Last summer I attended the TBEX Travel Blogger’s Conference in Stockholm, Sweden and extended my trip to check out some more of Scandinavia in Norway.
But when I travel, I don’t just sight-see, I make it active, trying out various hikes, walks and other activities. I believe in actually losing weight on vacation and holidays, and being an active tourist helps that. Plus, it allows you to experience the land and the people up close and personal.
A visit to Sweden means a visit the capital city Stockholm. (And in the summer, you can take advantage of the midnight sun in Scandinavia, as it stays light out until 11pm or so.)
Stockholm is made up of 14 islands and more than 50 bridges on an extensive Baltic Sea archipelago.
There’s great hiking options on the Sörmlandsleden Trail, which starts just south of Stockholm (a 0-15 min subway ride to Bjorkhagen station where the trail begins right near the station), and has more than 600 miles of winding paths through the county of Sörmland. It’s actually one of the longest long-distance paths in Sweden. But you can just hike as long as you want and head back to the city. it’s very well marked, with plenty of trail signs and initially goes past a golf course near a beautiful lake. You really can’t get lost, and it’s perfectly safe to hike it solo.
Back in Stockholm, I’d recommend the Rooftop Tour, it’s in the old town section (known as Gamla Stan), and you’ll actually be walking on top of buildings dating back to the 13th century. The view from above reveals a jumble of copper and shingled roofs, chimneys and church spires that can’t easily be seen – or appreciated- from the narrow alleyways and cobblestone squares of street level.
On the Rooftop Tour, they’ll give you a helmet to wear and strap you into a harness that connects to a track on the rooftops, so you’ll feel safe while the harness and you move along the track slowly taking it all in. While it’s not very challenging activity wise, I did feel like at least I was still staying somewhat active by doing this fascinating tour.
Just an hour’s flight from Sweden and you’re in spectacular Norway. Oslo is the capital city. It’s a small city which can be seen completely in just a day or two. While you’re there, take the short ferry ride from the City Hall Pier out to the Viking Ship Museum. There’s a nice mostly uphill 15-minute walk up to the museum from where the ferry lets you out. It’s a good walk to get your heart rate up and work the quads and glutes a little.
And, you can’t go to Scandinavia and not see an actual real Viking ship!
The real outdoor and nature adventures in Norway lie to the west and north, and there’s a great way to see the country via train and boat packaged together in a Norway in a Nutshell Tour. What I like about using Norway, in a Nutshell, is you can easily build your own itinerary, choosing to go on a one-way trip from one side of the country to the other or do a round-trip from where you started, and experience perhaps the best scenic train ride in the world. Ultimately, the Norway in a Nutshell Tours use a combination of trains and boats on their tours, and you can even choose to stay overnight at various enchanting towns along your route where there’ s a plethora of active options to participate in such as hiking trails and biking and kayaking.
I highly recommend doing a scenic boat ride on one of the Fjords as part of your Norway in a Nutshell Tour.
No trip to Norway is complete without a visit to the ancient port city (and former capital) of Bergen. It’s a city on Norway’s southwestern coast, surrounded by mountains and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest fjord. Bergen features colorful wooden houses on the old wharf, once a center of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire.
A great way to stay active while you’re in Bergen with plenty of very well-marked hiking trails is up on Mt. Floyen. From the center of Bergen you can take the eight-minute funicular ride up to the top (or you can hike up!). Once on top you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of Bergen and the Songenfjord, and can grab a map of some of the walking and hiking trails up there. You’ll see lots of families hiking together, and there’s a cafe where you can rest and have some snacks and/or beverages at a point where some of the trails converge together on top of the mountain.
So if you are in the mood for a vacation/travel program to a place where pristine nature blends seamlessly with chic modernity. Where towering mountains cradle majestic glaciers and lush forests are dimpled with crystalline lakes – book a trip to Scandinavia!
If you have a group of eight or more people and would like to experience an active tour of Scandinavia, please contact me for a custom quote on a hand-crafted tour designed by me.
This article made its debut on Jack’s Lifestyle Blog on www.NoHoArtsDistrict.com
About the author: Jack Witt is a Los Angeles based Health and Fitness Coach, Author, Speaker , Healthy Community Organizer and Active Travel Specialist. His other websites include www.GetFitwithWitt.com and www.SilverSailings.com and www.HiketheHolyLand.com