Encompassing miles of empty wilderness, 179,000 islands, and over 180,000 lakes, come and discover Finland and its natural wonderland. There are no less than 40 national parks in Finland and more than 75% of the country’s surface is dominated by forests that invite hikers, cross-country skiers, and mountain-bikers on memorable adventures. Travelers who want to discover Finland will encounter a realm like no other that straddles the Arctic Circle and falls into the darkness of the winter solstice only to gloriously rise again in the endless summer days.
The Finns are in symbiosis with nature and the seasons. While during the polar nights when temperatures can drop below -30°C they find comfort in their saunas, when summer comes you will see them flock to the forests and lakes to enjoy canoeing, boating, and trekking. The adventure never ends in the realm of Northern Lights and Sami people, so take your time to discover one of the most magical countries in Europe.
Feel the nation’s pulse in Helsinki
Many travelers choose Helsinki as their getaway to Finland. The country’s capital is perched on a peninsula and welcomes visitors with a laidback ambiance, fascinating museums, quirky bars and cafes, and Finland’s famous party spirit. The architecture reflects the country’s Russian and Swedish past and impresses through Art Nouveau structures and historic churches. Recent constructions exude the Scandinavian style and you will find that every interior boasts great elements of design. Don’t leave Helsinki without taking a walk on the tree-lined Esplanadi Boulevard and stop for an hour or two at the City Museum to learn more about the city’s past. Visit the National Library of Finland to admire fabulous interior decoration and admire the imposing Tuomiokirkko cathedral from the Senate Square.
Get back to the basics in the southwest
Leave behind the contemporaneity and youthful buzz of the capital and head to the southwestern region of Finland. You’ll discover endless forests and the liberating sense of absolute solitude and freedom. The wilderness will be interrupted from time to time by modest bodies of water and wooden villa towns that will only add to your experience. Rest for a while in Turku, the oldest town in Finland and once the capital of Finland. A small and friendly town, Turku impresses with its magnificent medieval castle, excellent museums, and a vibrant nightlife scene. The city is a great base for day trips to the surrounding coastal inlets and islands. The town of Naantali awaits just 15 km west of Turku and is one of the most impressive examples of Finnish wooden architecture.
Take to the water in the Lakeland region
About a third of Finland is covered in water, creating a superb background for water adventures of any kind, including water-skiing, jet-skiing, and sailing. Expect to encounter colossal area bays, as well as inlets and isles framed by perfumed pine forests. The Lakeland is remote and surprisingly tranquil which makes it perfect for lakeside retreats and boat trips across the lakes. Visit the lakeside town of Kuopio for a chance to unwind and relax at the biggest sauna in the world and enjoy a quintessential Finnish experience. If you’re visiting Finland in the summer, don’t miss a tour of Savonlinna, a laidback town, famous mostly for its opera festival. The town stretches across several islands, takes pride in its castle, and promises plenty of water-based fun.
Experience the splendor of winter in the north
The northern region of Finland is overwhelmingly remote and beautiful. Sparsely populated, the north touches the Arctic Circle and rewards adventurous travelers with the sublime performance of the Northern lights and insights into the Sami culture. The Sami are the original inhabitants of Lapland and some of them still herd reindeer, weave, and cook traditional specialties. Reindeer are used for milk, clothing, and meat, but they are free to roam through the forests. The Sami culture is fascinating so don’t miss your chance to learn more about it if the opportunity arises. One of the most famous cities in Lapland is the university town of Rovaniemi, a great base for adventurers who want to explore the wilderness of Northern Finland or for families who want to meet Santa Claus and enjoy husky rides. Don’t miss a tour of the bustling city of Oulu that impresses with a lively café scene and pulsing nightlife. Visit Inari, Lapland’s de facto capital, to admire Inarijärvi, one of the country’s largest lakes, and enjoy a summer boat tour to the Sami holy site on the island of Ukonkivi.