Finland is a country of contrasts, and none are more profound than the natural environment. Towering fells overlook crystal-clear lakes and the serene darkness of winter makes way for 24 hours of sparkling daylight as the weather heats up. In this, the 100th year of Finland’s independence, the Finnish outdoors is taking centre stage and visitors are invited to join the action.
Such is the importance of nature in the lives of the Finnish people, that 2017 will see four Nature Days as part of the Suomi Finland100 celebrations. The Nature Days, which encourage Finns and visitors to embrace the great outdoors will culminate in an official flag day on 26 August. The national flag will fly high across the country, making Finland the world’s first country to honour its natural environment in this way.
“From the fells of Arctic Lapland to the glistening waves of the archipelago, Finland is a country of natural wonders. This year, we are encouraging Finns and visitors to get out and explore the great outdoors either independently, or through arranged events,” said Leena Yli-Piipari, Project Manager, Outdoors Finland.
Opportunities to experience the incredible Finnish outdoors include:
Spend a night under the stars
On 17 June, The Outdoor Association of Finland is encouraging all Finns and visitors to make the most of the long and light Finnish summer nights by enjoying an evening under the stars. Warm up by a campfire, hike to a secluded spot, take a midnight dip in a lake or relax in a tentsile suspended between trees. The Tentsile Experience Eco Camp will be open from 1 June until 30 September, 2017. Prices start at €150 per night for a 2 person Connect Tentsile tree tent inclusive of sleeping bags, towels, breakfast at Restaurant Haltia, tickets to exhibitions at the Finnish Nature Centre, campfire firewood, bottled water and an eco toilet.
(www.honkalintu.fi / +358 50 330 8077)
Explore Syöte by bicycle
With 100 kilometres of trails waiting to be discovered, Syöte is a mountain biker’s paradise. Cycle routes run along varied forest terrain, sandy heaths and Aapa mires. All routes have been marked with pink paint marks and there are several rest stops where cyclists can stop to admire the scenery. Hotel Iso-Syöte offers a Bike Hotel Concept – an all-inclusive service involving bike rental and servicing facilities, cycling guides and route maps, food, and cycling clothing.
(www.nationalparks.fi/en/syotenp/trails/bikingtrails / +358 206396550)
Take a road trip around Finland’s natural attractions
The ultimate road trip allows you to view the Baltic sea, Finnish Lakeland and wild white waters at your own pace. The Blue Finland self-guided tour can be completed in 12 days and on the way you’ll pass a splendid lakeside castle, watch wildlife including rare lake seals, go rafting on white water rapids and enjoy quintessentially Finnish scenery in some of the country’s best loved national parks. There are a range of accommodation options available at each stop so you can relax and prepare for the next day of adventure.
Hunt for gold in Finnish Lapland
Enjoy a week-long remote wilderness hike in the northernmost national park in Finland, Lemmenjoki – the scene of the biggest gold rush in Europe. The informative hike will educate you about the ice-age period, the world’s oldest bedrock and offer a unique viewpoint to the European gold rush’s second peak in 1946. Along the way, you’ll discover the natural beauty of Lappish wilderness including boreal forest, beautiful fells and waterfalls. The guided hike costs €1,250 per person including a backpack, sleeping gear, tent, cooking equipment, all meals, a gold mine visit, boat ride in Lemmenjoki, cabin overnight at the beginning and end of the trip, tour to the top of Mordam-Vibus fell, and airport transportation from Ivalo Airport.
(www.wildhikesfinland.com / +358 45 619 82 60)
Come face to face with wildlife
Meet the European brown bear, wolf or wolverine in their natural environment from the comfort and safety of a specially designed hide. The Wild Taiga hides are situated close to the Russian border in Kuhmo – an area frequented by many magnificent animals. Your English speaking guide will educate you on the rare animals, then you’ll have the opportunity to view and photograph them in their natural habitat. Wild Taiga offers bear watching for €130 per person from mid-April to October. The price includes one guided night in the hides with a sleeping bag, refreshments and sandwiches. (www.wildtaiga.fi/)
See visitfinland.com for more information on Finland.
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