If the enchantment of winter fills you with excitement, then Finland is the place to visit. Take an adventure and explore an unspoilt wilderness, be encapsulated by fairy tale forests and untrodden paths, whilst catching sight of bears and elks.
Whether you are looking for a winter wonderland or a summer haven, Finland is a year round destination, with activities, places of interest and a thriving arts and culture scene to suit all.
Finland truly is a playground for outdoor lovers. Renown for having some of the best hikes in Europe, not to mention excellent cross-country skiing trails and majestic mirror image lakes perfect for canoeing or kayaking.
If you are looking to combine tranquillity with the hustle and bustle of city life, than the city of Helsinki should be high on your list. Rich with architecture, trendy bars and restaurants, café culture and museums, all underpinned by a charming, vibrant atmosphere.
Let’s also not forget the piece de la resistance, the aurora borealis, that natural magical phenomenon of lights parading the night sky. Depending on the time of year you visit you may catch sight of this bucket list marvel, after retreat to a traditional wood fired sauna amongst the snowy landscape.
Finland experiences four true seasons. Winter brings short days, whilst north of the Artic Circle there are times when the sun doesn’t rise at all. From November through to April snow blankets north Finland, temperatures range from -20°C, with an average temperature of -5°C in Helsinki.
To be in with the best chance of seeing the Northern lights, it’s best to visit between September and March. The best place to observe them is in northern Lapland, as on average, the lights are visible every other night when it’s a clear sky.
Summers are short in Finland, in the south, the season runs from May through to September, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C. North of the Arctic Circle, in June and July, the sun remains visible 24hours a day, known as the midnight sun. GoSingles recommends a summer visit if you’re looking to explore the landscape hiking, when the ground has thawed and vegetation and wildlife has sprung back into life.
As the season transitions to autumn you will discover a thing of beauty in Finland, it truly is a photographers paradise as the foliage takes on different hues of crimson reds, yellows and burnt oranges, not to mention it being popular with cyclists and hikers who make their way to through the vast expanse of woodland trails Finland has to offer. Expect temperatures to range between 5°C and 15°C.
The months of April and May bring Spring, where nights and days are lighter and temperatures start to warm up, anything from 0°C to 10°C, however the further north you go the later spring arrives.
This natural phenomenon is not to be missed, the Aurora Borelli’s are a sight to behold, and what is more, Finland has the luxury of showcasing them 200 nights of the year. So be sure not to miss them.
Take an adrenaline filled ride on a snowmobile, motor over the snow whilst venturing through arctic landscapes, snowy forests and over frozen lakes and rivers.
Feel the crisp wind ion your face, as you let a sledge of huskies chauffeur you around a magical winter wonderland. Nothing will prepare you for the fun and laughter you’ll have with the hapless hounds exploring Finland’s stunning landscape.
Finnish people are fairly liberal, yet are known to be quite reserved, however this is not so true for the younger generation. That said, words are taken seriously, and people are held to what they say, the Finnish proverb ‘Take a man by his words and a bull by its horns,” perfectly sums this up. So don’t be disheartened if small talk or idle chitchat isn’t reciprocated whilst visiting.
The Finnish are warm and sincere people, proud of their nation with a strong sense of national identity, so be sure to be respectful of their country.
On meeting, Finns firmly shake hands and make eye contact. Finns rarely kiss on greeting. Friends and acquaintances may hug when meeting, and kisses on the cheek are not unheard of, although this custom is not found in rural areas.
Tipping: Tipping is extremely rare in Finland, as the service is almost always applied to your bill. Finnish people usually round up drinks or taxi bills to the nearest Euro, however it isn’t obligatory.
GREETINGS & LANGUAGE
If you’re looking to strike up a conversation whilst in Finland, here are a few handy phrases that will have you mixing with the locals. English is widely spoken in Finland, with most people having it as their second language.