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Summer in Scandinavia: five eco-friendly ideas to holiday like a local | Scandinavia holidays

Summer in Scandinavia: five eco-friendly ideas to holiday like a local | Scandinavia holidays

Oslo: summer in the city

With swimmable harbours in Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and across Denmark’s cities, not to mention plenty of ways to enjoy the sea, from kayaking to urban fishing, there’s often a seaside air to Nordic cities in summer, and especially in Oslo.

One of the best summer activities is to tour the Oslofjord and its archipelago by boat – pack a picnic and set sail in search of hidden swimming spots and colourful island houses. Brim Explorer is one of the best options: an eco-friendly boat company offering silent tours powered by an electric motor (tours from £44). You can also show your love for the water by joining Mad Goats in their fjord clean-up operations every Sunday; participation gives you access to one of their saunas for free and a free burger at the end.

There’s a growing art scene to discover around the harbour. The National Museum is showing an unmissable exhibition by Sápmi artist Britta Marakatt-Labba focused on the environmental struggle and climate issues seen from an indigenous perspective, until August. Afterwards, stroll around the harbour promenade past the opera house, and visit the Munch Museum. There is a new family-friendly beach, Operastranda, by the Opera House this year; it’s also great to swim at the Sørenga seawater pool. Stay at the eco-conscious Oslo Guldsmeden, a Nordic-Balinese hotel in the Vika district from £100 a night.

Explore Denmark ’s sunniest isle

Bornholm is is officially the Danes’ favourite holiday spot and has an artist colony vibe. Photograph: Image Professionals GmbH/Alamy

Bornholm is officially the Danes’ favourite holiday spot (as voted for last year in the Danish Travel Awards). Reachable by bus and ferry or hydrofoil from Copenhagen, it’s known as the country’s sunshine island: Svaneke, a charming harbour town on the west coast, is the sunniest spot in the whole of Denmark.

There’s no need for a car: you can get around relatively easily by bike and bus to explore fishing villages and small towns such as Gudhjem, known for its national cooking competition, and sunny Svaneke, in search of the best ice-cream, smoked herring and locally brewed beer. Bornholm has an artist colony vibe reminiscent of parts of Cornwall and is well known for its ceramics. You can find small workshops and galleries dotted around its villages, and especially in the town of Nexø, where there is a ceramics school. Beaches are wide, sandy and beautiful – especially child-friendly,…

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