Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and forests, it’s air being one of the cleanest in the world. Over 70 % of Finland is taken over by beautiful forest – more than any other European country. The 188 000 lakes of Finland, on the other hand, are so vast that Finland has most water in relation to land mass of all the countries in the world. This water is also some of the cleanest.
If you wish to pay a visit to Santa, admire the Northern Lights or experience the peace of the countryside & cottage life, than Finland is the right place to go. Lonely Planet listed Finland as one of the TOP 3 travel destinations for 2017.
www.visitfinland.com provides us 17 reasons to plan a trip to Finland next year:
- Centenary – 2017 is the year that marks the 100th Anniversary of Finland Independence. The theme of this celebratory year is “Together”. There will be organized lot of events to celebrate the centenary.
- National Parks – Next year there will be inaugurated the 40thnational park of Finland. The existing ones showcase the areas’ various natural characteristics, such as rapids, rift valleys and eskers.
- Helsinki – Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a vibrant seaside city of beautiful islands and great green parks. The coast of Helsinki offers a new attraction to visitors, as the island of Vallisaari is finally open for public. The island is the perfect destination for a day out.
- Northern Lights – Some of world’s best Northern Lights can be spotted in
Finnish Lapland. The Aurora Borealis – as they are also called – can appear more than 200 nights a year. That’s pretty much every winter night. Catching the magical phenomenon requires clear and dark skies and a viewing spot not affected by light pollution, like street lights and neon signs. This year, several northern destinations will open new and unique accommodation options where tourists can admire spectacular views over the Northern skies in a nest-like atmosphere. Check out TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi, Aurora Dome in Muonio and Glass Villas in Kemi.
- The one and Only Santa Claus – Finland is the only place in the world to meet the real Santa Claus. Although originally from Korvatunturi, the man in red has his office now in Rovaniemi, Lapland, where he greets visitors all year round. As we know, Santa’s annual mission is to deliver happiness around the world with the help of his team of furry reindeer friends.
- The Best place for skiing – In Finland the skiing season can last way over 6 months – from late October all the way until May. During the darkest winter days the ski slopes are lit and in the spring the sun shines until late at night. There are hundreds and hundreds of kilometres worth of ski tracks in Finnish Lapland. In 2017 Lahti will organise the skiing Centenary World Championships. The centennial and the all-time seventh World Championships in the same location will be a true once-in-a-lifetime event.
- StopOver – Finland’s location in the crossroads of West and East provides a great opportunity for travellers to experience Finland en route to or from Europe. The StopOver option provides passengers time to explore Finland from 5 hours to 5 days with endless possibilities to build their itinerary, such as hiking in Lapland or spending a few hours shopping and checking the sights in Helsinki.
- Sauna Culture – Sauna is a big part of Finnish culture. Tourists can enjoy excellent sauna experiences all year round in spa complexes all over the country.
- Moomins – Moomins are probably the most known and adored Finnish icon, if not before, then right after Santa Claus. The white, hippo-like Moomins are Finnish literature characters created by Tove Jansson in the 1940’s. A new Moomin Museum, maintained by Tampere Art Museum, will open at Tampere Hall on May 9th, 2017. It is the only museum of Moomin art in the world.
- Finnish Design – Finnish culture and a strong craft tradition have brought up some of the world’s most impressive designs, designers, and design-related brands, such as Marimekko, Iittala, Arabia and Artek.
- Wild food – Finnish berries and fruits can be found regularly in the vast forests, along with tasty mushrooms and fresh wild herbs. If you don’t have time to pick your own, you can try them in any of the numerous restaurants serving wild food on their menus.
- Silence and Peace – In the rush and crush of modern life, the rarities are what we value most, such as space, quiet and time. You can find these treasures in Finland, where the lakes are many and the people are few. A handful of pure nature, a pinch of Finnish sauna, a spoonful of traditional treatments, serve with wild food and add light activities to taste – equals extreme relaxation.
- The Cleanest Air – The air in Finland is the third cleanest in the world, according to a recent study by WHO, and one of the very cleanest parts of the world can be found in Finnish Lapland. For example, the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI’s measurement station in Pallas (also a national park) is one of the places that measures the cleanest air in the world.
- Locals – Finns are talkative, hospitable and warm-hearted folks.
- Wildlife – Finland provide habitat for many wild animals and birds including bears, reindeer, lynx, eagles, and swans, as well as the world’s rarest seal. Birdwatchers flock to Finland to find species that are hard to spot anywhere else in Europe.
- Culture – A packed nationwide calendar of cultural events and festivals add to the attraction of exploring Finland’s smaller towns and cities. Cultural festivals of every conceivable kind, held right across the country, are the perfect creative supplement to Finland’s prime asset – its expansive, unspoiled natural environment. Many festivals also use lakes, forests and seasonal extremes as an exciting backdrop.
- Finnish Theme Days – Finland is an innovative country where creativity meets proactivity. A great example of this is the globally known Restaurant Day, when anyone can set up a restaurant, anywhere and ordinary people get to play chefs and sommeliers for a change, resulting in a whole lot of fun for everyone. Sauna Day and Nature Days are two more examples of such activities.
Photo: Thomas Kast – Salamapaja