We were surprised not only that everyone spoke perfect English but also a complete lack of English people full stop, never mind people, British motor homes of which we saw 3 in all our time there.
We've probably made a lot of the costs in my posts since we are pretty price sensitive (read as tight Yorkshire folk) and so Scandinavia presented some challenges however careful stockpiling of food and filling up with fuel on the right side of the borders can make all the difference should you be in a similar position.
View our Wild Camping POI's here.
The price of food and diesel steadily increases as you journey up through Norway so pack as much as you are willing or able to take. If you find yourself running short, Rema 1000 have outlets throughout Scandinavia and Willy's in Sweden provided stop gaps. Milk, Bread, Meat and Veg we found to be the most expensive with the latter of diminishing quality as you head north in Norway as the challenges of transporting it increase.
Fuel prices cheapest to most expensive: Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway. A curiosity is it tended to be cheaper in an evening and varied by as much as 20p between stations so fill up when you see it cheapest rather then when you are empty. Be aware that there is no LPG in Finland and very limited supplies in Sweden - mainly from bottle refilling depos.
Norway was by far our favourite and dwarfed the others by comparison, although Stockholm was fantastic for a city and ranks somewhere in our top 3, if you want any further information you can get in touch with us via the About Us page.
17 Days, 1157 Miles (68/ Day).
Diesel Max: £1.34 / Min: £1.19. LPG: 75p
Copenhagen was a pleasant re-introduction to touring capitals for us if not a bit watered down compared to some places we have visited with food prices enough for even the most hardened stop out to find themselves serving beans on toast back in the van. The Danish pastry's are not to be missed however!
Wild Camping in a PVC is possible in Copenhagen (GPS: 55.66527, 12.52946) on one of the streets outside the Carlsberg Brewery - I dare say you could manage it in a coach built also.
Read all of our posts from Denmark, including a detailed summary here:
Read our Country Guide on Denmark here:
14 Days, 1121 Miles (80/ Day)
Diesel Max:£1.44 / Min: £1.22. LPG: 83p (only available from specialist Gas retailers)
Crowned "The Capital of Scandanvia" and for good reason, this city really did check all the boxes for us. The architecture was simply stunning and the park area was so vast it was hard to believe you where anywhere near civilisation at times. You could easily spend a week here and indeed we virtually did something unheard of for us who get itchy feet very easily!
Wild Camping is possible on the marina front - no size restrictions and free after 5pm and weekends - £11/day other times - see GPS: 59.33175, 18.08832.
Read all of our blog posts from Sweden:
27 Days, 3517 Miles (130/Day)
Diesel Max: £1.53 / Min: £1.39. LPG: 78p
A truly breath taking country and a place that anyone with a love of the great out doors, either participating in it or sitting back to enjoy its visual splendour, should visit. We were just blown away with the place and spent the majority of our time in the Fjords while we explored some of the mountains and islands along its edge. I think you could easily spend several months in Norway exploring some of the Islands and getting up into the Mountain Passes. We arrived just ahead of the main tourist season in June and the snow had melted from all but the highest points but still every second vehicle was a camper van - it seems the European's have discovered Norway but the English are still doing France! We'll be back without question.
If you are a walker and like to get into the thick of things I recommend buying a walking GPS gizmo since Ordinance style maps were hard to locate. There are trails all over Norway and free cabins if you want to spend a night in the hills.
Oh, I've not mention cost. That's because I dedicated a whole blog post about it! See below.
I read somewhere that Oslo is the Museum capital of Europe - if that is your thing then this might be one of those occasions where the a city card might provide good value. We only spent a day in Oslo because we were itching to get onto the Fjords and felt that there wasn't a great deal here but that might be because we didn't give it chance to grow on us.
Wild camping is possible at the Statue Park (GPS: 59.92862, 10.703630) - free Sat/Sun and after 6pm.
Read all of our blog posts from Norway:
Norway on a Budget Guide
13 Days, 1380 Miles (106/Day)
Diesel Max: £1.21 / Min: £1.17. LPG NOT AVAILABLE!
You'll be pleased to find that Finland is much cheaper than the other three Scandinavian countries so run your tanks and store cupboards down before visiting and stock up here. If you are entering from the North be prepared for a good portion of your trip to be consumed by trees, lakes and not a great deal else - great if you like a bit of piece and quiet. We chose to skirt along the coast to avoid the midges (June/July) but a more direct route could be taken, either way there are lots of wild camping opportunities in the National Park areas where wood is provided for burning in special BBQ or open air huts.
We weren't sure what to make of it at first, but after several days exploring on foot we actually like Helsinki quite a lot with its market stalls and ferries. You have to respect that it is the "Gateway to Scandanvia" for a good deal of Russian's and members of the Baltics - not to mention hoards of American tourists. But explore by evening when they've set sail and there is an air of calm about the place. Parking is available right in the centre in Zone 3 - free evenings and weekends (GPS: 60.15885, 24.96187) or at one of the large beach areas free of charge and suitable for all sizes (GPS: 60.17467, 24.90999).
Read all of our blog posts from Finland:
If you find yourself in Helsinki, I cannot recommend enough the chance to visit St Petersburg, Russia Visa Free - more information here: http://www.europebycamper.com/2011/06/helsinki-to-st-petersburg-visa-free.html
If you are not already planning to go to Estonia / Tallinn then Viking Line offer cheap day crossings - more info here: http://www.europebycamper.com/2011/06/tallinn.html