Nordic Countries Reign World’s Happiest Countries for 2022
The annual World Happiness Report for 2022, which rates countries against variables including income, healthy life expectancy, generosity, freedom, trust and social support has revealed the Nordic regions reign supreme once again.
The results found Finland in the top position for the fifth year running, followed by Denmark in second and all five Nordic countries among the top eight, joined by Iceland and Switzerland.
Recent Booking.com data revealed that 72% of Australian travellers admitted their motivation to travel is to boost their mood* - so it seems planning a holiday alone could give you more happiness? We are willing to find out.
With Australia placing 12th in the report, perhaps a trip to one of these idyllic Nordic countries will do the trick. From calming saunas in Finland to top quality design and architectural masterpieces in Denmark, or trekking through glaziers in Iceland, it’s time to explore the happiest countries in the world and boost your mood in 2022 with new experiences.
See Booking.com’s round up of the top places to stay for instant mood boosting inspiration.
Wellness in Syöte, Finland
In the winter Syöte offers joyful experiences of a true winter wonderland, such as skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing as well as snowmobile, reindeer and husky safaris. In the summer, it has a diverse selection of hiking and biking tracks that lead to remote lands of rugged beauty and silence you’ve never heard before.
Where to stay: Arctic Hilltop Boutique Hotel Iso-Syöte is located on a hilltop in one of the snowiest areas of Finland next to a peaceful national park. Beautiful design rooms, suites and authentic log cabins allow you to choose the type of room you want. With spa and wellness facilities on the hotel wishlist of a majority (52%) of travellers,*** the hotel comes with a relaxing spa and sauna, perfect for calming down all the senses and replenishing the body and soul.
Exploring in Fredensborg, Denmark
The quiet town of Fredensborg is home to Lake Esrum, the largest lake in Denmark by water volume and the second-largest lake by surface area. The pristine lake is surrounded by Gribskov, one of Denmark's largest forests, and the small town of Nødebo. Fredensborg Palace, one of the official residences of the Danish Royal Family, with its extensive gardens, is also situated here, on the southeast shore, with boat trips operating on the lake from Sørup, a village just south of the palace gardens allowing for the perfect day trip.
Where to stay: Hotel Fredensborg Store Kro ticks all the boxes. Located in the charming countryside of North Zealand, neighbouring Fredensborg Royal Castle, the elegant, traditional atmosphere allows guests to experience history first hand, with a modernised twist
Glaziers in Búðir, Iceland
With 11% of the total land area covered by ice caps, Iceland is a glacier paradise. There are many small towns and hamlets, such as Búðir, located on lava fields in a town full of churches and countryside, that offer a stunning glazier experience. Only forming in places where fresh snow never fully melts, these incredible formations built on mountain tops or highlands compress and transform into dense ice under its own weight. Pretty cool.
Where to Stay: Hotel Búdir is located 23 km east of Snæfellsnes National Park, offering bright, modern rooms with private bathrooms and more importantly, glacier, lava fields or sea views. With an in-house wine expert, sharing specially chosen wines to suit the traditional Icelandic food - this incredible stay is perfect for those who want to be immersed in nature and enjoy adventuring, with helicopter sightseeing trips, glacier hikes and whale watching also on the cards.
With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com is sharing Getaway Deals for travellers to use when booking their next trip. Discounts start at 15 percent and are valid for stays between 4 April until 30 September 2022. In addition, Booking.com is bringing the great value of its Genius program to even more customers by giving all account holders access to the program’s Level 1 benefits, with no minimum number of previous bookings to qualify, including access to exclusive 10% discounts at hundreds of thousands of participating properties around the world. All travellers have to do is download the Booking.com app, log in and look for the Genius logo to identify associated benefits, discounts and perks.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 48,413 respondents across 31 markets (2,000 from USA, 1,864 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 2,005 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,020 from Chile, 1,777 from Australia, 818 from New Zealand, 1,999 from Spain, 2,002 from Italy, 1,998 from France, 1,990 from UK, 2,005 from Germany, 2,003 from Netherlands, 985 from Denmark, 999 from Sweden, 910 from Croatia, 918 from Switzerland, 1,986 from Belgium, 998 from Russia, 953 from Israel, 1,999 from India, 1,990 from China, 901 from Hong Kong, 1,775 from Thailand, 1,001 from Singapore, 975 from Taiwan, 1,800 from Vietnam, 1,757 from South Korea, 1,001 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and planning to travel in 2022 and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in January 2022.
***Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled (including 501 from Argentina, 1003 from Australia, 500 from Belgium, 1001 from Brazil, 500 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1007 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 508 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1000 from Germany, 1005 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 502 from Israel, 1003 from Italy, 1002 from Japan, 500 from Mexico, 501 from The Netherlands, 501 from New Zealand, 500 from Peru, 1000 from Russia, 1005 from Singapore, 1002 from South Korea, 1002 from Spain, 501 from Sweden, 501 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 500 from Thailand, 1000 from the UK, 1002 from the US and 501 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2021.