(credit: Mapics/Shutterstock)

(credit: Mapics/Shutterstock)


Chances are, the last thing you are thinking of when planning a winter vacation is traveling to some of the coldest regions of the world. Scandinavia is home to beautiful countries that get even better when winter arrives. These countries have must-see attractions, beautiful landscapes, interesting wildlife and plenty of winter activities for travelers to enjoy. Seeing Scandinavia in the winter is just something you will have to see for yourself. Once you do, you will quickly discover just how amazing these countries are in the winter.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Denmark

When it gets cold in Denmark, it really gets cold. But that should not stop you from making plans to escape to Denmark during the winter months. Even though temperatures rarely get warmer than -4°C in the middle of the day, there are still so many things to do, see and explore, making Denmark a must-visit destination. Even in the winter! In fact, both residents and visitors do not let the cold bother them — many people can even be seen riding their bicycles around the city.
 
Denmark is home to a variety of fine dining restaurants, boutiques, museums and quaint lodging options. There is so much to see and do, visitors will have fun exploring it all. Plus, winter prices are much lower than they are during the summer months, making a getaway to Denmark affordable. Popular things to do while in Denmark during the winter months include exploring the gardens at Tivoli, Rosenberg Castle, Kronborg Slot, Nylars Rundkirke and Moesgard.
 
Those visiting Denmark will find the perfect accommodation to fit their vacation needs. Accommodation options include everything from budget-friendly hotel rooms to luxurious suites. Popular places to stay while in Denmark include Hotel Royal, Copenhagen Strand, Nimb Hotel and Stammershalle Badehotel. Visitors looking for a place to eat or drink are sure to enjoy Madklubben, Noma, Fiskebaren, Aamanns and Dyrehaven.

Related: Best Winter Getaways In America

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Finland

Snow is almost everywhere in eastern and northern Finland during the months of January and February. This makes Finland another must-visit destination in Scandinavia during the winter. Because of the high chances of snow coverage, many visitors flock to Finland to enjoy skiing the slopes of Lapland. But that is not all there is that makes Finland a must-visit winter destination. In fact, Finland is also the home of Santa (who lives in the Finnish town of Rovaniemi) and many festivals are planned around Christmastime. Do not forget to get outside at night and look up at the sky for the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. It is definitely something you do not want to miss.
 
Though it gets very cold in Finland and daylight hours are limited, there are still many things to see and do while on vacation. Must-see attractions include Rauma Maritime Museum, Arktikum, Tietomaa, Helsinki Senate Square, National Museum of Finland and Helsinki Cathedral. Top activities visitors in Finland enjoy include skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, kicksledding, dog sledding, saiing on an ice breaker boat, ice fishing, catching a local hockey match and snowshoeing. Do not forget to take time to enjoy a Finnish sauna experience at one of the many sauna houses in the area.
 
Unique accommodation options while in Finland include staying in an igloo or ice hotel. These accommodations can be found at Hotel Iso-Syote, Kakslauttanen Artic Resort, Snow Hotel at Snow Village and the Artic Snow Hotel. Other popular places to stay while visiting Finland include Hotel Lasaretti, Hotel Kalevala, Glo Hotel Kluuvi and Hotel Haven. Treat yourself to an amazing meal by dining at one, or more, of the many popular restaurants found throughout Finland. Some of these restaurants include Siikaluoma, Ravintola and Sokeri-Jussi Kievari.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Sweden

Though many believe visiting Sweden is more captivating in the summer months, there are still many reasons to make plans to see this country during the winter. Visitors will find a variety of winter activities to do, including skiing, nature exploration and hotels made of ice. These are just a few of the many things available to do, and it is all set in an amazing and breathtaking atmosphere.
 
One fun activity is going on safari to track reindeer, wolverines, wolves, lynxes, brown bears, musk oxen and moose. These safaris are similar to those in Africa, however, instead of going through savannahs, travelers will track wildlife through Lapland’s wilderness, tundra and forests. Other fun activities and places to visit in Sweden include star gazing, watching the Northern Lights, visiting Abisko National Park, Jokkmokk market, snowshoeing, Aitte Sami museum and Visit Sapmi. One other must-experience activity in Sweden is dog sledding at Sarek National Park.
 
Just like in Finland, you can choose to stay in an ice igloo or hotel while in Sweden. The Icehotel was the world’s first ice hotel, which opened back in 1990. Though this may be a fun place to stay, there are plenty of other places to stay in Sweden. Popular options include Grand Hotel Stockholm, Hotel Rival Stockholm and Nobis Hotel Stockholm. Sweden is home to some of the best restaurants in the world. Those looking for some local cuisine will have fun dining at Restaurang Samernas, Restaurant Oaxen Krog & Slip, Restaurant Mathias Dahlgren and Restaurant PM & Vanner.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Norway

Most people who make their way to Norway for vacation do so to enjoy the fresh snow and fantastic ski resorts. Visitors can take advantage of all kinds of ski areas and terrains while visiting. Everything from downhill skiing to cross-country skiing and snowboarding to tubing can be done throughout most of the country. Though there are plenty of snow-related activities available to do in Norway, there is so much more to see and do while there.Must-see attractions in Norway include the Viking Ship Museum, Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Lofoten, Akershus Fortress and Fram Museum. Other activities including scuba diving, biking, hiking, experiencing polar nights and staying up to watch the Northern Lights. The list of things to do in the winter is near endless, which is why so many enjoy visiting Norway this time of year.
 
Popular places to stay in Norway include The Hanseatic Hotel in Bergen, Dalen Hotel, Hotel Union, Quality Spa & Resort Norefjell and Grims Grenka. While there, you have to experience the local culture and cuisine. Top restaurants in the area include Maltid, Huset, Renaa Matbaren and Tre Bror Café & Bar.
 
Related: 5 Best Family-Friendly Winter Activities And Destinations

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Faroe Islands

Part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, are made up of 18 volcanic islands that are nestled between Iceland and Norway. These islands are connected by a series of roads, tunnels, causeways, bridges and ferries, making it possible for travelers to easily get from one island to another. The Faroe Island are the perfect place for nature lovers to visit. This is mostly because there are plenty of nature trails to hike, and bird watchers will have fun exploring the valleys and coastal cliffs in search of thousands of seabirds that reside on these islands.
 
They may be small, but the Faroe Islands still offer travelers a unique experience. Must-do activities on the islands include hiking, boating, helicopter tours, rappelling, exploring museums and shopping. Must-see attractions include Nolsoy, Torshavn Cathedral, Tynwald Hill, Magnus Catherdral and Hestur.
 
Popular places to stay in the Faroe Islands include Hotel Foroyar, Hafnia, Klaksvik Hotel and Gjaargardur Guesthouse. Looking for something to eat? The Faroe Islands are home to unique restaurants including Aarstova, Koks, Restaurant 11 and Barbara Fish House.
 
Not everyone thinks about traveling to where it is cold in the winter. In fact, many vacationers look for a warm tropical destination to visit when temperatures start to drop. However, Scandinavia offers so many unique experiences during the winter months, making this region a must-visit at least once during the winter.

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.
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