SENIORS TRAVEL TO SCANDINAVIA

Nov 21st, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Seek Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Looking for senior citizen adventure?  Like the Scandinavian countries?  Have a good pair of ear-muffs and a nice parka?  Seniors, just maybe one of these will be to your liking.

Arctic trek complete with icy river crossings and wildlife got your name written all over it? Grab your gear and two-foot the Kungsleden trail in Swedish Lapland to experience a section of Sweden’s unspoiled, tundra-like landscape surrounded by spectacular mountains, crystal-clear streams, and unique wildlife. The Kungsleden—or “King’s Trail,” in honor of the country’s monarch—is the oldest marked long-distance trail in Scandinavia and was established by the government almost a century ago.

Skip the Olympic hamlet of Lillehammer and head one and a half hours north to the Sjoa river in Heidal valley for Norwegian froth at its best. White-water rafting and kayaking are what attract seniors to this wild and turbulent stream, which serves up class II to IV drops. Gear can be rented in the area’s river rescue school, which also organizes courses for beginners, as well as tours for more.

While the Kungleden trail may be the oldest, it is no longer the longest marked trail in northern Scandinavia.  Nordkalottleden—or the Arctic trail—begins near Kvikkjokk in northern Sweden and leads hardcore hikers 496 miles via Norway to the Finnish Lapland. For some, the thought of mingling with polar bears is as appealing as eating herring.  For the brave senior wildlife enthusiasts interested in viewing these creatures in the wild, a trip to Scandinavia’s Svalbard Islands is an absolute must.

Head to Longyearbyen, the area’s capital, where adventurers can rent camping equipment, snowmobiles, and protection (read: guns) recommended by local tourist authorities. Dive old Viking haunts on Norway’s western coast. The small island of Haaholmen near Kristiansund is an ideal place to disappear beneath the surface and dive into the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean. Though waters are cool, dive quality is high—the deep, clear waters and surrounding air are virtually pollution-free.

Seniors Find the Arctic Musk Ox

Tucked into central Norway, outside the hamlet of Dombes, is one of the four places in the world where the Arctic musk ox can be viewed in the wild. Summer walking safaris are organized from late June to late August to see these unkempt, half-ton beasts. These safaris last approximately six hours, and guests are virtually guaranteed an encounter with the shaggy arctic creatures.

In a country defined by its mountains, the possibilities for climbing are endless. One of Norway’s best is Jotunheimen—jotun means giant, and heim is home—and Jotunheimen is just that. The park is home to some of the largest peaks in central Norway and, according to ancient mythology, the Norse gods as well.

Drive your own team of huskies across miles of sparkling, snow-covered wilderness in northern Finland. Head to the northern town of Rovaniemi, where you can sign on for a guided trip through Finnish wilderness. The long twilight hours color the Finnish sky with hues of blue, creating an almost fairytale-like atmosphere.

The River Namsen, northeast of Trondheim, is regarded as one of the most productive salmon rivers in Norway. Head to the Seem beat—just two miles downriver from the confluence of the Namsen and Sandxla rivers—one of the places in the area to catch our pink friends. So tank up and head north.  Pick out one or two and go for it.  Have a memorable adventure!  jeb



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  1. [...] is a long country that runs all the way to the Arctic Circle and Lapland. Travelingcolors will perk up your interests with some great photos of Denmark. Google [...]

  2. [...] Lapland is home to a flourishing indigenous people called the Sami, as well as a magnificent parade of scenic treats that truly come alive in the summer. Due to its location north of the Arctic Circle, Lapland is bathed in sunlight around the clock, non-stop for two precious months a year. [...]

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