Scandinavia’s landscapes are a stuff of adventure travellers' dreams. Follow in the footsteps of Vikings and wilderness pioneers as you take to northern remotes where snow-capped peaks are a backdrop to craggy coastlines, plunging fjords and ice fields ripe for activities like sledding, snowmobiling and skiing.
Active adventure holidays
To get your adrenaline going, don your hiking boots and hit the trails. Wherever you are, you’ll find excellent treks; perhaps enjoy day trips into Oslo’s forested surrounds or summit one of Iceland’s craggy volcanoes. There are also excellent opportunities for dogsledding, with experienced guides who let you take the reins with the huskies themselves. At journey’s end, perhaps stop for a spot of ice fishing or continue on with snowshoes to remote vantage points. And, north of the Arctic Circle, the snowmobile becomes the main form of transport, skipping over white banks and past low-hanging pines.
No wilderness holiday would be complete without running into some of the local population. There’s no better place for this than Svalbard – an archipelago some 600 miles off the north coast of Norway – that's as remote as it is beautiful. Fractured glaciers and splintered coastal jags are the inhospitable home to a thriving polar bear population, while reindeer and walrus can also be spotted. However, you don’t have to travel quite as far for birdlife with the Faroe Islands host to sea eagles and colourful puffins alike. Back on the mainland, you’ll happen on everything from forest elk and reindeer herds to arctic wolves and whales off Norway's coast.
Where to stay
It doesn’t get much more adventurous than a stay in a lavvu, a traditional Sámi tent. Found across Northern Norway, Sweden and Finland these hardy indigenous people welcome guests to their traditional accommodation to tuck into hearty reindeer stews under the stars, with the rising smoke perhaps reflecting the glorious Northern Lights. For a touch of luxury, look to the region’s log cabins and lodges, many with hot tubs and Jacuzzis. After a day spent in the snow, while away an evening by the fire or indulge in that great Scandinavian tradition – the sauna. If you’re looking for something truly unique, there are the region’s now famous ice hotels. Rebuilt each year, you’ll stay in rooms carved entirely from ice as statuettes glow iridescent in the light and cocktails are served in ice glasses.