Looking for a little adventure this winter? You may want to head to Finland! While largely associated with Lapland, Finland offers a wide range of activities for the adrenaline junkie. Boasting more than 188,000 lakes and striking, dramatic coastline, it’s particularly popular for those who love to kayak, sail and canoe. Whatever activity you enjoy, Finland really does have it all. In this post, we will take a look at some of the reasons why Finland is the perfect winter holiday adventure getaway.
Explore beautiful, unique landscapes
The dramatic landscapes of Finland make it an ideal destination for hikers. You’ll get to witness things you’d never even dreamed of. Take a hike and climb up frozen waterfalls, or discover hidden gems in the dense, remarkable forests. Finland is also home to 39 national parks and in 2017, when it celebrates its 100th year as an independent nation, a 40th will be added. They’re equally distributed around the country and all feature lakes, forests, peat lands and fells as well as showcasing unmistakeable natural characteristics such as rapids, rift valleys and eskers. As well as giving holiday-makers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the scenery by spotting rare animals and plants, Finland’s national parks are ideal for climbing, snowshoeing and other outdoor pursuits
Snow activities galore
Of course, one of the main things that draws adventurers to Finland is the snow! Those looking for a proper winter adventure will find plenty to keep them happy in this snow-rich destination. From dogsledding and snowmobiling to skiing and snowboarding – there’s something to suit the whole family.
There are hundreds of hidden pathways leading to ancient sites few have even seen. One particular sight you won’t want to miss is the rock labyrinth situated only a short distance from Helsinki. Hiking through Finland truly is an experience you’ll never forget.
If you’re a real adrenaline junkie, snowmobiling is something you’ll definitely want to try. Capable of reaching over 60mph, you can choose to go it alone or take part in a guided tour. Those hoping for a more relaxed activity holiday will find dogsledding a much better alternative.
Winter in Finland is roughly December to March but you can still get snow in Lapland from as early as October and until May. However, if you’re planning to head to Finland in winter, then it’s wise to wrap up warm as temperatures near the lakes can go as low as -5C.
All this adventure-seeking will probably mean holidaymakers will want some time to unwind and what better way to do so than with a traditional Finnish sauna. For Finns, Saunas are a must at regular intervals and to go too long without one is virtually unheard of. For centuries it has been a place of physical and spiritual cleansing and rather than a luxury as saunas are more an essential daily experience and an integral part of their culture.
Holidaymakers should remember however that getting invited to a sauna is an honour and not one that should be declined without a good reason as spending time in a sauna with someone is believed to be somewhat of a bonding process. Indeed, it is often said that in Finland, more important decisions get made in the sauna than in meeting rooms.
Other than that though, there are no real rules when it comes to the sauna and the way it is done totally depends on your mood and the occasion. Most Finns would agree that the most important thing is to relax, socialise and enjoy the blissful post-sauna feeling of having cleansed both your body and mind
Finland is home to some of the best spots to search for the northern lights, or aurora borealis. This beautiful natural phenomenon lights up the night sky with bright, colourful lights. It is created by electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and can be seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemisphere.
Although the clarity of lights is famously unpredictable they are usually visible on roughly 200 nights a year – or every other clear night in Finnish Lapland and it truly is an unforgettable sight if you are lucky enough to catch them. Though the more traditional ways to go Aurora spotting are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, via snowmobile or dog touring there are a number of dedicated trips and guided tours allowing you to experience the lights, along with the unique landscapes and traditional cuisine.
The Grand Lake Saimaa
The largest Lake District in Europe being homed in such a scarcely populated country means there’s an absolute abundance of scenery across the shoreline. Allow the wilderness to consume your thoughts or get inspired by the vast clear lakes intricately splintered by islands, isthmuses and green spits. At approximately 4400 square kilometres, it was formed by glacial melting at the end of the last Ice Age and due to its almost labyrinthine form, is perfect for kayaking. In the shelter of archipelago, there are virtually no waves, making kayaking routes suitable for even the most inexperienced paddlers
Can’t decide what to do?
With so many activities on offer, it can be difficult deciding what to do on your Finland getaway. Exodus Travels Limited has a great solution for those struggling to make up their mind. The company’s Finnish Wilderness Week features several activities in one of the more remote parts of the country.
You’ll get to experience the unspoilt wilderness, while staying in warm, cosy accommodation. There’s also a range of other great packages on offer, providing something for the entire family. Want to enjoy a more relaxing holiday? Why not head to see the Northern Lights? Considered one of the most spectacular natural phenomena’s, the Northern Lights are a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Overall, Finland is a fantastic place to visit in the winter months. The UK doesn’t quite have the same magical winter feel, so if you’re looking to build up your excitement as Christmas draws near, heading to Finland is exactly what you need.