Meet the Vikings
The Vikings were great seafarers, raiders and traders of the Early Middle Ages. Far from being a race of barbarians, they presided over an extensive trading network. They fought with swords of Afghan steel, wore imported silk from China, and reached the coast of North America. Following in the Vikings’ footsteps, we make our own epic voyage across Europe starting at Germany through Denmark to Sweden.
We seek out trading towns, treasure, kings and longships. Led by Viking expert Brian Ayers, we trace the rise of this great civilisation whose ruthless skill inspired awe and terror throughout Northern Europe and beyond.
- Britain, Germany, Denmark, Sweden: a unique and epic sweep through the lands of the Vikings
- Raiders, traders, explorers and craftsmen; discover every aspect of this great Northern European people
- Sail and row a Viking longship. Visit runestones, kingly burials and the great trading ports of Hedeby, Ribe and Birka
- Great Cities
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- Small Group
- All Inclusive
We arrvive in Germany and drive to our hotel in Schleswig.
Today we plunge into the Viking era by looking at the Denevirke, the great earthwork boundary to the Viking World. We continue to Hedeby, a major trading settlement on the Baltic coast, while Ribe, in Denmark, was on the North Sea. They were the greatest Viking cities of their time and excavations at both have revealed the Viking’s international links as they acted as the terminal points for a trade that stretched as far as central Russia and the middle east.
We begin our day at Baekke to see the stone ship setting and then to Ravning Enge where excavations have revealed the remains of a huge bridge, a considerable feat of Viking engineering. On to Aarhus, to visit the Mosegard Museum and the Viking Museum beneath the Nordea Bank.
We visit the only known example of a ship burial in Denmark at Ladby where the excavated ship can be seen below a reconstructed mound. We also visit the Trelleborg ring fortress – one of a number of extraordinary, well-planned circular forts built at the time of King Harald Bluetooth in the 10th century. We travel to Copenhagen this afternoon.
Trade was not the only source of wealth and rural manors were a vital sign of power and source of income. We visit Gammel Lejre – a major royal rural centre, with traces of settlements and burials.
We travel on to Roskilde where we visit the extraordinary cathedral and also have special access to Roskilde Ship Museum where we have the chance to row and sail a Viking longship!
We spend a full day in Copenhagen to see the Viking treasures at the National Museum of Denmark. This afternoon, there is an optional walk around the highlights of Copenhagen’s historic centre or free time to explore the Danish capital at your leisure.
Into Sweden across the Oresund Bridge, where we see the recreated Viking village at Foteviken and then on to the Swedish Trelleborg. In the afternoon we pass by Upparka, once a fabulously wealthy town where excavations have revealed traces of longhouses and pagan shrines, and then to Dalby which by contrast, boasts the oldest stone church in Sweden.
Today we explore Lund once the meeting place of the ‘Thing’, the governing body of Viking Sweden. We Visit the historical museum and Lund Cathedral before walking through the historic town.
We catch a fast train to Stockholm, capital of modern Sweden. This afternoon we visit the Galma Stan (Old Town) and the Historical Museum.
Travel out from Stockholm today to see the runestones and mound at Anundshög, a Viking assembly place. We also visit Gamla Uppsala, the old royal centre of Sweden, and last stronghold of Scandinavian paganism, with its royal burial mound. It was here that King Erik the Victorious defeated Styrbjorn the Strong and made himself the first king of Sweden.
Drive out for the capital and take a boat trip, spending our final day at the great Swedish trading port of Birka. Goods were once prepared here for their journeys throughout the Viking world.
This morning, we visit the amazingly complete Vasa warship, the pride of King Charles XII, which sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. It was excavated and finally lifted form the seabed in an extraordinary operation in 1961. We fly home later today.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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