What images does Sweden conjure up in your mind? Modern furniture and lighting design, perhaps, as well as an equally modern monarchy? A love of nature and real respect for the environment? A well-ordered society of peace-loving, pleasant people? It’s all delightfully true – yet your tour of Sweden will also be full of surprises and unexpected discoveries. The early descendants of Bjorn Borg and Abba were the tall, blond, powerful Swedish Vikings who travelled and raided east and south from Finland and the Baltics to the Black Sea, Baghdad and Constantinople. The trade routes they carved out were later to form the
basis of the Hanseatic League – the commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. By the 17th century the Swedish Empire was a major European power, expanding its territories to occupy half of the Holy Roman states. Yet the Sweden of today that you’ll see on your tour is entirely different – at peace since 1814, officially neutral during both world wars and home of the Nobel Prize. It also ranks consistently highly for quality of life, health, education, equality and prosperity. What better way to bring this fascinating national story to life than a tour of Sweden that takes you to its heart
in Stockholm – a city of fourteen islands tumbling across an idyllic archipelago on the shores of the Baltic Sea, where the twisting cobbled streets of the old town of Gamla Stan still stay true to its medieval street plan. With a third of its area made up of waterways and another third of parks and green spaces, Stockholm is the cultural, political and economic centre of Sweden - as well as home to the official residence of the Swedish monarch and Royal Court of Sweden. Your tour will include a visit to this imposing Baroque style Royal Palace, its 600 magnificent rooms adorned with sumptuous furnishings and royal gifts from across the centuries.