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Drive Yourself Through Denmark or Sweden This Summer

We've talked before about how once-expensive Scandinavia is trying to bring down costs in order to lure more American visitors to the beautiful countries there. As an example, one outfit, Nordique Tours/Norvista, is now offering daily departures for its first self-drive packages for independent travelers there. You have a choice of a 7-day "Romantic Denmark" or 8-day "Swedish Countryside & Manor Houses" tour.

Each package provides reserved accommodations at comfortable historic inns and manor houses, each room with private bath, breakfast daily, and some dinners, as well as a rental car for 5 or 6 days (manual transmission, unlimited mileage and VAT, Value Added Tax, included). The cost also covers a print-out of suggested itineraries with the outstanding sights en route, hotel service charges and taxes. You have to book at least two persons for the trip, which costs $1139 per person, double occupancy, for Denmark and $1299 for Sweden. Note that airfare to Scandinavia is not included.

If you want to upgrade to an automatic shift, you'll have to pay an extra $320 in Denmark or $200 in Sweden. The Danish package includes two dinners, the basic car being a Ford Mondeo or similar, with departures from Copenhagen (where you spend the first night, or last night, depending) from May 1 through September 30. The Swedish package operates from May 1 through September 15, and includes five dinners and a Toyota Avensis. It starts in Stockholm, but ends in Copenhagen.

On the Romantic Denmark itinerary, you can visit the nation's smallest city hall in Ebeltoft and take in the Hans Christian Andersen home in Odense. Overnights are in Skanderborg, Shackenborg, Mogeltonder, Munkebo and Copenhagen. You can also drop in on towns such as Aarhus, Ribe, Ringsted and Funen Island, and see Glucksburg Castle, not to mention the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen.

The Swedish itinerary starts in Stockholm and goes to Uppsala (the country's most famous university is here) and by the home of artist Carl Larsson, Lake Vanern, the fishing village of Hjo on Lake Vattern, the immigrant museum in Vaxjo and places where the red horses of Nusnas are made. Visits to the glassmakers Orrefors and Kosta Boda are also a part of this tour, as well as a thrilling crossing of the new suspension bridge from Malmo to Copenhagen. You overnight in Stockholm, Tallberga, Flipstad, Toftaholm and Copenhagen.

For more information or to make reservations, contact Nordique/Norvista directly at 800/995-7997 or 310/645-7527, fax 310/645-1071, email, Web site