WHAT TO SEE ON A 3-WEEK TOUR OF SCANDINAVIA?
Scandinavia is a region of Northern Europe covering Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Visiting all three countries in one trip makes perfect sense as they are well-connected via modern motorways, railways and waterways. For your three-week tour, we highly recommend incorporating the Scandinavian Triangle route.
This circuit comprises Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen – the Scandinavian capitals. Hop between these culturally vibrant cities and take in their distinctive charms. You can spend your time enjoying walking tours, savouring delicious meals in local restaurants, or cycling along pedestrianised streets and bike lanes.
On top of cultural delights, your three-week Scandinavia tour will treat you to breathtaking natural beauty. Travel here and you’ll discover a land brimming with gorgeous scenery, from the idyllic islands of the Stockholm archipelago, Sweden, to the majestic fjords near Bergen, Norway.
With 21 days to spend, you could witness a variety of stunning landscapes in Scandinavia. You’d also have time to visit Iceland, where volcanoes, waterfalls and glaciers await you. Reykjavík is just a 2-hour flight from Bergen, so you can easily have the complete Nordic experience on a three-week tour.
As a Northern European tour operator, Nordic Visitor specialises in organising holidays to this beautiful corner of the world. We have many more ideas and Scandinavia travel tips to help you explore the region your way!
Here’s one of our suggestions for a Scandinavia 3-week itinerary:
Day 1 - Arrive in Stockholm, Sweden
Fly into Stockholm Arlanda Airport and head to your hotel in the city centre. Spend some time walking through Gamla Stan (the Old Town). Enjoy a fika (a Swedish coffee break) with a nice pastry at one of the local cafés in this medieval neighbourhood.
Day 2 - The highlights of Stockholm
Spend a full day in the Swedish capital, discovering the city’s attractions and districts. You could join a sightseeing tour to see the best of Stockholm in a day, taking you to must-see spots like the City Hall, Royal Palace and trendy Södermalm quarter.
Or, a ferry ride will whisk you off to the island of Djurgården, home to the Nordic Museum and Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum. Meanwhile, a day trip to the Stockholm Archipelago means you could swim in the Baltic Sea and hike through forests.
Day 3 - Fly to Copenhagen, Denmark
Head to Stockholm Airport after breakfast and board a plane to Copenhagen. Once in Denmark’s capital, take a walk down the city’s popular Strøget street for a bite to eat, or go check out the fun and games at the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park.
Day 4 - Discover Copenhagen
Soak up the charms of Copenhagen today, either on your own or as part of an escorted tour. You might want to visit Rosenborg Castle, the Botanical Garden and Torvehallerne food market.
We also recommend hopping on a boat tour to see Christiansborg Palace, the Royal Danish Opera House and the colourful Christianshavn Canal from the water. Or you could choose day trips from Copenhagen to explore rural Denmark.
Day 5 - Overnight cruise to Oslo, Norway
Ahead of your journey to Oslo, spend the day enjoying more of Copenhagen. Why not make like the bicycle-happy Danes and rent a bike?
You could check out the exquisite Amalienborg Palace, as well as the colourful Nyhavn harbour and the Little Mermaid statue. Later, head to the port for your cruise to Oslo.
Day 6 - Explore Norway’s capital city
After your ship arrives early in the morning, the whole day is yours to roam Oslo. Take a walk to the bustling Aker Brygge waterfront area and visit the Akershus Fortress. Or, head to the Bygdøy peninsula to see the well-preserved vessels at the popular Viking Ship Museum.
If you love art, make sure to take a walk through the delightful Vigeland Sculpture Park. Don’t miss a visit to Oslo City Hall if you want to see where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held.
Day 7 - Train journey to Trondheim
Leave Oslo behind today as you board a train at Oslo Central Station for Trondheim. The 6.5-hour train ride will reveal some of Norway’s jaw-dropping landscapes, from the Dovre mountain plateau to charming towns and nature reserves.
Upon arrival, rest up at your hotel or explore local attractions such as the Bakklandet district and Nidaros Cathedral.
Day 8 - West coast cruise
Look forward to 2 special days aboard the Hurtigruten cruise ship, for a close look at the coastal scenery of Norway. The vessel takes you along the Trondheim Fjord and past Hitra island, to later dock at the towns of Kristiansund, Molde and Ålesund.
Day 9 - Cruise to Bergen
Soak up more maritime views this morning from the Hurtigruten cruise, passing Torvik, Maløy, and Florø before you disembark at the lovely city of Bergen.
Known as the gateway to the fjords, Bergen is Norway’s charming second city with plenty of its own attractions to uncover. You can visit the medieval houses of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bryggen, and take the funicular up Mount Fløyen for a panoramic view of the city and fjords.
Day 10 - Scenic train journey to Flåm
This morning, go to Bergen Train Station to begin your Norway in a Nutshell® tour – one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. Change at Myrdal to board the Flåm Railway for one of the top highlights of the entire trip: a 900-metre (half-mile) descent to the picturesque village of Flåm.
At Flåm, hop on a cruise that takes you through the fjords to Gudvangen. You’ll be able to admire the glittering waters, cascading falls and forested mountains of Sognefjord, passing through Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.
When you reach Gudvangen, it’s an exciting coach and train ride back to Bergen via Stalheimskleiva – the steepest road in Europe, with 13 hairpin bends.
Day 11 - Discover Bergen
You have a full day to see more of Bergen. You could go hiking in the mountainous surrounds of this waterfront city or visit some of the fantastic museums for a dose of culture. Two of our top recommendations are the Edvard Grieg museum and the KODE art museum.
Enjoy dinner at one of the fantastic restaurants here and get ready for your flight to Iceland tomorrow.
Day 12 - Fly from Bergen to Reykjavík, Iceland
Fly from Bergen-Flesland Airport to Reykjavík where your Iceland adventure begins! Spend the day at leisure in the capital city, exploring museums, shops and restaurants as well as landmarks like Hallgrímskirkja church.
Day 13 - The Golden Circle
Pick up your rental car and head south to start your Full Circle driving tour of Iceland. There’s no better introduction to this Nordic nation than the Golden Circle, a route that begins from Reykjavík and incorporates a host of popular attractions.
These include Þingvellir National Park, where you can walk on the rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Your other stops are the Haukadalur geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall, two of Iceland’s most famous sites.
Day 14 - Drive the south coast
Next up on your self-drive tour are natural gems of the south coast. Marvel at the mighty waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, and walk on the black sands of Reynisfjara beach. From here you can make out the natural rock arch of Dyrhólaey, and the jagged sea stacks of Reynisdrangar rising from the sea.
Another intriguing natural attraction you can witness today is the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, carved up by a glacial river. You might want to try a guided glacier walk, ATV tour or snowmobiling excursion in this glacier and volcano-studded landscape.
Day 15 - Discover Vatnajökull National Park
Continue along the Ring Road to explore more natural sites on the south coast. You could go hiking in Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Vatnajökull National Park, or see waterfalls like Svartifoss. You might want to opt for a guided glacier hike for a quintessential Iceland activity.
Afterwards, continue to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon to witness floating icebergs at the southern side of the Vatnajökull glacier. This is one of the most iconic sights in Iceland which you can enjoy on a boat tour between mid-May and mid-September.
Day 16 - Drive north to Lake Mývatn
Your journey today will take you past remote landscapes in East Iceland as you head north. Marvel at beautiful fjords, fishing villages, tundra and mountains, stopping to take photos on the way.
Once you reach the Lake Mývatn region, you can choose from a host of geothermal sites to visit. There’s the Krafla volcano, Námaskarð pass and Hverfjall tephra crater, fascinating examples of Iceland’s volcanic geology.
Day 17 - Wonders of North Iceland
Spend more time in the Lake Mývatn area today to experience the many delights of North Iceland. If you’re visiting between March and November, you might be tempted to go whale watching from Húsavík, an unforgettable wildlife experience. You could also see puffins between April and August.
Or go hiking in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park to see the 24-kilometre (15-mile) long river canyon and horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi gorge. You’ll also find Europe’s most powerful waterfall in Jökulsárgljúfur. Dettifoss is 45 metres (148 feet) tall and 100 metres (328 feet) wide, making for an incredible sight.
At the end of the day, bathe in the warm waters of Mývatn Nature Baths, a naturally heated geothermal pool.
Day 18 - Drive to Skagafjörður via Akureyri
Hit the Ring Road again and drive west to Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest town. Here you can check out the Old Town architecture, shops and museums, or dip into the botanical garden.
Continue your drive to Skagafjörður and feel free to stop off at some interesting attractions on the way. Discover Tröllaskagi (“Trolls peninsula”) for views of the mountains, cliffs and fjords. Or relax in the Hofsós thermal pools, with the option to soak in a beer bath!
Day 19 - Journey to the Snæfellsnes peninsula
The route to Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula rewards you with yet more stunning views and inviting attractions. See the mounds of Vatnsdalshólar, Þingeyrakirkja church, and Eiríksstaðir museum – home of the famous Viking, Erik the Red.
Bathe in the hot spring waters of Guðrúnarlaug, or wander through the charming fishing village of Stykkishólmur. Walk up the little hill rising from the harbour to enjoy sweeping views of the town, sea and mountains.
Day 20 - Explore the Snæfellsnes peninsula
Your last full day in Iceland will be filled with beautiful sites as you discover Snæfellsnes.
Drive around the peninsula to reach Snæfellsjökull National Park, looking out the window to see birds, valleys and lava fields as you go. Visit Djúpalónssandur black sand beach, Dritvík cove and the cliffs of Lóndrangar, Hellnar and Arnarstapi, thriving with birdlife and dotted with small villages.
In the national park itself, marvel at the Snæfellsjökull stratovolcano and glacier as well as caves, craters and Rauðfeldargjá, the “hidden waterfall”. Afterwards, drive to Reykjavík for your final night in Iceland.
Day 21 - Depart from Reykjavík, Iceland
If time allows, enjoy a final activity today such as bathing in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa or discovering the Reykjanes peninsula. Fly home from Keflavík International Airport, having enjoyed 3 weeks in Scandinavia and Iceland.
What other ideas are there for a 3-week Scandinavia itinerary?
There are many other ways you could experience Scandinavia in three weeks. You might want to add the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn to your itinerary. A Baltic cruise gives you the chance to stop at these fascinating capitals before docking in Stockholm.
Or you might want to delve deeper into Norway. On a Hurtigruten cruise, you could head further up the beautiful west coast towards the Lofoten Islands. This would allow you to see more of the stunning Norwegian fjords, national parks and coastline.
If you visit northern Scandinavia in winter, you’d be able to try your luck chasing aurora borealis. Visit Swedish Lapland, Finnish Lapland or Northern Norway in the Arctic Circle for the optimum chance of catching sight of the magical northern lights. You could even meet Santa Claus in Lapland!
Good to know: Most of our itineraries aren't set in stone, and there are many possibilities for customised routes! We can modify your tour if you'd prefer to arrive in a different city, spend more free time in one destination than another, or add other towns to your trip.
Just ask your Nordic Visitor travel consultant for advice.
How about a 3-week Scandinavia road trip?
On a self-drive tour in Scandinavia, you’ll have the freedom to pull the car over at any attractions that catch your interest.
The best part? You won’t have to worry about how to rent a car or book hotels, because your Nordic Visitor travel consultant has already sorted those local arrangements for you. You’ll also have access to our 24/7 emergency helpline should you need to call us at any point.
Your 3-week Scandinavia road trip could encompass a convenient circular route, starting and ending in Stockholm. Drive south to Copenhagen then catch the ferry to Oslo, enjoying the culture and cuisine of the capital cities.
Head to Bergen and spend a few days exploring the fjords from here to Ålesund. Then soak up the countryside of southern Norway and Sweden, visiting national parks, lakes and heritage sites before returning to Stockholm.
If you want your Scandinavia road trip to include Helsinki, you could start in the Finnish capital and take a Baltic cruise to Stockholm from there. Or combine Scandinavia with an Iceland self-drive tour, or fly over to Scotland and Ireland for an extended European road trip in these Celtic countries.
All of Nordic Visitor’s Scandinavia self-drive tour packages can be tailored by our local experts with extra days at select locations or modified driving routes. If you have any particular attractions in mind, just contact us to ask.
Interested in a guided tour of Scandinavia?
To see the region from a local’s point of view and make some new friends along the way, a guided small group tour of the Scandinavia countries is an excellent option!
You’ll get an enriching experience of Scandinavia on a small group tour, getting under the skin of Sweden, Denmark and Norway in the company of like-minded visitors. You could combine a small group tour in Scandinavia (ranging from 7 to 14 days) with a small group tour in Iceland (5 to 14 days).
Our small group tours in Scandinavia and Iceland allow you to get the most out of your trip thanks to the expertise of a local guide. What’s more, you’ll be travelling alongside 16 people at most, so the experience is still personal for you.
Prefer a self-guided tour of Scandinavia?
If you would like to discover Scandinavia on your own but prefer not to drive, then an independent tour is the perfect choice. Public transportation in Scandinavia is fast, reliable and punctual, so getting around by train and ferry is a great alternative to driving.
By opting for a three-week train and cruise tour of Scandinavia, you’ll benefit from having your itinerary arrangements made for you but with the freedom to spend your days however you please. Nordic Visitor will book all your accommodation and travel tickets between destinations, and you can add on activities too.
Plus, by booking an independent tour of Scandinavia you’ll still be able to enjoy the usual Nordic Visitor benefits. These include access to our 24/7 helpline, a detailed personal itinerary, helpful travel guide and daily breakfast.
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