It’s trip planning season! Have any ideas yet? We sure do. Read on for a few of our top picks to discover Sweden, the state of New York and Alberta!
Scandinavian countries have been in the spotlight recently. Clearly, the north has some romantic allure. From Scandinavian design to the Danish concept of hygge, there’s a lot we can learn from our friends in the North. Here are a few great ways to discover Sweden in the summertime:
See Viking ruins
Head out into the countryside and discover the Sweden of yore. Routes North has a great tour that will take you to a Viking parliament, a burial mound, a runestone bridge, a grave field, and even an Icelandic horse farm.
Hike under the midnight sun
Travel up to Swedish Lapland north of the Arctic Circle, where the sun never sets between May 25 and July 19. There’s beautiful hiking, fly fishing, summer snowshoeing, a year‑round ice hotel, and some of the best cheeses in Sweden.
Catch the WOW
If you’re going to Sweden in early August, don’t miss Way Out West, or WOW. The combined music and film festival has a fantastic line‑up, an all‑vegetarian menu, and its own special train line from Stockholm.
Step into The Square
The winner of the 2017 Palme d’Or and one of the nominees for 2018's Oscar for best foreign language film was The Square, set in a museum inspired by the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The palace is open to visitors and is in the middle of Gamla Stan—one of Europe’s finest medieval city centres, with quaint cobblestone streets and colourful old buildings.
Spend a day at the beach
If you need some beach time, head out to Malmö and take your pick. There’s Ribersborg, a sandy beach fronting 2.5 kilometres of parkland. Or try Västra Hamnen, the Western Harbour, where you’ll find a boardwalk and wooden docks, plus cafés and restaurants. Even in Stockholm, the water is very clean, so if you love swimming, pack a bathing suit in your day bag. You’ll find plenty of beaches where you can dive right in.
Visit the islands
Off Sweden’s southeastern coast, in the Baltic Sea, lies Gotland. If you don’t have a lot of time, Gotland is the place to see it all: dramatic coastlines, Viking relics, a medieval city, and Ingmar Bergman's favorite island.
The Finger Lakes in New York State
On the American side of Lake Ontario, there’s a little slice of paradise known as the Finger Lakes region. If you feel like staying a little closer to home this summer, the Finger Lakes are the perfect place for a nearby getaway.
Pick a festival, any festival
Think Montreal has a lot of festivals? Take a look at the events calendar for Finger Lakes. There are music festivals, food festivals, art festivals, craft festivals, and even a couple of hot air balloon festivals. So go ahead—take your pick!
Step under a waterfall
Watkins Glen State Park has a beautiful 3 km trail that will take you past 19 waterfalls and up over 800 stone steps. Or, if you’re visiting Ithaca, N.Y., Robert H. Treman State Park has gorges, waterfalls, and winding trails.
Raise your glass
The Finger Lakes create a microclimate that make this one of the biggest winemaking regions in the U.S. Head down the Cayuga Lake, Keuka Lake, or Seneca Lake wine trails to taste the region’s stunning white wines. Or, if beer is more your thing, try the Finger Lakes beer trail.
Take a walk in the park
At the northern end of Canandaigua Lake, you’ll find the Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion, a 50‑acre State Historic Park just blocks away from downtown Canandaigua—a quaint little town if ever there was one. If you’re travelling with kids, don’t miss nearby Roseland Waterpark.
Alberta’s Badlands are Canada’s dinosaur country. So if you or someone in your family loves dinosaurs (and who doesn’t?), a trip to Southern Alberta is a must. Even if you aren’t an avid fossil finder, don’t worry—there’s still plenty to enjoy.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Pack your tent, hop into your RV, or book a comfort tent site and get ready to go camping in dinosaur country! Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has yielded more complete dinosaur skeletons than anywhere else in the world. And the landscape itself is simply stunning. Take a tour to learn about the park’s ancient past.
After all that hiking and camping, you’ll want to enjoy a bit of the city life. Calgary is nearby, but if you aren’t quite ready for all the hustle and bustle, why not try Lethbridge? Enjoy a moment of zen in the Japanese Gardens, visit a farmer’s market, go tubing down the Old Man River, and of course, have a great meal on the town.
Home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller is at the top of every dinosaur‑lover’s hit list. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Experience the Badlands on horseback, tour the Atlas Coal Mine, visit Horsethief and Horseshoe Canyons by helicopter, and of course, see the Drumheller Hoodoos.
Good to know, wherever you go
Even if you’re travelling within Canada, travel insurance is a must. Travel insurance covers expenses that are not generally covered by your public health insurance plan, such as emergency medical care costs, ambulance transportation costs or the services of different types of health professionals.
If you plan to fly economy or take advantage of an online hotel deal, trip cancellation or interruption insurance is totally worth it, since the insurance company will refund you for a cancelled or interrupted trip, whereas airlines and booking sites may not.
A travel insurance plan is an essential for safe travel in Canada or abroad. To travel with total peace of mind, count on Ontario Blue Cross travel insurance.