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Denmark, Norway, Sweden, & Ireland.

I am interested in points of interest for these countries. I like to experience the out-of-the-way sites and culture of a place. Next year in April-May I plan to take 10-12 days just to get away. I have never been to this area. What is there to do? Sites to see? Recommended transportation? Should I concentrate on 2 or 3 of the countries to maximize the experience? Any considerations would be appreciated.

Bill

Posted by
5652 posts

With short of two weeks and wanting to see and experience "out-of-the-way sites and culture of a place" I would suggest doing only two or three of the Nordic countries mentioned. While the Vikings visited Ireland (and the UK), Denmark, Norway and Sweden have a more recent political and cultural connection and similar language.

Norway is big (as in North-South long). Train access is good for the southern portion but flying would be more time effective if you want to visit the more northern Sami regions. In addition to the RS guide books (great for the more populated urban experience) you may want to check out the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide books to go deeper into the bush than Rick.

April and May are still early season for hiking with skiing still the thing to do in the mountains. Note that Week 15 (mid-April) is Easter Week and heavily traveled by Norwegians. The Monday after Easter holiday sort of marks the close of ski season and mountain lodges start closing down after Easter. They reopen in the late June/early July time frame for trekking/hiking.

Posted by
6 posts

I just returned from 3 weeks in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. If you want out-of-the-way, I recommend looking at a hotel in the mountains above Flam, Norway. The hotel is the Vatnahalsen Hoyfjellshotell near the Myrdal train station.
This hotel is not fancy, but very comfortable. Breakfast is included and dinner is available. A good thing as you can only reach the hotel by the Flam Railway or walking.

From this hotel you can hike several trails, including a 1.5 mile walk to the valley that has about 19 switchbacks. The valley trail ends in Flam, about another 12 miles. Can also hike along a beautiful lake or ask the manager who can provide tips about off-trail hikes in the area. This is a very popular mountain biking area. The hotel rents bikes.

The weather could be spotty in your time frame, we did have a day and a half of rain in July. You can reserve a room and see how the weather looks.

We also rented a car in Kalmar, Sweden and drove (about one hour) to the glass blowing region around Kosta. It discussed the Rick Steves' book. We rented from the European company SIXT. The manager met us at the Kalmar train station and we dropped it off at the airport. Very easy. The area around Kosta is heavily forested with many lakes and rivers. The traffic was light and the signs were helpful.