The Location of Scandinavia

Quck answer

Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe that includes the countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. It is located on the Scandinavian Peninsula and is bordered by the Baltic Sea to the east and the North Atlantic Ocean to the west. Finland and Iceland are sometimes also included in the definition of Scandinavia, although they are not technically part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Scandinavia is known for its stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and high standard of living.

When you think about the Northern Lights and fjords, which countries come to mind? Norway? Sweden? Perhaps you’ve heard these countries being referred to as Scandinavian countries. However, do you know where Scandinavia is exactly?

Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe that shares a common historical, cultural, and linguistic Germanic heritage. This region includes the present-day countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Scandinavia is a cultural term that is often mistaken with a similar geographical term: Scandinavian Peninsula. The Scandinavian Peninsula consists of the modern countries of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Scientists believe that the Scandinavian Peninsula is the largest peninsula in Europe, measuring approximately 1,150 miles in length and ranging from 230 to 500 miles in width.

Finland, even though it is part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, is usually not considered a Scandinavian country. Despite its close proximity to Sweden and Norway, it does not share the same Germanic cultural and linguistic heritage as those countries.

Sometimes, the Scandinavian countries are grouped together with Finland and Iceland and referred to as the Nordic countries. This is also a geographical term that acknowledges the similar location and climate of these countries.

The Scandinavian languages – Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish – are similar to each other and can, with some training, be understood by people in each of the Scandinavian countries. Finnish, which is spoken in Finland, is completely unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. This further explains why Finland is generally not considered Scandinavian.

The Scandinavian people are descendants of ancient Germanic tribes who migrated to the area from Northern Germany. These tribes spoke an old Germanic language that eventually evolved into a language known as Old Norse.

In the Early Middle Ages, the Scandinavians were referred to as Norsemen. The Norse culture gave rise to distinct cultural groups, such as the Vikings.

Despite sharing a common heritage, the modern countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have diverse geographical features. From Norway’s fjords to Denmark’s lowlands to Sweden’s archipelagos, the lands of Scandinavia exhibit various forms.

Most people inhabit the warmer, southern regions of these countries. However, the far northern parts of Norway and Sweden approach the Arctic Circle and can be quite cold. In today’s Scandinavia, you can find both warm and inviting coastlines as well as cold and harsh tundra!

Give It a Try

Are you ready to explore Scandinavia? Ask a friend or family member to assist you in trying out the following activities:

Scandinavia Map Activity

Download and print out this blank map of Scandinavia and its surrounding regions. Can you complete the map by filling in the names of the countries, along with their capitals and major cities? Make sure to mark the following places on your map:

  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Copenhagen
  • Stockholm
  • Oslo
  • Helsinki

Scandinavian Attractions

If you were to visit Scandinavia, what sights would you like to see? With the help of an adult, search the Internet for pictures and information about these famous Scandinavian attractions:

  • Northern Lights
  • Denmark’s castles
  • Legoland
  • Polar World
  • Briksdal Glacier

Scandinavian Languages

As you learned in today’s Wonder of the Day, the languages of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are similar, while the language of Finland is different. Use an online translator to translate the following words into these languages:

  • hello
  • goodbye
  • school
  • teacher
  • student

Wonder Sources


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