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Finland

Located in the cluster of northern European countries that Santa calls home, Finland is where charming wilderness meets unique city architecture, and wellness seekers greet adventure junkies. Follow the lead of the Finnish people, with their laid-back and minimalist approach to every aspect of life, from clothing and manners to eating and drinking, in the array of culture-soaking opportunities.

Helsinki is the capital of Finland and offers vast spaces of vibrant greenery sprinkled like confetti around the collection of islands. From rock shows to chic cocktail lounges, nightlife is buzzing while the archipelago of around 330 islands offer picture perfect retreats among glistening water. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Suomenlinna is a must-see, a fortress upon a tearaway island, only a short ferry crossing. Architecture back on the mainland is charming, with lines of muted-yellow, army-green and pale-pink buildings often being cited as the inspiration for Batman’s Gotham City. 

Finland is the perfect canvas to make a luxury holiday destination, when adorned with five-star hotels across the diverse landscape and one six-star Michelin-star restaurant in the capital. Many properties boast close proximity to landmarks in Helsinki, with interiors reflecting the contemporary, simplistic design of northern Europe. For adventure, head to Lapland, where glass igloo-style hotels reveal the spectacle of the Northern Lights - a must-see between September to October and February to March. With their beauty almost close enough to touch among a landscape perfect for skiing and snow sports, you will never stop admiring. Or, if its pure tranquillity you won’t be disappointed here either, with many hotels offering traditional saunas alongside serene views out onto the blanket of white.

As the seasons change, the landscape transforms into another breath-taking sight. Arctic winters offer families the chance to meet the big man himself in Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus, where fluffy snow lines the path to one of the most magical experiences over the festive season. As summer rolls in so does the natural phenomena of the Midnight Sun, where 24/7 daylight lasts for more than two months.

WINGED BOOTS WISDOM

With lakes and the sea warming up from June onwards, a swim or sauna under the midnight sun is an opportunity you may never get again. With the sun transforming into a ball of reds and yellow, any surrounding you find yourself in will be illuminated by a warm and glowing light. Head to Finnish Lapland to enjoy the Midnight Sun Film Festival or if you’re in the south, Summer Solstice is held in Helsinki to share the magic of white nights. 
 
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Good to know

  • Time difference: UTC +2
  • Capital: Helsinki
  • Currency: Euro
  • Must See: Suomenlinna

Best Time To Travel

Average Temperatures
Jan: -5°c   Feb: -6°c   Mar: -2°c  
Apr: 4°c   May: 10°c   Jun: 14°c  
Jul: 17°c   Aug: 15°c   Sep: 10°c  
Oct: 6°c   Nov: N/A   Dec: -4°c  

Location

Finland in a Nutshell

Soak Up The Culture

•    Helsinki is easily explored on foot, roaming through the unique design and architecture, weaving in and out of contemporary hubs of culture like the Central Library and Station.
•    To discover the true Finnish way of life, indulge in a sauna, the lifeblood used for spiritual healing and cleansing. The building Löyly is as intriguing from the inside as from the outside, with eye-catching décor housing a smoke sauna, wood-heated saunas and an opening out onto the sea to take a refreshing dip. 
•    Contrast is the main ingredient in Finnish culture, so once you’ve experienced the modern capital, immerse yourself in the traditional way of life in the mythical area of Lapland. Here, you can meet the Sámi, Finland’s indigenous people, and join in their festivals and celebrations. 

Tastes to Try

•    The appreciation of simplicity transcends through Finnish cuisine, with clean, local and sustainable ingredients used.
•    In Lapland, cloudberries, reindeer, lichen and other wild foods are the taste of the region, while in Helsinki, Restaurant Day is a celebration of Nordic cuisine. The local people sample dishes from pop-up restaurants.
•    Must-try foods are: Karjalanpiirakka, a savoury pastry; Grillmakkara, a grilled sausage eaten with mustard and washed down with beer; or Ruisleipä, a rye bread which is staple to the Finnish diet. 

Adventure Awaits 

•    To truly enjoy the snow-covered area of Lapland, head to the capital, Rovaniemi, and enter a winter wonderland, where museums exploring the history of the area are interspersed in ski resorts and ice buildings.
•    With around 75 ski resort in Finland, hills make up the sweeping slopes and steep falls, in the season which runs from October to May. From wide, easy slopes to challenging, world-class runs all family members can indulge in some light and snowy relief while learning or improving a skill. 
•    For a slightly warmer adventure, the 40 national parks of Finland offer kayaking, cycling and hiking opportunities all offering contrasting viewpoints to spectacular nature. To witness true beauty, head to the labyrinthine Archipelago Sea, with more islands than any other archipelago in the world.
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