Language, Culture and Traditions

General articles relating to the language, culture and traditions of our destination countries.

What Causes The Northern Lights and Where Can I See Them?

The Northern Lights. Photo: Ben Roberts.

Jayne from the Nature Travels team takes a look at the beautiful phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Here in the UK we are not well known for our Northern Lights displays (especially not now we are at the beginning of summer). However, as Aurora displays are sometimes seen (even here in Dorset in the south,

Fika in Gothenburg, Sweden

Photo: Nicho Sodling/imagebank.sweden.se

Sofia from the Nature Travels team introduces the culture of “fika” in Swedish culture and where to fika on your next visit to Gothenburg. Fika is a concept in Swedish culture which means ‘taking a break for coffee and a bite to eat’. So the coffee is often accompanied with pastries, cakes, cookies or sandwiches.

Lost in Translation – pepper, peppers, paprika, chilli or chillies?

Lost in Swedish Translation.

Speaking a foreign language is always going to be fraught with potential confusion and embarrassment. Years ago when I first met my wife and tried to express my love in my fledgling Swedish, my attempt to say, “You are the thunder in my heart” (we were watching a lightning storm at the time – rather

How To Have Your Own Swedish Midsummer Party

Having your own Midsummer Party

Sofia from the Nature Travels team, who was born in Sweden, tells you how to hold your own Swedish Midsummer celebration. What time of year should I have my midsummer party? The Swedes always celebrate on the Friday closest to the summer solstice. The summer solstice is normally around 21st-22nd June. However, as you and

Wild Swimming on a Nordic Summer Holiday

Wild Swimming on a Nordic Summer Holiday.

Wild swimming has increased in popularity in the UK in recent years. People appear to embracing the idea of taking a dip in natural waters after years of swimming up and down lanes in a chlorine-filled swimming pool. But while it’s still quite a novelty here, swimming in the outdoors is totally normal in the

Systembolaget – Buying Alcohol in Sweden

Systembolaget - Buying Alcohol in Sweden.

This article discusses Systembolaget, the Swedish national off-licence, and the sale of alcohol in Sweden. With some variations, a similar system also operates in Norway (where the state off-licence is called Monopol) and in Finland (where it is Alko). Sweden allows beer up to 3.5% to be sold in supermarkets or other stores, while in

The Sámi – People of the Sun and Wind

The Sámi - People of the Sun and Wind.

The Sámi began to settle in the area in and around the Arctic Circle about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. They were to spread over the borders of 4 nations, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. There are about 70,000 Sámi in the world today. Norway has the largest population

Things You Need To Know Before You Go To Sweden

Things You Need To Know Before You Go To Sweden.

Sofia from the Nature Travels team is from Vaxholm, a small town in the Stockholm Archipelago. Here she gives the lowdown on those things you’ll be glad you knew before visiting Sweden! Over the years of travelling back and forward to Sweden ourselves and assisting others with their trips to Sweden, there are a few

The Tradition of Sauna and How to Have a “Löyly” Time

The tradition of sauna in the Nordic countries.

For many travelling to the Nordic countries, a sauna is an essential part of the Nordic experience and is a great way to soothe aching muscles after a hard day’s activity such as ski touring or simply as a way of relaxing with friends in the evening. The word sauna (pronounced sow (to rhyme with

Basic Finnish Phrases

Walking huskies in the forests of Finland.

When traveling in Finland you will find that English is spoken to a good standard in most places, so learning Finnish isn’t a “must” before you travel. But if you would like to learn a little and try it out on your trip here are a few phrases you might find useful! The Finns will

Additional articles published before 2018 can be found at our previous blog location at naturetravels.wordpress.com