What you'll find in
Finns are the most trustworthy, hard-working, honest people who love to spend time in their sauna, have some drinks with friends, watch and play ice hockey, they enjoy spending time outdoors, getting in touch with nature and silence.
The weather never will be a problem for them if they have planned activity, it doesn’t matter if the outside is +30 or -30 degrees, they will always continue with their plans no matter what.
They could seem a bit serious in the beginning, but they are funny people once you get to know them, they don’t talk for talk, that’s a fact, they aware of it, and they laugh at themselves any time that you point that out, and that shows how honest they are, simple people that enjoy life with simple things.
It doesn’t matter what time of the year you come to Finland, because each season have something spectacular
to offer you.
This is the time of the year that everyone is waiting for, almost 24 hours of daylight and sunny days that you want to spend outdoors doing different activities that you can find in any place in Finland. Endless days of fun, with no night at all.
If you like nature, you will get amazed by the variety of green shades and blue from trees and lakes, that you will see in the summertime. You can have a boat trip around the islands or get into the forest where you can practice many activities like hiking, kayaking, fishing, jet-skiing or just get in touch with the silence that will make you forget the busy life that you could have in a regular day.
Are you a city guy? Then you should come to the South of Finland in summertime, amazing architecture to admire while you are having a walk through the city. Multiples festivals, special activities, and several terraces where you can enjoy the sun having an amazing view of the sea or lake depending on which city you are in.
Summer is ending, and it will do it with an explosion of colors in the forest, the green is gone, and instead, you’ll see deep reds, browns, and yellows that give an amazing scene to contemplate. A beautiful time to spend outdoors, still sunny and warm, we get amazing sunsets, and day by day we are getting back the darkness of the nights that we didn’t have in the summertime.
A magical time when you’ll see everything covered by snow, nearly 24 hours of darkness, but the best of time the year to see amazing northern lights and practice multiples activities with snow. White is the main color in whole Finland, snow everywhere that gives you the possibility to see a spectacular landscape and have so much fun outdoors with it.
If you love Christmas here is the best place to spend it and have a white Christmas, where you can visit Santa Claus at his village, spend time with him, his reindeer's and the elf’s that will make you feel like a child again surrounded by scenery that you thought just exist in movies or fairy tales, and here you’ll see that is a real place.
This is the time when you can still find snow if you going up north, but at this time is not that cold and the sun is shining, where we are getting the light that we are missing from the winter and little by little everything starts melting, you start seeing the white is getting over and green starts coming out, flowers start blooming and preparing themselves to gives us millions of berries in summer.
An amazing natural phenomenon that you can experience in the poles, here we are close to the north pole so the closer you get, the better possibilities to see them, it had happened that some people have seen them in the south of Finland, but to see them properly you should go to Lapland, Northern part of Finland where the arctic circle begins, Rovaniemi is the biggest city in Lapland and from there further north you travel, you’ll be getting into the real wilderness of this country and with more chances to see them.
You can catch them from October to March because we need darkness to see them, you should get away from the city lights, and after midnight is better chances to see them. This beautiful natural show of lights depends on the sun activity, clear sky, and a bit of luck, you’ll never know when they will show up, but in my experience when I have seen them the most, is in December and March.
They bring so much happiness every time that they appear in the sky, especially if you can see different colors, is amazing when you start seeing those green lights and then turns to yellow and sometimes you get pink ones turning to purple, is a feeling so difficult to explain with words, but something that I wish everyone could experience.
The midnight sun is another natural phenomenon that you can observe in Finland, this phenomenon occurs in summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle, when the sun remains visible at midnight.
In Finland during June and July get stronger, but the further north you can see it from May to August.
It is the time when you’ll be able to do at night everything, that you normally do during the day. it doesn't matter what time it is, the sun will be there, all day long.
If you come to Finland and you don't try the whole sauna experience, is like you never were here. Sauna is everything in Finland, and understand that in the first place when you are not from here is a bit difficult, but after some time, you can realize how much it means for Finns, you see that is part of the culture, and if you live here, you can really get used to, and end up enjoying every single part of this ritual.
The sauna was created in Finland and most of the people around the world don’t know about it, normally you use sauna when you have a spa day or something like that, but not as part of your daily routine, and here you can have your sauna session every day if you wish since most of the people have saunas in their home or in their workplaces.
To understand this a bit better, we can put it in numbers, the population in Finland is 5.5 million people, and there are more than 3 million saunas along with the country. Everywhere you go, you will find a sauna nearby you.
Having a sauna is part of the culture of Finland, a tradition that started back in the days when there was no hot running water and women were giving birth in the sauna since it was the sterile place where hot water was available. Nowadays is part of the social life for Finnish people, the sauna is part of everything, even in parties and important meetings, there will always be a round of sauna included. Most of the time you have different sessions for girls and boys but is not a problem to go all together. There are many traditions and practices concerning the sauna experience, but the most important for the Finns is to relax, purifying body and mind.
In the summertime, you want to enjoy outdoors, so the tradition goes by going to the sauna and when you need to cool down, you jump into the lake or the sea, after you have your refreshment, you get back to the sauna and then back to the water, the whole session can last hours. In wintertime the tradition gets a little bit rougher because since everything is covered by snow and lakes are frozen, to cool down you will have a nice refreshment jumping into the snow or in a hole that you’ll find in the frozen lake, its sounds crazy, but at the end is a lot of fun!
Another important thing to mention, is that when you go to the sauna, you supposed to go naked, that’s the normal way for a Finn, obviously, when you are not from here, that seems pretty weird, but of course, you can go with your swimsuit if you feel uncomfortable going naked, that’s the way I started to try the sauna, and I remember at that time I said to my husband: yes, I’ll try to get into this, but I will never go naked! But never say never, because passing the time, I was going naked and it felt completely right.
So, if you really want to understand Finland and Finns, the best way to start, is by getting familiar with sauna, just give it a go, and in the end, you will have a memorable experience, that’s for sure.
Lakes and Islands
Finland has thousands of lakes and islands, and when I say “thousand” is not just a few of them, there is a total of 187.888 lakes and 179.584 islands along with the country.
Driving through Finland in the summer is an amazing experience, it doesn’t matter where you look, there it will always be plenty of trees, lakes, and island around you.
Finland is 75% forest, the one gives us every summer a huge number of berries, to be more specific about it, there are more than 500 million kilos of different berries every year in the forest, blueberries, cranberries, lingonberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. any berry that it comes to your mind, you will find it here. My favorite one is the cloudberry, which is a rare berry that grows mostly in the North, the shape is just like an orange cloud, and it has a unique flavor, that it has the perfect amount of sourness and sweetness.
In Finland exist something call it “Every-man's rights” that allowed you to pick up all the berries you want in the forest, so every time that you going hiking, you don’t need to think in the dessert, because there it will be a big variety of berries waiting for you that it will give some sweetness to your trip into the woods.
One of the most amazing things that you will find here, is wild animals, driving to the north is always a big chance to see deer’s or elks on your way, once you get in Lapland it will be plenty of reindeer's waiting for you on the roads to welcoming you and then when you get into the woods, in the wilderness of Finland you have a possibility to find bears, wolves, or maybe a lynx. Besides a big amount of different species of birds, get close to a lake and for sure there you will find swans, those beautiful and romantic birds that live always as a couple with the mate that they have chosen for life.
In my experience, I have seen many of those wild animals and that’s why I can assure that they are there, in someplace in the wilderness, enjoying the silence and quietness in the forest.
The story of Santa Claus exists thousands of years ago, most of us grew up listening about him, wanting to see him on Christmas eve when he is delivering presents all over the world. There are so many stories about Santa, each family has their own way how they had introduced it to their children, there might be some people that never got into the story of Santa, but I think we all believed in him at some point in our life. When you hear for the very first time that the real Santa lives in Finland, you just think that is one more of those Santa’s that you see in several places during Christmas time, but I can tell that the one lives in the arctic circle is completely different.
I remember the first time I heard about it, I laughed a lot, it was when I was starting to know my husband, he told me all this story about Santa Claus living in Finland, and that he has his own village where you can see all the letters that children’s from different countries have sent him during the year, that is a big clock counting the days for Christmas, that elf’s and reindeer's are living there with him, and I was just laughing not believing a word of what he was saying, but he told me that someday when I go to Finland he will take me there, and he did it, the first time I came for holiday, we went to visit that village, and it was amazing, all he said it was true and there was more that he didn’t say I could see there.
I was never a huge fan of Santa, when I was a child I believed in him, but that’s it, no big deal, but when I got to Santa’s village I got the feeling that I was in one of those movies that always bring you some joy and happiness in Christmas time; we all know that they are not real, but for some reasons we love the happy endings and we wait for some Christmas miracle on it.
I walked around the whole village, it was unreal, just like a movie, and then, the time to meet him, I remember when I saw him, I got nervous and I still don’t understand why, I felt like a little girl, everything around him was so magical and when he said hello to me and ask me what I wanted for Christmas I just smile and I said: nothing. Its was so nice moment, and I will always remember it; nowadays for my job, sometimes I take people to meet him, and of course when I see him now is a different story, but that first time it was really special, that’s why I can say that no matter if you believed in Santa, or if you like Christmas or you don’t, the experience of visiting that place is amazing, and it will bring some magic and joy to you.