Scandinavia, the beautiful gem of Northern Europe, is enriched with picturesque landscapes and enchanting scenery that leave visitors in a state of awe. One of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in the region’s stunning beauty is to experience it from the seat of a train or the deck of a ferry. In this blog, we uncover some of the most scenic train and ferry routes that will take you through the heart of Scandinavia, offering you unforgettable memories and heart-stirring vistas.
“Embarking on train and ferry voyages in Scandinavia provides the perfect platform to witness its mesmerizing seasons, from the magical and otherworldly Northern Lights to the enchanting and never-ending Midnight Sun.”
The Flam Railway, Norway
An engineering marvel nestled within the heart of Norway’s fjord region, the Flam Railway is a testament to both human ingenuity and the raw beauty of Norwegian nature. Running from Myrdal, perched high on the mountainside, down to the magical village of Flam on the shores of Aurlandsfjord, the Flam Railway is a captivating experience that should not be missed by any traveler seeking the true essence of Norway’s fjords.
Regarded as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, the Flam Railway takes you on a 20-kilometer ride through the Norwegian fjords from Myrdal to Flam. This thrilling route offers passengers breathtaking views of cascading waterfalls, steep mountains, and verdant valleys. Make the most of the journey by enjoying a stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall for a photo opportunity.
“Spanning the steepest standard-gauge railway in Europe, the Flam Railway guarantees an unforgettable trip through Norway’s enchanted landscape.”
The construction of the Flam Railway, completed in 1940, was an ambitious project that required traversing harsh terrain and battling challenging weather conditions. It includes 20 tunnels, in which 18 were excavated by hand, and 1 bridge. The longest tunnel measures 1,320 meters (4,330 ft) and is a testament to the determination of engineers who overcame tremendous challenges to build this remarkable railway.
Bergen Railway, Norway
Stretching between Oslo and Bergen, the Bergen Railway is widely considered one of Europe’s most stunning train routes. Crossing through the dramatic Hardangervidda Plateau and offering views of snow-capped mountains, alpine forests, and pristine lakes, this 6-7 hour journey promises a visual feast for travelers who want to explore Norway’s breathtaking landscapes.
Arctic Circle Train, Sweden
The Arctic Circle Train offers visitors an opportunity to traverse the pristine wilderness and remote landscapes of Swedish Lapland. Journeying between Luleå in Sweden and Narvik in Norway, this remarkable route showcases the enchanting Arctic wilderness, frozen landscapes, and, if you’re lucky, the elusive Northern Lights. A once-in-a-lifetime adventure, this ride takes approximately 17 hours and can be taken as a single or multi-day trip.
Experience the heart of Swedish Lapland through Inlandsbanan, a 1,288-kilometer route that connects Kristinehamn in the south to Gällivare in the north. This remarkable journey takes you past the Arctic Circle, through dense forests, along shimmering lakes and rivers, with a chance to spot the region’s native wildlife. Make sure to plan for stops and guided tours along the way to enrich your experience.
Setting off on a journey along the Inlandsbanan train line, passengers are introduced to a rich tapestry of natural beauty and cultural heritage. As the train meanders through dense forests, over rolling hills, and past shimmering lakes and rivers, it connects a multitude of picturesque towns, indigenous Sami villages, and breathtaking national parks. The route reveals the diverse flora and fauna of the region, from majestic reindeer herds roaming freely across the taiga to the myriad species of birds populating the landscape. It’s no wonder that this journey is often regarded as an eco-tourist’s dream.
“With the blend of incredible natural beauty, cultural experiences, and fascinating history, the Inlandsbanan train line is undoubtedly one Sweden’s most memorable and enriching railway journeys.”
With the blend of incredible natural beauty, cultural experiences, and fascinating history, the Inlandsbanan train line is undoubtedly one Sweden’s most memorable and enriching railway journeys.
Coastal Express Cruise, Norway
This enchanting journey, stretching over 2,500 kilometers from Bergen to Kirkenes, encompasses the entire length of Norway’s captivating coastline. The Hurtigruten ships sail past more than a hundred fjords, showcasing fjord landscapes, rugged mountains, and delightful coastal towns. This 12-day odyssey offers an unrivaled opportunity to witness the magic of Norway’s coastal landscapes and even catch the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights, depending on your travel dates.
Undoubtedly one of the major highlights of the Hurtigruten voyage is the breathtaking scenery that unfolds along the way. As the ferry glides calmly through crystal-clear waters, passengers are treated to awe-inspiring sights of majestic fjords, towering cliffs, and cascading waterfalls.
“Established in 1893, Hurtigruten has grown to become a classic Norwegian treasure, offering both transport and mesmerizing travel experiences.”
The alternating landscapes embrace everything from pristine white-sand beaches to serene green forests, and from quaint picturesque towns to remote and mystic mountain peaks. Throughout the journey, the ferry makes numerous stops at historic harbors, offering the chance to experience first-hand the rich Nordic cultural heritage and the warm hospitality of the locals.
Stockholm Archipelago Ferry, Sweden
Discover the charm of Sweden’s largest archipelago by embarking on a picturesque ferry journey through the Stockholm Archipelago. With more than 30,000 islands, skerries, and islets, the archipelago offers stunning vistas, charming villages, and picturesque lighthouses. Customize your ferry itinerary to include a few island stops, take part in guided tours, or simply savor a serene day trip on the sparkling waters.
Scandinavia’s unrivaled natural beauty is captured majestically through its train and ferry routes, and any journey along these paths will create lifelong memories. Take the time to appreciate the awe-inspiring landscapes as you traverse this magical land by train or sea, and let the beauty of Scandinavia captivate your heart and soul.
Last Updated on April 3, 2023