Listed below are some summer acticity in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Fast RIB trip out of Kirkenes, Norway
A fantastic way to see the Varangerfjord in the Arctic Circle in northern Norway is to take a trip on a fast RIB on to the fjord out of Kirkenes, followed by a spot of king crab fishing. You return to shore to cook and eat the fresh crab. All wet-weather gear is provided and the skipper has interesting information about the history of the region. It’s not an inexpensive trip but it’s a fun and exhilarating way to spend three hours. We thought it was one of the best things we’ve ever done and if you love seafood this is definitely something to do if visiting Norway’s far north.
Raudmelen mountain hike, Norway
One of the most spectacular but still accessible hikes in the famous Sognefjord region is this route up 972-metre Raudmelen (a six-hour round trip). The views of mountains, fjords, towns and glaciers are incredible. The walk starts in thick forest but soon you are on moss-covered tracks; as you near the top you may well encounter patches of snow even in summer. An extraordinary experience.
Lofoten archipelago, Norway
For the most breathtaking landscapes (with, unfortunately, breathtaking prices too) I recommend Norway’s Lofoten archipelago. I’ve visited only in the greener months so far. May brings snow-free lower elevations but if you’re a hiker you’ll very quickly be walking across white landscapes and need to take care due to melting and small avalanches. So aim for June to September. Kayaking and fishing should be possible too, but check your dates as the season is short and popular. Buses and ferries can get you around but plan ahead. As for where to stay, I suggest magnificent Moskenesøya island, where there is the Lofoten Å hostel (twin bed private room from $71) and rorbuer fishermen’s cabins (sleeping 2-6, from about £145).
Family campsite, Jutland, Denmark
Hvidbjerg Strand near Blavand has loads of activities for children and adults. It offers cottages, camping and motorhome spaces. Facilities include indoor and outdoor play centres, swimming pools, trampolining, soccer, organised activities, routes for cycling and horse riding, and swimming from south-west facing beaches in the not-so-cold North Sea. You can either cook the fish you catch at the lake or buy a pizza on site and eat it around a fire on the beach. Residents get free use of the Wellness Spa. Usefully, the site is one hour from Legoland Billund. Dogs are welcome.
Kayaking around Copenhagen
Taking in the sights on a kayak from the water is much more relaxing than using the busy roads, and it’s not so dear. There are plenty of canals around the city and you’ll get unusual views of the city centre, Christiania, and the opera house. We used Kayak Republic, located by a floating beach and cafe in Børsen. The company offers guided trips, too, with double kayaks.
Family rafting adventure in Sweden
Building our own timber log raft was a real family team exercise: our 13-year-old became the knots and rope expert, the 15-year-old provided the brawn and the eight-year-old verbally supervised. Once it was constructed (overseen by instructors from Nature Travels) we had seven days to float down the Klarälven river, enjoying wildlife, fishing, swimming and relaxing. Each night brought the excitement of finding the perfect camping spot in a grassy dell or spotless beach and the opportunity to explore using the Canadian canoe that we towed behind the raft. There were challenges: extracting the raft from overhanging branches using a folding saw, trying to stop a two-tonne raft by wrapping a rope around a tree on shore and holding tight. But these all added to the adventure.
Cycling around Båstad, Sweden
From Båstad, we cycled from our house exchange holiday stay along the coast for about two hours to Torekov. From there we took the ferry across to the island of Hallands Väderö, a beautiful place with a small beach hut serving as a cafe on the east side and a lighthouse on the west side. There are many little bays where you can swim in, believe it or not, warm water, during the summer, which was amazing. Also there’s lots of wildlife on the island due to the low impact of humans. It truly was a great day trip along the coastal cycle path, with great views of the sunset in the evening when we were cycling back to Båstad.
Floating sauna near Uppsala, Sweden
Just outside Uppsala, around one hour north of Stockholm, lies the picturesque outdoor adventure area of Fjällnora. Here you can swim, rent kayaks or go fishing in the summer or go ice skating on the frozen lake in the winter. Best of all is the floating sauna, which is amazing all year round. In the summer the feeling you get gazing at the huge blue skies and scenery reflected in the lake as the traditional wood-fired sauna warms you through is wonderful. In the winter, after your sauna, you can plunge in to the lake through a hole carved in the ice (or climb carefully down the steps) if you are so inclined. There are barbecue pits dotted all over with wood provided, so take sausages for dinner.
Climbing Blårhammar mountain, Sweden
Two hours’ drive from the Norwegian city of Trondheim is one of Sweden’s best-kept secrets: Blåhammar mountain. A 10km trail (20km round trip), starting from Storvallen or Storulvån, takes you across plains covered in heather and bracken. Following the lines of sticks to guide skiers in the deep snow, you can pick wild cloudberries to keep your energy up, and marvel at wild reindeer reflected in glassy mountain lakes. The view from the top of Blåhammar makes it well worth the hike. Stop in the small fjällstation rest stop at 1,086 metres for a cup of energising blueberry söppa and rest for a few minutes on the Scandinavian pine benches before the hike back down to civilisation. There is a train from Trondheim to Storlien, which is 4km from Storvallen.