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Timesharing in Finland and Norway

PeelBoy

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I have said it many times: I love timesharing in Europe. Unfortunately, it seems I am running out of places to go to, if I insist on my strategy of not repeating the places I have gone to.

Both II and RCI show a decent supply for resorts in Finland and to a lesser extent Norway. I don't think I can resist the temptation of a fijord in Norway, however, what should I anticipate for a vacation in Finland? I am not looking for skiing in the winter or boating in the summer, which are readily available in Canada. I enjoy cultural shock in a small town or a medium size city, with history, good service and shopping.

Are Finland and Norway super expensive? Years ago in Denmark, I felt I could not afford even their open sandwich.

I am open to all experience and suggestions. Thanks.
 

Janie

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No doubt, the Nordic countries are very expensive. I haven't been to a timeshare there, but I travel there on business.

Have you been to Sweden? I'd choose that over Norway or Finland, based on your criteria of cities, shopping, and history. There are not a lot of timeshares in Southern Sweden (where cities and shopping would be), but they do pop up from time to time.

Hard to believe that one could ever exhaust travel opportunities in Europe! Where have you already been?
 

Laurie

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Me too!

Thanks for starting this thread, because I've begun looking at these destinations as well. (As far as costs, we made it to Denmark and yes, stuff was expensive. But it's all relative and didn't add up to be a big percentage of the trip cost, all things considered. We did eat in most of the time.)

I've been looking at the RCI resorts, at some point to combine a week to Sweden, located within reach of Norway fjords, + a week in Finland, which would perhaps be within reach of Russia for a daytrip or sidetrip. This would be for summer - not ski, not water sports, not relaxing in the wilderness - but for gorgeous scenery and different cultural experience, plus many hours of sunlight. I also like small to medium-size towns and cities, "culture shock" and history - everything except shopping which matters not to me. I don't yet have a good grasp of the geography, scenery, or what is within reach of where. I hope Janie and others will say more!

Also of interest is that the company with the most timeshares in Finland, Holiday Club Finland, is apparently planning something for St. Petersburg at some point, tho nothing in RCI yet as far as I know -
http://hcf.hosting.ambientia.fi/portal/2123/
http://hcf.hosting.ambientia.fi/portal/2155/

And on that note, there's an RCI resort in Finland called Lomakyla Onnenvirta whose description says:
"Excursions to Russia are arranged during summer months only. Please contact the resort two weeks prior to excursion departure date to arrange."

So I'm wondering whether any TUGgers have done something like that. ?
 

Janie

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I can provide a little bit of info on Norway and more on Sweden. I haven't been to Finland.

Norway is very, very beautiful, but is more a destination for hikers, skiers, and nature lovers than for people who are looking for a city experience. Oslo has the feel of a new-ish city: even though it's a old settlement, the old buildings were traditionally wooden and very few examples remain. I haven't been to any of the other Norwegian cities.

Sweden was historically the important imperial power in Scandinavia and the Baltics, so it has more of the charming old towns, universities, palaces, museums, etc. etc. Stockholm might get my vote for the most beautiful city in Europe. It is laid out over a series of islands, so water, bridges, and boats are everywhere. It is incredibly well preserved--from the medieval center to the grand 17th and 18th century imperial buildings. There is wonderful (but expensive) shopping and interesting restaurants. Traditional Swedish food might not be for everyone, but Stockholm is very cosmopolitan and you can get anything there.

Just about 40 minutes north from Stockholm is the old city of Uppsala, which also has a 15th century university, cathedral, and castle.

Unfortunately, there is not a timeshare very close to Stockholm, but it would be easy to tack on a few days there to any of the ones that are in the south of Sweden. There is a timeshare in Visby (Snäck (#4888) , which is on a big island called Gotland accessible by ferry from a city just a little bit south of Stockholm. Visby is a medieval city itself and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Other timeshare options would be on the west coast of Sweden, near Gothenburg. (Look at Capri (#1945 and Villa Maritime (#1937) )
Those are also pretty close to the border with Norway and Oslo. I haven't been to Gothenburg or the west coast, but its a really popular vacation place for Swedes. Stockholm would be a 4-6 hour drive from those timeshares.

Finally, look at Smygehus Havsbad (#3810), which is in the far south of Sweden, fairly close to Malmo (which is connected to Copenhagen, Denmark via a bridge.) Also about 6 hours from Stockholm.

The other timeshares in Sweden appear to be in the north, and more oriented to skiers and outdoor activities.

Here is a good website for Stockholm

http://www.stockholmtown.com/templates/substartpage____2402.aspx

and, it's incredibly easy to get around in Sweden (and, I hear, everywhere in Scandinavia) because English is so widely spoken.
 
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tashamen

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I grew up in Finland and most of my relatives are still there, so I visit frequently and love it! I have not stayed in a ts there recently but can still recommend a couple that trade through II:

Lapinniemi in Tampere - Finland's second largest city which has lots of history, good food, and the resort itself has an excellent spa. No car needed there.

And Sunborn Vacation Club in Naantali, a small resort and spa town on the west coast, which is close to Turku - a larger city which has a nice historic castle. You would need a car there.

Finland is expensive but then so are the other countries. And by all means go to Russia on the same trip if you can - St. Petersburg is great! But if you can't get that far, you can at least take a day trip by ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn in Estonia which has a nice medieval feel.
 
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