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Walking and Climbing in Scandinavia

One of the best things about hiking in Scandinavia is that it’s wide open: if you use common sense and respect other people, animals and plants, you can explore anywhere, no limitations. Become a modern day hiking Viking and reward yourself with a bird’s eye view of fjords, forests, natural hot springs, lakes, and beaches.

With gentle terrain, low elevations, and endless coastline to wander, Denmark is a terrific choice place for walkers of all ages and abilities to get as much left, right, left, right exercise and fresh air as one could want. In the northern part of Jutland, see Bulbjerg, Denmark’s only bird cliff. You might have heard of Hærvejen (The Military Road) which was created by traders, soldiers, cattlemen and pilgrims over the years. But have you ever set foot on it? Give yourself the pleasure of a journey traversing thousands of years, where you can experience the presence of history: Burial mounds, sanctuaries, court buildings, gallows hills and old bridges.

Take a hike in Finland - at your feet, so to speak, thanks to its free right of access. Find a nice camping site by a lake, with a view towards the west so you can watch the sun go down. Relax from the inside out. Those who prefer surfaced trails with facilities such as campfire sites and huts take advantage of the huge network of marked hiking trails in national parks, hiking areas, nature reserves or local authority recreational areas. Another good idea: take a guided excursion to learn more about Finnish forests. Finland's several national parks are designated as hiking areas. Detailed maps are available, as well as guides who can tell you where to find areas of outstanding natural beauty. The hiking options in these places vary in length and terrain, from nature trails of just a few kilometers in Evo in southern Finland to the 133-kilometre Bear (Karhu) Trail in the northwest.

Abisko, Bergslagen, Gotland Island, the High Coast, Laponia World Heritage site and Sarek in Sweden are legends among hikers and trekkers around the world. And deservedly so. Their impossibly natural beauty is matched only by their pristine state. Sarek National Park for example, is true wilderness as only nature could intend it; there are no trails here and few amenities. Otherwise, the vast majority of hiking and trekking trails in Sweden are clearly marked and some 350 hostels, mountain stations and huts are well-equipped and a welcome site for tired-legged visitors.

Walking in Norway is simplicity, peace and nature at your fingertips. With your rucksack on your back, you become an explorer – examine the birdlife, flora and fauna of Norway, or get to know your fellow walkers. The stories of Norway's contrasting landscape will reveal themselves to you. Norway accommodates various types of hiking and walking trips, whether an ambitious multi-destination trek or a “let’s stay put and take day trips” hiking rest. Hike and climb around fjords and mountains, waterfalls and canyons. Fancy walking on a glacier? Try the Folgefonna or the Nigardsbreen Glaciers. You won’t find hiking quite like this anywhere but in Norway.

You can’t find a more fascinating place for unexpected hiking and climbing territory in Europe than in Iceland. The island is largely covered by lava, glaciers, lakes and sand and speckled with geysers, rare ferns, and colorful hot springs. Few places in Iceland have marked walking paths, but hiking is a favorite pastime for Icelanders and tourists alike. Walk for a day or for a week, and during the summer far into the night if that suits your fancy. You can choose organized excursions or strike out on your own, but if you organize your trip independently, make sure you bring adequate clothing and provisions, and that someone knows where you are going.

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