I'd love to see the very far north of Scandinavia...will be there mid July'05. Which is best...northern Norway (Fjords), northern Sweden, or northern Finland. I really only have time to see one. Should I take train or bus travel? How far does the train go? Thanks so much!!
If you can change the date a bit then i would go to northern Sweden.
Specialy with mid summer (some where end june) then there are lots of festivities in places like Kiruna (where you can get by plane and train)
I don't know if it is too late to affect your travel plans still. I would really recommend the Norwegian part of Scandinavia. I guess it depends somewhat also about what preferences you have when it comes to travelling. By far, the Norwegian Fjords and of course the North Cape plateau and Tromso, Paris of the North are everlasting memories.
You could take the train to Narvik ( Norway). It would also be possible to take the train up north in Sweden. I think you should try to get some cheap tickets through some of the "local" airlines. Some of them offer really cheap travel. www.norwegian.no is a norwegian airline offering prices very cheap when buying them in advance ( mind you, very cheap is according to Scandinavian prices )
Other cheap travel ways could be by buslines. However, travel in Scandinavia is never cheap but you could also get some great rides, especially if you take the train.
I'm just in love with Northern sweden !!! Part of my family leaves there and it' always a great pleasure to go there and have some nice time in REAL nature !!!! If you want, feel free to contact me if you want some more info about it ! It really depends what you are searching for. Coming beg. july, you will have the midnight sun and this is a great (weird for some people !) experience. !
I've also heard that the Lofoten islands in Norway are a great place to go. This is where I would like to go next time I get there ; but it's quite crowdy in summer !
I know Sweden is also a great place to go. It is just out of experience I say Norway. In my opinion all 3 alternatives are almost similar. However, Norway is probably more "activities" friendly. At least many parts of the Swedish and Finnish northern territories are rather unpopulated and not very "touristy".. If you know what I mean. It all boils down to each individuals preference I guess.
Hi Erik !
I do totally agree with you about the "unpopulated" thing.
That's why it's really up to what someone is looking for ; when I go up there, I seek family and peacfulness ; go back to the roots so to say ! But that does not suit everybody for sure !
By the way, what would you recommend in northern norway ? next time, I would like to push my travel over there !
Talk to you all tomorrow !
Yup, Lofoten isles are stunning, but in summer they do get very crowded, and it can be hard to move due to all the (generally Dutch and german) caravans and camper vans! Accom can be harder to find as well as things can be booked out, but despite all that, it's definitely worth the effort!
For something a bit different and slightly less touristy, i'd say actually go a bit further south. The Coastal road rv17 (it even has it's own website, www.rv17.no) between Steinkjer and Trondheim is great in summer - it avoids the main through traffic which use the main E6 instead and a chunk of the backpackers/travellers who use the train from Trondheim to Fauske/Bodø. The road itself snakes around islands, and involves something like 7 ferry trips as well.
North of Bodø, and in particular Narvik, there's only one route, so everybody uses it and whilst it still is wonderful, it can seem too touristy - which is a very strange feeling when you are in the middle of nowhere!
Webcrawler - to my mind, the most stunning fjords (and the more accessible) are actually in Southern Norway, although obviously it is more touristed. In Sweden, i'd recomend taking the Inlandsbann railway north, as this is a wonderful trip, although plan on a couple of days, rather than shooting up in one go. Midsummer is a big thing in Sweden (guess elsewhere in Scand too), but be aware that many things close - in my town in the south, even all the pubs, restaurants etc shut, so you can get caught out.
Also, how much time do you cactually have to use? A couple of days, week, or longer? Would suggest different things depending on time frame.
Thanks to all your sugestions! Wow...so impressive. I'll have about 1-2 weeks in Scandinavia. Plans not finalised yet. Based on the lack of mentions of Finland, I guess I can eliminate Finland then...so its between Sweden and Norway, or maybe both....though no need to go far north in both, I guess.
Which country is generally the most expensive: Norway, Sweden, or Finland.
Which country has the best independant travaller infrstructure?
Northern Finland and Sweden are fairly similar (Norway is obviously different because of the coast), in that they are rugged and wilderness, but both are stunning.
Norway is the most expensive, and all 3 have fairly similar independent traveller structure, although obviously certain places in all 3 countries are much better equiped/set up.
And sorry, i wasn't menaing to avoid Finland earlier, it was just that the other posts were all either Norway or Sweden, so i tried to combine the two! Incidentally, largely because of the train to Narvik, combining Norway and Sweden is generally easier than either with Finland, but Sweden to Finland is relatively easy if you go East instead of West (i.e. you don't head for Kiruna/Riksgränsen etc), whilst Northern Finland to Norway is also possible.