Things To Do In Finland
Finland is a beautiful country of paradoxes; summer midnight suns and winter Northern Lights, Santa Claus villages and World War II shattered towns. It is a marvel of nature and man in the northernmost part of Scandinavia, just waiting to be explored. What can you do in Finland? Well, that depends on which season you choose to visit in. While summers are great for hikes, lake side sojourns, fishing, city explorations and of course - the midnight sun; winters are exceptionally pleasant to go Northern Lights spotting, enjoy Christmas in Santa’s village, sleep in igloos and ski.
Tour a Lighthouse Island
Finland is renowned for its archipelago and the beautiful winter islands that are moored in the Baltic Sea. Lighthouses on each of these island shores have their own story; like the Bengtskär Lighthouse which is the tallest in all of the Nordic region. You can access the island from June to August by hiring a boat, stay over for the night at the lighthouse keeper’s guest rooms and return after exploration. From Helsinki you can sail to Söderskär for a day, and it is a very coveted trip for tourists.
Go Wild on a Sleigh
Of course, winters in Finland bring copious snowfall, and the northern Lapland region becomes a fertile ground for sledding and sleigh rides. Hop onto one of these, with either a couple of cute huskies drawing your sleigh or Santa’s reindeer. Wrap up in tight woollens as the winds nipping you at high speeds are fatal on bare skin. There are many tours available to be pre-booked, from 15 minute rides to a full day sojourn out exploring the Laplands. Some travel agencies also offer sleighing with Northern Lights viewing and these trips start from early November.
Meet Santa Claus
You don’t need to be a child to dream about meeting the enigmatic, lovely Mr. Claus. Everybody knows that Finland is the real home of Santa Claus and you can’t return without meeting him. You can find him in the city of Rovaniemi, at the Santa Village. Or if he is working by day then at the Santa Office, with his tribe of elves scrolling through good and bad children names, reading and replying to letters, or just chilling in the cold. The city also boasts of a Santa Claus Post Office where you can buy special stamps, and an amusement park located underground.
Gather Wild Mushrooms and Berries
Hunting and Gathering was the first occupation of our ancestors, and the Finns take it quite seriously even now. Come summer and they set out to explore the forests and the wilderness, carry rucksacks and bags along to pick mushrooms, bilberries, lingonberries, cloudberries and other tasty natural treats. Now these foods are tasty, as well as packed with vital vitamins after they ripen in the white nights of summer. If you visit Finland between July and September, do travel to the Nuuksio National Park, which is only an hour’s drive from Helsinki. Pickings here are the best, and special tours are also arranged for visitors.
Ski under Northern Lights
The Lapland Region of Finland is known for some amazing Northern Lights sightings through the thick of winter months (December to February). While most people prefer to setup camps or climb on watch towers or even build an igloo out in the wild snow desert, one of the most adventurous activities to undertake in this country is skiing under the Northern Lights. Conversely, by the midsummer of May-June, skiing tours are again particularly in demand due to the white nights and the midnight sun. Now, isn’t Finland a lot more fun than other Arctic countries?
Do the Sauna-Lake Routine
The Finns are a unique lot, they invented Sauna to warm the body up during frosty winters, and then they developed this tradition of jumping into an icy lake right after your sauna! Since Finland has more than a thousand big lakes and so many smaller ones, it is no big effort finding a lake near your sauna of choice. The Lakeland district of Finland, in addition to the lakes, also has many traditional saunas. So you must try this tradition - Sauna, sausages, mead, jump in a lake or roll in snow naked, and go for the whole routine again the next day!
Enjoy Life inside a Glass Igloo
If ice igloos are too old-fashioned for you then go for glass igloos. Especially in summertime, when ice igloos are not possible to be made, many tour and hotel agencies build special glass igloos to entertain guests. Imagine sleeping in an igloo, from whose ceiling you can see the midnight sun, not setting at all. During winters, you will be able to observe the changing colours of the Northern Lights in the sky from your warm beds inside the glass igloo. Glass Resort Snowman World and Santa’s Glass Igloos Arctic Circle are two famous accommodations offering these houses in Rovaniemi, near the Santa Claus Village.