I have the opportunity to live in Helsinki, Finland for 365 days - experiencing four seasons in the beautiful and extraordinary Arctic Circle. 

What makes Finland so unique?

1. Aurora Borealis

One of the most unique features in Finland is the Northern Lights. When the summer gives away to dark winter nights, the Northern Lights appear like magic and dance in the skies. The further north you go, the higher your chances are to spot the Northern Lights - in Finnish Lapland, they could appear for 200 nights a year.

2. Midnight Sun

The white summer nights are Finland's most iconic phenomena. In the months of June and July, the further up north you go, the higher and longer the sun stays above the horizon. In the northernmost parts of Finnish Lapland, the sun never sets below the horizon for 70 consecutive days. White nights are all over the country when the Midnight Sun shines above the Arctic Circle. 

3. Finnish Sauna

Sauna is a part of Finnish heritage and culture. Is it estimated there are over two million saunas in Finland. With a population of 5.3 million, it equals to average one per household. Finns love to relax in the saunas - it is the best place to meet Finns!

4. Clean Lakes

Finland is commonly known as Land of a Thousand Lakes - considering there are 188,000 lakes in the country. Many of these lakes are large size which distinguish Finland from other European countries. 

A lakeside cottage is essential in the Finnish culture - where Finns escape to during the summer and revolving themselves with summer activities: swimming, fishing, canoeing, rowing, sailing, and going to the sauna. 

5. Wild Nature

Finland is a country with vast green forests, thousand of blue lakes, beautiful Baltic Sea islands. These beautiful and untouched landscapes provide habitats for thousand of wild animals and birds. The King of the Finnish Forest is home to estimated 1,500 brown bears. Although they may roam around in Finland, the brown bears always avoid people. Bear watching trips run between August and September.

In Lake Saimaa, you can find the world's rarest seal, the Saimaa ringed seals. These are endangered animals. The inland seals have adapted to their freshwater home after being cut off from the sea in Lake Saimaa - after the Ice Age.

6. Ski Resorts and Routes

In Finland, there are around 75 ski resorts. The ones in the cities and villages are small areas while the bigger areas are in Lapland. The surrounding landscapes are blanketed with pure snow from December to April. 

Lapland is Finland's main ski area, offering varying terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The largest ski resorts are all found in Lapland where ski season last for as long as 6 months - as the last snow usually melts in May. Ski centres offer activities such as: snowmobiling, huskies and reindeer rides, ice fishing, and snow shoeing. 

7. Real Santa Claus

Everyone knows Santa Claus - the one and only - comes form Finland. Although his private retreat location is unknown, his official hometown is Rovaniemi - where visitors are greeted all year round. Santa Claus is always happy to welcome you and you might meet Rudolph the Reindeer, too!

 

Book the next flight and pack your bags for a memorable Finnish experience!

Published by Stephanie Yiap