Scandinavia Destination Guide and Cruise Finder

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Scandinavia destination guide and cruise finder

Scandinavia [1] or, more broadly, Nordic Europe, is a European region north of the Baltic Sea. At almost 1.2 million square kilometres (463,000 square miles) it is the largest region in Europe, but home to only around 24 million people, accounting for a mere 4% of the population.

Countries

Map of Scandinavia

Denmark
The smallest, flattest and most continental of the Scandinavian countries. Famous for having the best beaches of Northern Europe, a unique viking heritage, royal palaces as Scandinavia’s capital, Copenhagen.
Norway
Famous for deep fjords, steep mountains, and wooden churches. Has a rich and interesting culture with deep roots in farming and fishing. Perhaps the most rural and traditional of these countries.
Sweden
Scandinavia’s largest country by area and population with tens of thousands of islands around its coastline. The Swedish Archipelago being the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea.
Finland
Hundreds of thousands of islands and lakes to explore in this bridge to the east. The most remote and perhaps the most conservative of the Nordic countries, with a language unlike the Scandinavian languages. Finland is not technically part of Scandinavia as Finns are Uralic in origin.
Iceland
Spectacular scenery of volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, and waterfalls on this North Atlantic island.

Territories

  • Faroe Islands — an autonomous territory of Denmark.
  • Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark and member of the Nordic Council, also part of the Nordic Countries.

Geographically but not culturally it is part of (native) North America.

  • Svalbard — administered by Norway, it is a land frozen all year round, except during its short summers, which lasts for just 3 weeks, in that time it becomes a wild life’s paradise.
  • Åland — an autonomous territory of Finland, but culturally belongs to Sweden.

Cities

Urban Scandinavia includes many historic cities by the Baltic sea. Pictured: the Nyhavn canal of Copenhagen, Denmark

There is a constant and long-standing rivalry between Copenhagen and Stockholm over which city can claim the title as Scandinavia’s unofficial capital. Depending on how you count, both cities are the largest, most visited, and the target of most investment. However, after the completion of the Øresund bridge, and subsequent integration of Copenhagen and Malmö – Sweden’s third largest city, this region is fast emerging as the main urban centre in Scandinavia, famous for its fairytale parks and castles and its liberal attitudes, while Stockholm arguably grabs the title as the most beautiful.

Other destinations

courtesy © wikimedia.com

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