Culture, Heritage and Diversity

The Viking Routes

The Viking Cultural Route is a far-reaching and significant cross border collection of sites, stories and heritage relating to the shared Viking legacy of Europe and beyond.



Dates and countries


Incorporated into the programme "The Council of Europe Cultural Routes": 1993

Countries: Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.





Detail of a sledgeThe Viking Age dates from around AD800-1050 during which Vikings achieved unrivalled boat building, navigational and seamanship skills allowing them to travel widely throughout Northern and Western Europe, the North Atlantic, into the Mediterranean and deep into the rivers of Russia and the Ukraine.


At a time when few people were travelling, the Vikings raided, traded and settled extensively. They established important mercantile centres such as at Hedeby, Birka, Jorvik, Dublin and Kiev. They also left a clear legacy behind them wherever they went. This can be seen in their early law courts, known as things, local place names and language, social structures, their legacies of art and literature and surviving archaeological sites. Much of the Viking story is recorded in the form of intangible heritage such as sagas, recounting the deeds and travels of the Vikings.


The Route is managed by the Destination Viking Association, made up of members from 10 countries with significant Viking heritage. There are around 50 sites on the route including examples of forts, towns, farms, quarries, ships, objects, museums, archaeological remains and reconstructed longhouses.


The Route is a traceable and identifiable non-lineal journey through the Viking world. The borderless Route encourages the exchange of stories, ideas and travel between shared Viking roots.


More information


E-mail: /






The Viking Route

Mr. James Moncrieff Lerwick, Shetland - United Kingdom  



This map is for illustrative purposes and does not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of the Council of Europe concerning the legal status of any country or territory or concerning the delimitation of frontiers or boundaries