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Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

Warwickshire
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Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

We are planning to tour Scandinavia in June/July 2014 and following advice given previously we have now decided to take our own car. This is our provisional itinerary for a 7 week tour and I would welcome any feedback, good or bad, as well as answers to a few specific questions. We are an active couple in our 50’s who love nature, scenery and outdoor activities, we are not interested in museums, etc. Please feel free to make any suggestions if you think there is anything we really shouldn’t miss, we are not limited to the 7 weeks.

- Drive via Eurotunnel to France, overnight in Germany

- Drive to Denmark, via Puttgarden to Rodby ferry- 2 nights Copenhagen

- Drive to Gothenburg and park car. Does anyone know of any secure parking in Gothenburg where we can leave the car for 5 days? This isn’t ideal, but we really want to do a Gota Canal Cruise and can’t think of any way to do it, other than to leave the car in Gothenburg and catch a train and/or bus to Soderkoping, overnight in Soderkoping.

- 4 day Gotal Canal Cruise from Soderkoping to Gothenburg

- 1 night Gothenburg

- 3 day “survival package” in Tiveden NP (cycling, hiking and canoeing)

- 3 nights Stockholm

- Day time ferry to Turku, Finland, overnight Nagu

- 4 days cycling on The Archipelago Trail. Has anyone done this? Any tips or recommendations?

- 1 night Jyvaskyla

- 2 nights Metsakartano Outdoor Centre – hiking in Hiidenportti NP

- 1 night Arola Dairy Farm – bear watching

- 2 nights Kuusamo – hiking & sightseeing in Oulanka NP

- 2 nights Rovaniemi – Any suggestions on what to do with our free day here?

- 2 nights at the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi. Apparently they now have a few “ice suites” available in Summer. I know it’s not the same, but we’ll probably never be there in Winter and I love the idea of spending a night on a bed of ice!

- 1 night Gargia Fjellstue, Alta

- 2 nights Honningsvag – Knivskjelloddden Hiking Trail / Nordkapp

- Hurtigruten to Svolvaer

- 3 nights in Lofoten Islands – We will have 3 full days here, what are the must sees, must do’s, etc? Would like to do some hiking, possibly kayaking and want to make the very most of our time here. Any suggestions?

- Hurtigruten to Trondheim

- 1 night Kristiansund

- 2 nights Geiranger – via Atlantic Road and Trollstigen

- Ferry from Geiranger to Hellesylt, then drive to Sogndal for 2 nights – what do you recommend as the best route to take from Hellesylt to Sogndal?

- Ferry Kaupanger to Gudvangen, drive to Eidfjord for 1 night

- 2 nights Skien – full day Telemark Canal cruise to Dalen with bus return

- Ferry to Hirtshals, Denmark – 1 night in Denmark, any suggestions where? (or more if anyone knows of somewhere worth staying for longer)

- 2 nights Amsterdam

- Return home via Eurotunnel

As always, would appreciate your comments, suggestions, anything that won’t work, etc.

Levi Ski Resort
Ski & Snowboard Areas, Cross-country Ski Areas
Ruka
Ski & Snowboard Areas
Helsinki, Finland
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1. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

Skip Jyväskylä and Rovaniemi, both are ugly and dull towns.

Oulu, Finland
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2. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

Could not disagree more with Tommi. Jyväskylä Is actually pretty nice with lake sceneries etc. Rovaniemi is located in a confluence of two big rivers. Architecturally the centre of Rovaniemi is nothing special but kind of a must see for tourists due to its Santa Claus Village and Arktikum and also Pilke forest science centre and cultural centre Korundi are worth a look. However, two days will suffice for these. Spend the third day in the Ranua Zoo.

Edited: 10 July 2013, 21:28
Finnmark
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3. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

I'm from Vestvågøy in Lofoten and I have a few tips for your must-see's and must-do's there: (I've even created a map: http://kart.gulesider.no/m/nGkb6 )

- Visit Lofotr Viking Museum http://www.lofotr.no/index.asp

- Take the passenger boat from Reine to Vindstad, then hike from there to the beach "Bunesstranda" on the western side. Vindstad has less than 10 year-round inhabitants, but in summer there are quite a few tourists. If the weather is good, bring your tent and do an overnight stay at the beach. Boat itinerary: http://www.reinefjorden.no/rutetabell.htm

- You should also catch the view from one of the mountain peaks in Lofoten. This is some of those I'm familiar with: By car you can go to Varden. If you prefer hiking, an easy peak is Veten. A little more demanding peak is Blåtinden. Slydalen, where I've marked parking for Blåtinden might be worth a visit by itself. It is a lush mountain valley, fairly untypical for Lofoten. If you prefer a bit rougher and steeper terrain, Himmeltinden is your choice. One of the highest peaks in Lofoten, the view is spectacular from the top.

- Take a boat trip from Reine to Refsvika, where you will find a large cave with 3000 year old cave paintings (haven't been there myself yet, but they say it's incredible) Guide boat: http://www.aqualofoten.no/en/boat-trips.html

- Henningsvær (along with Reine and Sørvågen) is in my opininon the most authentic fishing villages in Lofoten which is still used for fishing.

- Very good and relatively cheap food at Skolestua Kafe, which is an old school building were they've preserved the atmosphere of early 20th century schools. Link: rudolfs-fiskeweekend.com/ENGELSK/default_eng…

- Try fishing, either by hiring a boat or just ask one of the locals for a nice spot for fishing from the shore.

Bangkok, Thailand
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4. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

Second Zam72 about Jyväskylä. You must stop somewhere while driving north, so why not in Jyväskylä. Going through it is more interesting than the driving through the coastal plains on the Gulf of Bothnia.

I may be partial to Jyväskylä due to multiple visits at my grandparents' place while growing up, but I have visited it also as an adult and it was quite nice compact town during the summer and in the middle of winter. The views over the town and two lakes are quite nice from the observation tower in Vesilinna on top of the moraine ridge intersecting the town.

Helsinki, Finland
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5. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

Jyväskylä is an ugly town with a beautiful location. But why stay in the middle of ugly buildings, shopping malls and charmless chain restaurants if you want to see lakes and forests? Almost everything in Jyväskylä has been built after the second world war - and looks awful. Why not stay somewhere in the countryside instead?

In Rovaniemi, you'll be bored to death in two hours unless you're in Santa Claus stuff. You'd better stay near one of the national parks.

Warwickshire
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6. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

Many thanks for the replies. Jyvaskyla is purely an overnight stop as we have to stay somewhere. If anyone can recommend somewhere else between Turku and Metsakartano, please do so. We may have to rethink Rovaniemi.

a-andersen - thanks for the detailed suggestions for Lofoten Islands, just what we are looking for, will check out some of your ideas.

Helsinki, Finland
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7. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

How about stopping at Äkäslompolo instead of Rovaniemi? It has more to offer for nature-lovers than Rovaniemi.

Äkäslompolo a great base for dayhikes in Pallas-Yllästuntunturi National Park. My favourite trail is the Starry Way (about 8 km, easier to walk anti-clockwise).

See the hiking map for details:

http://www.yllas.fi/en/maps

There's plenty of accommodation available at Äkäslompolo, and it's not too expensive in summer.

Edited: 16 July 2013, 14:56
Warwickshire
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8. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

Thanks Tommi. Following your comments on Rovaniemi and suggestions made on the Norway Forum, we are now going to skip Rovaniemi and spend more time in East Finnmark. Therefore, we are looking at stopping over in Inari instead and visiting Lemmenjoki NP. I believe there are some good hiking trails there.

Helsinki, Finland
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9. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

Sounds like a great idea! I haven't been to Lemmenjoki, but I'm sure you'll find good hiking trails there. There's also Saariselkä with Urho Kekkonen National Park in that area.

Kuusamo, Finland
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10. Re: Scandinavia Itinerary for Summer 2014

If you still are thinking coming to Kuusamo, you'l find a lot of information at:

http://www.ruka.fi/summer_eng/

Hiking at Oulanka is good, but you could alternatively try a trail from Juuma, Pieni Karhunkierros, a 12 kilometers trail, which starts from Juuma village.