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Stockholm and Oslo are the new Paris and Rome as extreme summer temps drive surge of interest in Europe’s chilly north

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All the cool people will be going there this summer.

Scandinavia and other chillier parts of Europe are experiencing a dramatic increase in June to August travel — and it’s all driven by a desire to escape sizzling temperatures that have become the norm in popular destinations like Paris and Rome, experts say.

During the warm weather months, bookings for trips to Norway — particularly in places like cool, coastal Bergen — have risen 37% over last year, according to luxury operator Kensington Tours.

Bergen, Norway is an increasingly popular destination for summer travelers to Europe. saiko3p – stock.adobe.com

The luxury tour company also named Innsbruck, Austria — nearly 2,000 feet above sea level in the Austrian Alps — as another not-so-hot summer commodity, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Travel booking company Hopper reported that trips to Sweden have gone up 70%, while Finland went off the charts with a 126% boost. There has also been increased interest in the Faroe Islands — a scenic archipelago off the coast of Denmark that has raised its profile in recent years.

“As Europe braces for the impact of increasingly common extreme weather events, we anticipate travel patterns and destination choice shifts over the long term,” said Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Travel Commission said.

World traveler Mary Miles, a 33-year-old in public relations from Baltimore, will enjoy a trip to Scandinavia with her husband later this year, touring Sweden, Denmark, and Norway for two weeks.

Cooler weather was an easy signing bonus for Miles’ other half.

Tourists are heading to places like Olden, Norway to beat the heat. ZUMAPRESS.com
Mountain towns like Innsbruck, Austria are becoming more popular in the summer for cooler weather. saiko3p – stock.adobe.com

“He’s very, very sensitive to heat,” she told the outlet. “He gets nervous that he’s going to pass out.”

Experts add that the rationale for spending time at these comparatively obscure locations instead of literal tourist hotspots further to the south is not only because they offer a milder climate — travelers will also enjoy fewer fellow foreign vacationers.

The trend toward northern destinations extends beyond Europe.

Domestically, interest in travel to Alaska has risen 25%, according to Kayak.

The northernmost state has become a hub for cruises, according to Jillian Simpson of the Alaska Travel Industry Association.

“Statewide, the state did see a record number of cruise passengers arriving, which was very good,” she told Alaska Public Media earlier this year.

Seward, a major cruise port, is expecting at least 200,000 visitors via cruises in 2024.

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