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Visit Stockholm

Why You’ll Love Spectacular Scandinavia

 Steve McKenna head shot
by Steve McKenna

September 18, 2017

4 minute read

With their vibrant cities and rich Viking heritage, stunning natural beauty and incredible flair for design, Denmark, Sweden and Norway have oodles to offer any traveller. Collette's Spectacular Scandinavia adventure lets you savour the region's highlights on scenic coach journeys and cruises, train rides and walking tours, while treating you to smorgasbords of traditional and new Nordic cuisine. And with tours taking place from late northern spring to early autumn (May-October), you'll get longer daylight hours to marvel at the sights. Here are the stand-outs from the 13-day itinerary.

Copenhagen

cope

Things kick off in the fairy-tale Danish capital, with a welcome dinner and a guided city tour that showcases impressive landmarks such as the Amalienborg Palace, residence of Denmark's royal family. Get your picture snapped by the iconic 'Little Mermaid', a sculpture that pays homage to the famous fictional character created by Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish writer and former Copenhagen resident. Post-tour, explore more of the city at your leisure - perhaps stopping for coffee at the postcard-pretty Nyhavn canal district - or there's an optional excursion to Frederiksborg Castle. Built for King Christian IV in the early 17th century, this lavish Renaissance property graces a lake on Copenhagen's northern outskirts.

Swedish Crafts

bridge denmark sweden

Crossing into Sweden over the mighty, nearly 8km-long Oresund Bridge - which you may recognise from the hit Scandi TV export, The Bridge - there'll be a stop at the slick new IKEA Museum, which traces the fascinating story of this signature Swedish furniture brand. Then it's onto Vaxjo, a town at the heart of what's known as Glasriket (The Kingdom of Crystal). This is a forested region rich in the art of glassblowing and you'll learn about the tricks of the trade on a visit to Kosta Boda, the country's oldest operating glassworks factory, which dates back to 1742.

Stockholm

stockholm

Scattered across 14 islands, Sweden's capital never fails to enchant. Stadsholmen is many folks' favourite island, largely thanks to Gamla Stan, an antique neighbourhood of narrow cobbled lanes and timber-framed medieval buildings. There are lots of enticing gift stores, bars and eateries, including Fem Små Hus, an intimate 17th-century cellar restaurant where you'll sit down for a delicious evening meal. You'll also travel to the island of Djurgården to see the Vasa Ship Museum, which displays an ornately-decorated wooden warship salvaged from the bottom of Stockholm's harbour in 1961 - 333 years after it capsized and sank on its maiden voyage.

Oslo

oslo

Following an exhilarating high-speed rail trip across the pristine Swedish countryside, you'll arrive in Norway's buzzing capital, Oslo, which is home to another of Scandinavia's most remarkable maritime attractions: the Viking Ship Museum. Situated on the city's bucolic Bygdøy peninsula, it shelters some of the world's best-preserved Viking vessels, including the Oseberg, constructed in the 9th century and sporting a distinctive curling prow. There's also plenty to catch the eye in Oslo's leafy Vigeland Park, which is sprinkled with the eclectic statues and sculptures of celebrated Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland.

Fjords, Waterfalls and Glaciers

fjord

You'll spend the best part of five days in eastern Norway, and after a pit stop at Borgund Stave Church, an intricate wooden structure built in 1180, you'll stop in Flam, a quaint village in which you'll hop on the legendary Flam Railway, one of the world's steepest, and most beautiful, train trips. Jaw-dropping vistas are a given (think: thunderous waterfalls, snow-tickled mountains and plunging fjords and valleys), and the dramatic panoramas continue as you ride a traditional troll car (a kind of open-top buggy) to the hulking Briksdal Glacier, before boarding a sightseeing boat along the Geirangerfjord, one of the planet's most majestic fjords, and protected by UNESCO. Your final stop is Bergen, a charming, easy-going port city established by the Vikings in AD1070. After discovering the city's history with a local guide, you'll have time to shop for souvenirs, before heading to the quaint waterfront Bryggen neighbourhood for a farewell group dinner.

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