From the Vikings to Hamlet: Historical Homes of Scandinavia
Homes through history
The spectacular Nordic lands of the midnight sun and the northern lights have been home to a vast range of civilisations over the centuries, each leaving their imprint on the region's landscapes. Here the Vikings once ruled the shores and seas; waterfront fortresses protected medieval borders; and lavish palaces appeased Renaissance royalty.
Our tours of the region explore the history of Scandinavian homes, led by experienced Tour Leaders with expert local knowledge and a personal connection to these extraordinary countries.
Venture into Viking lands
There’s no better place to discover Viking history than in the homelands of the infamous warriors.
On our A Scandinavian Journey tour we delve into their fearsome past, starting with a visit to the Gothic Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark.
It’s said that the renowned Viking king Harald Bluetooth is buried here.
Bluetooth was the first Christian Danish king, known for unifying Denmark into one kingdom in the 10th century. He was the inspiration for the namesake wireless technology, which was created to connect devices in the same way King Harald united the tribes. The Bluetooth logo consists of the Old Norse symbols for his initials (ᚼ and ᛒ combined).
On Day 7 of our tour we visit the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo for a fascinating insight into their seafaring triumphs, where remarkably preserved Viking-era vessels await.
On our Norway: Fjords and Glaciers tour we even have the chance to dine in warrior style as we drop into a Viking-themed brewpub along Flåm Harbour, complete with driftwood walls, a rustic central fireplace and sheepskin rugs.
Marvel at the Middle Ages
We immerse ourselves in the medieval era on our Norway: Fjords and Glaciers tour. On Day 2 we pay a visit to the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History – the world’s first open-air heritage site. The museum features examples of rural and urban homes throughout the ages, including farmhouses and apartments. A highlight is a magnificent replica of the 13th-century Gol Stave Church, which contains 800-year-old murals and original wooden carvings.
On Day 2 of A Scandinavian Journey tour we stop in at Malmöhus Castle in Sweden. Founded in 1434 by King Eric of Pomerania, the castle has a varied past; it’s been used as a prison, a Danish Mint and even a social venue for Scandinavian monarchy – Crown Prince Frederick was said to have held wild parties here in the 16th century.
Roam through the Renaissance
Another storied fortress awaits on Day 3 of A Scandinavian Journey as we explore the opulent lakefront Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark with a guided tour. Built as a royal residence in the early 17th century, the Renaissance castle features an elegant baroque garden and is home to the Danish Museum of National History.
There’s a literary scene in store on Day 4 of the tour as we take in the views of Kronborg Castle along the Danish coast.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 16th-century castle is the home of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – in which it’s known as ‘Elsinore’ after the port city it’s located within. The play has been performed at the castle many times, its dramatic setting aligning perfectly with the tragic plot.
Ready to make yourself at home in the cinematic Scandinavian countries? Our tours of Northern Europe are now available to book for 2022.