16 Reasons to Visit Finland and Norway Instead of Iceland This Summer

Don’t be “like everyone else.” Explore a new place before the word gets out


Iceland has become the new New Zealand. Everybody wants to go there, and it seems like they are doing it. After all, the tiny country on the cusp of the Arctic Circle is just a six-hour nonstop flight from New York or a three-hour nonstop flight from London.[slideshow:101740]

Popularity usually comes with several side effects, the worst of which is huge crowds. Is everyone going Reykjavik this summer? It is a lava-hot destination that should be on your radar, but how many people can the Blue Lagoon fit?

Reconsider your itinerary and explore lesser known places. They may lack in popularity, but make up for it in parties, delicious food, breathtaking scenery, world-class saunas, rich culture and history, recreational activities, and festivals.

Finland is No. 5 on the World Happiness Index. The country topped Newsweek’s list of the world’s best countries in 2010. It was also the second happiest country as per a Gallup World Poll and the OECD (ranking just below Denmark).

Norway is well-known for their incredible Northern Lights display. The pink, green, yellow, blue, and violet colors that light up the night sky make for the perfect background for photos. It is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world, and it’s full of adventure.

Click here for 16 Reasons to Visit Finland and Norway Instead of Iceland This Summer

Related stories: 

The 11 Most Beautiful Places in Croatia

Escape the Crowds: 15 Off-the-Beaten-Path European Cities

Amazing Off-the-Radar Experiences in France