Finland is a country of extreme contrasts – freezing winters and golden summers and vibrant cosmopolitan cities mixed with the vast remote wilderness. You will certainly enjoy it when you visit Finland with the following.
Christmas is the most festive time of the year for Finns, full of unique and comforting traditions, which is why it is the perfect time to visit Finland. Get to know the Saint Lucia Festival in Helsinki, one of the country’s celebrations before Christmas, especially for Swedish-speaking Finns, and take the opportunity to skate on the city’s popular ice rink or shop for crafts and treats at the St. Thomas Christmas market. You can also visit a cemetery in Helsinki, which is filled with candles on Christmas Eve, or spend a traditional New Years Eve dinner with a Finnish family.
The best thing about celebrating Christmas in Finland, however, is that you can see Santa Claus! Stop at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi and meet the man in the red suit in his office, as well as his herd of reindeer and little helpers. However, you don’t have to wait for Christmas time to do it because the Santa Claus village is open all year round.
Snow castles and igloos
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to sleep in an igloo? Put an end to your curiosity and spend the night in one in Finland, like one of the Igloos Harriniva, where you can sleep on a double bed of snow under a reindeer skin blanket. Staying overnight in the Igloos of Kakslauttanen is recommended for couples as most are built for two. There’s even one with a clear roof, so you can watch the Arctic sky – or even the Northern Lights – in each other’s arms.
There are also whole complexes in the snow in Finland during the winter, as the snow castle in Kemi where there is a bar, restaurant and a snow chapel where you can have or see a truly unique wedding. There is also a snow village in Yllas where you will see many amazing ice sculptures.
There are around 1.8 million saunas in Finland, so be sure to try at least once when you visit Finland. Indeed, the Finns love the sauna. The word sauna itself is a word from the Finnish language – everything that is included in the dictionary. Some saunas use electricity, while others – around 500 – are traditional smoke or wood saunas, which are usually located next to the lake. Popular saunas are the smoke sauna of the Kakslauttanen hotel – the largest in the world with a capacity of up to 70 people – and the recently opened sauna gondola in Yllas.
Spot the animals
Finland is home to Finland’s amazing diversity, although it is best known for its large population of European brown bears and gluttons, which you can see when you visit Finland. Indeed, there are many wildlife viewing tours that you can do during your stay so that you can observe rare wildlife in its natural environment without fear for your life. It is also easy to spot reindeer and various birds, such as the elegant song swan – the national bird of Finland.
Besides wildlife viewing, there are many exciting activities to keep you occupied when you visit Finland in the summer, such as hiking and biking in the beautiful nature parks, horse riding, golf, sailing, kayaking and rafting. In winter these activities are replaced by ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, fishing and reindeer or dog sledging, which means you are sure to enjoy a lot whatever the time of year. that you are visiting.