Finland is a special country, with extreme and unique attractions that include everything from being one of the best places on the planet to see the Northern Lights, to experiencing the gorgeous midnight sun, nature, and of course the Finnish sauna.
At CONOCIDORES.com®, we review 4 things to see on a trip to Finland.
1. Aurora borealis
Light is one of the most distinctive features of Finland. When the endless summer sun gives way to the dark winter, the aurora borealis appear like magic and light up the sky.
The further north we go, the greater the chance of seeing the northern lights: in Finnish Lapland they can appear for 200 nights a year. In Helsinki and in the south, the aurora borealis can be seen for about 20 days each winter, far from the city lights.
Viewing the aurora borealis requires sufficient darkness and clear skies, making late fall, winter and early spring (September to March) the most favorable months. The best time of the day is an hour or two before and after midnight. The show can last 20 seconds or last for hours.
How does aurora occur? The legend of Sami tells of a fox running through the arctic wastelands, lighting the sky with sparks fluttering from its tail as it kicks snow. The modern Finnish term “revontulet”, fox fires, is derived from this legend.
The scientific explanation for the phenomenon might be something like this: “The solar wind sends charged particles towards the Earth and when they hit its atmosphere, they produce the energy emitted in the form of light.”
2. Midnight Sun
White summer nights are perhaps the most famous natural phenomenon in Finland. The midnight sun is at its peak during June and July, and the further north we go, the longer and higher the sun stays above the horizon. In the far northern parts you can enjoy the full midnight sun from May to August.
More than two thirds of the world’s population that experiences the midnight sun live in Finland. In the northern parts of Finnish Lapland, the sun remains above the horizon for more than 70 consecutive days.
Although the midnight sun shines only over the Arctic Circle, the nights are white across the country.
3. Finnish sauna
The sauna is a very important part of Finnish heritage and culture. It is estimated that there are more than two million saunas in the country. For a population of 5.3 million, it equates to an average of one per household.
There are many traditions and practices related to the sauna experience, but the most important thing for Finns is relaxation and purification of body and mind.
Whether it’s an electric sauna in a modern work setting or an old wood-fired sauna in a lakeside cabin, there’s always a sauna right around the corner.
4. Wild Nature
Finland is a country of vast green forests, beautiful islands in the Baltic Sea, windswept Arctic wastelands and thousands of blue lakes. This beautiful, unspoiled landscape is home to thousands of wild animals and birds – many of which can be seen on organized wildlife tours and at birdwatching sanctuaries.
King of the Finnish Forest: The vast forests of Finland are home to about 1,500 brown bears. Although they can roam anywhere in mainland Finland, bears generally do their best to avoid people. However, during the bear watching tours, which take place between April and September at various locations in eastern Finland, sightings are almost guaranteed.
In Finland, you can find the world’s rarest seal, the Saimaa ringed seal. These inland seals have adapted to fresh water since they were separated from the sea in Lake Saimaa – Finland’s largest lake – after the Ice Age. It is found only in Lake Saimaa. Thanks to conservation efforts, their number has recently increased to more than 300, but they are still very endangered.
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