Nordic Beaches

The best Nordic beaches: Amazing beaches in Scandinavia

Most bucket list trips to Scandinavia don’t focus on finding the best Nordic beaches. The Scandinavian region is better-known for its winter wonderlands, unique culture, and spectacular landscapes. However, you can still plan a brilliant beach getaway here.

With endless shoreline to explore in many parts of the Scandinavian map, there are plenty of unforgettable beach hideaways just waiting to be explored. While you might not get the warmth of the Caribbean from a beach in Norway or Finland, there are other benefits to beaches in Scandinavia. 

Visit the right destination, and you’ll be rewarded with phenomenal sights, blending soft sand with the harsh, rugged peaks of the fjords. Not to mention, beaches across Scandinavia can also be an excellent place to do some wildlife watching, with the potential to see everything from whales to stork.

Here’s your guide to the best Nordic beaches.

What to expect from beaches in Scandinavia

Beaches in Scandinavia aren’t exactly the same as the sandy spots you’ll discover elsewhere in the world. Norway is home to the world’s second-longest coastline (after Canada), with more than 100,000 km to explore. 

However, the majority of the coast is made up of fjords, making it hard to find a place to set up a sun lounger. Norwegian beaches can also be extremely cold, with areas where the snow even hides the sand during the winter months. 

Sweden boasts hundreds of thousands of incredible islands and lakes, with plenty of harbor and seaside-style towns, but the water can be too cold for swimming during some times of the years. 

You’re more likely to see people kayaking and canoeing in the water around Swedish beaches than you are to see visitors trying to catch a tan.

Finland is also home to a host of amazing islands, but it’s the lake-side beaches which draw the most attention from locals and tourists alike. You can actually bathe in the calm waters of the lake beaches in Finland during summer, as the water can be surprisingly mild. 

However, some Finnish beaches are less welcoming than others. 

Denmark is almost completely surrounded by water, so it’s safe to say you can find a selection of Danish beaches to explore. With the Baltic Sea to the east and the North Sea to the west, however, the beaches in Denmark can easily catch a chill. 

Even Iceland has its fair share of beaches to explore. Icelandic beaches can even feature amazing black sand, which is sure to be worth a picture or two.

Nordic Beaches
Credit: Alex Berger

Tips for enjoying Nordic beaches

The most important thing to keep in mind when exploring Nordic beaches, is they can be a lot colder than many beaches elsewhere in the world. Don’t expect to be able to lounge in the sun when you’re visiting these sandy Scandinavian spots. 

While the summer months can be milder in regions like Denmark and Sweden, you still might need to wear some extra layers. 

Here are some quick points to keep in mind when visiting Nordic beaches:

Dress appropriately

Check the weather forecast before your trip and remember cold winds from the sea can drastically influence the temperature. Layers are a good way to go, even if you’re visiting in Summer.

Respect the rules

Virtually every Nordic beach and Scandinavian landscape has its own rules when it comes to keeping natural spots as clean and beautiful as possible. Expect to take all your trash away with you when you leave, and don’t disturb anyone else.

Explore the activities

There are plenty of activities available at many of the best Nordic beaches, including swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Make sure you take advantage of the experiences on offer for an amazing adventure.

Where are the best beaches in Scandinavia?

The best Scandinavian beaches for you and your family will depend on a number of factors, including what you hope to do with your time on the sand. 

Here are some of our favorite places you should definitely discover:

Nordic Beaches

1. Reynisfjara beach (Vik beach)

As famous Icelandic beaches go, there are few more noteworthy than “Vik beach”. This natural spot is home to stunning black sand and icy blue waters, offering plenty of Instagram-worthy dramatic views. You can spend hours just staring at the landscape. 

There are some ultra-special features about this beach which make it particularly exciting for visitors, such as the ability to look to the south and see all the way to Antarctica. You may need to rent a car or take public transport to visit this beach, but it’s well-worth the trip. 

Check out the phenomenal hotel Kria in the region for a place to stay where you can enjoy the views from the comfort of your own cozy bed. 

Nordic Beaches
Credit: Holger.Ellgaard

2. Smedsuddsbadet beach

Don’t let the extra-long name fool you, Smedsuddsbadet is one of the most talked-about and popular beaches in Sweden. The sandy spot is located right beside the capital city of Stockholm, so you can enjoy an urban adventure and an outdoor excursion at the same time.

There’s a lush lawn area nearby where you can play with the kids, or you can simply sit on the sand and soak up some sun during the summer. The shallow, clean, and clear water also makes this spot ideal for relaxing with all members of the family. 

To keep you as comfortable as possible during your beach adventure, the Swedish government has even installed nearby toilets, showers and changing rooms. You can stay just about anywhere in Stockholm but we recommend the phenomenal First Hotel Kungsbron.

Nordic Beaches

3. Yyteri beach

One of the longest Nordic beaches on the map, Yyteri beach is located in Pori in Finland. The location is best-known for its extensive dunes, making it ideal for relaxing and exploring, depending on how warm your summer adventure is. 

The space is perfect for swimmers, with lots of fresh open water to explore, and there are various water sports on offer too. The Surf Center at Yyteri even offers windsurfing lessons, or the option to rent an SUP or skim board. 

Yyteri beach is also part of a nature reserve, and there’s a separate naturist beach nearby if you’re looking for something a little different. Make sure you check out the Yyteri beach holiday resort for cottages, cabins and camping spots.

Nordic Beaches
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4. Søndervig beach

Ranked among the most popular beaches in Denmark, and one of the best Nordic beaches around, Søndervig beach is ideal for walking, swimming, and exploring. There’s a mass of beautiful golden sand to discover, and a wide range of unique landscapes to explore. 

Søndervig beach is popular for its dunes, but it’s also packed with unique rocky formations and hills where you can stretch your legs between relaxation sessions on the beach. The white sand beach is also accessible for carriages and wheelchair users, making it one of the more accessible locations in Denmark. 

Søndervig beach was elected as the best beach in Denmark in 2014. If you’re looking for a place to stay nearby, check out the Fjordgaarden hotel with its indoor pool and spa.

Nordic Beaches

5. Hauklandstranda beach

Situated in the phenomenal Lofoten Islands of Norway, Hauklandstranda beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Despite the cold weather, this beach in Norway looks as though it belongs in the Mediterranean, with silky smooth white sand and rich turquoise blue water. 

The stunning shoreline is wonderful to walk down, with plenty of great spots where you can stop for a picnic or a break with your family. During the summer months, you can actually enjoy a decent amount of warmth from this Norwegian beach. 

Make sure you check out some of the water-sporting activities when you’re here. 

For a phenomenal hotel experience, head to the Lofoten Panorama hotel. Here, you can not only get an ultra-modern room for relaxation, but amazing views of the Northern lights too.

Nordic Beaches
Credit: GuavaTrain

6. Jökulsárlón Lagoon

Beaches in Iceland don’t come much more magical than the amazing Jökulsárlón Lagoon. This beach features some of the famous black sand which makes Icelandic beaches so special. The region is also regularly studded with crystal-clear chunks of ice which break off nearby glaciers. 

It’s the chunks of ice which earned this location the name, the “Diamond beach”. 

Located just off the Icelandic ring road, Jökulsárlón Lagoon is relatively easy to visit. You should definitely visit during the later hours of the day if you can, as the sunset is truly unforgettable. Either way, no matter when you visit, you’re going to get an unforgettable experience.

For accommodation nearby, head to the Fosshotel at Glacier Lagoon. This is one of the most luxurious hotels in the region, and its surprisingly affordable too. You can even enjoy some food at the on-site restaurant. 

Nordic Beaches

7. Hietaniemi beach

When you imagine Finnish beaches, you probably wouldn’t picture the amazing golden sands available at the Hietaniemi beach. This location is one of the most popular beaches in Helsinki, so you can enjoy both the capital city and a local beach experience at the same time.

During the summer months, the region is surprisingly warm, so you can explore the water and relax on the sand without feeling too frozen. You can also play a little beach volleyball if you feel like it, with regular tournaments for those who want to test their skills. 

There’s also Hietalahti nearby, where you can find a café building with toilets and a dressing room. During the summer, Hietaniemi beach is often home to concerts and events. For a unique accommodation experience, visit the Nolla cabins to reconnect with nature. 

Nordic Beaches
Credit: heb

8. Palmestranden in Frederikshavn

Located close to Frederikshavn in Denmark, Palmestranden brings a unique exotic atmosphere to the Scandinavian beach landscape. The palm-lined beach is beautiful and child-friendly, so everyone can come along for a day in the sun. 

Aside from plenty of opportunities to unwind in the shade of some palm trees, you’ll also be able to take part in volleyball games among the local courts and check out the barbecue area if you’re feeling hungry. 

There’s also free sun lounger use available. Plus, a range of facilities are located nearby, like a popular ice cream shop and toilets.

We definitely recommend finding a nearby place to stay while you’re relaxing on this beach, like the amazing Reef hotel, which features its own tropical waterpark for the kids. 

Nordic Beaches

9. Rauðasandur 

Proof not all the beaches in Iceland feature the dramatic black sand, Rauðasandur is a red-sand wonder with black cliffs surrounding the water. The location is truly amazing to explore, and many visitors say it feels like walking through the dunes of Mars. 

The sand at this beach often changes hues as you walk across it, with shades ranging from deep reds to soft yellows. The waters are often turquoise or deep blue in color, for a fantastic selection of contrasts. 

For excellent access to a range of beaches in the region, check out the hotel Látrabjarg, close to the cliffside. While you might need to do a little travelling to arrive at the red sand beach, the results are definitely worth the effort. 

Nordic Beaches

10. Tylösand beach

Loved by tourists and locals alike, Tylösand is one of the best Scandinavian beaches in Sweden. During the summer season, the number of visitors exceeds 40,000, making it one of the most packed destinations in the region. It’s also only 15 minutes from Halmstad

If you’re looking for a classic beach-goers experience, Tylösand has it all, from fresh clean water to light fine sand. There are plenty of dunes and natural areas to explore, just be cautious of the extra wind around this location, as it can be quite chilling. 

There are numerous places to stay in Halmstad if you’re visiting Tylösand, including the gorgeous Hotell Mårtenson which serves delicious Swedish food. 

Nordic Beaches
Credit: Barbara Krawcowicz

11. Hoddevik beach

You might not picture Norwegian beaches as the ultimate surfer’s haven, but that’s exactly what you get from Hoddevik beach in Stad. This idyllic beach comes with amazing soft white sand, clear blue waters, and towering cliffs around the bay. 

The location is even deemed one of the best surfing locations in the world. 

Rarely crowded, the 1km beach is home to two surfing schools, including Stad surfing and Lapoint surf school, so you can learn how to master a board while you’re here. If you’re not a surfing enthusiast, there are still plenty of places where you can set up camp or enjoy a picnic with your family.

For a full surfing experience, simply stay at the Lapoint surf camp, where you can learn to surf, hang out with new friends, and even enjoy some relaxing yoga. 

Nordic Beaches

12. Sommarøy beaches

A selection of Norwegian beaches just outside of Tromsø, the Sommarøy beaches are some of the most popular destinations for sun and sand in the region. With various amazing islands nearby to explore via kayak or canoe, you’ll have no shortage of things to do while you’re here.

The white sand and beautiful turquoise water are sure to chase all your worries away. If you want to stay active, you can even go diving, or learn how to use your own stand-up paddle board. 

These beaches are also a starting point for a number of whale-watching excursions from Norway. When you’re ready to get back on land, there are plenty of hiking and cycling spots to explore.

Visit the beautiful Sommarøy Arctic Hotel for a relaxing coastal experience, complete with your own flat-screen TV and free private parking. There’s also free sauna access included, or you can hire a hot tub for a little extra relaxation. 

Nordic Beaches

13. Boda beach

Boda beach almost looks as though it doesn’t belong in Sweden, with its palm trees and beautiful golden sand. The region is packed with things to do and see, from golf courses and campgrounds to water sports, and extensive public facilities, such as showers, dog bathing areas, and food kiosks.

If you’re visiting Sweden with family, Boda is one of the best Nordic beaches for child-friendly exploration. You can hire prams and strollers from the decks leading onto the beach. Kids can also take part in beach games, treasure hunts, and soccer tournaments.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to engage in more adrenaline-fuelled activities, Boda also offers access to various windsurfing, volleyball, and boating excursions. Visit the Boda sand beach resort for camping information. 

Nordic Beaches

14. Blokhus beach

Found in Jammerbugten, one of the most popular summer destinations for locals in Denmark, Blokhus beach is a beautiful place to go exploring. You can venture across the sandy dunes on horseback, or simply take a stroll through the grassy planes near the sand. 

The beach is well-known to locals for its range of beach activities. Weather conditions are usually ideal for water sports and various events like the annual kite festival which is definitely worth checking out. 

You can also visit Skagen and Aalborg nearby if you’re looking for some more Danish adventures during your stay. 

There are plenty of great options for accommodation nearby. If you feel like having your own apartment for a while, check out Danland, with its indoor waterpark, pool and spa. 

Nordic Beaches

15. Nallikari beach

If you’re looking for one of the best Scandinavian beach destinations in Finland, Oulu has you covered. Nallikari is around 3 km from the middle of Oulu, and there’s even a mini train running between the beach and Oulu’s downtown region during summer. 

If you feel like staying active, you can cycle here too. 

Ideal for families, Nallikari beach promises shallow water, great for wading and a little swimming. There’s also a lot of space to play and run in the sand. At the holiday village nearby, you can also rent tennis rackets, pedal cars, and bikes.

Visit the Nallikari holiday village for insights into where you can stay through the summer and winter months. There are even a range of great winter activities here too, so you can visit all year round.

The best Scandinavian beaches

As you can see, contenders for the best Nordic beaches are in no short supply. You may need to wrap up a little warmer to visit some of these destinations, depending on what time of year you’re going to be taking your trip. 

However, if you can handle slightly lower temperatures, the beaches in Scandinavia have a lot of wonders to offer. 

With amazing natural formations in the fjords, beautiful hiking tracks nearby, and activities you can enjoy right there on the sand, you’ll have no shortage of things to do when visiting any one of the Nordic beaches mentioned above.

What’s more, many of the beaches in Scandinavia are surprisingly easy to reach, so you can add a trip to the sand to your itinerary while still enjoying various other activities throughout the country you want to visit. 

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