Top 10 Things to do in Finland
Finland’s forests, fells and lakes are a sure-fire draw for anyone who loves the great outdoors, winter or summer. Here are our favourite things to do when you’re on your Finland holiday.
1. Stay in a Log Cabin
Part of Finnish heritage, there’s nothing like staying in a cosy log cabin in Finnish Lapland. It gives you the chance to enjoy an authentic slice of life in Finland – as our log cabins all come with private sauna facilities – without giving up your modern creature comforts. Log cabins offer you the chance to try a wide range of activities including snowmobiling, husky sledding, skiing, and moose safaris. By night, because they’re well away from bright city lights, a log cabin holiday in Finland also offers excellent opportunities to search for the northern lights.
Suggested itinerary: Iso-Syöte – Log Cabin Hideaway
2. Spend the Night in a Hide Watching Brown Bears
Photographers and wildlife enthusiasts should take the opportunity to spend a night in a hide and keep watch for the thriving local population of brown bears. Head to Kuhmo, Finland’s north-eastern border with Russia, where nature still reigns supreme, and visit the Petola Nature Centre. The bear hides here log cabin for watching unnoticed as bears, wolves, lynx and more emerge to feed, play and explore in the warm, light, summer nights. Combine your night-time bear-watching with a number of other interests, including bird-watching, kayaking, photography and hiking.
Suggested itinerary: Wild Brown Bear Adventure
3. Go in Search of the Aurora
Finnish Lapland is well away from artificial light sources, increasing the chances of great aurora sightings. Stay in one of the winter resorts or lodges set amongst the quiet and quiescent snowscape of frozen rivers, sweeping fells and snow-laden trees. There are a variety of cabins located in wilderness areas, and at Muotka Lodge in the eastern Saariselka fells, where there’s an option to spend a night in a specially equipped Aurora Hide too.
Suggested itinerary: Winter Adventure at Muotka Lodge
4. Sample a Sauna
In Finland, the sauna is a way of life – and having your own is as common as having your own bathroom. Enjoyed in summer and winter, a rejuvenating sauna after a day out in the fresh air is an easily-acquired habit all year round! Traditionalists prefer wood or smoke saunas, and gently stimulate their skin with bundles of leafy birch twigs to help with the detox. We also offer cabins with electric saunas, which are easy to switch on and regulate the temperature – and no greenery necessary!
Suggested itinerary: Any! All our accommodation in Finland offers sauna facilities
5. Escape to the Countryside
Make like the locals and enjoy a summer escape in the heart of the Finnish countryside, staying in a self-catered country villa. Southwest Finland is our favourite region for this – the idyllic natural surrounds, beautiful lakes to swim in (or fish in, or row on!) and numerous trails for hikers and cyclists are a fantastic setting for an active break or just time to relax with your family or a group of friends.
Suggested itinerary: Finland Houseboat Adventure
6. Enjoy a Winter Wonderland Where Activities Abound
Snow makes a fantastic playground wherever it falls – and there are numerous ways to enjoy Finland’s winter wonderland. From snowmobile safaris to husky sledding either as a musher or a passenger, meeting reindeer or trying snowshoeing and skiing (cross country or downhill) there are all kinds of winter activities to try. And with our Finland packages, many are already included in your holiday!
Suggested itinerary: Nellim Wilderness Adventure
7. Planes, Trains & Ferries
Discover Finland in depth on an independent touring holiday – make use of local rail, bus and ferry networks, perhaps in combination with a hire car, to explore at your leisure. Perfect for independent-minded travellers who like exploring under their own steam, our travel specialists will help make the logistical arrangements and then it’s your adventure to enjoy, whether you country-hop between Scandinavian capitals or take to the wilderness in Finnish Lapland!
Suggested itinerary: Capitals of Scandinavia
8. Discover the Aland Islands
Located in the Baltic Sea, halfway between Finland and Sweden, the Aland Islands are an interesting cultural mix – they’re Finnish territory, but the language spoken is Swedish. There are almost 6,500 islands in this archipelago – from rocky islets to lush islands with white sands and rolling dunes to explore. Cycling, walking, kayaking, picnicking and dropping into the many galleries and artists’ workshops are all popular ways to spend your days.
9. Jump in the lakes
Well, one of the many – Finland has around 188,000 lakes which cover 25% of the country! As they’re mostly fairly shallow, they warm up easily in the summer sunshine – so going for a swim is a positive pleasure, especially after a day of hiking or cycling. You can also explore by canoe or fish for your supper and barbeque it on the beach! The Lakeland region in the south-east, which borders Russia, has a fascinating history too with plenty of cultural attractions as well as natural ones.
Suggested itinerary: Lakeland & Eastern Finland
10. Take the Ferry to Tallinn or Stockholm
Helsinki, Finland’s colourful capital city has plenty to offer – including mouthwatering summer markets and interesting architecture – and it’s a fantastic gateway to exploring the Baltic, as well as Finland itself. It’s just a 2hr sail between Helsinki and the Estonian capital Tallinn, and an overnight sail (on stylish, modern cruise ships) to Swedish capital Stockholm via the famously beautiful Stockholm archipelago or the Aland Islands.