Scandinavian country wedged between Norway, Sweden and Russia, with which it kept historical and cultural roots strong, Finland is known as the "Land of a Thousand Lakes." Findland is a travel destination with the interminable beauty of lush green forests, small valleys, countless sparkling lakes, exotic wilderness of a 1,000 offshore islands and endless summer days. Relatively residents have kept a very strong contact with nature, including their almost daily practices as the famous "sauna" for example. Green tourism of Finland attracts many visitors each year. For the more adventurous (and less risk averse!), Lapland is the right place to meet Saami Folklore, Santa Claus... Finland is a permanent communion with the elements where, once there, myths described in the Kalevala does not seem so far away from reality! Take a deep breath and smell the fresh Finnish air.
Visit Lapland, Finland
As a natural wilderness of ancient forests, treeless fells, arctic landscapes and freezing rivers running through gorge-like valleys, Lapland is the perfect destination to enjoy many of the world's more unusual and exhilarating experiences. Like wrapping up in your thermals and warm winter hat for a dash across the frozen Lake Kilpisjarvi on a snowmobile, or lending a hand at a reindeer round-up. Highlights of Finland's northernmost territory include Rovaniemi, 'official' home of Santa Claus - where thousands on sacks bulging with lists addressed to 'Santa, North Pole' arrive every Christmas - and the spectacular Lemmenjoki National Park where prospectors can still be found panning streams for gold. Best of all, being so close to the Arctic Circle give you the chance to experience the dancing Northern Lights on a clear polar evening, or nightless nights when the Midnight Sun never sets.
Visit The Lakelands, Finland
The vast region to the north of Helsinki is dominated by a labyrinth of lakes - over 180,000 at the last count; a maze of bays, headlands and islands linked to each other by rivers, straits and canals. Along the banks of this never-ending network of waterways, you will find lively provincial towns and cities such as Savonlinna and Tampere as well as scenic delights like the romantic, medieval Olavinlinna Castle or the famous Punkaharju Ridge that separates Lake Puruvesi and Lake Pihlajavesi. Sailing, canoe trekking, motor boating and fishing are all popular pursuits and the trails of Kori National Park provide even more opportunities for outdoor activities such as wilderness and snowshoe hikers or cross country skiing.
Visit South and west coast, Finland
Finland is far more than just a winter wonderland, as its rugged coastline proves. To the west, the long sandy beaches of the Ostrobothnia region and the dunes of Kalajoki are bathed in a pleasant summer climate and almost 24 hours of daylight in midsummer. Further south, the coastal regions of Parainen, the Turku archipelago and the 6,400 autonomous islands of the Aland region, are a sailing and fishing paradise, especially during the months of the Midnight Sun. Here too is the country's lively modern capital, Helsinki, a small, intimate city of parks, impressive 19th century architecture and clear Finnish air. One of the best ways to explore is on board the local cruises that set sail from many coastal towns. Try a one-day trip on a passenger icebreaker in the Gulf of Bothnia, or join one of the ships that regularly steer a course along the scenic Helsinki Archipelago.