Finland as the "Land of Thousand Lakes" attracts tourists from all over the world with its unique northern nature, ski resorts, hotels made of ice and exquisite fish dishes. If you want to meet real Santa Claus, go fishing or prefer a cruise tour in the Baltic Sea, you should definitely consider Finland holidays.
Among other opportunities that Finland has to offer there are charming towns, beautiful castles and ancient churches, great shopping facilities and of course its main treasure – its capital Helsinki. Fulfill your childhood dream and come to Finland to celebrate New Year with your family or a company of friends and you will be able to see the northern light, live in a wooden hut in the breathtakingly beautiful winter forest, meet reindeer, go skating or sledding and pamper yourself in a steaming sauna after a day of adventures. Learn how to spell the name of Finnish Santa and get ready for your Lapland holidays.
Finland is known for snowy winters and fairly warm summers. Average temperature in winter ranges from -3 ° C in the south of the country to -15 ° C in the north. So make sure to wear your warmest clothes if you decide to go on holidays to Lapland to see Jolopukki. In winter the so-called polar night covers the north of the country, while in the southern part it gets dark at about 3 pm. In summer the air often warms up to +30 ° C, the hottest month is July. The climate in the south and in the east is continental, in the north it is Arctic. But thanks to the influence of the warm Gulf Stream, even the coldest Finnish winter brings the abundance of sunny days, so you will not suffer from the frosty weather on holidays to Finland.
Ski season in Finland lasts from late December to mid-April, and in the northern regions - up to the end of May. With the arrival of spring snowdrifts are melting rapidly and summer brings so-called white nights - the perfect time to explore forests, lakes and islands, go fishing or join the celebration of local festivals. In September and October, the landscape becomes even more impressive. It’s a perfect time for eco travelers, who can wander and gather berries and mushrooms in the woods or just enjoy the picturesque landscapes of the country. November is the only month, which is not good for exploring Finland, as it known for its rainy and windy weather.
There are lots of attractions both of natural and historical origin in Finland. The first thing that strikes the traveler is beautiful Nordic scenery: lakes, forests, islands and valleys, many of which have turned into national parks. If you decide to go on Lapland holidays, you won’t miss the largest of them, "Lemmenjoki”. The park has got something to offer for everyone: you can see wolves, bears and wolverines here, try your luck as a gold miner, go fishing and rafting in the river on, framed by picturesque hills.
On Finland holidays you will find amazing islands with beautiful nature and architecture are scattered in the vicinity of Helsinki. The most famous one Sveaborg has got a fortress that dates from 1748. It had remained inaccessible for over half a century, before it was conquered by Russia. Russian inscriptions on the remaining guns serve as a reminder of those times. There are several interesting museums and even a hotel on the island for those who want to stay on holidays to Lapland for longer. The main attraction of Seurasaari Island is an Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, while Korkeasaari has one of the oldest operating zoos in the world.
Notable sights of architecture can be found in many Finnish cities: churches, cathedrals, castles of different eras are perfectly preserved. A great example of the latter is Turku castle built in the 13th century and rebuilt after World War II. It is known for the spectacular Gothic halls, ghost stories and great views from the corner towers.
Not all architectural monuments are of ancient origin though: for example, the church in the rock in Helsinki - a real bunker under a huge dome - was built in the 60s of the last century, but it looks incredible on the inside and outside.
A lot of museums in Finland are dedicated to the rich culture of the country and contemporary art. You can plunge into the past in "Karelian House" museum: rustic huts of the 19th century have been recreated with amazing care and attention to the smallest details of everyday life.
The attractions for families with children should be mentioned in particular. Santa Park is a must-see in winter: here you can get a degree at the School of elves, treat yourself to a gingerbread and mulled wine, ride "Four Seasons" train and, of course, meet real Santa on holidays to Lapland. Also, Moomin Valley characters await visitors regardless of the season and time. Not only the children, but adults as well won’t be able to resist the temptation to be naughty for a while here.
On holidays to Finland you will find Finnish hotels can be divided into several categories. The first one is represented by city hotels, located within large populated areas. This is a great option for those who come to the country for shopping and sightseeing, as well as with business objectives. Almost all city hotels are neat, comfortable, equipped with saunas or even "tropical" swimming pools, bringing a pleasing variety to the standard holidays in the Scandinavian land.
The second category is made of cottages in secluded picturesque areas of Finland. This accommodation option is often chosen by fishing fans, families with children, big companies and those who appreciate personal space. Most cottages are equipped with fireplaces, full kitchens and saunas. However you should select the location thoroughly: while one would prefer a house far away from civilization during Lapland holidays, another person would choose a chalet in the ski resort. Holiday camps are a more democratic option: a lot of them are located on the coasts, the Åland Islands and the northern part of the country.
Spa hotels, built on the banks of many Finnish lakes are especially popular with travelers. You can harmonize the body and soul, enjoying a leisure holiday to Finland in the surroundings of the northern landscape. Exotic fans should better go to Kemi, where a unique ice hotel with lamb and reindeer skins instead of beds is welcoming its guests. Hunters are recommended to choose among hunting huts scattered across the country for their accommodation. Instead of "stars" in their ratings they use "bumps" - the more bumps they have, the more comfortable are the cottages. If you want to save on accommodation, you can choose campsites (there are more than 350 of them in Finland) or hostels operating in all major cities.
The question “When to go to Finland” has no obvious answer. There are two high tourist seasons in this country. July and early August are certainly the warmest months of the year, so thousands of eco travelers are attracted to Finland.
And, of course, there is winter and Christmas holidays, which many people want to celebrate at home of Santa Claus when they plan their Lapland holidays. Low season in Finland is in November and March-April.
If you are making your mind when to go to on Finland holidays, decide for yourself what you want more – to see the northern lights, the midnight sun or meet Joulupukki.
It's easy to travel from London and many other European capitals to Helsinki by train and ferry, a wonderful journey across Scandinavia with a lot to see on the way during your holidays to Finland can be a great alternative to an unnecessary flight.
Flying, on the other hand is a convenient, albeit sometimes expensive, way of getting around Finland. There are 22 airports operating throughout the country and six airlines with flights within Finland, most of which fly from Helsinki to the regional airports.
Helsinki Airport is located 20 km from the city center, in the suburb of Vantaa. It can boast an excellent geographical position between Europe and Asia as well as fast and easy transfers. The transfer times are considered to be among the shortest in Europe.
Many people know that by going on Finland holidays they are going to an expensive country. The flight, accommodation, food and service - everything is very expensive in comparison with many countries. Especially if you decide to go on holidays to Lapland to see Santa Claus, the expenses can be shocking. But you can still save money if you remember some of the following hints.
A dinner in a restaurant in Helsinki costs approximately 40-50 Euro per person, but if you book an apartment with a kitchenette, you can save some money on meals. Also you can arrange a picnic in the park or choose one of the restaurants serving Turkish, Chinese or Italian cuisine and offering “smorgasbord” service, so that the meal will only cost 7-8 Euro per person.
Some of the museums are free to visit on certain days of the week, while Finland card would give you a decent discount on public transport and entries to many objects of cultural heritage.
If you want to bring a souvenir from your Lapland holidays drop in to some of the flea markets "kirputori", where souvenirs, antiques and second-hand branded clothing are offered at low prices.
For those, who want to understand what true Finland holidays mean there is a check-list of five paragraphs. Make sure you check all the activities before you leave the country:
- You have caught a trout or a couple of pikes in the mountain river;
- You have seen the northern light;
- You have got an elk or Moomin-troll figure as a souvenir;
- You have tried your luck as a gold miner;
- You believe in Santa Claus again.
At Booked.net there’s a variety of Finnish hotels just perfect for you, so start planning your next trip.