Featured Destination: Finland
Written by: Sydney M Crago on May 06, 2019
Italy has wine. Germany has castles. Spain has tango. What does Finland have? Happiness! For the second year in a row, its been named the happiest country on Earth. These highlights of Finnish culture and natural wonders will inspire travelers to travel to Finland to experience that joy for themselves!
The Hub of Helsinki
Resting on the coast of the Baltic Sea, Finland’s capital is a city of architecture. Helsinki Cathedral is a prime example of the classic Nordic styles that have developed over more than 800 years. On the other end of the design spectrum, Finlandia Hall showcases the innovation and function of modern Finnish design.
Helsinki has a variety of experiences to entice travelers to explore. Visitors are encouraged to hop on a bike and see the city as the locals do. Pedaling through famous areas, like the Design District, or past the city’s many green spaces, guests will work up an appetite for some of Finland’s culinary specialties. The foundation of Finnish cuisine rests in its seasonal and local ingredients. Travelers can expect wild game, fish, mushrooms, and berries prepared with traditional techniques. Expect dinner to be paired with a friendly conversation with locals who are proud to show off their culture.
Those that travel to Finland know that experiencing an authentic sauna is a must. These Finnish staples are as popular in its cities as they are in rural regions of the country. Relaxing steam rooms are enjoyed year-round but are especially inviting during winter.
Nature in Lapland
Lapland, Finland’s northern region, is home to some of the country’s most pristine and striking natural landmarks. Summer travelers to Saarisekela and other northern cities of the region will find themselves in the land of the Midnight Sun. In these Arctic Circle areas, the sun does not set below the horizon for two whole months of the summer.
Though summer is a short season so far north, it’s the perfect time for berry picking or river rafting in the Finnish countryside. Those who opt for berry picking can participate in a cooking class to turn their foraged food into traditional Finnish desserts. Guests can also participate in a bear watching experience. From the safety of a lookout hut in the Lappish forest, they are likely to see a variety of the region’s native animals and gain an appreciation for this ecologically diverse land.
The Lapland region transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months, when travelers can ski, snowmobile, and even embark on a husky safari. For those looking to understand the indigenous people of Lapland, the Sami people share their unique language, customs, and continued tradition of raising and caring for reindeer. Travelers take snowmobiles to visit the Sami people near Lake Inari or visit the Siida Museum in Ivalo. Families can also get in the holiday spirit at Santa Claus Village, with its famous Christmas Post Office and restaurants.
The Northern Lights are visible roughly 200 nights a year in Lapland, which is one of the biggest reasons to venture up to Finland’s northern wilderness. With specially designed glass igloos in the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort and the glass ceilings of the Northern Lights Village and Nellim Wilderness Lodge, travelers can stay warm while watching the magical lights. Finland’s swaths of uninhabited land staves off light pollution and its location makes it one of the best spots for witnessing this atmospheric phenomenon.
Visit Finland with Avanti Destinations
Finland may not be every client’s dream destination, but for those seeking a cultural experience, it is just the place to go. In partnership with Visit Finland, Avanti Destinations has developed several new travel packages as part of their Footsteps Across Finland program. With both summer and winter tours ranging from three to ten days, your clients can travel to Finland through one of Avanti’s carefully crafted itineraries.
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