Last updated: 04:00 AM ET, Tue June 04 2019
Colorful houses in Copenhagen old town at sunset, with boats and ships in the canal in front of them. (photo via william87 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Scandinavia

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Aurora borealis at Mount Kirkjufell Iceland (photo via SuppalakKlabdee / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Aurora borealis at Mount Kirkjufell Iceland (photo via SuppalakKlabdee / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

This cultural and geographical region centered on northern Europe’s Scandinavian Peninsula includes Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands (a Danish territory in the north Atlantic) are often included as well. The region was conquered by the Vikings, who colonized large areas of Europe from the 9th to the 11th centuries. In the Arctic Circle region of Scandinavia, visitors are privy to the natural phenomena of the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun (when the sun never sets in summer) and Polar Nights (complete darkness).

Scandinavian Design, a movement characterized by simple and stylized minimalistic designs and functionality emerged in the 1950s. It is the hallmark trait of the region. While the Scandinavian capitals and other urban areas are sleek, modern and sophisticated, the countryside’s offer tranquility and numerous opportunities for outdoor adventures.

Scandinavia allows you to experience the rugged Arctic landscapes of Norway’s fjords, the 400 islands of Denmark and its picturesque farmland, Sweden’s dense forests and lakes, Finland’s extreme northern Lapland, the steep cliffs of the Faroes and volcanic Iceland’s black lava, red sulphur and blue geysers.