Often when people head across Europe in search of the snow, a couple of countries spring to mind. Countries such as Switzerland, Austria, and France dominate the winter sports industry, and as a result receive millions of tourists each year. Whilst this represents a fun experience for partygoers, it can often be, well, too commercial, and with this over development comes a hefty price tag. So why not try a more secluded, relaxed destination in which to enjoy the winter fun? Let’s talk about Finland.
Where on earth is Finland?
Many can be forgiven for not knowing much about this small, Nordic nation. Tucked between Sweden, Norway and Russia, Finland is often forgotten about in conversations about the Scandinavian region. To the south sits Helsinki, the cultural and economical hub of the nation, which was last year named the cultural capital of Europe. From exciting architecture to cute cafes and incredible nights out, Helsinki represents the city slickers dream. Yet to the north is where the real action happens, action of the skiing variety.
Why head to Finland?
With towering peaks and barely whispered about ski fields, Northern Finland is something of an untouched gem. Finland produces the world’s best cross-country skiers, and it’s little surprise why. With a winter that begins in November and snowfall in Northern cities such as Oulu and Rovaniemi that lasts until at least April, ski conditions are ideal for more than half of the year. There are many ways to experience the beauty of snowy landscape, here are just a couple.
- Cross country skiing – Unlike downhill skiing, cross country skiing allows you to really explore an entire region on skis. With hundreds of kilometers of alpine forests (in fact the largest alpine forest in the world), Finland is perfect for it. Long distance tracks, complete with sleeping stations and food stands, are set up all across the north to ensure that individuals, couples and families are safe and comfortable on their arctic journeys.
- A night with the stars – Finland’s proximity to the North Pole means a couple of things. Firstly, it means that you are highly likely in your travels to encounter a reindeer, and should you head to Rovaniemi, Santa Clause. Yet it also means that during that winter month you are highly likely to see the spectacular Northern Lights, a ghostly green aurora which flashes across the northern skies in the dead of the night. A fantastic way to experience this is through finding Ski Chalets in Finland.
Finland also has plentiful options available for the downhill skier, with a number of small scale resorts available that primarily service locals, but are always happy to have some cheerful foreign faces. The options are endless, so be sure to checkout Finland as a unique winter holiday destination this year!