Straight out of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, the capital of Denmark is storybook picture perfect and brimming with character. On arrival, transfer to your hotel, then spend the rest of the day discovering the city your way before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception. Embrace the hygge ways of the fun-loving locals when you hit its colourful streets, soaking up the sunshine in Tivoli Gardens or relaxing with a drink in Nyhavn. It's the perfect introduction to your upcoming journey across Scandinavia.
A Local Specialist reveals all the highlights of Copenhagen and some hidden gems on this morning's sightseeing tour. See the home of the Danish royal family, Amalienborg Palace, the Little Mermaid sitting demurely on a rock overlooking the dark blue harbour water and the 17th-century Stock Exchange. After learning all there is to know about Copenhagen, you'll have an afternoon to explore the city your way. You could choose instead to join our Optional Experience visit to the idyllic fishing village of Dragør with its maze of alleyways and tiny yellow-walled thatched cottages in the old Danish style. You'll take a cruise along Copenhagen's canals to get to the town known today as the place where the 'happiest Danes' live.
The rest of Scandinavia beckons and Sweden's capital is less than a day away. You'll leave Copenhagen this morning, travelling north to Helsingør. Here you'll board the ferry to Sweden and begin your journey across lush green spruce-clad landscapes to Stockholm. Keep your camera at hand as the enchanting scenery unfolds around you. Arriving in Stockholm later, you'll have the evening free for the perfect introduction to 'Beauty on the Water' as the city is lovingly referred to by its locals.
Stockholm's imposing City Hall, where the Nobel Prize banquet is held is the highlight of this morning's sightseeing with a Local Specialist. This afternoon, you'll have some time to explore the elegant city on your own, perhaps seeking out some of the city's Viking heritage or taking in views of the medieval Storkyrkan, the picturesque harbour and the Royal Palace. Later, we leave Stockholm and board our overnight ferry to Helsinki, Finland's effervescent 'Capital of Cool'.
Arriving in Helsinki, you'll disembark your ferry after breakfast, just in time to join your Local Specialist for a morning sightseeing tour. See the modern marble façades of Finlandia Hall, the Senate and the colourful stalls in Market Square before some free time for lunch, perhaps sampling some of the local Baltic Herring. The heart of Finnish Lakeland is our next stop and we leave Helsinki behind, driving north through stunning Nordic landscapes. Tonight's Be My Guest experience in Jyväskylä is one to remember as you Connect With Locals over a traditional dinner and learn all about the 'Athens of Finland', so dubbed for its role as a celebrated centre of learning. Raise a glass of aquavit and toast to yet another wonderful day of exploring.
Leaving Jyväskylä after breakfast, we head to Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland. Sit back and enjoy the scenery as we journey north towards the Arctic Circle. You'll want to stretch your legs this evening and you'll have the time to do it as you explore Rovaniemi your way and sample your first taste of Sámi cuisine. Reindeer anyone? Your Stays With Stories accommodation this evening is the magical Pohjanhovi Hotel, hugging the banks of the Kemijoki river in the heart of Rovaniemi. Relax and admire the spellbinding Arctic landscape views that unfold before your eyes.
Get your bearings this morning on an orientation with your Travel Director who will show you Lumberjack Bridge, the Library and Lappia Hall, home to the city's theatre. Later, perhaps pay a visit to a pioneer farm and the Arctic Centre.
Tell Santa how good you've been this year when you visit him at his Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle. Dive Into Culture and see his office and post office, where every year Christmas magic happens. Travel north to the popular winter-sports resort of Saariselkä. Don't resist the urge to stretch your legs later on the Aurora trail, located close to your hotel. Join your fellow travellers for dinner at your hotel.
It doesn't get much further north in Norway than Honningsvåg, today's final destination and the gateway to the North Cape. During your free time, consider joining an optional Sea Birds and Arctic Cruise to explore this unique ocean's rich waters and craggy islands and the creatures that find sanctuary in its midst. After dinner at your hotel, head to the North Cape Visitor Centre to see the Midnight Sun from your ethereal vantage point, the 'Edge of the World'.
Continue through Norway's Finnmark region where reindeer roam along a wild coastline dotted with tiny villages to Alta, you'll view the modern Northern Lights Cathedral. You could choose to join an optional visit to a Husky farm to meet the Alaskan Husky dogs and encounter the beauty of the Arctic.
Follow the winding route along the fjords of northern Norway to Tromsø, the 'Gateway to the Arctic'. Discover a multicultural community which thrives in its Arctic Circle surrounds. The backdrop may be snow-capped, but there's nothing chilly about the warmth of the locals, as you'll come to discover on your free evening in this 'Capital of the North'.
Keep your cameras ready for a day of soul-stirring views. You'll journey south from Tromsø to Svolvær, the perfect base from which to explore Norway's exquisite Lofoten Islands. The statue of Fiserkona, the fisherman's wife, stands at the harbour entrance against a backdrop of cod drying racks, giving visitors a taste and smell of the town's seafaring roots. Tonight, you'll join your fellow travellers for dinner at your hotel, sharing some of the memories of your trip thus far. After dinner, see if you can catch a glimpse of the iconic Svolværgeita (The Goat) pinnacle of rock that overlooks this fishing town.
Lace up your boots and prepare for a day of adventure. The Lofoten Islands is paradise for outdoor enthusiasts with a variety of optional activities on offer to explore the surrounding natural beauty. You could choose to spend your free time hiking, fishing or cruising, or delve into the area's Viking connections with a visit to the Lofotr Viking Museum. As the sun refuses to set on another spectacular Scandinavian day, you'll enjoy an evening at leisure.
Spend the day relaxing as glorious Norwegian landscapes unfold along your journey south. You'll see glaciers and fjords as you wind your way towards Mo I Rana, re-crossing the Arctic Circle and passing Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park, Junkerdal National Park and the 'Blood Road', built by prisoners during World War II. After a day of scenic driving, you'll arrive in Mo I Rana in time for dinner at your hotel.
This morning we journey south to Trondheim, stopping en route in the amusingly named village of Hell, Norway. With Trondheim's youthful atmosphere and centuries-old Viking heritage, you'll wish you had more time to visit. This afternoon, you'll see its 11th-century Nidaros Cathedral, built over the burial site of King Olav II who became the patron saint of the nation. Then, admire the ornamental red portals of the Old Town Bridge and the colourful façades on Kongens gate, one of Trondheim's main streets.
Norway’s remarkable fjord, with sheer walls and waterfalls, takes centre stage today and you'll quickly discover why she is justifiably inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. A special treat awaits as you spend the night at one of Trafalgar's Stays With Stories - Hotel Havila Geiranger, which offers spectacular views and authentic Norwegian hospitality. Perhaps embark on an optional visit to the Dalsnibba Skywalk for spectacular views of the fjord below with a scenic cruise past its tumbling waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. Join your fellow travellers for dinner at your hotel against the backdrop of your enchanting natural surroundings.
Soak up the wonder of this spectacular feat of nature on a full free day to encounter Geirangerfjord on your own terms. Consider an Optional Experience along Trollstigen Road and admire the feat of engineering it took to carve 11 hairpin turns into the steep mountain slope.
High peaks surround you along your journey to Lom, the gateway to Jotunheimen Mountains, where this morning you'll Dive Into Culture and visit the 12th-century wooden Stave church. Visit Lillehammer, where you'll learn about the hugely successful 1994 Winter Olympic games, then continue to Oslo, Norway's vibrant capital.
Join your knowledgeable Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour of this cultural capital. Enjoy views of the medieval fortress of Akershus, the Opera and the 19th-century Royal Palace. Finish the city tour with a visit to the fascinating Vigeland Sculpture Park, proudly displaying the life's work of Gustav Vigeland in bronze, granite and wrought iron. Spend the rest of the day people-watching over coffee in the Akker Bryge District or explore the nation's rich seafaring heritage. Consider a visit to the Fram Polar Ship Museum and Viking Ship Museum to see the world's best-preserved Viking ships and finds from Viking tombs found around the fjord. Tonight you'll come together one last time for a fitting Farewell Dinner to toast to an incredible adventure across Scandinavia.
As your journey draws to a close, bid your new friends a fond farewell and prepare for your return trip home. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.