WELCOME TO SCANDINAVIA
THE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES ARE: DENMARK FINLAND ICELAND NORWAY SWEDEN
AREA IN SQ. KM. 43,090 303,815 100,251 385,252 490,295
POPULATION 5.574,000 5,378,000 319,000 4,952,000 9,453,000
GDP PER HEAD IN $ (APPROX) 56,000 47,000 39,000 100,000 55,000
Population per Sq. Km. (approx) 129 18 3 13 19
BY COMPARISON THE U.K. COVERS 241,930 SQ. KM. HAS 63,100,000 PEOPLE ( 261 per Sq. Km.) AND A GDP PER HEAD OF APPROX. $39,000
AS YOU CAN SEE, SCANDINAVIA IS A WEALTHY AND SPARSLEY POPULATED AREA COMPARED WITH THE U.K. THIS ENABLES IT TO HAVE HIGH QUALITY AMENITIES BUT WITH PLENTY OF ROOM TO EXPLORE.
THE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES ARE AMONG THE LEAST CORRUPT IN THE WORLD AND YOU WILL FIND THAT THE PEOPLE ARE GENERALLY VERY HONEST, LAW ABIDING AND HOSPITABLE.
As a motorist you will find that the uncrowded roads and generally low speed limits take away a lot of the pressure that is found in U.K. driving. In general the major roads (except in remote parts of Iceland) are surfaced to a high standard. The minor country roads though can vary very much in quality and a lot of them are unmade. Winter tyres are in general use, and in many areas compulsory, from October/November until March/April. There are also local regulations regarding the use of studded tyres and snow chains. If you are visiting Scandinavia during the winter months make sure that you have winter tyres. It is a good idea to have them on your car anywhere in Europe during the winter months. The increase in grip over summer tyres on wet, icy and snowy roads at temperatures below 7C. is well worth having. For more information have a look at this link.
Scandinavians are generally very law abiding and personal safety is usually not a problem though, like everywhere, more caution has to be taken in the major cities. This obedience to the law also extends to speed limits. The leeway that British motorists almost take for granted with U.K. speed limits does not have an equivalent in Scandinavia. You can be fined for doing as little as 3kph over the limit and the fines can be very high. This is why you don't see many people breaking the speed limit by more than a few km. in most of Scandinavia. Moral, keep to the speed limits.
Unlike some parts of Southern Europe Scandinavian drivers do respect pedestrian crossings and traffic signals. They also tend to drive a bit further apart than in other parts of Europe. We all know how irritating it can be to have another car driving very close behind you. This, coupled with the generally low traffic density does make for quite relaxed driving.
In one word Don't! The drink drive limits are much lower than in the U.K. One drink in countries like Norway, can put you over the limit. The police do mount roadside checks. These are often done in the morning to catch those who have drunk more than they should the night before. The penalties often involve a prison sentence so it is just not worth it. By all means enjoy a drink but don't drive unless you are completely sober!
For hotels in Scandinavia please use the box below which allows you to compare prices of hotels and choose the best ones for you to book. Because it compares numerous sites it saves you a lot of work.
TIP: Throughout Scandinavia the local tourist offices are very good sources of information. They are generally very friendly, speak perfect English and are willing to help with local knowledge. Another way of getting good information is to click the Lonely Planet banner below. You do not have to buy complete country guides. You can purchase just the chapter that you need which makes it a very low cost way of getting first class information on the area (s) you intend to visit.