Scandinavia and Iceland

The Scandinavian countries are all seafaring nations and a result, all the major cities are on the coast or built over a collection of islands such as Stockholm; this makes things perfect for cruising as everything is so accessible. Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland are all close together, both geographically and linguistically (well not Finland who’s only comparable language in Europe is Hungarian) and so can all be visited in quite a short period of time.

Scandinavia’s Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland share numerous lakes, forests, mountains and fiords and have found 1001 ways to enjoy them, summer or winter. Highlights include cruising the the Land of the Midnight Sun, exploring Stockholm “the Venice of the North” and sampling the hottest Scandinavian invention – the sauna!

Arctic it may be, but when it comes to wildlife, wilderness and adventure holidays, Iceland has enjoyed a huge tourism boom in the last decade; it’s bizarre in a wonderful way and quite simply unique. This is the land of huge waterfalls, glaciers, spouting geysers and steaming hot pools. If you talk to the locals, you may hear myths of elves and trolls as well!

Reykjavik is a small, but beautiful city and provides the start and end point of most trips, and no holiday to Iceland would be complete without a visit to the steaming waters of the Blue Lagoon.

Outside the city lies a landscape just begging to be explored; featuring in many TV series and movies because it’s the closest approximation to life on another planet! A visit to Iceland is like a trip to an evolutionary theme park. Walk round one corner and look out over a landscape of volcanic craters and fissures. Turn the next and bubbling hot springs send sulphurous steam into the air against a backdrop of live volcanoes and black lava desert. Keep walking and you’ll hit the deep freeze – powerful waterfalls, deep fjords and mammoth icecaps.

The trekking in Iceland is fantastic, with a wide selection of walks the best way to experience its rugged terrain and is great for adventure holidays with visits to the impressive Gulfoss and Godafoss waterfalls, Lake Myvatn and the Jokulsarlon Lagoon.

In winter there is the chance to try snowshoeing and glacier exploration and one of the best destinations to experience the Northern Lights.

Read more about Ian’s Circumnavigation of Iceland in Springtime