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Food in Scandinavia

January 12, 2022

Filed under: The Land And The People — Tags: , , , , , — Marcelo Guimaraes @ 4:30 pm

appetizer of herring anchovy and baked potatoNo one thought very much about Scandinavian dining until the arrival of New Nordic Cuisine and its flagbearer Noma – the three-Michelin star restaurant in Copenhagen voted best in the world several times since it opened a decade or so ago.

Tucked into the far north of Europe and almost entirely surrounded by seas, Scandinavian cuisine is heavily reliant on seafood, local crops which can be grown in the short summer season, and the foraging of wild fruits and nuts. This makes it unique and a must-try during any visit to the region. Relatively simple in form, it is known as farmers fare (husmanskost).

What can you expect from restaurant menus in Scandinavia? We’ve brought together a literal smorgasbord of foods, some well-known across the globe, others still very much limited to their homeland. (more…)

Christmas in Scandinavia

December 6, 2021

god julChristmas and Scandinavia go together like snatched kisses and sprigs of mistletoe, with frequent snowfalls ensuring a wondrous wintry backdrop.

But don’t worry, because the region’s traditions and seasonal events will keep you feeling all warm and festive. Add to this the real-life home of Santa Claus in Finnish Lapland and the chance to soak up the otherworldliness of the Northern Lights, and you’re all set for an unforgettable Christmas in Scandinavia. (more…)

The Best of the In-A-Nutshell Tours of the Norwegian Fjords

December 2, 2021

Tours of the Norwegian Fjords

The fjords are a must-see attraction for anyone traveling to Norway. But with at least 1,700 of these named deep-water sea inlets to choose between, it can be difficult for travelers to know where to spend their time. If this is the case, our guide to the Norwegian Fjords for Travelers should be especially useful.

Although the fjords stretch right along Norway’s coastline for 100,000 kilometer (60,000 mile), many of the most attractivecan be found in the country’s south and central areas. It’s therefore incredible easy for visitors to the country to absorb their wonder on tours from Norway’s largest cities: Oslo and Bergen. (more…)

Traveling to Iceland Post COVID – My Return

November 3, 2021

Icelandair flight

On my way to Iceland… finally!

In January of 2020 I returned home from Iceland, after a great tradeshow, not knowing that visiting Iceland anytime in the foreseeable future would simply be impossible. I did not know what was about to hit us. No one knew.

Much uncertainty took place and many months passed until an announcement was made on March 16th, 2021 (my 48th birthday), that Iceland would once again welcome tourists from the USA. Music to my ears! Fast forward 7 more months and I was boarding a plane, once again, to Keflavik. The trip was for another tradeshow, Vestnorden 2021, taking place in the Keflavik region. Understandably, my excitement was at a maximum.

Here I will share with you my experience and tell you what post-COVID Iceland looks like.
(more…)

Norwegian Fjords for Travelers – The Stuff that Matters

December 17, 2020

by Marcelo Guimaraes – Founder & Owner of Discover Scandinavia Tours

Pulpit Rock

Pulpit Rock

If someone were to ask me: “Marcelo, what are the top-three Scandinavian attractions that your clients want to experience?” my answer certainly would include the Norwegian fjords. Fjords in Norway are a must. The other two would be the Northern Lights and a tie among Viking sites, castles and natural scenery (I know… that’s more than three. Yes, I cheated.)

Instead of trying to answer how many fjords exist in Norway, or what the 17 prettiest ones are, or any such nonsensical questions typical of many blogs out there, I will focus on my experience. It’s what I always do when I write these pieces: I describe what I have personally experienced or what our clients share with us. I like to talk about what, I believe, matters to travelers. So, let’s dive into some Norwegian fjords. Pun. Intended. (more…)

The Best Ways to Travel Between Scandinavian Countries

December 7, 2020

by Marcelo Guimaraes – Founder & Owner of Discover Scandinavia Tours

travel in Scandinavia

On my way to Scandinavia! (2018)

Scandinavia Tours: Many Options For Transportation

Scandinavia – land of the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun – offers a robust and diverse transportation system, which allows you to travel efficiently and comfortably… if you know how to get around. The good news is: if you don’t, you may end up enjoying more scenery than you planned. Planning those adventures is ALL we do at Discover Scandinavia Tours.

Let’s look at the many ways you can move from country to country and also within each of the 5 Scandinavian nations: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. (more…)

How to Pay for Things When Vacationing in Scandinavia

November 9, 2020

by Marcelo Guimaraes – Founder & Owner of Discover Scandinavia Tours

  1. Introduction – Travel Money

Scandinavian CurrencyI still remember being a preteen and going with my dad to the bank to buy traveler’s cheques for our upcoming international family trip. But that was the early 80s and things have changed much since (I miss the music, tough… and Atari). It has become much simpler to travel abroad and pay for goods and services, but that aspect of traveling is still a source of questions when preparing for an international adventure.

Many questions from our clients who are about to travel to Scandinavia have to do with money: how do I pay for things over there? Do they accept US dollars? Do I need to carry cash? How much should I plan on spending on food? Let’s take a look at some of those questions and answer them on this article. (more…)

Tipping Etiquette in Scandinavia – Tips on Tips

November 5, 2020

by Marcelo Guimaraes – Founder & Owner of Discover Scandinavia Tours

  1. Introduction

Vacationing here, in the USA, generally involves a lot of tipping. Depending on where you stay and what you do, you are expected to tip your waiters, guides, drivers… the list goes on and on. In fact, preparing a gratuity budget is not a bad idea.

That is different when you vacation in Scandinavia, though. Let’s take a look into the expectations and etiquette for tipping in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, for various services. (more…)

ALL the Answers You Need on Scandinavian Ice Hotels (3 “Hidden” Gems)

September 25, 2020

Filed under: Scandinavian Attractions — Tags: , , — Marcelo Guimaraes @ 2:50 pm

by Marcelo Guimaraes – Founder & Owner of Discover Scandinavia Tours

INTRODUCTION – Is an Ice Hotel Stay for Me?

Marcelo at the Snow Igloo in Alta

The Snow Igloo was melting when I got there…

Great news: you have decided to go on an awesome winter vacation in Lapland! Now you are thinking about all the fun things you will see and experience there, so these questions are inevitable: how about those hotels made of ice? Should I try that?

The answer is: YES! Well, perhaps if you are like my mother, who strongly despises the cold more than anything, you should rethink the whole trip… but otherwise, the experience is something you should not miss. There are several candidates (hotels made entirely of ice, that is) all over northern Scandinavia, so let’s get to know some of hotels and answer some of the most common questions that travelers have about them.

Also, chances are that you have heard of the original Ice Hotel, near Kiruna (Sweden). It was the first ice hotel built, back in 1989. They are great and consistently deliver an outstanding experience, but every single blog out there already mentions them. Therefore, I want to shine the spotlight on three other ice hotels which you should also consider visiting. (more…)

How to Set Up A Glacier Vacation in Iceland or Norway

September 22, 2020

Filed under: Awesome Itineraries,Scandinavian Attractions — Tags: , , , — Marcelo Guimaraes @ 4:16 pm

by Marcelo Guimaraes – Founder & Owner of Discover Scandinavia Tours

INTRODUCTION – What Can I Do on a Glacier?

Marcelo & guides on Vatnajokull

Marcelo and 2 guides during a hike on Vatnajokull (March 2014).

To most people, the idea of walking on a glacier is pretty exotic and seemingly out of reach. Seeing the inside of a glacier may even sound impossible… but it isn’t, fortunately! If you know how to get to a glacier and how to safely explore it, the adventure becomes accessible and realizable. That is what I intend on doing here: to cut through all the confusing information out there and give you just what you need: 1) a list of a few highly accessible glaciers; 2) information on how to get to them, and 3) how to best explore them. Specifically, I will be discussing glaciers in Iceland and Norway, since the glacier tourism infrastructure in those countries is quite developed. (more…)

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