Some of my favorite places to visit in the summer have been Nordic countries. These countries tend to have more favorable temperatures during the summer months. Here are my experiences in these countries and why I think you should visit them too.
The Nordic countries are Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. Also, the Aland Islands (an autonomous region of Finland), the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which are part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Traveling can often be stressful, but a trip to Copenhagen might be the perfect getaway. The country is known for its relaxed culture, where people are said to be happier and more content than other parts of the world. It's also one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. If you're up to it, try something new - rent a bike and explore the architectural beauty of the city. For other entertainment, Denmark is home to Tivoli Gardens, which is the second oldest amusement park in the world. To end the day, head to Nyhavn for a nostalgic night out. Grab some good old fish and chips and a few beers, as many did in the eighteen century when it was the waterfront and entertainment district of Copenhagen.
To get to the Faroe Islands, take the two-hour flight from Copenhagen Airport (CPH) to Vagar Airport (FAE) and enjoy these islands. The islands are said to be the roots of Nordic happiness. Despite being a few hours away from the U.S, there are no direct flights to Greenland. The options are to either take Air Greenland from Copenhagen, or Iceland Air from Iceland. The Iceland route is the quickest.
My favorite place to visit in the city was the rock church or Temppeliaukio Church. It was impressive to see such a beautiful monument carved from natural rock. Head to Old Market Hall Helsinki, and try some traditional Finland treats. It's also Findland's oldest indoor market. If you're a coffee drinker, Finnish coffee is one of a kind. You'll find some of the best coffee at many roasters throughout the country. End the day with a ride on the Skywheel, it is probably one of the busier places at night, but it's the perfect spot to see the nighttime view of the city.
To get to the Aland Islands, book a ferry that departs from Finland to one of the many islands. There are 6500 in total. It should be quite an adventure.
What can I say, I deem Iceland as the one place I would visit repeatedly. There are endless adventures. The golden circle is the most popular attraction by far, but try and do something off the beaten path. My time spent at the ION Adventure Hotel was the most memorable. Daily hikes, afternoon spas and amazing dinners at night. Its proximity to Thingvellir National park makes it a great place to start an adventure.
Oslo gets all the spotlight as the capital city but, you have to leave the city to see the real prizes. The fjords in Norway are some of the most breathtaking places to visit. Lysefjord is an all-time favorite, and home to the most beautiful landscapes. You can visit by car or one of the many cruises that sail through the fjords for a different vantage point on the views. If you're intrigued by the history of Vikings, then you're in the right place. The many museums in the city still carry the Viking traditions to this day. Most notably, the Viking Ship museum.
Sweden is still home to my favorite hotel ever, the Jumbostay Hotel. Besides my obsession with airplanes, Stockholm has a lot to offer. Stroll through the streets of Gamla stand for a revision of history and check out the shops nearby. Be a kid again at Grona Lund amusement park. Look at sixteenth-century ships at the Vasa Museum. The capital of Stockholm offers a lot to the wanderlust at heart.
The Schengen region covers all Nordic countries, which means a visa is not required to visit. Please monitor travel conditions during these times as it makes travel very unpredictable.
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any parties mentioned. None of the entities mentioned has reviewed, approved, or endorsed the content listed in this post.