Finland – the country
Finland is a Northern European nation bordering Sweden, Norway and Russia. Its capital, Helsinki, occupies a peninsula and surrounding islands in the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is home to the 18th-century sea fortress Suomenlinna, the fashionable Design District and diverse museums. The Northern Lights can be seen from the country’s Arctic Lapland province, a vast wilderness with national parks and ski resorts.
Helsinki – the capital
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a vibrant seaside city of beautiful islands and great green parks. The city’s rhythm is laid back yet at the same time refreshingly active in terms of both the number and quality of restaurants and nightclubs. Design, architecture, culture and shopping are all great exploration angles and large park areas, forests, lakes, and the coastline with numerous islands sprinkled off it make certain there’s no shortage of natural presence. Needless to say, there’s something going on in Helsinki every day of the year.
TIPS OF WHAT YOU CAN DO IN Helsinki
Suomenlinna sea fortress
The fortress of Suomenlinna is one of Finland’s most popular sights and is just a short ferry crossing away from Helsinki. This base for the archipelago fleet was originally built in the 18th century, when Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom. In 1991, Suomenlinna was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the summer, when the nights are warm, it is possible to stay until rather late at night. The last ferry departs from Suomenlinna at two o’clock am.
Spårakoff Pub Tram
The SpåraKoff pub tram is one of a kind – an old tram that has been converted into a pub, operating along the main tram routes in Helsinki and passing the city’s most famous sights. The interior of the tram is decorated in a classic pub style with mahogany and brass, with seating for 30 customers to enjoy this amazing experience. In addition to the driver, the bar staff is there to serve you. The ride features beer, cider, refreshments, fun and great views.
Daytrip to Tallinn, Estonia
Walk through the narrow Gothic dwellings and fortress walls in Tallinn, Estonia’s capital on this full-day tour from Helsinki. The tour includes return ferry trips, guided tour. Tallinn offers much to discover for people with various interests. Tallinn is one of Europe’s most beautiful and romantic medieval towns, with its towers and battlements, fortification walls, winding streets and green parks. Tallinn offers a wide range of activites in the charming old town.
In Ivalo, the atmosphere is always international and visitors from all around the world flock here. Ivalo features the northernmost airport in Finland and the EU and it welcomes winter charter flights from Great Britain and many other countries. To the southeast, Urho Kekkonen National Park is home to pine forests and reindeer. It has trails and seasonal views of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Overlooking the park is the ear-shaped mountain Korvatunturi, which is also the folkloric home of Santa Claus.
TIPS OF WHAT YOU CAN DO IN ivalo
Surrounded by nature, these unique accomodations are located in the Saariselkä Fell region of Finnish Lapland. The thermal glass igloos feature a bedroom with a glass roof and luxury beds. Some igloos include a bathroom with sauna, while others have shared shower facilities. Admire the northern lights and the twinkling of the bright starry sky in one of the Glass Igloos. This is a fantastic combination with other winter activities.
Experience the art of Arctic ice fishing on a scenic 5-hour trip from Saariselkä, with a professional local fisherman. Chase the fabled Aurora Borealis, on an evening trip to Lake Inari from Ivalo. Travel into the countryside, and settle into a comfortable snowmobile-pulled sleigh to ride to a fronzen lake. There are unforgettable and high quality adventures in Ivalo’s nature. You have a chance to experience husky ride, snowmobile adventure, fishing, snowshoeing and much more!
Test-drive on snow/ice
Training to drive on ice is an awe-inspiring experience like no other, where you slip out of grip and move into a graceful slide… Driving flat out on a frozen lake in the middle of Scandinavia – sideways! Many World Rally championship teams choose to test their vehicle set ups here due to the abundance of ice and snow and the perfect extreme conditions. You can also experience the thrill of a snowmobile safari which is just as much fun as the ice driving!
Kemi has a claim to fame as the home of the world’s largest snow castle (reconstructed every year to a different design). The SnowCastle of Kemi is usually built in the inner harbour of the city. is usually built in the inner harbour of the city.
SnowHotel of Kemi guarantees that you sleep like a baby in -5 degrees Celsius, surrounded by massive pure white snow walls. SnowHotel room is made completely of snow, beautifully lighted and decorated. Overnight in this hotel will surely give you one of the most unique Arctic experiences. All rooms at Hotel Snow feature beds covered with lamb skin and sleeping bags with fleece interiors. Some rooms are decorated with ice carvings. Each room has access to shared bathroom facilities by the heated castle lounge.
Icebreaker Sampo, in Kemi, offers the most exciting, memorable moments in the Arctic nature and an incredible icebreaking adventure with the unique experience of swimming amongst the ice. Sampo is like a moving museum retaining its original form from the 1960’s as closely as possible. Everyone on board will surely feel the by-gone glory of the vessel even today. The atmospheric restaurants are the heart of the steel giant. Journey over the frozen sea towards Sampo: it is waiting for you in the middle of the Gulf of Bothnia.
Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland, in northern Finland. It’s a modern city known for being the “official” home town of Santa Claus, and for viewing the Northern Lights. It’s home to Arktikum, a museum and science center exploring the Arctic region and the history of Finnish Lapland.
Meet Santa Claus and cross the magical Arctic Circle at the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. Santa Claus spends his time at the Santa Claus Village every day of the year to take care of his mission in life. Santa Claus Village is Lapland’s best-known attraction and resort. It is home to approximately 50 draws in the form of activity companies, shops, restaurants and cafés. Husky and reindeer rides, snowmobile tours, design items and souvenirs, ice and snow constructions, an igloo hotel and holiday village accommodation can be found there.