From its beautiful landscapes to its incredible culture, Scandinavia is a unique and awe-inspiring part of the world. It’s also a region that people from other places don’t know that much about, aside from the fact that it’s cold in the winter and spawned pop maestros ABBA.
To remedy this situation, here are a few facts about Scandinavia that are definitely worth knowing. If you think you’re already a bit of an expert on the region, you can read on to test your knowledge and fill in any gaps.
There Are 3.3 million Saunas In Finland
For a country that only has 5.5 million people living in it, Finland certainly has a lot of saunas. Stepping into a sauna is the national pastime, with the vast majority of Finns going for a session on a weekly basis.
It’s no surprise, then, that there are an estimated 3.3 million saunas nationally. The Finnish government even installs them in its embassies elsewhere in the world, including a rooftop sauna at its London location.
The Sun Never Sets On Norwegian Summer
Norway is the land of 24 hour sun when the summer months arrive and the Earth tilts on its axis. Or at least this is true of the regions of the country that fall into the Arctic Circle.
In the capital of Oslo, sunset can occur as late as 11pm at this time of year, while it will rise again by 4am, which means darkness is banished awfully quickly.
It’s certainly a surreal sight to see the sun shining brightly when everyone should be asleep, but things get much worse in winter when polar nights can last for days at a time. The only way to pass the time is to play online games at and wait for daylight to return. Sites like casumocasinonorge.com provide a fun opportunity for casino lovers (a particularly popular breed in this part of the World)
Denmark Is Incredibly Flat
When you think of Scandinavia, you might imagine snow-capped mountains and craggy valleys, but compared to its neighbours the country of Denmark is virtually a pancake.
Reaching to just over 170 metres, Møllehøj has the distinction of being the highest peak that Danish people can claim as their own. For comparison, Mount Everest is more than 52 times higher than it.
Norway’s Oil Fund Is Worth $1 Trillion
After 20 years in operation, the state-run fund which invests cash generated by the Norwegian oil industry accounted for assets worth just over a trillion dollars in 2017.
The fund is designed to help the country secure a bright future for its citizens and its value has increased exponentially, largely thanks to the significant returns generated by earlier investments.
Rancid Fish Is A Delicacy In Sweden
The Scandinavian diet is made up of lots of hearty, unfussy foods which would be welcome in any other part of the world. But there is one exception; surströmming.
This translates from Swedish as ‘sour herring’ and it has become something of an internet meme thanks to the often violent reactions that its smell and taste can invoke in the uninitiated.
Sealed in a can and allowed to ferment for a minimum of half a year, the fish becomes quite the culinary assault on the senses. Of course the correct way to eat it is not on its own, but in combination with other ingredients like boiled potatoes, cream and herbs which reduce its potency and make it palatable.
Sweden’s Natural Wonders Are Open To All
Unlike many other countries, Sweden takes a liberal approach to allowing people to wander around its rural areas and explore its natural sights.
This right to roam is enshrined in law and means that you can go for a hike, ride a bike or visit the country’s amazing coastline without worrying about land owners getting in your face.
Of course that means citizens and tourists alike are expected to act responsibly when they trek out into the Swedish countryside. Respect the natural world, avoid causing damage to it and don’t hold an impromptu music festival in the wilderness and you should be fine.