With the snow disappearing and the return of endless long days, a summer holiday in Scandinavia is a refreshing alternative to a traditional Mediterranean beach break. Scandinavia’s stunning summer landscapes offer the perfect setting for a whole host of outdoor activities and adventures. From lake swimming in the beauty of Finnish Lakeland to immersive nature hikes in Sweden’s cultural heartland Dalarna and from Iceland’s natural glaciers and volcanoes to off-the-beaten-track adventures beneath the glow of the Midnight Sun in Svalbard.
Scandinavian specialist tour operator Best Served Scandinavia has a selection of holidays for those looking to make the most of this fabulous region in the summer months.
Dalarna is pure Sweden – rich in nature and culture. With iconic painted red ‘Dala’ horses, red-painted cottages with white gables and the most extensive midsummer celebrations in the country. Currently the preserve of the Swedes, Best Served Scandinavia is opening up the destination to UK customers with a new itinerary offering the chance to experience a traditional Swedish lifestyle including cabin and farm stays.
Embark on immersive nature hikes and a guided mine tour to Lake Siljan and its surrounding villages. A whole range of adventurous activities are on offer on this 8 day itinerary including stand-up paddle-boarding and a kick bike tour with huskies. Dog lovers are really in for a treat – a visit to a local husky farm is an option and perhaps even try your hand at walking a husky whilst soaking up the forest, mountains and flower-filled meadows.
Kicking off with a night in Stockholm, a train journey through the picturesque countryside then takes guests to Falun, deep in Dalarna, and home to the historic Falun mine which once produced over two-thirds of Europe’s copper. Visit the small town of Rattvik, the home of Sweden’s first tourist hotel in 1894, a beautiful spot on a calm bay. Weave through pretty villages with typical red painted cottages before a cabin stay on a traditional farm where there’s an included cinnamon bun workshop. The final day and night is spent in Fryksas, with its lush green setting and lake, perfect for a cooling dip.
Best Served Scandinavia (0207 664 2241, best-served.co.uk) offers this 8 day tailor made holiday from £3,410 per person including flights, 1 night in Stockholm on a bed and breakfast basis, 6 nights in Dalarna, 5 days car hire, train to Falun from Stockholm and tours and excursions.
This new itinerary combines Finland’s capital Helsinki with a stay at the new Kuru Resort in Saimaa – an adult-only resort with 16 villas surrounded by pine forests in the middle of the country’s lake region.
After 2 nights at the Lilla Roberts boutique hotel, a perfect base for exploring Helsinki, a relaxing scenic train journey takes guests north to the heart of Finland’s lake region. The name of the game at Kuru Resort, a luxury adults only retreat, is chilling out with 2 full days and 3 nights dedicated to relaxation.
Each contemporary villa overlooks the lake with floor to ceiling windows and a patio to make the most of the natural setting and in true Finnish style, there’s even a private spa with its own sauna. Relaxation and switching off is key and there are a variety of stress-relieving and relaxing activities available, including yoga, breathwork classes, meditation and sound-bowl sessions. A relaxation programme and daily guided relaxation lessons are all included.
The itinerary includes a boat trip through Linnansaari National Park and the Saimaa Archipelago, with time to hike and a Ringed Seal Safari through the lake searching for this endangered species which only lives in Lake Saimaa. Throughout kayaks, canoes, e-fat bikes and SUP boards are available to rent. A hearty seasonal breakfast is delivered to the villa every morning and on the final night, savour the 6-course chef’s menu dinner at Solitary Restaurant with a focus on naturally sourced seasonal ingredients.
Best Served Scandinavia (0207 664 2241, best-served.co.uk) offers this 6 day Wellness & Wilderness Escape from £1,170 per person including flights, 2 nights at Lilla Roberts on a bed and breakfast basis, train transfers, 3 nights at Kuru Resort in a Nature Villa on a bed and breakfast basis, a daily wellness class, a boat trip, Ringed Seal Safari, lakeside sauna and a 6 course chef’s menu dinner.
Make your holiday last longer with 24 hours of daylight: Midnight Sun in Finnish Lakeland
With nearly 24 hours of daylight, visitors to Finland in the summer can make the most of every minute of the day. Return feeling energised, with the chance to take evening nature walks in the national park at midnight, or perhaps an early morning Yoga session. Home of sauna ‘culture’, some of the most unique saunas can be found in Finnish Lakeland, with endless lakes for cooling off afterwards.
Take in the beauty of a Scandinavian summer in the Finnish Lake District and the vibrant city of Helsinki on this self-drive. It all begins with a stay in the design-conscious Finnish Capital with its eclectic neighbourhoods and vibrant arts scene. Venture to the heart of Finnish Lakeland and make the most of those long summer days with plenty of time for cycling, swimming, fishing and canoeing, before retiring to historic lakeside manor houses and a boutique hideaway on the pretty shores of Lake Saimaa. This itinerary includes an upgrade option to the Elsanranta Villas at the charming Sahanlahti Resort, perched on the shores of Lake Saimaa. Featuring 10 cosy rooms, the boutique hotel boasts beautiful views of the lake. These new luxurious villas offer contemporary interiors with an unobstructed view over Lake Saimaa, featuring your own plunge pool, sauna and terrace.
Best Served Scandinavia (0207 664 2241, best-served.co.uk) offers this Best of Finnish Lakeland self-drive 9 day itinerary from £1,730 per person including flights, 2 nights in Helsinki, 6 nights in manor houses, both on a bed and breakfast basis, 7 day car hire, 2 lunches, excursions and a sightseeing cruise.
Embark on an action packed summer adventure at Arctic Wilderness Lodge on the banks of the Alta River in Northern Norway. Combining modern Scandinavia design and natural wood interiors with stunning river views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and private decks of every room, it’s the perfect base for hiking, boating and exploring the surrounding remote wilderness. Make the most of the endless summer days with a king crab fishing experience, guided walks and hikes, river boat excursions and of course outdoor saunas and Jacuzzis to relax in. Best Served Scandinavia (0207 664 2241, best-served.co.uk) offers this 5 day holiday from £2,875 per person including flights, 4 nights at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge on a bed and breakfast basis, excursions and lunches as per itinerary and 4 fine dining experiences.
At the more active end of the spectrum is a superb four day Svalbard Summer Adventure, with opportunities for glacier hikes or a fjord kayak expedition between mighty glaciers in a remote spot, with the chance to sight polar bears and walruses. For something completely different, you can also try summertime dogsledding on wheels or an electric fat bike trip. Prices with Best Served Scandinavia start from £1,915 per person including flights and three nights on a bed and breakfast basis.
Nature lovers will marvel at this summertime self-drive itinerary which kicks off with 2 nights in Iceland’s capital Reykjavik before heading out to discover the magnificent southern region – a natural wonderland of geysers, glaciers, beaches and stunning waterfalls. Highlights include the geysers of the Golden Circle – best explored by SuperJeep and the iceberg-studded lagoons of the volcanic south coast. From Hella, there’s a full range of summer excursions to choose from including a hike to a sunken volcano or snorkel between two tectonic plates in Silfra. Spend a night at the countryside Hotel Katla which offers one of the most spectacular locations in Iceland, surrounded by snowcapped mountain ranges, great glaciers, sea cliffs and the famous black sand beaches of the southern coast. The final day is spent at the Blue Lagoon relaxing in the mineral-rich waters of Iceland’s best-known spa. In summer, the lagoon is open until midnight offering plenty of time to enjoy its waters.
Best Served Scandinavia (0207 664 2241, best-served.co.uk) offers this seven day self-drive itinerary start from £1,470 per person including flights, transfer, 6 nights on a bed and breakfast basis, 4 days car hire and entry to the Blue Lagoon.
For bookings, call 0207 664 2241 or visit www.best-served.co.uk