There is a good reason why I moved out of Finland, but there is also a good reason why I travel there annually (not counting my family and friends who obviously are the main reason). People often ask me if it is a good place for a holiday and I definitely do recommend it for a holiday, as most people who visit it seem to love it.
Finland is a country that has proper 4 seasons. So unlike the myth that it is always freezingly cold in there, it actually has a beautiful spring and a warm summer of up to 35 degrees celsius.
Winters are cold but full of snow. There are lots of places where they offer snow sports from snowboarding to skiing, whilst stopping at cottages to drink warm hot chocolate (which was my favourite thing to do). In the north, you can visit the Santa Claus and his reindeer or even stay in a glass igloo, which I would really like to do at some point! You can take a very warming sauna and dip into the refreshing cold water afterwards. It does sound like extreme sports, but apparently, it is very healthy for you.
Spring is a beautiful time if you want to see nature coming back to life again. It does invigorate you feeling slight cold on your face while the sun is shining and you can see a flower growing through the snow.
Summers are my favourite time of the year as they are warm and full of light. Actually, Finland is one of the places where you can experience almost never ending lightness. During the summer it can be light nearly the full 24 hours. Finland is full of lakes and forests, so it is easy to feel close to nature and don’t forget about the Aurora borealis. Some of the favourite past times in the summer is going swimming, of course. There are a lot of summer cafe’s with creamy ice cream to be enjoyed at the docks. Summers are also full of various music festivals and you can probably find a festival with the kind of music you like, although Finns are massive fans of heavy metal. There is opera, jazz, rock, r&b… Some of the popular ones are Savonlinna opera festival and Flow.
Autumns are great if you want to see the place full of colour. Trees turn to different colours from green to yellow and orange and people cosy up inside with warm drinks and delicious food. This is a good time if you want to gather some mushrooms or berries, which there is an abundance of in the endless forests.
Finland is not necessarily known as a culinary paradise and I can’t say that I love all the foods there, but there are some gems that I crave for on a yearly basis and make sure to eat when I visit.
- Karelia pasties/pies are rice pudding wrapped in thin layer of rye and wheat.
- Leipäjuusto with cloudberry jam. Leipäjuusto is this particular cheese that is a bit squeky. You can eat it cold or warm it in the oven and the cloudberry jam just works with it. Actually, anything cloudberry is yummy!
- Cheeses, in general, are good. Aura cheese is this blue cheese with a flavour much milder than most blue cheese, but it is delicious!
- Berries. Just any berries are good and there is lots of them.
- Ice cream, like I said earlier you can buy it nearly everywhere during the summer.
- Rye bread can be bought in any supermarket, but many cafe’s offer rye bread sandwiches as well.
- Liquorice and salt liquorice = salmiakki are one of Finland’s favourite sweet treats. There is also an alcohol drink based on this treat, which is their favourite and available in any club or bar you visit.
- Chocolate. Fazer is a finnish brand of chocolate and bakery products which you can find in supermarkets, as well as in a Fazer cafe.
Finland has an interesting history being occupied by Sweden and Russia after which they gained their independence in 1917. They have very much of their own cultural identity, although I feel they have a more of a Scandinavian lifestyle than a Russian. There are few castles build during the occupations and there is Suomenlinna, a famous fortress and a Unesco World Heritage site, where you can still see the history of the wars standing in front of you.
Finland, as a country, is quite sustainable. I learned there, from an early age, to recycle everything, to not use too much water and to savour the environment. In addition, you can easily get around in Finland with English and they use Euro as their currency. Transportation has been made quite easy compared to many other countries. So if you are still wondering about whether to go for a holiday toFinlandd I hope this post helped you to decide.
All pictures are from this Pinterest board.
Have you ever been to Finland?