Finnmark was long known to medieval Christians as Ultima Thule – the end of the world – and legend has it that the road to hell was a small, unpaved one set out towards the Varanger peninsula, presided over by devils and dark knights. After paganism was outlawed and the Black Death decimated local populations in the late 1300s, the Scandinavian kingdoms exhibited marked intolerance towards anyone harbouring anti-Christian tendencies. Although the Church had long regarded the extremes of Finnmark as the realm of the devil, witchfinding only took a hold in the 1620s – half a century or so later than the rest of Europe – when, it was alleged, a coven set up shop in a cave on the edge of Vardø. Over the next sixty years, Norway indicted 135 “witches” found in and around the town, and burned 91 of them alive at the stake – a huge number considering the size of the population.

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Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks

On the face of it, Scandinavia isn’t a very sensible place for a holiday. For one thing, it’s almost always going to be colder than the place you’re leavi…

31 Mar 2017 • Steve Vickers insert_drive_file Article
Aurora Spirit: a magical journey to Norway’s Arctic north

Aurora Spirit: a magical journey to Norway’s Arctic north

This year, there’s more than the aurora borealis to draw you to ethereally beautiful Arctic Norway. On the shores of Lyngenfjord, two hours from the city of T…

07 Feb 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
Tromsø: why you need to discover Norway’s Arctic gateway

Tromsø: why you need to discover Norway’s Arctic gateway

Norway isn't short of incredible landscapes. This is the country of majestic lakes, lush meadows and snow-covered mountains. Yet one part of Norway continues to…

31 Jan 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
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