In June 2017 we visited the 5 Northernmost Capitals of the World – Reykjavik ( Iceland ), Helsinki ( Finland ), Oslo ( Norway ), Tallinn ( Estonia ) and Stockholm ( Sweden ).
In June 2017 we visited the 5 Northernmost Capitals of the World – here in order of how far north they are (with country and latitude) - in the course of Baltic Cruise and Tour:
64.13 Reykjavik ( Iceland )
60.17 Helsinki ( Finland )
59.95 Oslo ( Norway )
59.44 Tallinn ( Estonia )
59.33 Stockholm ( Sweden )
In case you are interested, the following capitals make up the top 10 in order ( 5 to 10): Riga ( Latvia ), Moscow (Russia ), Copenhagen ( Denmark ), Vilnius ( Lithuania ) and Minsk ( Belarus ).
We included some wonderful highlights like the Blue Lagoon in Iceland which is one of the most visited sites in the country. Being so far north, you can still read in June without artificial light at 1.30 am !!!
The Golden Circle Tour in Iceland is a great introduction to the country: Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir geothermal area, an Iceland horse farm, and so much more. The landscapes vary between a moonlike scenery and rugged coast lines. We got a perfect glance at a country which boasts glaciers, volcanoes and endless fields of lupine flowers…
The food is also part of the experience with great seafood and emphasis on organic food production.
Fun fact: Iceland Ponies have some very smooth gaits and the lovely rider proved that ti us as she sped around the course, holding a glass of beer without spilling it ( I can see the orders for Iceland Ponies increase quite dramatically )
The journey included a cruise from Stockholm on Costa Cruise Lines which helps in keeping the cost in check as the Northern countries certainly are not easy on one’s pocket book. We included all the necessary excursions and had a very inclusive program with few extra costs to worry about! And you will appreciate that, as a beer ( .4 l) in Oslo will set you back at least Euro 10 ( Can $ 15 ) and in Reykjavik about the same.
You will also realize that Sweden is “living” the innovative / practical style which we have got to know through Ikea. Helsinki is a pulsating habour city during the summer especially
and St.Petersburg has so many cultural sights, that the 2 days spent there were filled with incredible highlights: Catherine’s Palace ( with the famous Amber room ) in Pushkin, Peterhof Palace with its spectacular fountains and gardens and of course the Hermitage Museum along with some great Basilicas and our evening program: Tschaikovsky’s Swan Lake in a great venue: the Alexandrinsky Theatre! You even might catch a glimpse of Peter the Great or Catherine the Great ( always ready for picture opportunities )
Tallinn impressed with its medieval charm and the Hanseatic look of its old town.
It was also by far the most reasonable town in our itinerary in terms of spending money on shopping etc and the locals are very friendly.
You could go and try a tasty elk soup in a medieval looking restaurant/kitchen right underneath the city hall arcades
After ending the cruise in Stockholm a visit to the beautiful outdoor Skansen museum offered a great insight into the Folklore of the country. We also visited the unique VASA museum, hosting the ship with the same name, which went down over 330 year ago and remained untouched in the mud of Stockholm harbor before being raised and restored to its former glory.
A train ride to Oslo rounded out our program. After exploring the fascinating Vigeland sculpture park and the Holmenkollen ski jump, we had a day at leisure which we used for additional sightseeing. A walk on the roof of the fascinating structure of the Opera house is a treat and a short boat trip to the museum island almost a must: the Viking ship museum, the Maritime Museum and above all the unique THOR HEYERDAL museum are worth checking out.
Oslo also has a very creative and hip side to it, a little bit inland from the water
The Northern Capitals enchant through their sunny demeanour during the summer months, friendly and self-confident people, happy to show you their countries. The cruise ( watch for the next newsletter, featuring Costa Cruise Lines ) also helped in maximising vacation budget and offering the chance to “tie” all these great capitals together in one trip.
P.S.: Due to popular demand we will offer this tour again in 2018 !!!
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