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Sweden & Norway - Scandinavian Highlights for a Real Holiday

From the magical northern lights that dance in the sky above the wilds of the north, to the thousands of small, uninhabited islands in the south, now is the time to seek out the "real" Scandinavia.

From the fabulous northern lights that dance in the heavens over the northern wildernes, to the thousands of small, uninhabited islands in the south of the region, now is the time to seek out the "real" Scandinavia.

The variety of accommodation, away from bland corporate hotels and international chains, is fascinating. Accommodation is available in chic, boutique city centre hotels, traditional fishermen's cottages (rorbu) and elegant manor houses

As a "must" in Sweden, you can visit Stockholm and its archipelago of over 24,000 islands. You can tour Oslo in Norway with its wealth of museums and parkland. Join the local people in one of the many waterfront restaurants and sample a whole range of tempting, mouthwatering delicacies - oysters, salmon, crayfish, cod, reindeer, kottbuller (meat balls) to name but a few.

In summer, you have the Sweden's hundreds of miles of beaches to choose your ideal spot. Particularly fine arethose on the west coast, where there were 96,000 lakes at the last count!. There are many waterskiing and windsurfing centres on the coast and lakes, ideal hunting ground for those looking for activity and exercise, and to indulge their passion for the water.

Also available to the active, there are superb facilities all around Scandinavia for skating, tobogganing, snowmobiling, ice climbing and even dog sled driving/riding. A host of nature based activities are available. This includes hiking, bird watching, canoeing,, midnight sun cruises and crayfish, lobster and oyster safaris in the summer. In the winter, in addition to the husky dog sledding, snowmobile tours and ice fishing, there is also the fantastic spectacle of the and northern lights.

Sweden also has more than 400 golf courses: and there is even one north of the Arctic Circle enjoys with 24-hour daylight during the summer months, for those who simply cannot get enough golf in their lives!

Or how about a cruise along the Norwegian coastline onboard Hurtigruten cruise lines, or a trip sailing along the 190km Göta Canal onboard the M/S Juno, the oldest steam passenger boat in the world.

Between the main cities there are sparsely populated wildernesses with - for example - Jostedalsbreen, Europe's largest glacier. In these area, outdoor activities including skiing, fishing and rock-climbing hold sway . Anyone who comes here will simply marvel at the stunning beauty of the Norwegian countryside, with its multitude of steep-sided valleys, high mountain lakes and breathtaking vistas..

Meanwhile, a 'right of access' to the countryside in Sweden and Norway opens up this diverse natural landscape: pristine wilderness areas, imposing mountain ranges, meandering rivers, fjords and glaciers and peaceful archipelagoes - all there just waiting for the visitor to enjoy.

Whether you are looking for a short city holiday in Sweden or a trip to Norway, a relaxing week doing nothing or a multi-centre activity holiday - the 'real' Scandinavia is the place for you! And with cheap flights from the UK and Europe in plentiful supplyScience Articles, this is the time to go.

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Jimi St.Pierre in association with travel correspondent Penny Church, has worked with Sunvil - the "real Scandinavia" - to produce elements of this article. Find Sunvil brochures online with map-based holiday brochure finder Travelwhere, where you will also find a wide range of holiday brochures featuring Scandinavia and other major holiday destinations.

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