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.
The 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