Tucked into the far up north, Finland is a scandic country that straddles the Artic circle and was historically under the influences of its neighbors – Russia from the east and Sweden from the west. It’s a land that is well known for many things. While we may not be able to cover every single of them here, these are the four elements that should not be missed if you are looking for a quintessential Finnish vacation.
The northern lights, or Aurora Borealis, is nature’s most spectacular light show in Finnish Lapland during winter. Fret not about waiting for the green fairies out in the cold, there are abundant world-class accommodation on offers to keep you warm and cozy under the Aurorae, from modern glass igloos to stylish treehouse hotels.
The midnight sun is another equally iconic natural phenomenon that occurs in summer. Despite only seen above the Arctic circle, the whole country enjoys generous amount of sunshine that makes up for the dark Arctic winter. The best place to experience the Midnight sun is Finnish Lapland where lively events like the Midnight Sun Film Festival and folklore festival Jutajaiset takes place in June.
The Finnish Sauna is an integral part of Finnish culture and heritage. For a population of 5.3 million, it is estimated that there are unbelievably over two million saunas in Finland. Any Finns would tell you the best way to experience the Finnish way of life is through a traditional sauna experience, which involves an exciting experience of dipping in icy lakes after a steaming hot sauna.
To call Finland “the land of thousand lakes” is truly no exaggeration if you know in fact there are 188,000 lakes in the country, with many located in the Lake District in the heart of Finland. A typical Finnish summer would not be completed without a holiday well spent at the lakeside cottage with activities revolving around water from swimming, fishing, rowing, sailing, and of course, ending with a sauna.
Finland is a country of stark contrasts between the four seasons, and the best time to visit depends on what you want to experience. In recent years, the vibrant aerial display of the Aurora Borealis (usually between September and April has attracted) aplenty visitors to the northern region of Lapland, although most come during the months between December and March when the country is blanketed in a cover of snow into a winter wonderland, perfect for outdoor activities from cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and husky or reindeer safaris. Summer (June – August) is when the weather is at its warmest, tourist facilities throughout the country are open and another perfect reason to hit the countryside to enjoy the pristine natural landscapes of forest and lakes, while basking under the midnight sun. A quieter season is fall, when it’s less crowded but when the leaves start to change colour to brilliant shades of red, brown and yellow, known as ‘ruska’.