Gamla Stan, Stockholm
Gamla Stan, Stockholm

Archaeological Tours

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Scandinavia: Norse Gods & Viking Warriors


16 days From $11,550 $11,300

July 6 2020

2020 DEPARTURE - ADVERTISED PRICE INCLUDES $500 EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT

 

This tour places the Viking Age in the wider context of European history, and in Scandinavian history from the Bronze Age to today. The coastline of Scandinavia has seen much change, and is one that has played a significant role in its past. Stone Age hunters first walked to Scandinavia from southern Europe during warm epochs, but, with the retreating of glaciers and ice sheets came the rising of sea-levels and the Mesolithic culture, abound with ritualism, animalism and shamanism. With the adoption of agriculture, metalworking spread to Scandinavia and distinct local cultural traditions once again took over. But the most famous of all of Scandinavia’s cultures is arguably that of the Vikings; whose seafaring warriors dominated warfare and trade for three centuries, and whose influence and invasion attempts spread throughout Europe to North America. Stand where Beowulf wrestled with the monster Grendel and where the heroes of Hrolf Kraki made their famed last stand against the hordes conjured up by the jealous god Odin. Through the archaeological sites, objects and landscapes, Norse gods and Viking warriors will once again come alive on this unforgettable adventure.

What's included?

  •  Expert Scholar & Tour Manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  Local Transport & private transfer to/from airport and group hotel
  •  Entries & Tips
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Ferry
  •  Regional Flights
  •  Four enlightening evening lectures from your expert scholar
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team

Led by...

Prof. John Hines

Prof. John Hines

John Hines is Professor in the School of History and Archaeology at Cardiff University, and is a specialist in the archaeology of the early medieval period, particularly the material culture and literature of the Vikings.

Book Now From $11,300 $11,550

Choose from these limited time special offer(s):

  • Full balance payment just $11,300

Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $3,000

Tour highlights:

  • In Stockholm, stand before the mighty Vasa warship which sunk on its maiden voyage at the city’s fantastic Vasamuséet
  • Travel from Sweden to Denmark via the architectural marvel that is the Öresund bridge, an experience for any visitor to this part of the world
  • Gaze upon the legendary Tollund Man, a naturally mummified corpse from the 4th century BC that is housed within the Silkeborg Museum
  • Watch as history and legend unite to tell captivating stories at sites in and around magnificent Scandinavia
  • Travel back in time to the age of the Vikings at the UNESCO-listed ancient city of Birka, a boat ride away from vibrant Stockholm

Tour details

Dates July 6 2020 - July 21 2020
Duration 16 days
Cost Choose from these limited time special offer(s):
  • Full balance payment just $11,300 $11,550
Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $3,000 Balance due by April 13 2020
Activity Level Moderate
Tour code A20VIK

Book Now or call 866-740-5130 if you have any questions

July 6 2020: Itinerary

We arrive in Stockholm, the dynamic capital city of Sweden. Known as the city of 10,000 islands, it is the most populous of the Nordic capitals. An evening lecture and dinner awaits us.

Meals include: Dinner

Our tour begins at the Historiska Muséet (Th e Museum of National Antiquities), which has an excellent Viking gallery and an impressive gold room. We then continue to the Vasamuséet, home to the Vasa warship, which was built in 1628 and sunk on its maiden voyage. After lunch, we walk through the old town (Gamla Stan), which is comprised of the original site of Stockholm, its law courts, and the Swedish Parliament buildings. Strolling along cobblestone streets, we stop to visit the Great Church, which is used for royal weddings and coronations; the Great Square, scene of the “Stockholm Bloodbath”; the Cathedral and other historic buildings.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

We venture out of the capital city today and drive to Uppsala. We visit Valsgärde, an Iron Age funerary site, where traces of about 80 graves can be seen as mounds or oblong depressions. These are the remains of chamber tombs, cist tombs, cremation burials and boat burials. Next, we move to Gamla Uppsala in order to visit three huge royal burial mounds that legend attributes to kings Aun, Egil and Adlis. The beautiful Gamla Uppsala kyrka (church) stands over the site of a great temple, where it is believed that sacrifices to the Norse gods Thor, Frey and Odin took place. Legend and history intertwine as we visit tinghög (parliament hill) and the Gamla Uppsala Historical Center, which displays the artifacts from the excavated mounds. We also visit Domkyrkan, Sweden’s largest cathedral and the manuscript room of the University Library. We return to Stockholm via Sigtuna, home to Sweden’s oldest street with the ruins of two 12th century churches and several rune stones.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we take a boat to the island of Björkö (meaning ‘Birch Island’) to explore the UNESCO-listed Viking town of Birka. Founded in the year 750, it benefited from its strategic location and became an important Viking trading center until 975, when Gotland and Sigtuna took over the Russia-Byzantine trade. A silver ring from a Viking-era grave in Birka is the first with Arabic inscription from that era to be found in Scandinavia’s center. 700 people lived at Birka when it was at its largest, and 3,000 graves have been found.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Th is morning, we view the Ramsund carvings that depict several sagas about Sigurd, and we also visit Anundshög, the largest royal burial mound in Sweden where standing stones are arranged to represent two ships and a rune stone. This afternoon, we visit the fairytale like castle of Gripsholm before returning to Stockholm.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

An early morning ferry brings us to the ancient Baltic island of Gotland. We spend our day exploring the Medieval walled town of Visby, its historic buildings and the fabulous Gotlands Fornsal Museum. Most notable among the museum’s collections are the Hall of Picture Stones with displays of large keyhole-shaped stones richly decorated in runic inscriptions, people, animals and ships, and the Viking Treasury. This collection includes a hoard of unique gold and silver treasures brought from as far away as Central Asia and Persia.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we explore the excavations at Frojel and the Frojel Church. Here, one of the largest and most important trading places on Gotland during the Viking era is to be found. A cluster of buildings surrounded the harbor with its jetties, and in the small houses the craftsmen produced their wares, including imported goods such as wine and salt from southern Europe, precious metals from Arabia, and amber from Poland and the Baltic states. The archaeological excavations at the site are among the most extensive that have been carried out on a Viking harbor and trading place. Inside Frojel Church, we see several frescos that date from the early 14th century, depicting dragons, deer, lions and griffins, as well as an angel and a bishop. Our afternoon is at leisure, so why not unwind with a cup of coffee and Gotland’s specialty saffranspannkaka, a saffron pancake with red berries and cream.

Meals include: Breakfast

Today, we fly back to the mainland and move on to Copenhagen. We stop in Lund to see its cathedral, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. Later, we take the Öresund bridge into Denmark and arrive in Copenhagen.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

The National Museum awaits this morning, displaying material that covers Danish prehistory, including the often neglected but fascinating Mesolithic Period, the Gundestrup cauldron, the Trundholm chariot and a series of Bronze Age coffined burials, as well as collections of Near Eastern and Classical antiquities. The museum’s ethnographic galleries of non-European cultures are among the most important in the world.

Meals include: Breakfast

Our first stop today will be the fabulous royal chapels in Roskilde Domkirke, the burial place of Denmark’s kings and queens. We then continue to the Viking Ship Museum, which houses five wonderfully preserved ships excavated from the Roskilde fjord. Before returning to Copenhagen, we visit Gammel Lejre to see the excavations of a Viking ship burial. To end the day, we visit the huge Trelleborg Fort, one of seven Viking ring castles, before checking into our hotel.

All meals included

Today, we begin our journey to Aarhus, one of the oldest cities in Northern Europe. We stop on route at Trelleborg for the Viking Festival and Odense for a walking tour. Our next stop is Jelling, the 10th century royal seat chosen by Viking Kings, Gorm the Old and his son, Harald Bluetooth. Still visible are their burial mounds and two rune stones known as the Jelling stones.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

A tour of the city of Aarhus today includes the cathedral and the Viking Museum, which is housed in the basement of a bank. We also visit the cathedral and the historic park of Den Gamle By. We then depart for the Silkeborg Museum, which houses the famous Tollund Man. This afternoon, we travel back to Copenhagen.

Meals include: Breakfast

After a morning to relax and explore the city on our own, we transfer to the pier and board an overnight ferry to Oslo.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Our touring today in Oslo will begin at the Kulturhistorisk Museum (cultural history museum), which houses amid its Viking and early medieval wing several magnificent Stave Church portals decorated with fantastical dragons and beasts. We will spend the afternoon walking in the city center, noting several important landmarks including the cathedral, Stortinget (parliament) and the Rathaus, decorated with scenes from Norse mythology.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we will visit the Bygdøy peninsula, as well as four incredible museums. We will begin at the Vikingskipshuset, specially constructed to house three 9th century Viking ships excavated from burial mounds. The clay soil of these mounds is responsible for their excellent state of preservation. At the Frammuseet we will see the Fram (the ship that carried Roald Amundsen to the South Pole) and, at the Kon-Tiki Museet we see Thor Heyerdahl’s famous ship, a particular treat for those of us who have visited Easter Island. There is a fine Stave Church in the Folk Museum as well as a huge ethnographic collection. This evening we will meet for our farewell dinner at one of Oslo’s fine restaurants.

All meals included

Today we depart for the airport and catch our return flights home.

Meals include: Breakfast

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