A picturesque country of vast unspoiled nature and almost 188,000 lakes (no - that's not a typo), Finland is a mystical travel destination filled with unparallel beauty.
Sharing its borders with Russia, Norway and Sweden, you can probably guess that Finland gets a little icy in winter months! What you might not know is that Finland is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world and you’ll be able to enjoy first-hand the country’s enviable quality of life during your trip.
Being the home of Santa Claus and Nokia mobile phones is what most people best know Finland for but read between the lines and you’ll find a country of unique contrasts. To those in the know, Finland’s notoriety extends to its modern cuisine, midnight sun, quaint small towns, cosmopolitan Helsinki and read on because there's much, much more to love about the country!
Say "hei" to Helsinki
With the best airport connections (and base of an excellent national carrier), Helsinki is where most international visitors start their trip. Perched on the edge of the Baltic Sea, stylish and modern Helsinki is famous for its saunas, high-tech achievements and these days for having some of the best modern restaurants in Europe.
A must visit destination for lovers of Nordic culture, picturesque Helsinki carelessly blends modernity with a pristine natural environment. Once you've seen Helsinki sights such as the Kiasma Museum and Uspenski Cathedral, spend some time relaxing by bays busy with boats in hunt of herring.
Finnish people love to escape to the countryside to enjoy the white of winter or in summer the endless 'white nights'. Mostly a low-lying country, Finland is known by many as the ‘Land of a Thousand Lakes’. Actually there are many more than a thousand lakes but the 'Land of 187,888 Lakes' might be too much of a mouthful!
Saimaa Lake is the largest of all the lakes and is dotted with some 14,000 islands for you to explore. This makes it a perfect destination for boating, fishing and just about any water sport you can think of (within reason).
Soak in Finnish culture with a sauna
If you decide to head to Finland you really can’t leave without visiting a sauna. The country is home to an estimated two million of them, which makes it a substantial part of Finnish culture considering there are only five million people living in the country!
Take your choice from smoke, wood stove, electric or even mobile saunas. You won’t have to look hard to find one but to make things easy, the Kotiharjun, Saunasaari and Tampere saunas are some of the country’s favourites.
Finish cuisine will undoubtedly be another one of the highlights of your trip. Long thought of as little more than meat and potatoes, today the country is home to an increasing number of cosmopolitan restaurants, with some of the freshest and best seafood available anywhere in the world - that's not an exaggeration!
Vorschmack, a tasty mix of herring and minced lamb is one of the local delicacies you must try, so too is the (in)famous dried reindeer.
Perhaps not surprisingly considering its geographic location, Russian food is also excellent in Finland. Funnily enough, during the communist days of the Soviet Union, the best Russian restaurants in the world were believed by many to be found not in Moscow or St. Petersburg but just across the border in Helsinki!