Scandinavia and Finland tour review, Pen and Chris, November 2016
We know it has been about 7 months but we thought we would finally sit down and give you some feedback/review of our trip to Scandinavia last year.
Nyhavn Hotel in Copenhagen- Great choice but a shame it was being renovated. Hopefully that is all over now. But we loved it there. Best thing about Copenhagen are the E-Bikes. We think you should encourage everyone to use them as their main mode of transport around the city. With the inbuilt navigation system you’re never lost and it’s so easy to get around the city safely,
Danish Castle Stay: The best breakfast of the whole trip. A great dinner at the hotel. Beautiful setting. Rode the bikes around the property- just lovely. If anything we could have had another day here.
We loved Aarhus - the art gallery is a must do. We also walked out to the Summer Palace. It was fabulous. We went to Haervaerk for degustation dinner. It was probably the best dinner of the whole trip.
Skagen - Simple little hotel- I guess it was ok, but nothing flashy. We had a good time in Skagen- we walked out to the hidden lighthouse and went to where the 2 seas meet each other. Both should be done.
Gothenburg - we thought this city was great. We booked our own accommodation and stayed at the Elite Plaza Hotel- great hotel and recommend that you guys could get people staying here. Went to Koka for dinner- again, highly recommend. Needed more than one night, that’s for sure.
Then drove to Oslo - but could not find anywhere along the way for lunch - would have been good to have hints or tips on how to get around this. In Oslo we went for dinner at Hanami- Japanese. Delicious but a bit expensive. Must dos- the Opera House!!!!!!!! Dinner at Festningen for the view. Hotel was good- good breakfast. Great location.
Heggenes - Lovely place. Would have been nice to have 2 nights there.
Lovely dinner and friendly people.
The drive to Bergen was one of the prettiest things- if not the best drive of the whole trip. But too far in one day. We should have stopped for a night in Flam. Know that’s a very touristy place but it would have broken things up. As much as we loved the drive, we arrived in Bergen exhausted and had to cancel dinner reservations. Hotel Admiral was great. Stunning views.
On to the Hurtigruten - we had a great time. Our room was just what we wanted- bigger than a tiny cabin...BUT- we were on the level that everyone could walk around. So everyone just came and stood in front of the room the whole time and could see in. We basically had to have the blinds shut all week. So recommend you put people in the same suites but on the level above. Might be different from boat to boat but worth checking.
Our recommendation for boat life is tell people that every time the boat stops for 30mins or more - get off and walk. Even just for 10-15 mins it helps and it’s a great way to see the little towns. They should also take advantage of the excursion s- should do at least 3 of them.
Drive Kirkenes to Inari- lovely drive. Very pretty but you need to buy a picnic in Kirkenes for the drive as there was nowhere to stop along the way. Lots of places to stop beside lakes and forests. Better than some strange roadside sandwich we attempted to eat- not good.
Inari is a tough one - its so beautiful but you have to get out and hunt for it. The hotel and museum were not good, but we hired bikes and got out there and explored and boy did that pay off. We went hiking, cooked sausages, rode the bikes for hours. We also went on a seaplane to see the islands in the area. Recommend that people do this. Do not sit around at the hotel and expect Inari to be great- you must hit the wilderness.
The must do is the Wilderness Church. A bit of a walk out to it but just really different and spectacular.
We didn’t see any Aurora and it rained a lot, but I can see how it would be good if the weather was ok. The dinner at Vaisko was great. Delicious.
On our drive to Kuusamo we went to Rovaniemi to meet Santa- we thought that was really cool. The village is a bit naff in summer, but he is a cool guy.
Hotel Glo in Helsinki - great hotel. Great location. Great food next door.
We did the day trip to Estonia- recommend that for sure. Went to Yumi for dinner back in Helsinki. A great spot and right next to Hotel.
Cruise ship to Stockholm was great- good cabin.
Hotel in Stockholm was great. Hotel Rival. Loved it all. In Stockholm- recommend telling people to get out to the Woodland Cemetery. Went to Rumbles restaurant near the hotel. Delicious Spanish. Fotografiska near the hotel is worth seeing- photo museum.
Vastana Castle - you only need one night. NOT TWO- unless they play golf. We actually left after one night and went to Malmo which was awesome. I would encourage that change to itinerary. Also 2 or 3 nights in Malmo- we loved it. In Malmo - eat at Bastard. Great restaurant.
Then it was back to London!
WOW big trip. And it really was amazing. Only a few things we would change here or there - probably if we had one more week in terms of time we could have slowed a few things down a bit. But honestly Alice- it was all really really good.
We want to thank you again for all of your help. We loved it.
Pen and Chris"