With travel back in full swing, this year promises to be a bumper one for Viking festivals across Scandinavia. 

From May Day onwards, here’s a selection of what’s confirmed so far, with more to follow as more dates are announced.

International Viking Market

Every May, the Ribe VikingCenter celebrates the original market that once operated here on the west coast of Jutland 1,300 years ago. 

Within an authentic reconstruction of a Viking community, the center allows visitors to see how blacksmiths, bakers, and carpenters carried out their work while archers and falconers demonstrate their skills. 

From May 1, hundreds of craftsmen, vendors, warriors, and horsemen meet here for a week of riding shows, archery, trading, and authentic food.

International Viking Market, Ribe, Denmark. May 1-7. 

Avaldsnes Viking Festival

The largest event of its kind on the west coast of Norway, the Avaldsnes Viking Festival takes place during the first full weekend in June, from Thursday through to Sunday. 

Some 200 Vikings from around Europe set up their tents at the Viking Farm, a 15-minute walk from the Nordvegen History Centre. 

Fights are re-enacted on stage, while musicians and storytellers offer more gentle entertainment. 

Workshops, archery, and horseback riding also take place.

Avaldsnes Viking Festival, Avaldsnes, Norway. June 8-11.

A lot of people worldwide are interested in Viking history. Sometimes, this interest can grow into a hobby - and Viking reenactment is one of the most popular ways to engage with Viking culture and history in real life. Photo: Andrew J Shearer / Shutterstock

Frederikssund Viking Games

Showcasing a themed play in an open-air theatre every summer, this long-established event is the main event at Frederikssund, a market town northwest of Copenhagen. 

For 2023, titled Sons of Lothbrok, a reference to the Viking King Ragnar Lothbrok and his legendary warrior offspring, the performance centers on the battles between the Vikings and the English king. 

To start proceedings, a Viking market takes place over the first weekend, June 23-25, at two sites on either side of the main stage. 

You’ll find barbecued meat, mead, jewelry, and woolen goods on sale at the northern market, with crafts on view at the southern market.

Frederikssund Viking Games, Frederikssund, Denmark. June 23-July 16.

Saltvik Viking Market

Over three days in late July, mock fights, fire demonstrations, and musicians entertain visitors in this beautiful corner of the Åland Islands, halfway between Finland and Sweden. 

A trading place and seat of justice during Viking times, Saltvik has long held this popular summer gathering, with much more to keep children occupied than a couple of craft workshops and food stalls. 

Mariehamn is the main point of entry, by boat from Stockholm in Sweden or Turku in Finland.

Saltvik Viking Market, Saltvik, Åland Islands. Last weekend in July.

Viking reenactment can include a broad range of activities - from social gatherings such as modern-day Viking festivals to the training of Viking combat. Photo: Anna Kepa / Shutterstock

Lofotr Viking Festival

For nearly 20 years, the Lofotr Viking Museum, a reconstructed longhouse filled with recreated ships, has staged a festival, making use of its unique surroundings on a far western finger of Norway north of the Arctic Circle. 

Five days of battle shows, concerts, games, and trading appeal to intrepid visitors of all ages. 

Boathouses and Viking tents blend in with the dramatic landscape. 

Organizers strive for a high-quality, authentic Viking event that engages most with the public – contribution ideas are welcome at vikingfestival@lofotr.no.

Lofotr Viking Festival, Lotofr Viking Museum, Bøstad, Norway. August 2-6.

Tønsberg Viking Festival 

Tønsberg is the oldest town in Norway, with its history stretching back to the Viking Age. 

In recent years, the town has generated increased interest in its Viking heritage, starting with the building of an archaeological replica of the Oseberg ship in 2010-2012. 

Construction was carried out in full view of the public in the heart of town. 

South of Oslo near the Swedish border, Tønsberg also hosts its own Viking festival, with shows, theatre, music, lectures, market stalls, and ships, thanks to the town’s coastal location. Admission free.

Tønsberg Viking Festival, Tønsberg, Norway. August 10-13.

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