Regions of Finland – A holiday guide

Regions of Finland – A holiday Guide

finland regions

Finland is only 130,596 square miles, with a small population of 5.4 Million people, but each part of Finland has a distinct identity.’s map of Finland above is our reference point for the top activities in each region:

1.  Southern Finland

Roy roos Helsinki cathedral coloursHelsinki, of course, Finland’s fair Capital city lies central on the coastline of Southern Finland.  A vibrant city of lights, museums, nightlife, design and shopping, Helsinki is a relatively new Capital born in 1812, when the Capital was moved from the Western City of Turku.  A city great for walking and small enough to get around in a day or two, Architecture has influences from the Russian and Swedish reigns as well as gems by Alvar Aalto and other designers and architects.  Taking a Photography Tour is one way to enjoying the sights and making sure to get the best snaps to boot.

Helsinki also offers a great little city for a Stopover between Asia and Europe.

Archipelago in Southern Finland to the East of Helsinki is vast, untouched and authentic.  Islands littered in the Baltic Sea are home to year round residents, cabins, cafes, camp grounds, public barbecues stocked with wood for free use.  Perfect for an out-of-city adventure and budget travelers.

Cloudberry-1 copyForest, food and Wildlife.  Deep forests, both National Park and Natura 2000 protected zones scatter this area of Finland, full of Deer, Elk, Lynx, rare birds, mink and other species.  Much like the human visitors, they enjoy a feast of wild food from blueberries, cloudberries (pictured), lingonberries, edible plants and herbs and of course plenty of mushrooms during Autumn.

2.  Western Finland

Fishing is not only a national pastime, but a great way to see the deeper waters of the Western Archipelago.  Travel by small boat, find the perfect spot and cast off for the chance to catch Pike, Pike Perch, European Whitefish and Nordic Salmon.  Prepare & cook, or freeze/dry/smoke to take home with you.

cruise-liners-Helsinki-harbourCruising between Helsinki and Stockholm, you can enjoy duty free shopping and a great day trip to the Swedish Capital.  Views from the ferry are vast among the Archipelago island system to the West of Helsinki.  Plus, this ferry cruise is certainly among one of the Finn’s must-do trips.

3.  Eastern Finland


Savonlinna Castle is in the city at the heart if middle Finland’s Lakeland.  Every year it is host to the famous Opera Festival.  Travel there by cruise from Helsinki, or by road or train.  Once there, make sure to visit the lakes and swim in the clean waters during summer.

linaansaari-kayak-at-the-docks-800x500Adventures are everywhere in the lakeland.  During summer grab a canoe or kayak and explore with camping kit among the islands of the Saimaa lake district and in Linnansaari National Park, when winter arrives Tour Skate through the lake districts islands or enjoy ice swimming…brrr.

4. Oulu, is a city in this region, but accordingly to the map above, the whole area is a great place to visit en route between the South and Lapland.


Bears, Wolves and Wolverines there are not roaming around close to humans, but venture a bit closer to the Russian border zone, into the dense forest and swamp areas and you’ll find hides to spend an overnight or two, viewing the wildlife as they come over 5km a night to feed there.

Folklore visit the themed restaurant and wooden lodge hotel for a great taste of the Folklore and traditions of the Finnish past.  From the food to the forest setting, you’ll feel a bit more in touch with Nature and a bit more like a Finn while there, we promise.

Kemi icebreaker – this massive ship now allows travelers to come on board, don a flotation suit and swim in the near freezing water surrounded by the broken chunks of ice.  Quite an experience to say the least, especially as it is possible to get to the ice breaker by snowmobile.  Like a true Finn would, right?

5. Lapland

Kalevala-S-Santa-and-elf-girl-800x500Christmas and Santa Claus the Lapland story wouldn’t be complete without Santa Claus!  With plenty of active pursuits such as snowmobiling, reindeer safaris, husky sleigh safaris, visiting the Santa Claus village is just part of the overall experience of Lapland during Christmas.

Northern Lights some say seeing the Northern Lights is a profound, extrasensory experience and we’ll not argue with that!  Visiting the Lapland region is a must for budding photographers and adventure seekers, who also want to see the quiet bright night skies of the true north.  Stay in a glass igloo for an extra special and slightly warmer viewing experience!

Traditional Finnish bushcraft & wilderness With the vastness of the area to be in awe of, learning essential survival skills in Lapland is a matter of genuine survival, especially during the harsher seasons.  Traditional skills of hunting, fishing, preserving, making shelters and rearing reindeer are passed down through the generations and continue to be used in many areas.

kuusamo800x500Whatever takes your fancy, there is a region for it in Finland.

More Finnish Travel inspiration can be found here.

About Kontiki Finland

Sarah - Mainly-English-Speaking-Canadian-British-Finn, UAE born. Travel, animals, children, nature, city & food enthusiast. & Tomas - Finnish born world traveller, with a love of fishing, food and fire :) LinkedIn - Sarah Coombes Google+ - Sarah KontikiFinland
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