This captivating tour showcases some of Scandinavia’s most celebrated cities. Start among the vibrant cobblestones of Copenhagen before picturesque rail journeys take you to Gothenburg’s winding waterways and Stockholm’s mix of tradition and modernity, ending with the rich heritage and cutting-edge design of the Finnish capital – Helsinki. It’s all knitted together with stays luxury hotels and the very best in regional gastronomy.
Day 1: UK to Copenhagen
Fly to Copenhagen from the UK and head to the city centre, where you’ve got the rest of the day at leisure – be sure to explore the Nyhavn district’s archetypal European beauty, where aged brick wharves and brightly plastered townhouses line the quayside. It’s best explored on foot or by bike, taking in criss-crossing bridges and buzzing waterside cafes before you check in to your hotel, all elegant upholstery and atmospheric wooden-beamed ceilings, looking over the clinking masts of Copenhagen Harbour.
Day 2: Copenhagen
Head into the city again today, visiting the Amalienborg Palace, where soldiers in bear-skin hats parade to the pretty garden square of Kongens Nytorv. Perhaps stroll among the winding waterways and endless greenery of Tivoli or bohemian Christiania, all bright murals and eclectic streets. Back at base, make the most of the hotel’s restaurant SEA by Kiin Kiin whose Asian street food-style dishes include scallops with kimchee and marinated oysters.
Day 3: Copenhagen to Gothenburg
Today, a scenic train journey brings you to buzzy Gothenburg. Admire Sweden’s eye for aesthetics at the Röhsska Design Museum and look out for the iconic Poseidon statue in Gotsplasen before heading to your ultra-contemporary hotel complete with spa and rooftop pool. We suggest heading to the hotel’s art deco Norda restaurant tonight, whose menu pairs world-spanning culinary influences with ingredients sourced fresh from Sweden's west coast.
Day 4: Gothenburg
More of Gothenburg’s leafy, laid-back delights await today – head via canal boat or tram to explore the grand Drottningtorget Square, Liseberg’s pretty gardens and historic Haga’s 19th-century wooden houses. Or, head out into the surrounding archipelago islands, where you’ll find pretty red-timber homes, floating saunas and boathouse seafood cafes. If you’ve room, your hotel’s restaurant, vRÅ, showcases local ingredients in their rawest form with seasonally inspired sushi tasting menus.
Day 5: Gothenburg to Stockholm
Board the train to Stockholm to explore its Old Town, Gamla Stan, full of Renaissance architecture, cobbled labyrinthine alleys and classic townhouses in various hues of gold, all framed by the serene waters of Lake Mälaren. Then, after checking into your hotel, why not round off the day with the French-inspired cuisine of glass-roofed Brasserie Makalös?
Day 6: Stockholm
After breakfast pancakes and smoothies, discover Stockholm’s scenic charms – perhaps take a steamboat from the waterfront to Drottningholm, the Swedish royal family’s 17th-century castle set among picturesque parkland. Then, explore the VASA Museum, built from the remnants of a warship on the tranquil Djurgården. And, of course, one can’t visit Sweden without enjoying a fika break comprising thick, strong coffee and a freshly baked cinnamon bun.
Day 7: Cruise to Helsinki
Take in the 13th-century Storkyrkan church this morning, or bike around Djurgården before your ferry to Helsinki. Sailing across the Baltic in the spring sunshine, take the chance to relax in the ship’s Jacuzzi, sauna or pool, or indulge in a massage. Then, come evening, there’s fresh seafood restaurants and after-dinner dance shows. A sprawling casino, cosy pubs and trendy bars line the deck – ideal for enjoying a nightcap before you bunk down in your sea-view cabin.
Stay: Tallink Silja
Day 8: Arrive in Helsinki
There are few better ways to arrive in a new city than by sea, and after you've enjoyed breakfast and checked in to your hotel you can start exploring Finland’s lively capital. Perhaps visit the Design District’s galleries, boutiques and ateliers, stroll the pretty walking trails of Central Park or observe Helsinki's charming Art Noveau architecture. Tuomiokirkko, the neoclassical Lutheran cathedral, is another highlight, set atop steep granite steps that afford glorious city views.
Day 9: Helsinki
You’ve got today at leisure to further explore the streets of Helsinki, taking in the Russian-style Orthodox church or the fascinating Sibelius Monument. Further afield, take a bike to explore the Sipoonkorpi National Park, or head out on a boat to the pretty island chain and fortress of Suomenlinna. For a special final night, perhaps indulge at the nearby Ravintola Nokka restaurant, offering Michelin-standard dining showcased in the likes of grilled wild boar and smoked bream.
Day 10: Helsinki to UK
After breakfast, transfer to Helsinki airport for your flight back to the UK.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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