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Iceland or the Nordic countries in May with children ?

Iceland or the Nordic countries in May with children ?

Old Feb 5th, 2016, 04:24 AM
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Iceland or the Nordic countries in May with children ?

Hello,

We are confused between visiting the Nordic countries or Iceland for a 10 day trip in May with 2 children aged 13 and 11. Our requirements are:

1) Do activities like snow mobile, sledding etc.

2) Stay in a igloo for a day. I heard there is a igloo hotel somewhere in one of the Nordic countries.

3) Visit couple of cities in those countries which have architecture, night life, good restaurants etc.

4) See the midnight sun

Which of the two options above is more enjoyable in all respects ? We are total vegetarians also. Is Iceland too sparsely populated which might make it boring to take long drives. But then I am assuming, the Nordic countries are also sparsely populated.

Thanks a lot in advance.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 04:31 AM
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Um, the midnight sun is in winter - not late spring. Don;t have details of igloo hotel but think you may be too late in the year. As for snow mobile donte have a clue.

But the Nordic countries have a temperate climate and there will not be snow in most places in May - any more than there would be in DC or NY.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 04:36 AM
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May may be too late, you need to be up above the artic circle to ensure snow. I'd change my dates to the winter.

The countryside is empty of people. But towns are towns.

Igloo hotels in Sweden and Finland but up in the north and may well be closed by May. Swedish one here http://www.icehotel.com/ Finnish http://www.snowvillage.fi/en/ closes 5th April.

Vegetarians, I might avoid Reykavik (yes I've eaten veggie food there and it not impressive, but don't worry it is not impressive for meat eaters either). Finland similar up north, better down south. In terms of architecture you need to be looking at Stokholm or Copenhagen though Helsinki is nice in a dull sort of way. All the better cities are in the south.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 04:45 AM
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The midnight sun is in Summer, not winter nytraveller. It is visible at Nordkapp from mid May, the further south you go the later in May/June it becomes visible. You won't see it in Iceland in May, since it is south of the Arctic circle. They do have very long days in May, but the sun does set briefly.

There are snow/ice hotels in several places, but by May they are closed. Sledding and snow mobiles are also unlikely to be available that late in the year.

With 10 days available you could do a self drive tour of Iceland. Go horse riding on the unique Icelandic ponies instead of dog sledding perhaps. Certainly more comfortable!

Or head up to northern Norway, visiting the Lofoten islands.

Have a look at Visitnorway.com and guidetoiceland.is for ideas.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 06:59 AM
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"Go horse riding on the unique Icelandic ponies instead of dog sledding perhaps. Certainly more comfortable!"

I promise you dog sledging is far more comfortable than the "tolt"
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 07:21 AM
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Having experience both I have to disagree. I love Icelandic ponies, friends have some and the tolt is actually quite comfortable. Certainly more so than being a passenger on a dog sled which is really bad for the back in my experience.

Whale watching is an option in either Iceland or northern Norway too in May.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 09:41 AM
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Nah, you need to dog drive, being a passenger (you know I didn't know you could do that). Basic dog driving is dead easy and they get your dogs to follow the ones ahead

Trouble with the Tolt is you don't learn it in a morning.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 09:57 AM
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Either way riding is more likely in May than dog sledding.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 11:42 AM
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First of all, Iceland is technically a Nordic country. So is Finland. If you're talking about Scandinavia, that's Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Second, there is an ice hotel called, appropriately, Icehotel. It is in Sweden. It has melted by May. This hotel has existed in some form for two decades. It has a website that provides all the details you need. It opens in mid-December. Finland wanted a piece of the Arctic tourism, thus Snow Village and the Snow Hotel. It closes in early April.
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 11:55 AM
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Kirkenes in Norway also has a snow hotel. It closes in April.

So I think we have established that snow mobiles, dog sleds and "igloo" hotels are out by May. Midnight sun is a possibility if you go far enough north.

Vegetarian options are available, but limited. Self catering may be better.
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Old Feb 6th, 2016, 07:44 AM
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Folks, thanks a lot for the replies.

I am leaning towards the Scandinavian countries. Now I have read that amongst those 3, Norway is the most scenic and many more things to see there compared to Finland and Sweden. Is that true ?

Thanks.
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Old Feb 6th, 2016, 08:44 AM
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Have you read this trip report? http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 03:21 AM
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There are not that many cities with architecture and night life in Iceland. I think only Reykjavik in fact has all of it. Iceland is amazing because of its valleys, volcanoes, geysers, waterfalls etc. The thing you can do in Iceland is to take your boys around the country and to show them the wonders of nature. Night life and architecture you can find in every other city of Europe.
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 05:20 AM
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more things happen there? I have a feeling you are going to be disappointed. You need to think a bit more simple country folk (with multiple degrees and at least 3 languages {which may not include English})

All three countries are miles of wilderness followed by small towns, the sort of place where the bread wagon is the highlight of the day and the postman is major figure.

Norway has the most fjords which are spectacular, see also the troll road (which may not be open by May).

What you will find is the best bits in all 3 countries is being out of doors, so look out for lake swimming, saunas, hiking, bike trails etc etc
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