Scandinavia in early summer(6 Posts)
Ask away! I hope you love Sweden and if you need any information about visiting Stockholm specifically, I should be able to help, hopefully.
That's so helpful, thanks. Looks like Sweden it is. We quite fancy spending a couple of days exploring Stockholm, then heading up into the archipelago for a week of nature.
Now off to start researching! Thank you for all your help, is it ok if I come back to you with further questions?!
Well, all of them are quite child friendly, but when near a lake or a fjord you obviously have to take precautions, there are usually swimming areas in each lake (a small beachy area) which you should go to. The forest areas all around are great, and generally places are quite child friendly in Scandinavia. I'd say that the more northern areas are less likely to be child friendly simply because they are usually more remote, and sometimes the areas around cottages up there will be not as well kept- yes, it will look nice and be good for a sure footed adult, but I'd be concerned.
Most people staying in cabins in the summer, if they aren't foreign, will bring their children, and the cottages are generally, although not remote, or secluded, and sometimes quite close, quiet. It's amazing how quiet a forest can be, even with a screaming toddler (and yes, this is from experience!). But seriously, no one will be disturbed and even if they can hear through the forest or whatever, most people won't mind!
If he loves being outdoors, but being 2 is too young for a lot of things which I'd reccommend- kayaking, canoeing etc;, then Sweden (and most of Scandinavia in fact) are great, because there are usually things like wild blueberries and strawberries in forests (not in the north of Norway or Sweden usually, even in summer, but in the Stockholm archipelago, other areas etc; there are tons, there's loads of walks in the forest, and its easy just to wander around without a trail, there's usually loads of childrens activities too, in museums, loads of play areas in parks, there's always safe areas where you can go swimming if you dare (they're freezing!) around lakes usually, and there's usually play equipment at some point around the area too. Also, a lot of children's TV will be versions of English but with Swedish speakers, so if your DC watch the TV during any point in the holiday, hopefully they won't be bored. You can also find BBC Entertainment (basically a mish mash of BBC 1, 2 and 3, put onto one channel) so if you want the familiar, it won't be too hard to find, as its all in English on BBC Entertainment. A lot of signs on shops are English too, everyone practically will speak English etc; and I've found Sweden is a very child-orientated country compared to some.
If you want to explore more than where you stay if you choose to stay in the Stockholm Archipelago, then there are some ferries which do a few tours around the islands which last about half an hour to an hour (they have different times) which are quite cheap, and usually have good provision for small children, so if you want to see the scenery, and maybe go to some different islands, I could try and find the ferries we used (I'm not sure of exact name, so I'll try and check), if you want me to.
Ooh thanks so much. Loads of great info there. DH is quite set in Sweden, he visited malmo a few years ago and loved it so is very keen to explore more or the country. He is researching the Swedish archipelago as I type!
Quick question - we will have a 2 year old with us. He likes being outdoors and romping about (as do we) so I'm assuming that they'll be plenty for him to do there? Also, is everyone there likely to be toddler friendly or are they more of an adult holiday destination? Don't want to turn up and ruin everyone's peace and quiet!
I'm sure ill be back with more questions for you soon!
Hmmm, do you want a particular country?
I come from Sweden (Lapland area, but moved to Stockholm before moving countries!) but have worked in Norway, and in Finland (because part of the time I was near the border in both of them at one point), so have some experience. DH lived in Denmark as a child, so apart from Iceland (which does count as Scandinavian) we've got it covered! Although not very knowledgeable about Denmark or Finland really....
For you, I'd suggest the Stockholm Archipelago, in Sweden (obviously, the Stockholm part gave a bit of a clue...) It's close to Stockholm so easy to get to (fly to Arlanda, which is in Stockholm and easy to get to the islands from using first underground then ferry, or if using Ryanair, go to Skavsta and take a coach journey to a station called T-Centralen, before taking the underground from there to a ferry or something like that). Why is it good?
Well, you have the cabiny place, islandy place, small villagey places, but also close to Stockholm, but very beautiful, quiet, foresty. You get there via Gamla Stan in Stockholm, or the Old City (you get the ferry to one of the islands from there) and that's worth viewing too!
I'd say, look up Sandon (an island in the Stockholm archipelago thing), and for a cottage near a small village called Sandhamm. Two hours from Stockholm via Gamla Stan dock area, and has a small villagey place with shops, and is just like what you describe in terms of holiday cottages. I'll try and find some specific cottages though.
In Sweden, most people in cities own holiday cottages, in Stockholm most will own something like you describe in the Stockholm archipelago! And I'm not lying, we lived in a teenie flat there, but had a cottage, because land is so cheap. It's a great place to holiday.
Alternatively, try a place in Skåne (Southern Sweden). Here's a website for some more details, and Skåne is beautiful. This gives details about cottages but shows cottages etc; all around Scandinavia, so is ideal. Skane is at the bottom of Sweden, and its probably worth landing at Copenhagen and getting over (Copenhagen is very close. You can get the train over the bridge, but as you're probably going to be somewhere off train stations etc; you'll probably need a rented car? Which is why it's better to get one in Copenhagen, instead of going by train from there to Malmo, because you can drive over, which is, I think, cheaper than flying to Malmo and roughly the same time if you add the driving over the bridge.)
Otherwise, Norway has what you want, famous for fjords, but, although unfortunately most non-Scandinavians don't go there because of little knowledge about it holiday-wise (fjord areas are known about for holidays) I'd say go to the South Coast of Norway. As its in the summer, going to Finmark, so right in the North of Norway, can be good. Idyllic, mountain scenery, but none of the heavy snow. I come from close to the Swedish/Finnish/Norweigna border, in a small town/large village called Kiruna, and I know that all of this area can be beautiful in summer. In winter, you're so snowed under (its past the Arctic Circle!) that you won't be able to see the scenery though. But any place like Alto, Tromso or Narvik is good (I don't expect those names to mean anything, but could be helpful when searching cabins). Finmark is overloaded with cabins which are rented out for holidays. This should help?
The Fjords are obviously famous in Norway, so I'm guessing you'd like that sort of area? There are two areas really- North and South Fjord areas. There practically the same, and make no real difference where you go though. Search for Hjelmand, Strand and Lund (be careful with Lund, Lund is also a university city in Sweden) and they're in Rogaland. They're all good areas for people wanting cottages or cabins, there are loads of cabins available there but still far apart enough to be great, and these are probably the best places, although just type in Cabins In Rogaland to get more results.
Hordaland is just above Rogaland, but is still in the South Fjord area, and the best places to stay are Odda (Odda is a small town, but amazing scenery, and loads of cabins close by but still very quiet. Odda has the best scenery I think out of the areas I've reccommended), Fusa (a small village on a large fjord/lake area with loads of cabins surrounding the lakes and fjords, but closeby) and probably Kvam, which is similar to Fusa. Ullensvang, Voss and Samnanger are in a similar area, and are also quite similar to Odda and Fusa (tbh, a lot of the places around the fjords are practically identical sometimes).
The North Fjords are also divided into two sections, More and Romdal. In Romdal, I'd reccommend practically anywhere. For a wide range of options, Vestless, the island of Runde Nesset, Stranda, the island of Gossa, Rauma, Norddal, Hareid, Vanyleven, Surnadal, a cottage near Eggesbones (this is a village with a working fishing harbout etc; so stay in a cabin on the small island which Eggesbones is on, Bergsoya, and you could walk there?) Midsund, Sande, Tingvoll, the island of Gurskoy, Aure, or around Geiranger Fjord which is beautiful. The website I mentioned above should be able to help you.
Of course, there are other places in Sweden (I'm sorry, I don't know much about Denmark, DH lived in a small village near Copenhagen and we don't go there often, and I know areas on the Swedish/Finnish border quite well, but nothing else. My step-father worked in travel in Norway and Sweden and my mother came from Surnadal, which I mentioned as being in Romdal, the North Fjords, so I know that area, and I know the Norwegian/Swedish border well, but not much else!).
If you want to stay in the middle area, or Northern Sweden (called nordsverige btw) then look at this. It shows how many cabins there are and you can see its quite popular for holiday cottages, so is probably quite useful. Unfortunately, due to having quite a low population spread out all across the north of Sweden, I don't know a lot of individual areas, although I know the areas around Kiruna, none of which have cabins!
I'm thinking picturesque cabin by an idyllic lake/fjord somewhere, with a little town not too far away where we can purchase our beetroot and smoked fish.