4 quintessential Scandinavian experiences - for free!
Wonderful, natural & free activities to enjoy in Scandinavia.
Imagine sunny summer’s day, perfect for enjoying outdoors with peaceful lakeside views of Finland, green meadows of Sweden, golden beaches of Denmark or dramatic fjord views of Norway as a backdrop while you are doing exactly what the locals love to do. Picking berries. Diving in a lake straight from a steaming hot sauna. Paddling on the seashore with your trousers rolled up or hiking up the local mountain.
With everyman’s rights which grant access to most of the land around us, to everyone, and plenty of empty space and clean nature to roam around in a fantastic setting, Scandinavia and Finland are perfect destinations for those who want to experience something out of the ordinary, something that at the same time feels so perfectly natural, to be out in the nature.
Here are some of the favourites from our Scandinavian team at 50 Degrees North. The best thing is, all these activities are free for all to enjoy!
1. Wild forest gathering
A sweet tooth in a Scandinavian summer’s day doesn’t necessarily mean a trip to the closest shop but rather, a walk in the forest with friends or family to enjoy what nature has on offer. The temperate summer climate of the Nordics is just right for berries to ripen slowly, as in the process they develop a delicious sweet flavour. The berry season starts around mid-June with wild strawberries and runs late in to the autumn. Depending on where you are and the time of the summer, you could expect to find blueberries, lingonberries, cloudberries, blackberries and wild raspberries. For those looking at something more savoury, the mushroom season in late summer and early autumn is a must, but unlike with berries, with mushrooms you have to really know which species are edible and which are harmful.
2. Swimming in forest lakes and the Arctic Sea
Tens of thousands of lakes, thousands of kilometres of shoreline and hundreds of rivers provide pretty amazing opportunities for swimming and water activities, especially as most of the waters are as clean as can be. And despite cold, snowy winters, in the heat of the summer the smaller forest lakes warm up to a pleasant temperature for a refreshing dip for the whole family to enjoy.
3. From light hiking to conquering mountains
Across our region the scenery and nature varies hugely from the beaches of Denmark to the majestic fjords of Norway and the barren beauty of Lapland. But wherever you go, possibilities and opportunities for exploring the region on foot or by bike are endless. If light hiking is your cup of tea, roadside paths along a self-drive tour make a delightful stop amidst traveling from point A to B, and if you’d rather conquer a mountain, there are plenty of those to choose especially when you head further north in Norway, Sweden or Finland.
4. Sweet, sweet, Sauna
Steaming hot saunas are something you can come across the whole Nordic region but ask anyone from Finland, and he or she would tell you that sauna is essentially a Finnish institution. In fact, it’s more than that. It’s a lifestyle. And it’s healthy too! Many of our accommodation options especially in Finland
have a sauna so you can get a taste of the sweet heat after a busy day exploring. But if and when you get the chance, the sweetest saunas are those right by a lake, where you can watch the sun set down below the horizon while alternating between the pleasant heat and darkness of the sauna, and the brightness and coolness of a Scandinavian summer’s evening.
Image credits: Visit Sweden (photographers: Johan Willner & Helena Wahlman) & Visit Norway.