Image credit: Sverre Hjørnevik / www.fjordnorway.com
Scandinavia for all seasons
Whether your family seek snowflakes or sunshine, Holidays with Kids
finds Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland are perfect for both.
It is said that there is something in the air in
Scandinavia... that the people grow taller,
blonder and naturally more tanned. That
may well be the case – with the crisp
northern seasons a far cry from Australia’s
mild winters and world-renowned summers. No
matter what time you visit though, magical
experiences await, whether based on Vikings,
nature, Santa or sleighs.
Northern lights and
The phenomenon of Aurora Borealis is
certainly a magical one, and just because it’s a
joy restricted to the world’s most northerly
region doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by all
Fifty Degrees North specialises in
journeys in this region, and through tours such
as ‘Northern Lights & Arctic Sky’ families can
find themselves experiencing Finnish Lapland
with everything from husky sledding to reindeer
safaris and snowmobiling.
Come evening you’ll
sleep in cosy rooms with glass windows and
walls that give you prime seating for the
lightshow above you.
The only thing that could
make this trip more dazzling would be to visit
around Christmas, when tour options expand
to encompass visits to Santa’s cabin, baking
cookies and meeting the man in red with his
Larger cities across Scandinavia are
also mesmerising during the festive season,
with Christmas markets, trees, traditional treats
and trinkets, and decorative lights galore.
Image credit: Finland Tourism
Fjords of glory
The mighty fjords of Norway need to be seen
to be believed, and the warmer months from
May to October are the better times to visit.
Perhaps the most famous view is that of
Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), a formation that
rises 604 metres from the waters of the
To get there you catch a drive-on
ferry from the charming town of Stavanger,
filled with traditional white pitched-roofed
houses, to Tau. There you continue by bus or
car to Preikestolen Fjellstue. Once you arrive,
the hike begins – and be sure to pack a picnic
because you won’t find any kiosks along the
way. It’s not too strenuous, and the sight at the
end is nothing short of remarkable, and though
it’s popular for walkers to brave sitting on its
edge, it’s not recommended for younger ones.
Pair your visit with a cruise through the fjords
for the ultimate experience.
Image credit: © Hanne Sundbø / Reisemål Ryfylke AS
Setting sail in Finland is not like cruising the
sunny isles of the Pacific. You mightn’t know it,
but the Helsinki archipelago is comprised of
around 330 islands – each close together and
readily accessible for days at the beach,
weekend camping trips and daily explorations.
Suomenlinna – also known as the sea fortress
– is one of the country’s most famous icons,
accessed by a quick ferry from Helsinki that
only costs a little over two euros.
It’s perfect for
strolls, picnics and sunset watching... all while
surrounded by heritage-listed fortifications that
date back to the 18th century.
pack a torch so you can go tunnel exploring!
Being so northern, it’s no surprise that skiing is
a popular pastime here.
In Sweden most of the
kid-friendly resorts are found speckling the
Swedish mountains and between Christmas
and Easter you’re bound to find some amazing
skiing (and English-speaking instructors) with
plenty of accommodation options... Many even
have theme parks with pulka (sleigh runs) and
Hot tubs and warm glasses of
glögg mean there’s something for all ages to
enjoy off skis and boards.
Åre is particularly
popular, boasting snow all year round for true
powder hounds, while Hammarbybacken
offers skiing right in the heart of Stockholm.
Image credit: Visit Sweden
A visit to Norway would not be complete
without a taste of Viking history, which you’ll
find scattered across the country in spades.
the capital, Oslo, you can see the two
best-preserved Viking ships (and a whole lot
more) at the Viking Ship Museum.
heading north as far as the Lofoten Islands
you’ll find the Lofotr Viking Museum and a
plethora of immersive activities (in summer).
Here you can master how to swing an axe,
enjoy a Viking feast complete with wild boar
and mead, and in August you can even partake
in a vibrant festival with traditional handicrafts,
contests, show battles and more.
When you consider that in places like far-north
Finland, the sun never rises in the peak of
winter, and in major cities like Helsinki and
Stockholm it only does for an hour or two, it’s
no surprise that locals go crazy come the long
summer days – these are the lands of the
Midnight Sun, after all.
The Swedes in
particular take to this season with gusto, with
one Friday between 19 and 25 June each year
known as ‘Midsummer Eve’.
The event sees
families brought together, maypoles raised and
flower crowns adorned – and while it is indeed
fun to visit at this time, be aware it can be hard
to experience the festivities like a local (unless
invited by one).
In saying that, if you also want
a trip to Canada, you can experience the
Scandinavian Midsummer Festival in BC,
packed with plenty of kids’ activities, flag
waving and even a wife-carrying competition.
Swedish and Norwegian National Days are
also worth working your Scandinavian
adventures around – 6 June in Sweden and 17
May in Norway. Spirits are high and traditional
garb and delicacies are out in force.
Image credit: Finland Tourism Flickr
Road trips, farms and
the great outdoors
Plenty of adventures await those that hit the
road in Scandinavia.
roadtrippers with iconic highways like the
Atlantic Road, which seemingly bounces from
one minute island to the next via a series of
curving bridges, or Trollstigen Mountain Road
which zigzags dramatically across a mountain
Those that want to pair their drive with
unique accommodation and barnyard animals
should look out for numerous family-friendly
farmstays lining the way.
Think of Iceland and you probably picture ‘icy’.
However, this isn’t the case all year round.
self-drive voyage around the island under the
guidance of Fifty Degrees North will have you
enjoying a nine-day itinerary dotted with
kid-friendly farmstays, whale watching, hot
springs and even the chance to drive through an
ice cave in an eight-wheel monster truck.
this with the unique and rugged landscape
you’re driving through and it’s bound to be a
holiday the whole family never forgets.
Image credit: Finland Tourism Flickr
Image credit: Swedish sun © Ulf Huett-Nilsson