Whether you visit for the magic of the countryside or the cutting-edge design of the cities, holidays in Finland are always memorable. The personality of Finland is extremely seasonal, with a winter that never gets light and a summer that never gets dark. Whenever you visit, the pristine wilderness and the exuberance of the Finnish people are irresistible.
Finland’s modern and progressive capital city is grandly situated on the Baltic coast. Helsinki’s renowned design scene gives it a fresh and vibrant feel. For a quick lesson on the historic and contemporary art of Finland, take a visit to the premier art gallery of Ateneum. The music scene is equally significant in Helsinki, with diverse and distinctive venues throughout the city. Tavastia is a legendary rock venue with music every night of the week and many international bands among its alumni. No holiday in Finland is complete without some time spent in a traditional wood-fired sauna such as Kotiharjun, where you can also enjoy a massage and a scrub down.
Finland has a staggering 39 national parks, which protect the forests and lakes that cover the vast majority of the country. Linnansaari National Park in south-western Finland is one of the most popular, and covers Haukivesi Lake and hundreds of islands. In the summer, you can explore the park by kayak or motor boat and camp on a different deserted island every night. The winter season offers ice skating on the lake, ice fishing and guided snowshoe walks. In north-eastern Finland, the Oulanka National Park protects the mighty rivers of Oulanka and Kitka. Superb white-water rafting and serene walks are the hallmark of this park, and much of the Karhunkierros trekking route is within its boundaries. Mountain bikers will love Syöte National Park, which has hundreds of miles of marked trails and diverse wildlife to admire.
Travel up to the very north of Finland to visit the ruggedness and freshness of Lapland. The home of Santa Claus, as well as many majestic reindeer, there is a special atmosphere in Lapland. You can often catch sight of the awe-inspiring Northern Lights, and there are winter activities for all the family. Wrap up warm in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, or try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. If you are feeling adventurous, snowmobile tours are also an option. The far north of Lapland is known as Sápmi, and this area is home to the Sami people. Their rural communities are welcoming and offer a unique and insightful perspective to the region. The village of Inari is on the edge of Lapland’s largest lake and is the ideal place to learn about their culture. Wonderful museums and shops selling local handicrafts give you an insight into the Sami way of life in the frozen Arctic circle.