me to its eternal quality of comfort, and here is what you can expect when you traverse across the soul of Scandinavia, the four best countries in the world to look out for!
Beset by countless islands, Denmark is North’s unedifying soul, and Copenhagen, its reputable capital and the most-visited city introduces you to its many danish ways. Most trips to Denmark commence at Copenhagen, where you can visit the Royal Palace, Tivoli, the world’s oldest amusement park, Nyhavn harbour, the iconic Little Mermaid statue and the half-timbered houses across the medieval cobbled streets.
Being a comprehensive mix of old-world charm and adapted modernism, Copenhagen is an embodiment of pristine newness that prefaces varying characters of Danish culture. From Copenhagen, drive to Dragør, the quiet Amager island town with colourful thatched houses dating back to the 12th century. Or take on a countryside trip to explore the 8th-century-town of Ribe, the oldest existing community in Denmark. Other interesting places in Denmark are Aalborg, Aarhus, Bornholm, Elsinore, Odense, Roskilde, Skagen and Varde.
I encountered Finland in summer when the streets are packed with inspiring experiences, wrapped in pure Finnish air. Finland’s coalition of wilderness, modern designs and gastronomic excellence get even more enchanting during its persuasive summers. The country explodes into life during its short-lived summer. I commenced my trip in Helsinki, further progressing to its depths on a cruise. Finland, with its mounting forests flecked by, spectacular lakes has some of the best hiking, kayaking and canoeing spots of Europe.
Irrespective of where you go, entire Finland is well-marked with nature trails running across an excellent network of national parks and nature-watching points. Summer is also the time when you can attend art exhibitions, music festivals and lake cruises that sail across secluded waterside cottages. In Helsinki, visit the Rock Church, the Sibelius monument, Moomin theme park, town hall, Presidential palace, Finlandia Hall, market square, various national parks and the 18th-century Suomenlinna sea fortress. I have heard that the magical winters are just as enchanting!
Norway is my favourite Scandinavian country for many reasons. But one reason why I love it so much is because of the compassion I discovered here. Norwegians are warm, affectionate and helpful people, and I think their approach towards life is, what makes them the happiest of all. Besides, Norway is a country abundant in natural resources, which readily improves, its quality of living like the quality of its air. Encircled by gigantic ice glaciers and mountains, dramatic landscapes and extensive coastal fjords, Norway unfolds like a fairy tale at every corner.
If it’s your first visit to the country, a Norway in a Nutshell tour will be the right pick to explore its most charming sites. It’s a trip that begins at the centuries-old harbour town of Bergen and ends at its modern capital, Oslo. In between, you sail across the world’s longest and narrowest fjords, dine at the countries remote villages and make friends with like-minded travellers from around the world. When in Norway, stay at a tiny colourful wooden house and partake in hiking, fishing or skiing, depending on the season.
Alike other Scandinavian countries, Sweden is also famous for its thousands of inland lakes and coastal islands. Stockholm, the renowned Swedish capital, was my first stop. Beset by glaciated mountains and boreal forests, this city, built on 14 islands, is a sweet surprise with its cobbled streets and magnanimous architectural wonders.
Interlinked by 50 bridges, Stockholm puts the world’s largest spherical building Globen arena, Swedish royal palace, Nobel prize venue, Gamla stan and medieval old towns on display for its visitors. Experience Stockholm’s gastronomy culture at its local markets, harbourside cafes and creative bar-restaurants such as the Absolut Ice Bar.