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Colour and Light: Spend A Glorious Autumn In The North

Story by 50 Degrees North

Posted: June 1, 2018

Whenever people tell me they want to explore our beautiful region, Scandinavia, I always ask them what time of year they have in mind. In an attempt to narrow down the magnificent tours on offer, I often say “Do you want summer and midnight sun, or winter and Northern Lights?”.

While either is a gorgeous option, it leaves out the most underestimated season of them all: The glorious autumn months of September, October, and November. A Nordic autumn is like no other. While the days get shorter you still have plenty of daylight hours to take in the scenery. The colors are bright, and the air is crisp. The mornings may be chilly, but we still enjoy beautiful, sunny days with clear blue skies.

The many tourists, crowds and super-sized cruise-ships so often associated with the busy summer months of June, July and August, are replaced by a quieter, gentler and more authentic Scandinavian experience- the Scandinavia I remember and grew up in. The local children are back at school, and everyday life finds its usual rhythm after the hustle and bustle of the long summer holidays.

The Nordic lifestyle is closely related to nature and the change of seasons - every month and season brings its own gifts. Autumn offers abundance; weekends are spent berry and mushroom picking, while farmers markets, gardens, and orchards are filled with late-season ripe apples and pears. September offers the last breath of late summer before we head into the dark, cold and long winter months. October paints the cities and countryside deep red and orange as the leaves fall, while November offers frost, cozy darkness, heartier meals and the budding joy and excitement of another Christmas ahead.

Travel through our region during autumn, and you may feel like you have the place to yourself. It’s the perfect time for self-drives through majestic landscapes whether you opt for Finnish forests and lakes, Norwegian mountains and fjords, Danish castles and windswept beaches or Swedish coastal gems hidden between cosmopolitan cities and towns. Go far enough North, and you may even spot the first Northern Lights of the season.

Image credits: Alex Cono, Visit Norway and Alexander Hall, Visit Sweden.