Finland is famous for its snowy landscapes and magical northern lights, but did you know that it becomes a whole new wonderland in the summer? Imagine big blue skies, lakes that look like fjords, and lots of animals roaming around. Plus, Finland has the world’s biggest group of islands! It’s an awesome place to go on a cruise. Also check out this blog to find 10 things to do in Finland.
Finland is like a shiny jewel in Scandinavia, squeezed between Norway, Sweden, and Russia. People there are super happy, and in the summer, the days are really long. You can explore forests covered in tall pine trees, see harbors that remind you of places in New England, and try fancy eating. All of this makes Finland an incredible spot for an amazing summer adventure on a fancy boat!
Why Finland is a Cool Place to Visit
So, you’ve got the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris and the grand Swiss Alps, ready to make your European dreams come true. But hold on a second – ever thought about checking out Finland? Yeah, I know, it might not be the first thing that pops into your head.
You’re probably wondering why bother with this Nordic country when you’ve got those other big shots on the menu. Well, here’s the scoop: Finland is like a hidden treasure with its own awesome culture. Let’s spill the beans on why you should totally add Finland to your must-see list right now…
Chasing the Northern Lights
Ever heard of the northern lights, also called Aurora Borealis? Or how about fox fires (that’s what they call it in Finnish – Revontulet)? Picture this: a dazzling light show in the sky, like something out of a dream. And guess what? Finnish Lapland is like the front-row seat to this incredible spectacle.
It’s the best place to catch a glimpse of the northern lights that splash the night sky with colors like green, turquoise, ultraviolet, pink, and light blue. The farther up north you go, the better chance you have of seeing them. The magical aurora season in Finnish Lapland happens from late August to early March. It’s like nature’s own fireworks – totally worth seeing.
Discovering Finland’s National Parks
Want to step into nature’s embrace? Finland’s got you covered with its awesome national parks. Imagine walking and hiking in these cool places, feeling all the peace in the world. Take a deep breath – you’re inhaling the freshest air on the planet. And if you’re thirsty, just scoop up some crystal-clear water from a chilly stream.
Guess what? There are a whopping 40 national parks waiting for you in Finland, sprinkled all across this stunning country. Check out spots like Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park up in Lapland, or Oulanka National Park in Kuusamo, and don’t miss Nuuksio near the capital area in Southern Finland. It’s like stepping into a whole new world!
Thrilling Adventures with Huskies and Reindeer
Picture this: a snowy Lapland wonderland. What could be more exciting than feeling the rush of a husky safari? Zoom through stunning snowy landscapes on a sled, pulled by these energetic and joyful huskies. And guess what? Even in summer, you can spend quality time with these furry pals – from working together to hiking adventures.
Now, let’s talk reindeer. Up in Northern Lapland, the Sámi people have been friends with reindeer for a long, long time. These reindeer started as wild creatures, then became pals and helpers. Interesting, right? Here’s the scoop: there are no wild reindeer in Finnish Lapland anymore.
They all belong to someone, even though they can roam around freely. You can explore a real Finnish reindeer farm to get the inside scoop on these magical animals. Fancy a sleigh ride? Or how about walking alongside a reindeer? Oh, and don’t miss out on reindeer yoga – it’s as cool as it sounds!
Diving into Åland’s Maritime History
Imagine stepping back in time, surrounded by the stories of the sea. That’s what a visit to Åland’s Maritime Museum feels like – a thrilling dive into the past. It’s like a treasure trove of history where you’ll find around 150 ship models and even a real pirate flag from the 1700s, complete with the skull-and-crossbones!
And guess what? You’ll also get a sneak peek into the world of traditional shipbuilding, right where the original tools were used.
But hold on, there’s more. The real star of the show is the awe-inspiring Pommern. This four-mast barque, built in Scotland, used to journey all the way to Australia back in its glory days. Right now, the Pommern is getting a makeover, so you can only visit it on guided tours.
And here’s the cool part: the Maritime Museum is open all year round, so you can drop by anytime to soak in the maritime tales. After exploring the museum, take a leisurely stroll through Mariehamn’s charming Maritime Quarter – it’s like adding a cherry on top of your historical adventure!
Experiencing Finland’s Seasons
Imagine a country that changes its look throughout the year – that’s Finland for you, with its four unique seasons. Let’s take a peek at each one.
Summer is like a dream, with nights that stay bright as day. It’s when Finns come alive, spending their holidays outside, hiking, biking, and just chilling on a pier with a good book. As autumn arrives, Finnish nature puts on its finest clothes: trees and landscapes burst into a stunning display of red, yellow, orange, purple, green, and brown.
Then comes winter, and it’s a whole new world. Finland becomes a snow-covered wonderland, perfect for cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. The crisp air and snowy scenes make everything feel magical.
And don’t forget spring, the shortest season but full of energy. As the snow melts away, the land comes back to life with vibrant flora and fauna. With every season, Finland offers a new adventure, a new story painted in nature’s colors.
Bucket List Adventures in Finland
Discover the Charms of City Life
Ever imagined a city that’s both charming and cozy? Welcome to Mariehamn, the heart of the Åland Islands. With a population of 11,000 (almost half of the entire islands’ folks), this city has a story to tell. Once upon a time, Mariehamn’s harbor was home to massive oceanic sailing ships – a piece of history that still lingers as you explore this adorable capital.
Just take a leisurely stroll from the historic port, and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Mariehamn’s city center. Think restaurants, cafés, museums, and shops that are ready to delight you. And hey, if you’re up for some beach time, you’ve got that covered too. Mariehamn isn’t just a city; it’s an experience waiting to be uncovered!
Step Back in Time: Kastelholm Castle’s Medieval Marvel
Get ready to travel back in time to the medieval era at Kastelholm Castle. This captivating castle is nestled in Sund, just about twenty-five kilometers away from Mariehamn. It’s like a time capsule from the 1380s, when Finland was part of Sweden. Imagine the stories this castle holds!
Back in the day, Kastelholm Castle was home to various Swedish royal figures during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. It’s one of the rare five remaining medieval fortresses in Finland that still boasts its historical charm. Sure, it had its share of troubles – damaged during the 1599 civil war and even hit by a fire in 1745. But don’t worry, after years of careful restoration, Kastelholm Castle is back in action and plays a big role in the tourism scene of the Åland Islands. It’s like walking through history’s halls!
Raise a Glass to Craft Beer Delights
Time to get a taste of something truly special – Stallhagen craft beer. This brewery, which started its journey in 2004 thanks to a bunch of beer lovers, has become a gem in Åland. Originally just meant for Åland’s locals, Stallhagen’s delicious brews have made their way to Finland and Sweden too. It’s like sharing a secret recipe with the whole neighborhood!
If you’re curious, you can even join brewery tours to learn the art of craft beer making. And guess what? There’s a fantastic gastropub right on the premises. So, why not step inside, take a comfy seat, and let the flavors of Stallhagen’s craft beer whisk you away? Cheers to great taste!
Meeting the Legendary Santa Claus
Imagine a place where Christmas magic lives all year round – that’s Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus. While his secret hideout in Korvatunturi, Lapland, remains a mystery, Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi is a real treasure. This village is right on the edge of the Arctic Circle, where you’ll discover cozy restaurants, charming cafes, and shops filled with special gifts and Finnish designs. All of this nestled within adorable wooden buildings that’ll make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale.
But here’s the best part: you can do more than just visit. You can actually stay! Spend a night in the heart of this enchanting Christmas atmosphere. It’s like a dream come true for anyone who believes in the magic of Santa Claus
Explore Aland’s Beacon of Home
Imagine a place that feels like a beacon of home, just like the Statue of Liberty. For the people of Åland, that place is Kobba Klintar. When sailors spotted it on the horizon, they knew they were almost home.
This charming pilot station has been around since 1861 and is now a delightful summer café. The old foghorn still works, and during the peak season, it sings its melodic tune to welcome visitors.
The best part? It’s just a ten-minute journey from Mariehamn. Kobba Klintar is a perfect spot for kayaking adventures. Don’t worry if you’re new to kayaking – you can try Paddelpoden or Kobba Klintars Vänners for kayak rentals or guided tours. So, if you’re up for a picturesque expedition, Kobba Klintar is waiting to be discovered!
What makes Finland a unique travel destination?
Finland’s blend of natural beauty, vibrant cities, and distinctive culture sets it apart. From the magical Northern Lights to the Midnight Sun, historic castles, and modern design, Finland offers a diverse and unforgettable experience.
When is the best time to visit Finland?
The best time to visit depends on your interests. For outdoor activities and experiencing the Midnight Sun, summer (June to August) is great. Winter (December to February) is perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and witnessing the Northern Lights.
What are some must-visit places in Finland?
Top destinations include Helsinki, the capital with its trendy design scene; Rovaniemi for a chance to meet Santa Claus; Finnish Lapland for unique natural phenomena; and Turku for its historic charm.
Is the Finnish language a barrier for tourists?
While Finnish is the official language, many Finns speak English, especially in tourist areas. You won’t face major communication barriers, but learning a few Finnish phrases can enhance your experience.
How do I get around in Finland?
Finland has an efficient public transportation system, including trains, buses, and ferries. Renting a car is also a popular option, especially for exploring the countryside.
What are saunas like in Finland?
Saunas are an essential part of Finnish culture. They’re everywhere, from homes to hotels. Trying a traditional Finnish sauna is a must; it’s a relaxing and communal experience.
Are there any unique outdoor activities to try?
Absolutely! You can experience husky sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing in winter. In summer, kayaking, hiking, and cycling are popular outdoor pursuits.
Is Finnish cuisine worth trying?
Definitely! Finnish cuisine combines traditional flavors with modern twists. Don’t miss trying traditional dishes like Karelian pastries, salmon soup, and ruisleipä (rye bread).
How should I prepare for the cold weather in Finland?
During winter, temperatures can drop significantly. Dress in layers, with a warm coat, gloves, hat, and sturdy winter boots to stay comfortable while exploring.
Is it possible to see the Northern Lights in Finland?
Yes, Finland, especially in Lapland, offers excellent chances to witness the Northern Lights during clear winter nights. It’s an unforgettable natural phenomenon that attracts visitors from around the world.
Finland’s Lasting Impression
As our Finnish adventure concludes, we’re left with the echoes of Northern Lights and the warmth of the Midnight Sun. From modern cities to ancient landscapes, Finland’s magic is woven into every corner. Whether you seek nature’s marvels or cultural gems, Finland delivers. Carry its enchantment with you, until the day you return to experience its wonders anew.