As the depths of winter settle across the northern hemisphere and days of sunshine seem only a distant memory, it’s the perfect time to start planning your next sailing trip. Everyone’s always looking for the hottest new yachting destination, and with so many amazing things to see in Scandinavia it is a great choice for those who want to escape the busy anchorages of the Mediterranean and experience the dramatic scenery and cosmopolitan culture of northern Europe.
There are some magnificent cruising grounds for luxury sailing yachts across Scandinavia, whether you’re sailing the fjords of Norway or exploring the Stockholm archipelago. And with the region’s famous ‘midnight summer’ promising up to 19 hours of sunshine, there’s an astonishing amount of daylight hours for kayaking, fishing, and exploring from the yacht. So what are you waiting for – read our guide to sailing Scandinavia below and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.
What are the best things to see in Scandinavia?
Sailing the fjords of Norway
The Norwegian fjords are utterly breathtaking – an almost mythical place of soaring snow-capped peaks, towering glaciers, and mighty waterfalls plummeting down to meet deep, clear fjords thousands of feet deep. Apple orchards and wildflower meadows surround picturesque fishing villages of red and white facades, while the surrounding forests hide luxury spas, tiny palaces, and ancient Viking longhouses. There are over 1,000 fjords in western Norway, with the highlights including Geirangerfjord, Hardangerfjord, Lysefjord, and the Sognefjord.
Prepare yourself for majestic scenery from the yacht as well as fantastic adventures ashore, from the hike up to the famous crag of Pulpit Rock to taking the spectacular Flam Railway high above the fjords. Yet while the natural landscape puts on quite a show in Norway, there’s also plenty of culture to enjoy, most notably in Bergen, Tromso, and Alesund, the gloriously pretty Art Deco city at the mouth of Geirangerfjord. Sailing the fjords of Norway is a never-ending adventure, offering something for everyone.
Amazing sailing: Stockholm archipelago adventures
The Stockholm archipelago, or Skärgård, is one of the sailing world’s best-kept secrets. Its staggering 30,000 islands and islets dotted across the crystal clear sea are widely regarded as some of the coolest things to see in Scandinavia, just a stone’s throw from Stockholm. The sailing here is idyllic, with the rocky islands home to pretty fishing villages, flower meadows, pine forest, and tranquil coves.
While the rest of the world may be largely unaware of the archipelago’s charms, the Swedes are certainly not: local yachts take to the waters in their hundreds in the summer months, making good use of the long days under the Nordic midnight sun and visiting friends’ summer homes overlooking pretty beaches. The wind coming in off the open Baltic Sea in the outer islands makes for some sensational sailing. Stockholm archipelago escapes also offer protected lees for exhilarating sports and fishing, as well as private spots where your sailing yacht crew can arrange the ultimate summertime picnic. And when you’ve had your daily fill of life on-the-water, there’s the pleasures of Stockholm awaiting you back in the city, with fine dining restaurants, theaters, and boutiques to explore.