How to enjoy the best of what Finland has to offer.
Finland is one of the most fascinating — and happiest — countries in the world, and more and more tourists are catching on and are visiting this pristine land of lush forests, glistening lakes, and idyllic little cities. Finland has some of the best outdoors activities in the world, and should be on every nature lover’s list of countries to visit. Finland is made up of four regions: Helsinki, Lakeland, Lapland, and Coast and Archipelago. As we’ve already looked at some of Finland’s top travel destinations, let’s look now at how to get off the beaten path:
Rovaniemi is said to be the hometown of Santa Claus … and this alone tells you a lot about what it’s like there. It is a winter wonderland full of activities like skiing, snowboarding, dog-sledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling. You can even go for a ride on a reindeer-drawn sleigh! It’s a place for the outdoor enthusiast and those who love basking in the beauty of the natural world. In the winter, the Northern Lights are visible here and in the summer the sun never fully sets. Wherever you look in Rovaniemi seems like a picture.
When you’re ready to warm up and come inside, Rovaniemi has plenty to do. Arktikum museum is one of the best in the country and the Arctic SnowHotel Ice Restaurant is actually made of ice! And if you’re ready to chill out, relax and do a little tax free gaming (verovapaat nettikasinot).
Tampere is known as “a Finn’s favorite city,” and for good reason: sitting between two lakes, this is a place that blends the natural world with the urban. The revitalized industrial buildings now provide a haven for trendy bars, restaurants, and cafes, and even though it’s a city it’s stocked with hiking trails. Tampere is also known as the sauna capital of the world and even has Finland’s oldest sauna! There is also a simmering nightlife scene and tantalizing offerings for foodies as well — such as a covered market that’s full of local delicacies. When you’ve had enough eating and drinking then check out some of Tampere’s dozen+ museums or theaters. If you’re looking for some history go for a stroll along Amurin Työläismuseokortteli and look at the old wooden houses. But if you want some adventure, be sure to go to Särkänniemi, one of the top theme parks in the country.
The Åland Archipelago
The Åland Archipelago is something out of a dream. It is 6,500 islands that stretch out into the Baltic Sea that offers some of the best scenery in the world. This is a place that seems like an entire planet unto itself, with remote islands and some incredible sunsets. As for things you can do, be sure to spend your days outside hiking and biking and paddling. Go check out the old windmills, hang out on a beach, and just take it all in. There is a reason why the happiest people in Finland are said to live here. The Åland Archipelago is the very definition of being off the beaten path.
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