Holidays to Finland
That said, the best journeys here start in the capital: Helsinki. With its 18th-century sea fortress, pretty market squares and abundant shops and museums, this harbourside city is always vibrant – whatever the weather.
Outside the capital, there is wonderful wilderness to explore. All across the country, nearly 200,000 beautiful blue lakes, set amid emerald green forests, are the perfect backdrop to a plethora of national parks. The wildlife is varied and plentiful, too: wolves, bears, eagles and reindeer all call this fascinating land home.
All across the country, nearly 200,000 beautiful blue lakes, set amid emerald green forests, are the perfect backdrop to a plethora of national parks
Where to go
To soak up the very best of the country’s culture, begin in Helsinki. Here the Suomenlinna sea fort, neoclassical cathedral and funky Design District are the big draws, while the unusual local cuisine – such as Baltic herring – is a must-try.
But Finland is the ultimate place to get lost amid forests and lakes, and Inari is the best place to begin. You can ski, hike and learn all about Sami history in this traditionally Finnish village, which sits on the banks of Lapland’s biggest lake – as well as having Lemmenjoki National Park and the Kevo Strict Nature Reserve on its doorstep.
And, speaking of Lapland, no visit to Finland is complete without visiting Ivalo – a beautiful spot for chasing the Northern Lights, and best-known for being the home of Santa Claus.
When to go
Finland is beautiful year-round. Those seeking aurora borealis sightings should visit between September and March, while wildlife aficionados can hope to spot the Eurasian brown bear from April to September.
For some festive cheer, visit Helsinki in December for the Christmas markets – before heading to the Arctic north for Lapland.