Finland is a land of contrasts. The country changes depending on the season and temperatures can fluctuate around 70 degrees between summer and winter. This offers countless opportunities to taste the harsh forces of nature. Northern light hunting, snow hiking, snowboarding, downhill and cross-country skiing, horse or dog team hunting, and ice fishing are just some of the most requested experiences. To know top destinations to enjoy the Finnish in winter, please read our post below.
Lapland, Finland’s largest and northernmost part, is a prime example of this mentioned above. Located mostly north of the Circle Arctic, it covers 100,367 square kilometers, more than a quarter of the country’s surface, but its population is only about 180,000 people (1.8 people per square kilometer). Lapland is home to the Sami or Lappish people, the only indigenous inhabitants of northern Scandinavia, scattered throughout Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Russia. About 8,000 people live within the Finnish border and they are often found devoted to their traditional jobs: reindeer shepherd, fishing, hunting, and local crafts.
In winter, Lapland is the right place to experience the immensity of nature and the tranquility, lack of light, and extreme cold typical of the world’s northernmost places. Snow appears in late August or early September, winter lasts 7 months and darkness prevails.
Rovaniemi and the Arctic
The Arctic Circle runs through northern Finland, right past the town of Rovaniemi, making it the Gateway to the North Pole. In summer, this means the famous midnight Sun. While the sun is only above the horizon for 24 hours in Rovaniemi on the late summer solstice of June, from late May to early August it never comes down far enough to get dark. Locals are enjoying the great outdoors during this “White Night” and welcome tourists to join.
Top destinations to enjoy the Finnish. Rovaniemi is located at the heart of a large natural area with fast-flowing rivers for boating, swimming, or fishing, with trails along with them for hiking and cycling. The city that is best known (ask any Finnish kid) is Santa’s hometown, right through the Arctic Circle at Santa Village. You can meet reindeer here or visit a reindeer farm in Sami. To learn more about Lapland culture and the natural history, meteorology, and geology of the Arctic, visit the stunning Arktikum Science Museum.
The Åland (or Åland) archipelago is an autonomous archipelago between Sweden and Finland. As a predominantly Finnish Swedish-speaking province, Åland is comprised of several large islands and nearly 10,000 smaller islands. Åland has a unique history. It was ceded to Russia by Sweden in 1809. In 1854, a combined Anglo / French fleet captured the islands, destroying the fortress. After that, the entire archipelago was demilitarized and remains the same today. About 27,500 people live in Åland, with about 11,000 in the main town of Mariehamn. The archipelago’s primary industry has always been shipping and trade, so the Maritime Museum, the Pommern Ship Museum, and the Maritime Quarter in Mariehamn are worthwhile places to understand the fascinating maritime history of the archipelago.
Turku town is one of the Top destinations to enjoy the Finnish, in southwestern Finland, the country’s oldest town and until 1812 was its capital, located on the Gulf of Bothnia, at the mouth of the Aurajoki River. Turku was located in the area where Swedish Viking successors landed in the 12th century and set out to conquer what is today Finland. With eight centuries of history, today it is the most traditional medieval town in Finland, but in addition to its striking medieval buildings, you’ll find examples of Art Nouveau and ants. Modern architecture, such as the Sibelius Museum of Woldemar Boeckman. The river is the heart of the city, with historic boats, some of which have been converted into restaurants.
In the summer, locals gather along its shores in the evenings, and in winter, it becomes a giant ice rink. On the northeast side of the river is the business center with the Kaupatori (market square) shopping mall and the lovely Orthodox Church. On the opposite bank, the medieval church, consecrated in 1290, sits on Old Great Square. This is a large, late Roman-style brick church with Gothic and Renaissance additions and a massive 97-meter-high tower that dominates the city. During the Mid-Summer Medieval Festival, the complex of the historic buildings of the old square regains the medieval atmosphere with handcrafted stalls and food vendors.