What actually is Scandinavia?
Do the names Nokia, Lego, Volvo, and Ericsson ring a bell to you? For starters, these are just some of the world famous brands or companies coming out of Scandinavia. Scandinavia? It sounds either romantic or historic. What is Scandinavia?
According to Wikipedia, Scandinavia “…is a historical and cultural-linguistic region in Northern Europe characterized by a common ethno-cultural Germanic heritage and related languages, which includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.” In modern times, Finland and Iceland are also included as part this geographical region in consideration of the cultural and historic relationships. Norway and Sweden form what is called the Scandinavian Peninsula.
Scandinavia, also known as Nordic Europe, is located north of the Baltic Sea in Europe. With an area of almost 1.2 million square kilometers or 463,000 square miles, Scandinavia is the largest region in Europe. It is home to an estimated 24 million people. Languages predominantly spoken in this area include Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian.
Aside from the five countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland that compose Nordic Europe, Scandinavia incorporates the territories of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Svalbard, and Aland.
Faroe Islands is an autonomous territory of Denmark. Greenland is an autonomous territory of Denmark and a member of the Nordic Council. However, it is part of the native North America geographically and culturally. Svalbard is administered by Norway while Aland is an autonomous territory of Finland.
Denmark is the smallest, flattest, and most continental of the Scandinavian countries. It is also famous for and considered to have the best beaches in Northern Europe. With a unique Viking heritage, the royal palaces will be a treat to visit in Denmark’s capital of Copenhagen.
Norway is known for its deep fjords, steep mountains, and well preserved wooden churches. Regarded as the most rural and traditional of the five Scandinavian countries, Norway has a rich and interesting culture with a long tradition in fishing and farming.
Sweden is by far the largest Scandinavian country in terms of area and population. It is surrounded by countless islands around its coastline. The Swedish Archipelago is noted as the second largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea region.
Finland is perhaps the remotest and most conservative of the Scandinavian countries. The Finnish language is unlike other Scandinavian languages. Some consider Finland as not technically part of Scandinavia as the native people of Finland, or Finns, have Uralic origins. Tourists will have a blast exploring the thousands of islands and lakes found in Finland.
Iceland is a haven for the adventurer with its magnificent sceneries filled with volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, and waterfalls. Located somewhere between Europe and North America, Iceland is a mountainous island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean. Although it is not part of the Scandinavian continental mainland, Iceland is considered to be Nordic European.
Want to know more about Scandinavia? Do some simple research on the Internet to learn about it. You will be fascinated with what you will learn about this enchanting and interesting place.