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Vacation Ideas  
User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1995 times:

Ok I started a thread about a month ago and I have dine some thinking since me and my wifes 10th anniversary is next year.
Vacation Ideas For Next Year (by Mike89406 Sep 13 2007 in Aviation Polls & Prefs)
I was doing some pricing and CO seems to have decent airfares to Norway for next spring.

I also started to draw some interest in Finland after watching a movie filmed in the Lapland Region up by the Arcitc Circle. It had a scene where this lady was watching the midnight sun from a cabin on a lake and the cabin was located on the Arctic Circle anyways to my question, Would Finland, Norway, or Sweden be a good destination to vacation? And what does anyone think about going up to the farther northern section? I don't even know my geography of the region.
BTW what time of year is good to watch the midnight sunm and how are the towns etc.. Or is it crazy to go up there.

Any ideas would be welcome.


Regards, Mike

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFighterPilot From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1394 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1994 times:

You could probably do something similar here in Canada for less money, but that wouldn't be as fun as going to Europe. You'd have to be making the trip during their summer, during or around the longest day of the year to get the full effect of the "midnight sun" Of course if going up north is too hard or expensive, you could always go to Paris or somewheres else nice in Europe if it's not to cliche.

Cal  airplane 



*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
User currently offlineSurfpunk From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1990 times:

I know I;ve always wanted to go to Stockholm, but then again, I'm a full-blooded Swede by ancestry, so there's a bit of bias there.

User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1980 times:

Quoting Mike89406 (Thread starter):
Would Finland, Norway, or Sweden be a good destination to vacation?

A lot of people from Germany travel to these countries for their summer vacation (some other go their for winter vacation, too enjoying cross country skiing, downhill skiing, as it is much more relaxed than in the Alps).
Many people go by camper or bring along their tents, but also wooden huts are up for rent (by the week).
The cities offer good hotels.

Another batch of people take a coach tour of Norway or Scandinavia, of which a visit to Nordkapp, the northernmost point of continental Europe (at least this is the common understanding) is the highlight (reported to be rather touristy).

Alternative is to use a "cruise ferry" along the coast of Norway known as Hurtigruten. This used to be a postal shipping line going all the way to Kirkenes, calling at many (!) ports enroute. Nowadays, they still carry freight, but make their main revenue from passengers in cruise-style cabins.

Summers usually are warm to slightly hot, but a week of rain can also occur.

The nonplusultra of unusual experience would be a visit to the island of Spitsbergen which is about 1000 miles north of the Nordkapp. In 2006 some fellow A.netters held a meeting up there: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet (by Birdwatching Aug 10 2006 in Non Aviation)

On a serious side:
If funds permit and to maximize your experience of Scandinavia:
- fly into Oslo, Norway (OSL)
- then take the Hurtigruten (not sure where they board) north via Nordkapp to Kirkenes, Norway but spare the return sailing.
- travel from Kirkenes (overland or by plane) to Lappland (visit Santa Claus' village at Rovaniemi, Finland ?)
- continue to Helskini, Finland (HEL)
- from Helsinki, take a daytrip to Tallinn, Estonia by ferry / catamaran / helicopter
- take ferry or aircraft to Stockholm
- Fly home from Stockholm (ARN)
Overall estimate about 2 to 2.5 weeks for such an itinerary (add/delete time as appropriate)

Best time of year would be mid-May thru end of July. Midnight sun at the Nordkapp lasts for 2.5 months.
Down south in Helsinki we had the sun up at end of July this year for about 18+ hours.

Quoting Mike89406 (Thread starter):
BTW what time of year is good to watch the midnight sun

Some geographics: In order to see the midnight sun (above the horizon) you need to be further north than the Arctic Circle which is 67° North. If you are exactly on that line, the sun will not set on exactly the 21-JUN (begin of summer) only. If you are even further north, you will be able to experience this for more days before and after 21-JUN.

Quoting Mike89406 (Thread starter):
Or is it crazy to go up there.

No it is not (maybe apart from the Svalbard/Spitsbergen-thing ...  )
-HT

EDIT: sp. of Hurtigruten

[Edited 2007-10-16 04:14:40]


Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3428 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1961 times:

Scandinavia is the greatest part of europe, in my opinion. If i had to pick one of the three, it'd be finland, but sweden and norway are just as nice.

User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1922 times:

Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 1):
You could probably do something similar here in Canada for less money, but that wouldn't be as fun as going to Europe. You'd have to be making the trip during their summer, during or around the longest day of the year to get the full effect of the "midnight sun"

I've considered Canada but I don't believe there are as many destinations accessible as some in EU/Scandanavia a but my Idea was to fly to EU as part me and my wifes 10th Anniversary next year. I found an airfare on CO in March 2008 for 500 and some odd dollars before tax to Oslo.

Quoting HT (Reply 3):
A lot of people from Germany travel to these countries for their summer vacation (some other go their for winter vacation, too enjoying cross country skiing, downhill skiing, as it is much more relaxed than in the Alps).
Many people go by camper or bring along their tents, but also wooden huts are up for rent (by the week).
The cities offer good hotels.

Another batch of people take a coach tour of Norway or Scandinavia, of which a visit to Nordkapp, the northernmost point of continental Europe (at least this is the common understanding) is the highlight (reported to be rather touristy).

That sounds interesting

Quoting HT (Reply 3):
Summers usually are warm to slightly hot, but a week of rain can also occur

Is this up in North?

Quoting HT (Reply 3):
The nonplusultra of unusual experience would be a visit to the island of Spitsbergen which is about 1000 miles north of the Nordkapp. In 2006 some fellow A.netters held a meeting up there: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet (by Birdwatching Aug 10 2006 in Non Aviation)

That looked pretty cool however I wonder how cold it gets up there? But yeah thats far north you'd probably see the midnight sun much better.

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 4):
Scandinavia is the greatest part of europe, in my opinion. If i had to pick one of the three, it'd be finland, but sweden and norway are just as nice.

I was thinking about renting a cabin in Finland where I could watch the Midnight sun sorta like the movie "Lovers of the Arctic Circle" if anyone has seen it the last part of the movie takes place in Lapland Finland where it's reminiscence of what i was describing sitting on a nice lake surrounded by the forest watching the midnight sun but close to a small city. Anyways, I digress that would be one cool activity to partake in along with others.

Regards. Mike


User currently onlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3068 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1920 times:

HT's idea is very good, especially the hurtigruten part. Not only will you get too see the tip of Europe, but there will also be the famous fjords of norway. However, when it rains, it rains for more than a couple of days, so beware, that the trip can be great, but can become a weat and cold journey.

I live in the arctic circle in Northern-Norway. It is not as cold as many think, I find some days there being hotter than some of our good summer days here in Australia.

The Hurtigruten stops in many cities along the Norwegian coast, but this is a great way to see some of Norways most beautiful cities and in most cases, you will have maybe a couple of hours to get off the ship and into the cities. Also, the Hurtigruten is the easiest way to see Norway, as driving, taking the bus, or even flying can be a hassle.

I can't say too much about Sweden or Finland, but I've never found Sweden to be a great summer destination, unless you stay by the coast (which then again, means no midnight sun). Finland, in my view is better, but then again, it limits the sight of the midnight sun, unless you travel inland.

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1911 times:

Hi, this is a good link to the travel services in Finland from the Finnish Tourist Board, covers about everything:
http://www.visitfinland.com/w5/index.nsf/(pages)/index

Lapland in summer:
http://www.alacartelapland.com/summer_activities.html

Lapland summer by Canterbury Travels (UK)
http://www.laplandsummer.com/



About the weather: the summers in the (north) Nordic countries can be what so ever, sometimes Lapland is the warmest place, can be even hot there. Usually July has the best weather. You often hear that it's warmer up here than what the tourists expected and anyway the days are long. Finnish Lapland has several aiports, it's easy to get there from HEL atleast, also possible by train.
In summer it's common to rent a cabin in Finland, especially in the Lake area in South-East. Of course it's possible in Lapland too. There in up north Finland winter is the most busy tourist season, hundreds of charter flights bringing 'Santa tourists' from Europe, also the skiing resorst getting more and more foreign tourists nowadays. The tourists services are rather good up there, generally the price level is rather high but lower than in Norway. But the nature in Norway, fjords and such, offers perhaps the best views. The Swedish Lapland has less tourist services but they are getting better all the time.

Map of the Nordic area:


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1904 times:

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 5):
That looked pretty cool however I wonder how cold it gets up there? But yeah thats far north you'd probably see the midnight sun much better.

Temperatures in Longyearbyen (the only town to be called so on Spitsbergen) hover around freezing in the warmest month of the year (July, August). Still there are camping grounds around - and they have a Radisson SAS hotel among others. Flights are frequent from OSL and/or TOS.

___
Finally found it in my IM-history on A.net ...:
If you intend to pay a visit to the city of Tromsoe in northern Norway (see map in reply #7), you might try to get into contact with user "Cedars747"; he used to work as a tour guide in Tromsoe and I am rather sure he could give you some tips about what to do.

___
The only thing to keep in mind when going camping / reting a cabin in Lappland in summer is: Beware of these strong mosquitos !
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3428 posts, RR: 50
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1900 times:

Quoting HT (Reply 8):
Beware of these strong mosquitos !

Very true!

And the bears and the drunk reindeers  duck  Big grin


User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1897 times:

Quoting Andaman (Reply 7):
Hi, this is a good link to the travel services in Finland from the Finnish Tourist Board, covers about everything:
http://www.visitfinland.com/w5/index.nsf/(pages)/index

Lapland in summer:
http://www.alacartelapland.com/summer_activities.html

Lapland summer by Canterbury Travels (UK)
http://www.laplandsummer.com/



About the weather: the summers in the (north) Nordic countries can be what so ever, sometimes Lapland is the warmest place, can be even hot there. Usually July has the best weather. You often hear that it's warmer up here than what the tourists expected and anyway the days are long. Finnish Lapland has several aiports, it's easy to get there from HEL atleast, also possible by train.
In summer it's common to rent a cabin in Finland, especially in the Lake area in South-East. Of course it's possible in Lapland too. There in up north Finland winter is the most busy tourist season, hundreds of charter flights bringing 'Santa tourists' from Europe, also the skiing resorst getting more and more foreign tourists nowadays. The tourists services are rather good up there, generally the price level is rather high but lower than in Norway. But the nature in Norway, fjords and such, offers perhaps the best views. The Swedish Lapland has less tourist services but they are getting better all the time.

This is more what I envisioned. I love the wilderness although other ideas are also worth looking at but yeah keep the ideas coming.

Quoting HT (Reply 8):
The only thing to keep in mind when going camping / reting a cabin in Lappland in summer is: Beware of these strong mosquitos !

I never thought about the mosquito's are these like Alaska size mosquito's? I do hate mosquito's maybe I'll have to wear some long sleeved/long pants clothing.

[Edited 2007-10-17 12:58:30]

User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1893 times:

Quoting Andaman (Reply 7):
Hi, this is a good link to the travel services in Finland from the Finnish Tourist Board, covers about everything:
http://www.visitfinland.com/w5/index.nsf/(pages)/index

Lapland in summer:
http://www.alacartelapland.com/summer_activities.html

Lapland summer by Canterbury Travels (UK)
http://www.laplandsummer.com/



About the weather: the summers in the (north) Nordic countries can be what so ever, sometimes Lapland is the warmest place, can be even hot there. Usually July has the best weather. You often hear that it's warmer up here than what the tourists expected and anyway the days are long. Finnish Lapland has several aiports, it's easy to get there from HEL atleast, also possible by train.
In summer it's common to rent a cabin in Finland, especially in the Lake area in South-East. Of course it's possible in Lapland too. There in up north Finland winter is the most busy tourist season, hundreds of charter flights bringing 'Santa tourists' from Europe, also the skiing resorst getting more and more foreign tourists nowadays. The tourists services are rather good up there, generally the price level is rather high but lower than in Norway. But the nature in Norway, fjords and such, offers perhaps the best views. The Swedish Lapland has less tourist services but they are getting better all the time.

This is more what I envisioned. I love the wilderness although other ideas are also worth looking at but yeah keep the ideas coming.

Quoting HT (Reply 3):
Another batch of people take a coach tour of Norway or Scandinavia, of which a visit to Nordkapp, the northernmost point of continental Europe (at least this is the common understanding) is the highlight (reported to be rather touristy).

Sounds like fun but yeah I'm not sure about just going for the touristy part. I would like to relax. But who knows I could figure it in my plans.


User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1889 times:

I didn't even think about the mosquitos can you get by with off? And are they pretty big?

User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1877 times:

Quoting HT (Reply 8):
Temperatures in Longyearbyen (the only town to be called so on Spitsbergen) hover around freezing in the warmest month of the year (July, August). Still there are camping grounds around - and they have a Radisson SAS hotel among others. Flights are frequent from OSL and/or TOS.

The camping ground is a must if you go up there! Reasonably cheap (tent hire available), hot showers available as well as all your regular facilities. Even better, it's right next to the airport - just walk out of the terminal, down a bank and there it is, about a mile and a half outside Longyearbyen itself - so easily walkable into town. The SAS Radisson is quite pricey, as are the excursions, but they are well well worth the money and I do urge you to go there, the scenery is amazing; breathtaking and unforgettable! You can visit the active Russian mining town, not sure about their abandoned settlement though; Pyramiden, as the Russians started blowing bits of it up whilst we were there! You can also go inside the active coal mines right up to the coal face - interesting to say the least - driving through the coal seam in a transit van and then laying flat on your back to be driven along in a sort of go cart as the seam grew thinner! Plus there's tours to the glaciers and trekking/sightseeing/sledging days to cater for most desires.

Temperatures weren't too bad; on one day it reached the dizzy heatwave of 8 degrees, it was mostly near freezing though for the other days, then factor in the wind chill and you needed your layers on! This is my album from the A.net meet which four of us 'A.nutters' held there last year; Svalbard

Any more information, just ask  Smile


Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1873 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 13):
Quoting HT (Reply 8):
Temperatures in Longyearbyen (the only town to be called so on Spitsbergen) hover around freezing in the warmest month of the year (July, August). Still there are camping grounds around - and they have a Radisson SAS hotel among others. Flights are frequent from OSL and/or TOS.

The camping ground is a must if you go up there! Reasonably cheap (tent hire available), hot showers available as well as all your regular facilities. Even better, it's right next to the airport - just walk out of the terminal, down a bank and there it is, about a mile and a half outside Longyearbyen itself - so easily walkable into town. The SAS Radisson is quite pricey, as are the excursions, but they are well well worth the money and I do urge you to go there, the scenery is amazing; breathtaking and unforgettable! You can visit the active Russian mining town, not sure about their abandoned settlement though; Pyramiden, as the Russians started blowing bits of it up whilst we were there! You can also go inside the active coal mines right up to the coal face - interesting to say the least - driving through the coal seam in a transit van and then laying flat on your back to be driven along in a sort of go cart as the seam grew thinner! Plus there's tours to the glaciers and trekking/sightseeing/sledging days to cater for most desires.

Svalbard does sound interesting I have been looking up info on it.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 13):
Temperatures weren't too bad; on one day it reached the dizzy heatwave of 8 degrees, it was mostly near freezing though for the other days, then factor in the wind chill and you needed your layers on! This is my album from the A.net meet which four of us 'A.nutters' held there last year; Svalbard

as many stops on up to Svalbard I assume there are more direct flights or less stops if you choose. However I take it you wanted to stop more for more sightseeing. You mentioned it got up to 8 degrees F in Svalbard. I could probably handle it would need to invest in a new coat though. I've been a skier for 16-17 yrs now so I know I've been in pretty cold weather on occasion.

It's been a while since I've experianced really bitter cold winter like weather. Here in Fallon, NV we can/or have dropped down to the teens at night and the single digits once or twice in the winter and up to 30-40's in the day or we drop as much as 30 degrees at night in the summer down to high 50's-60 degrees from 90-100 in the da. Of course were situated at about 4,000 ft in elevation thats why.

There's one time I'll never forget was in 1988 I was living in Spokane, WA we had a serious Arctic cold front hit the NW and dipped town to -30 some below Farenheit and up to -67 F with windchill. I actually walked in it a couple of times with layers of clothes and my legs started to feel slighty numb on the skin after 5-10 mins outside.

Anyways was the weather in Svalbard bone chilling cold (humid) or dry and tolerable?

Regards Mike BTW thanks for the info.


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1871 times:

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 14):
You mentioned it got up to 8 degrees F in Svalbard.

Misunderstanding / misterpretation ! Make that +8 °Celsius i.e. 46 F.

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 14):
Anyways was the weather in Svalbard bone chilling cold (humid) or dry and tolerable?

That close to the sea and with the next land-mass 1000 miles away you can't expect any "dry" conditions that are comparable to inland-USA ...
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 6 days ago) and read 1861 times:

Quoting HT (Reply 15):
Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 14):
You mentioned it got up to 8 degrees F in Svalbard.

Misunderstanding / misterpretation ! Make that +8 °Celsius i.e. 46 F.

Thats not too bad then Its actually colder here at night 30's to mid -30's.

[Edited 2007-10-18 09:43:48]

User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 8897 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1831 times:

I must say that I am glad I joined this site, it is great to learn all these pieces of information from you folks on this forum about travel, it sure saves me time and answers alot of questions. I must say that I am a novice when compared to some of you guys when it comes to travel. Thanks again.

Quoting HT (Reply 8):



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1467 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1827 times:

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 17):
I must say that I am glad I joined this site, it is great to learn all these pieces of information from you folks on this forum about travel, it sure saves me time and answers alot of questions. I must say that I am a novice when compared to some of you guys when it comes to travel. Thanks again.

Quoting HT (Reply 8):

Welcome to A.net! Yeah there is a lot of valuable info you can learn from all walks of life from novice travelers to savy professionals and and different kinds of trips spanning the globe.

When I first started using A.net I spent a lot of time scrolling through the trip reports forum. A lot of cool trips I read up on. I eventually started posting some of my trips as well. I learned a lot about the various airlines economy First class etc..that I didn't know before. You also learn a lot about the Airline Industry.

Regards Mike


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1817 times:

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 14):
as many stops on up to Svalbard I assume there are more direct flights or less stops if you choose. However I take it you wanted to stop more for more sightseeing.

Yes there are much more direct ways of flying, it's just that this routing (OSL-TRD-BOO-TOS-LYR and rtn) was actually the cheapest and, being an aviation fan, I didn't mind three stops each way! SAS operate non stop OSL-LYR flights which are the most expensive, or you can fly OSL-TOS-LYR on SAS, as I think was already mentioned, Tromso is worth a look around, busses operate into the centre of town from the airport. There is also the option of flying Norwegian up to TOS, then SAS just for the flight to LYR - this is a cheaper option I believe.

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 14):
Anyways was the weather in Svalbard bone chilling cold (humid) or dry and tolerable?

So long as you had a T-shirt and fleece or jumper on then you were fine, the only real chiller was the wind. The air wasn't very dry, but it was quite salty, as can often be expected from an island. Bear in mind though that we went in the 'high' summer and, if you are planning to go in the spring, it will be considerably colder and you will have snow on the ground; probably expect an average day time air temperature of -5 to 0 around Easter and at night anything down to -25+. It's expected to be a harsh winter though in Europe, so it may be a little colder than average.


Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1812 times:

Here you can win a free Lapland holiday  Wink
Finnair Competition: Win A Lapland Holiday (by Andaman Oct 19 2007 in Civil Aviation)


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