Travel Health Information For Northern Europe

Northern Europe encompasses a number of countries within Europe and although there is no geographic borders or true definition, its most often defined as any region above the 52nd parallel North, and includes among others;

United Kingdom

Comprising the four countries of England, Northern Island, Scotland and Wales, this union of countries is more than three hundred years old. The United Kingdom collides with a broad range of immigrant cultures from many other societies making the region a culturally diverse one for travelers.

Visits to well known landmarks are a must for any holiday maker including the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. Scotland features World Heritage sites, ancient monuments and historic battlefields. A visit to the National Museum of Scotland and the Calanais Standing Stones should be on the list for any visitor to the region.


The Netherlands

The country is low lying and remarkably flat with large expanses of lakes, rivers, and canals. Some 2,500 square miles (6,500 square km) of the Netherlands consists of land which had been reclaimed. The outcome of this process of careful water management is a water system which dates back to medieval times. All along the coastline land was reclaimed from the sea and in the interior, lakes and marshes were drained including those along side the many rivers.

When you think of the Netherlands, your first thoughts are windmills which generate power and prevented flooding of vulnerable areas. Not far from Rotterdam, there is a network of 19 fully functioning windmills which were built around 1740 and were awarded UNESCO Heritage site status in 1997.


Long ago known as the seat of Viking raiders, Denmark to this day in many ways is still a maritime nation. Bordered by the Baltic and the North Sea, no place in the country is more than an hour’s drive from its seashore, much of which is lined with beautiful sandy beaches.

These days the only remaining ships sailed by the Danish Vikings can be found in the museum as the country is now a well formed modern society. In Denmark visitors to the country can explore storybook castles or the homeland of fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen. Food fiends adore Copenhagen as do those who are devoted to art and design. Outside the capital many other great tourist attractions in Denmark await the adventurous visitor.


For those with grandchildren, Legoland Denmark is a place to visit. Most everything there is constructed from the plastic block, which opened in 1968. Denmark is a society that is often seen as a benchmark of civilization with progressive social policies and a commitment to free speech. The Danes are world famous for their sense of design and architecture which is reflected by the many ancient and modern buildings found throughout the country.


Sweden is the largest of the Nordic countries and has a population of approximately 10 million. The nation borders Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark via the bridge of Öresund (Öresundsbron). The Baltic Sea lies to the east of Sweden as well as the Gulf of Bothnia, which separates Sweden from most of Finland. The northernmost part of Sweden belongs to the Arctic.

A visit to Sweden is not complete without a visit to Stockholm old Town where a walk through historic areas provides the traveler with an insight into the country and its history. For those with a sense of adventure a trip to witness the Northern Lights at Abisko is possible between the months of November to March.


The country of Finland has borders with Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and Sweden to the west. The country has embraced the modern welfare state with well planned and comfortable small towns and cities. The vast countryside offers a glimpse into a pristine natural environment. Finland comprises many lakes around 188,000 in fact, and around the same amount of islands.

In the northernmost part of the country the Northern Lights can be seen in the winter and midnight sun in the summer. Finns also claim the mythical mountain of Korvatunturi as the home of Santa Claus, and a burgeoning tourist industry in Lapland caters to Santa fans. Whether you choose to stay at a guesthouse, visit the Selachious Museum, or take a seal watching Ecoboat, Finland offers a unique experience for any traveler looking to do something different.


Norway is the westernmost, northernmost and also the easternmost of the three Scandinavian countries. The country is probably best known for its deep fjords positioned along the west coast stretching from the North Sea near Denmark and Scotland into the Arctic Ocean. Norway and has borders with Finland, Sweden and the northwestern tip of Russia.


Truly the most amazing attraction for tourists visiting Norway is the country itself as it offers up to us its beautiful landscapes and nature. As a tourist one of the best things to do when visiting the country is to visit as many of the cities as you have the opportunity to do. Norway's main attractions are not limited to simply being dots on a map, so take the time if you can to include as much driving as possible between routes.

The following information provides the traveler with a list of known exposure risks for those considering traveling to Northern Europe. Always consult with your Doctor before traveling overseas.

When heading away to any destination, older travelers should take the time to undertake and pre-prepare for their journey away from home. Different climates and conditions can sometimes pose a risk to travelers of any age, with many unknowingly placing themselves at risk of exposure to illness or disease.

Note: The following material has been provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice. No person should act, fail to act, disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking professional medical advice on the basis of this material. The Travelnanna website, nor its representatives does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any of this information and will not be liable for any loss, damage or injury directly or indirectly caused by this material or its use.


This very common infectious disease can now be prevented through immunization. Many people miss the disease in childhood only to have a significant illness as an adult.

Hepatitis A

This is a viral disease of the liver which is transmitted through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.

Hepatitis B

This is a viral disease of the liver that is transmitted via blood, blood products or bodily fluids and is vaccine preventable.


Travelers go through crowded venues like airports, or on commuter transport. Influenza is the most common vaccine to prevent travel related illness. Vaccination against influenza is generally highly recommended.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

Vaccination is recommended for travelers born after 1966 who cannot confirm that they have received two doses of measles containing vaccine. Since 1990, this may have been the combination vaccine MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).

Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal disease is a very serious bacterial infection which is often life-threatening. It may manifest as meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain)and/or septicaemia (blood poisoning).


Rabies is a deadly viral infection of the brain. Risk increases with extended travel and the likelihood of animal contact.

Tetanus, Pertussis, Diphtheria

Tetanus is caused by a toxin released by common dust or soil bacteria which enters the body through a wound. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection of the throat and less frequently, the skin. Pertussis or whooping cough (known as the 100 day cough in Chinese) is a highly infectious respiratory infection responsible for over 300,000 deaths annually, mainly in children. These three illnesses are preventable and covered in the same vaccine.

Tick-borne Encephalitis

Travellers who walk through infected areas during tick season would warrant vaccination against TBE. TBE vaccines are readily available in Europe but not in Australia or a number of other countries. Check with your local travel doctor before leaving home.

Traveler’s Diarrhoea

Up to 40% of tourists may develop three or more loose bowel motions a day within the first week of travel. A variety of germs can be responsible for this infection and a travelers may choose to pack products such as Gastro-Stop to remedy the problem quickly.


Sandra Hawkins

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