Located between East and West, Finland is a country of contrasts. The seasons could hardly be less extreme: long, cold and icy winters turn the country into a snowy wilderness, with a beautiful landscape of snow-laden forests, rolling white hills and frozen lakes; in the summer the warm sunshine melts the snow and turns the country into every shade of green and blue, with lakes, coasts, forests and pastures all bursting into life. This is the time to discover Finland’s remarkable wildlife, including the European brown bear, which inhabits the forests of the north- east.
With only 5.5 million people in a land of 338,000 square kilometres Finland is one of Europe’s most sparsely populated countries. Vast, unspoilt swathes of land are covered with the characteristic forest and thousands of lakes (nearly 200,000 of them!) many dotted with islands. This is nature at its most pristine, waiting to be explored.
In the bracing winter you can set out to discover the stunning snow-scape. You could hike on snowshoes along silent forest trails or experience the glide of a dog-sled racing through the landscape behind a pack of husky dogs. You could even take a snowmobile ride to experience and appreciate the vast beauty of this landscape. Then, best of all, you can relax back at a comfortable hotel, guesthouse or your private log cabin with a traditional Finnish sauna.
In summer Finland feels like a different country altogether, perfect for anyone who loves nature and the great outdoors. With the long summer days it’s all too easy to make the most of your time, in fact in mid-summer the sun never sets in the far north of the country. Summer activities include walking, boating, cycling, wildlife-activities such as bear watching and - for the adrenaline junkies - whitewater rafting and a host of other activities.