Did you know that you can drive from Esbjerg in Denmark, to Malmö in Sweden in under 4 hours? And from Malmö to Oslo, Norway in 5 and a half hours? And why stop there? You could be driving through some of Scandinavia’s most breath taking scenery on your way to Bergen and Norway’s fjords in under 7 hours.
A Scandinavian road trip is one of the many reasons you should consider taking your car on the ferry crossings from Harwich to Esbjerg, Denmark. The route across the North Sea is one of the longer ferry crossings you can take from the UK and takes 17 and a half hours, usually sailing overnight. Reassuringly it is operated by DFDS, who were recently voted Europe’s best ferry operator and sails 4 times a week.
Now Denmark has a lot to offer travellers of all types, from the wonderful sandy beaches of Jutland, to the history and culture of Copenhagen, with plenty for kids to see too, such as the LegoLand theme park at Billund.
But for driving enthusiasts and road trip lovers, a ferry to Denmark means, with a few miles on the clock, you can take the delights of 3 Scandinavian countries. You could even devise a trip to take in all three capitals; Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo. Or ore ambitiously, once you get to Stockholm, take the ferry to Helsinki, Finland, to get to tick another Scandinavian country and capital off your list!
If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you could attempt a drive to the Arctic Circle in either Norway (or indeed Sweden). Head for Mo i Rana in Norway, which is a hefty 12 hour plus drive, but well worth it. After all, not many can say they have driven to the Arctic circle! And along the way you will get to experience the wonrders of the Atlantic Road in Norway – judged to be one of the best road trips you can find – which meanders along the coastline, along side steep rising mountains and low bridges over the sea.
If you fancy something different to wild forests and snow capped mountains, then Scandinavia might surprise you with a great alternative; island hopping. Denmark has 406 islands, although only around 70 are populated. Or you could explore some of the wonderful islands of the Stockholm archipelago where there are as many as 30,000 islands and islets. Obviously you can’t get around to seeing them all, but some of the better known islands to look out for include Grinda, Värmdö, Ljusterö Husarö, and Möja, to name just a few. A fuller list and map can be found here.
Scandinavia is a big, BIG space. A road trip could involce a lot of driving, and there are some big temptations to rack up the miles in order to see al the different sights. But if you plan your route carefully, and aim to end it for example, in Bergen, Norway, after seeing the fjords, then you can take a ferry back to Denmark and relax a little along the way. In fact there’s plenty of choice of ferry routes from Norway to Denmark. Ferries go from Bergen to Hirtshals in the north of Denmark, which is about a 3 hour swoop south back to Esbjerg and the ferry to Harwich, but you can also catch a ferry from Larvik, Kristiansand or Langesund.
So what could be better? Cultural cities, amazing landscape, islands, forests, beaches, fjords and the Arctic Circle, all in one holiday; a Scandinavian road trip of a lifetime.