All Roads Lead North

24 February 2017
Read Time: 3.4 mins

Europe’s not-so-hidden northern gem is a land of untamed wilderness and modern innovation, charming cities and quaint mountain villages.

The Nordic and Scandinavia regions have long been lauded for their forward-thinking governments, environmental and social policies that actually work, friendly locals and as the home of jolly ol’ St Nicholas. Yet many would say its unrivalled natural beauty is what keeps travellers coming back for more.

From the Northern Lights to the midnight sun, you can discover the magic of Sweden, Norway and Finland for yourself on an unforgettable 20-day experience with Trafalgar. Offered for the first time in 2017, the Nordic Adventure crosses off both cosmopolitan capitals in the south and untouched arctic landscapes in the north.

boat in norwegian fjord Discover fjords like nothing you've ever seen before.

Your journey begins in Oslo, where a local guide introduces the city’s medieval fortress of Akershus, the Fram Polar Museum and the Viking Ship Museum for a glimpse into the region’s history and architecture. Further up the road in Hamar and Lillehammer, you’ll learn about the 1994 Winter Olympics, truly noteworthy for its environmental measures, before weaving through mountains and fjords to the city of Trondheim, once a seat of ancient Viking kings. This is where your immersion into Scandinavia’s pure wilderness truly begins.

colourful houses on waterfront in norway Trondheim was once the seat of ancient Viking kings.

Travelling past glaciers, mountains and picturesque waterfalls, on day seven you’ll cross over into the Arctic Circle. Known as the capital of the Arctic, Tromso is a major cultural hub, home to the Arctic Cathedral and university – both spectacular architectural marvels set against a stunning backdrop. Tromso is also one of the best places in the world to witness the Northern Lights in winter.

town with mountain behind covered in snow, pink twilight sky Honningsvag is the northernmost point of mainland Scandinavia.

Venturing further north, crossing glacial waters by ferry and stopping to visit the Cathedral of the Northern Lights in Alta, you’ll reach the northernmost point of the North Cape, Honningsvag. Pause to take in the serenity of the land of the midnight sun over bubbles and caviar, while your experienced Travel Director unveils insights into the traditions and culture of the area.

northern lights above snow covered trees Finnish Lapland, the home of Santa Claus, is a truly magical place to experience.

Days 12 to 14 are spent in Finnish Lapland, home to the indigenous Sami people. Enjoy a special ‘Be My Guest’ experience at a family-run reindeer farm, learning about the local way of life over a traditional Sami dinner. Staying in Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus, you can visit the man in the red suit at the Santa Claus Village any day of the year. Finland’s landscape changes dramatically the further south you go. Travel through the Lakeland region, so named for its surrounding 328 lakes, and then to the harbour capital of Helsinki. Once again, modern architecture, vibrant neighbourhoods and colourful streetscapes replace scenes of wooded forests and peaceful glacial valleys.

stockholm with harbour and colourful houses End your journey in the vibrant and welcoming city of Stockholm.

The final stretch of the Nordic Adventure is an overnight Baltic Sea mini cruise to Stockholm. One of the most popular destinations in the region, Stockholm is a stunning city of medieval alleyways and nautical history. Don’t miss the Vasa Museum, where a 17th-century warship reclaimed from the harbour seabed after 300 years is on display.

With 20 days of experiencing unforgettable natural beauty, unique cultures and communities living harmoniously with extreme environments, this Nordic journey is a once-in-a-lifetime excursion. Explore an inviting, smart and awe inspiring region with the expertise and dedicated hospitality that comes with Trafalgar’s 70-plus years of touring.

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Vicki Fletcher

Experience Vicki's experience

Head of Content and Social for Flight Centre, Vicki loves road trips down unknown tracks, hiking into mountain ranges, following locals to the best food in town, and spending long afternoons people watching in city squares. She's written for publications across Australia and Europe. Top travel tip: always look up. Follow Vicki on Instagram @vickijanefletcher.