Once two of Europe’s strongest nations, rich with the footprints of the Vikings and the Hanseatic League wonderfully contrasted modern ‘Scandinavia’. You will love their ‘civilised’ atmosphere
Selected departures June to September 2017
You should arrive at the airport to take your flight to Stockholm where you will be met and transferred, to either the centrally located, four-star hotel Radisson or Scandic for two nights with breakfast. Scandic Grand Central is a classic 1890's building, set in the heart of Stockholm city centre, surrounded by restaurants, shops, cafes and bars. Formerly a theatre, reminders of its heritage feature heavily in the hotel's design, with spotlights over the reception and the stage still remaining. All rooms are chicly decorated with wood floors, TV, safety deposit box, a real urban Scandinavian design.
The Radisson Blu, Royal Viking a superb modern building making extensive use of glass and tasteful polished stone, is ideally located within walking distance to Stockholm's old town, Gamla Stan. The impressive spacious lobby offers a variety of seating areas, a stylish bar and its well regarded Fisk restaurant. There is also an indoor pool and gym, with the decor of the rooms classically Scandinavian designed to create a crisp, soothing ambience.
Stockholm is a fascinating city tumbling across an idyllic archipelago on the shores of the Baltic Sea. This morning we have a city tour when history comes to life and you can really appreciate not only its cultural and architectural highlights but the sheer atmosphere, harmony and evident love of life emanating from virtually everywhere.
Stockholm offers a wide variety of wonderful attractions, so this morning you are free to explore its delights as you wish - the list is almost endless! You could discover Stadshuset (City Hall) where Nobel Prize winners enjoy their banquet, or visit one of more than a hundred other museums and galleries.
This afternoon we take the high speed train (approximately 5 hours) to Copenhagen. You are whisked in comfort though almost deserted rolling landscapes which characterise rural Sweden. After the sea bridge and tunnel, we arrive in Copenhagen staying three nights with breakfast at either the Hotel Kong Arthur or Scandic Copenhagen depending on the date travelled. The four-star centrally located Kong Arthur, a lovely family-run boutique four-star hotel, centrally located just off one of the city's lakes and converted from three 19th century townhouses surrounding a cobbled courtyard adorned with colourful flowers. There are three restaurants, a bar, spa and the individually decorated bedrooms are very well appointed. The top floor features a gallery displaying contemporary Danish art. The modern four-star central Scandic Copenhagen is an excellent hotel with stunning view over the city. Recently renovated in a modern Nordic style it reflects the best in Danish design and is very near the renowned Tivoli gardens. The rooms are modern and typically Scandinavian with an urban city or a calming nature design and the excellent restaurant typically uses quality and organic ingredients.
After breakfast we have a guided tour of Copenhagen, a real revelation, ironically perhaps best known for two iconic landmarks, the Carlsberg Brewery and the Little Mermaid, the statue inspired by the famous Dane - Hans Christian Andersen. You'll see the Royal Danish Theatre which played a key role in his life. Other sights include the Houses of Parliament, the Christiansborg, the magnificent Amalienborg Palace, winter residence of the Monarchy and the world famous Tivoli pleasure gardens famous for its street entertainers and music concerts.
The afternoon and evening are free so that you can explore the many wonders of this scrupulously clean, smart yet relaxed city as you wish. The remarkable Royal Library, is worth a visit as are the National Museum and the Ny Carlsberg art collection – another cultural highlight founded by the famous brewer! On a glorious summer evening there is nowhere more pleasant than one of Copenhagen's harbour side restaurants to enjoy a leisurely dinner.
Today we explore a little more of Denmark commencing with historic Roskilde, the country's medieval capital. Firstly we visit the outstanding Cathedral, one of the world's few brick built gothic structures. Next we visit the extraordinary Viking museum, on the remains of an ancient harbour. It features five 11th century Viking ships in staggering condition after being preserved in mud for centuries. There's also a vibrant community of craftsmen here perpetuating boatbuilding skills by constructing replica boats including a 30 metre long
Today you will be transferred to Copenhagen airport for your flight home.
Think of Sweden and Denmark and a host of unique images immediately spring to your mind. Quaint, historic capitals rich with the architectural legacies of the Hanseatic League; pristine streets, wide-open spaces; a love of nature and respect for the environment; home of the Vikings, modern monarchies; peace-loving and some of the most pleasant people you will ever meet. All this is true but there really is so much more. You may find it surprising that Denmark and Sweden were two of medieval Europe's most powerful nations. Today both are littered with countless legacies: rich palaces rivalling Europe's finest burst with art and antiques; sleepy thatched villages with exquisite churches abound plus atmospheric gabled towns with delightful cobbled streets and typically Baltic historical centres everywhere. There are significant Viking remains and a host of museums to visit, indeed Stockholm itself has over 100 including a fascinating one dedicated to the Nobel Prizes.
Both cities have played host to royalty since the Viking age and their palaces and wonderful parks, set against a stunning background of picturesque lakes, canals and natural harbours, create a majestic framework for today's vibrant modern capitals where queues are rare, graffiti is even rarer and litter is almost unknown. Colourful waterfronts hark back to the great Viking traditions of yesteryear with a host of cultural delights from the Dark Ages to the ultra-modern of today.
The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at a supplement of £279 (£285 for 2017). The price includes return flights, airport departure taxes and transfers, five nights accommodation with breakfast, all tours as mentioned, guided tour of Stockholm, tour of Sweden’s Royal Palace, high speed train from Stockholm to Copenhagen, guided tour of Copenhagen, visit to Fredericksborg Slot, Visit to Roskilde Viking Museum and Roskilde Cathedral, and the services of a Riviera Tour Manager.