Scandinavia

Photo © paedrus

Travel Guide Europe Scandinavia

Oslo Sunset

Oslo Sunset

© mrwallac

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Introduction

Scandinavia is a group of countries in northern Europe that officially includes Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Many people also consider Finland and Iceland to be a part of Scandinavia, though this is technically not the case. They are, however, nordic like the Scandinavian countries.

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Geography

Scandinavia is somewhat hard to define geographically, since it is first and foremost a cultural and linguistic concept. Under the latter concept, Denmark is included. However, the geographic definition of Scandinavia only includes mainland Norway and Sweden (and part of Finland), as Denmark is considered a part of northern Europe.

The name Scandinavia originally referred to the former Danish, now Swedish, region of Scania. Scandinavia and Scandinavian entered usage in the late 18th century, being introduced by the early linguistic. The majority of the population of Scandinavia are descended from several North Germanic tribes who originally inhabited the southern part of Scandinavia and spoke a Germanic language. All these Nordic countries share histories and boundaries to varying degrees.

The geography of Scandinavia is extremely varied. Notable are the Norwegian fjords, the Scandinavian Mountains, the flat, low areas in Denmark, and the archipelagos of Sweden and Norway. Sweden has many lakes and moraines, legacies of the ice age.

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Countries

  • Norway - Famous for deep fjords, steep mountains, and wooden churches. Has a rich and interesting culture with deep roots in farming and fishing. Perhaps the most rural and traditional of these countries.
  • Sweden - Scandinavia's largest country by area and population with mountains in the north, woodlands in the centre and plains in the south, also the Swedish Archipelago being the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea.
  • Denmark - The smallest, flattest and most continental of the Scandinavian countries. Famous for having the best beaches of Northern Europe, a unique viking heritage, royal palaces as Scandinavia's capital, Copenhagen.

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Sights and Activities

Major cities

  • Skiing
  • Sailing

Scandinavia Travel Helpers

This is version 6. Last edited at 16:30 on Aug 21, 19 by Utrecht. 27 articles link to this page.

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