Finland Travel Guide
Finland is called ´the land of 1000 lakes´, and highlights are Lapland, Lakeland, the Archipelago and Helsinki - also called THE GREAT FOUR.
Finland has a border to Sweden, Norway and Russia, and Finnish Lapland is a part of the Arctic region.
About the Great Four
Finland is divided into four distinctive regions:
Lapland is the home of the almost guaranteed Northern Lights in winter, the Midnight sun in summer and Santa Claus in Rovaniemi.
The Lapland area is in the three Nordic countries, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It is easy to travel across borders and covered an area from the Arctic Circle in the south to the Arctic Ocean in the north and Finland; it occupies 30% of the land area.
The inhabitants of Lapland, the Sami, are a minority, with barely 6% of the population. When you travel across Lapland, you can be lucky to see Sami in their brightly coloured traditional dress, especially if you visit a festival.
See more about the home of Santa Claus in Finland
Lakeland region is central Finland, where glittering lakes cover most of the area. The lakes are synonymous with peaceful summer days spent relaxing by the water.
There are 187.880 lakes in Finland. Each region in Finland has its distinct character, which invites all kinds of activities and adventures. From the wilds of Lapland in the north to the magical Lakeland in the east and the archipelagos in the South West area.
3. Coast & Archipelago
Finnish coastline is long, and the archipelago off it is one of the world’s largest. The area is best explored by bike, foot or boat.
The capital of Finland is situated by the Baltic Sea. The city is both cultural and incredibly relaxing, with a beautiful contrast of nature and modern capital.
What characterises Finland
The Republic of Finland is a flat country occupied mostly by forests which cover 70% of the land area, and lakes cover 10%. Lakes and forests then dominate the Finnish landscape. Still, there is a big difference between the Southern and Western coasts, where you find the unique archipelago to the North, where you are in the Arctic region and can explore both the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun.
So if you are fond of nature and natural experiences - Finland is one of the best places to visit.
Finland is the happiest country in the world
Finland is ranked as the happiest country in the world (the 2022 World Happiness Report).
Finland (Suomi in Finnish) has only been independent since 1918. Before, it belonged to Russia or Sweden. Finland remained mostly an agrarian country until the 1950s. It rapidly developed an advanced economy while building an extensive Nordic-style welfare state like other Nordic countries. The East and the West have influenced Finland and the Finnish way of life, and today Finland is a republic.
Finland is the EU's fifth-largest country, and one-fourth of Finland's inhabitants live in the capital Helsinki in the south of Finland.
Finland joined the European Union in 1995, and Finland is so far the only Nordic country to have joined the Eurozone.
Finland has two different official languages, both Finnish and Swedish. Finnish is spoken by 91 per cent of the population, and 5 per cent speak Swedish. Most of the Finnish people speak English, and many also German.
Weather in Finland
The Summer in Finland can be warm and mild, with July as the warmest month. The winter is cold. In Finnish Lapland, you can find snow for 3 months, and February is the cruellest month but also the driest.
In Finland, the air is pure and very clean all year and Helsinki, Finland’s capital ranks in the top 10 cities with the cleanest air in the world.
Sauna is very popular
The Finnish Sauna is an essential piece of the country’s heritage, with over 2 million saunas in Finland – approximately one per household.
This old Finnish proverb shows how seriously Finns take this national institution. Sauna is a huge deal and a favourite topic for the Finns.
Almost everyone in Finland has access to a sauna, most commonly at home with family. Finland has as many as two-three million saunas shared among the country’s 5.4 million inhabitants.
Saunas have also existed in other cultures, but it is in Finland that they have become entwined in the national culture.
Traditional saunas are heated with wood. The latter – a smoke sauna – is the original sauna that most Finns believe to be the best.
Saunas used to be at the centre of every aspect of people’s lives in Finland. For earlier generations, they were the only place to wash.
Earlier, they were also used to smoke fish and meat, washcloths, and dry linen.” Life used to begin and end with a sauna. Today people see saunas as a place to physically and mentally relax.
In the summertime, the Finns use a “vihta” – a bunch of birch branches that they dip in water and gently flagellate themselves, stimulating circulation and giving a fresh aroma.
If you want to take the initiative yourself, almost all hotels have good saunas, though mostly heated by electricity.