10 Winter Musts of Finland

In our life, we’ve experienced lots of amazing trips, but the journey to Finland in winter was one of our best ones. To sum it up – an eternal unnatural beauty. The beauty that touches something deep inside your soul and makes you adore winter, cold, white and wild. What did make our trip so unforgettable and what shouldn’t you miss if ever you decide to experience this stunning country? We’ll try to share it, but better just get your bag packed.

Turku Archipelago

Every tourism office will tell you immediately that it’s better to visit Turku archipelago in summer. Don’t listen to them. Maybe there are more activities you can do, riding a bike, fishing and so forth, but on the contrary – use this magic opportunity to enjoy its emptiness and wildness. There is something serene in seeing the places, that are supposed to be crowded, so empty.

independent people finland winter

independent people finland winter

independent people finland winter

independent people finland winter

Rauma

The only town of Finland that saved its original architecture. As it’s known, one doesn’t visit Finland for its sophisticated architecture. Not at all. The world history made sure there were no beautiful cities left, but Rauma can give you an idea how it used to be in Finland before they switched on this modern and very ugly cities organization. This is the reason why this old wooden town is listed in UNESCO world heritage. Look how cozy it is under the snow…

independent people rauma winter

independent people rauma winter

independent people finland winter

Santa Claus in Rovaniemi

We’ll say straight away – Rovaniemi is a veeery shitty place. Because it is made for tourists, not for travelers. This is a place where people come in order to make a tick in front of “visit Lapland” on their bucket lists or whatever. So be ready for ridiculous prices and this horrible atmosphere when tourists’ concentration is superior to the actual population of the town. If you want to experience Lapland, Rovaniemi is not the best place, I promise, even if it (almost) stands on the polar circle start. About the best place we’ll talk in the point below, but… Rovaniemi offers quite an interesting attraction, which is, as you might have guessed, Santa’s Village. We’ve rarely seen anything so clearly commercial and benefit-orientated, the souvenir shop – “made in china” paradise will make vomit even the strongest among us. We made a short stop in the Santa Village just on our way further to North to have a look what all this noise about. Even the long queue to see Santa did not frighten us, but what happened next was unpredictable. An “elf” invited us to the Santa’s office; we entered in…and got completely hypnotized. Santa was there, he spoke in low deep voice, asked us where we were from and greeted us in our languages. We sat on the bench and not really understanding what was going on, let the elf take the picture even not realizing that there were other people already approaching this Santa, REAL Santa. Even if it was a quite disgusting conveying system, I loved it. 10 kilometers later, we realized that we had payed 40 EUROS for the pictures with Santa! Anyway, it was a very touching moment. You simply can’t help feeling like a kid.

 12грудень

40€ – pictures with Santa Claus, though the visit itself is free.

Reindeer farm

Do you want something very authentic? Visit a reindeer farm. On the contrary to “having a ride on the reindeer sledge”, 50 euros for 400 m, if we remember correctly, the reindeer farms are not made entirely for tourists, but remain an actual profession. We can advise you going to the small town Kilpisjärvi, which is way better than Rovaniemi in terms of prices and atmosphere. Contact a small family company Kilpisjärvi Safari for an excursion, and they’ll bring you to the reindeer paradise, who is owned by a Sami (Laplander). I repeat: it is a paradise.

independent people lapland winter

independent people lapland winter

independent people lapland winter

independent people lapland winter

130€ – Reindeer farm visit. Yes, the prices ARE horrible.

Northern Lights

Just one thing: don’t pay anyone who promises you Northern Lights safari. It is an unnecessary waste of money. Why? Because Northern Lights are in the sky, you don’t pay to watch the sun, do you? However, to see them there are quite simple basis: get away from the city lights and check the solar activity on the specified web-sites. These sites will tell you all about the expected strength of the lights, and the geographic zone. In Rovaniemi, for 20€ you can buy “Northern Lights alarm” service, we bought it just for fun, and indeed – it worked. But by this time we were already much more on the North, where no alarms were needed to see this amazing spectacle.

independent people lapland winter

independent people lapland winter

Check out: Where and How to Spot and Photograph the Northern Lights?

Hiking

You will definitely not regret even if it seems to be a hell. In Kilpisjärvi we rented two pairs of snow shoes and climbed the sacred mountain of Sami. 600 meters, but what meters! An article about hiking in Finland coming soon, stay tuned!

independent people lapland winter

independent people lapland winter

30€ – Snowshoes rental

Snow scooter ride!

Snow scooters is something widely used in Finland when it starts snowing. Actually, it’s the real mean of transport, not only “just for fun”. Of course, we wanted to try it and we recommend it to every brave person visiting Finland in winter! Once again, don’t do it in Rovaniemi. It’s not that we make an advertisement to Kilpisjärvi, but what can we do if it’s cheaper and better? In Rovaniemi you’ll ride a scooter with a huge line of tourists with the speed of a pedestrian, but get out the tourist zone, and you’ll have a real ride! This way we had for two of us a guide, who made with us 3 hours tour to the point where three borders meet. More important – he allowed us to drive as fast as we can (which was not very fast according to their standards, but definitely faster than a walking person)!

independent people lapland winter

independent people lapland winter

130€ – Three borders snow scooter tour

Meeting a wild elk.

The road sign “Attention: elks” is absolutely one of the local attractions, and indeed – the chances to meet an elk on the road are quite high! According to the statistics, there are 3000 road accidents with elks per year, so imagine how many elks are simply seen without these tragic consequences. We’ve seen an elk as well. It was chewing peacefully near the road with its baby, but as soon as the car door opened, they ran away. We got a pic on the telephone, though!

independent people finland winter

Walk on the ice

The Baltic sea is very shallow, which allows the sea to get frozen for almost a kilometer (further we didn’t check). Do you want to feel like an Arctic explorer? Have a walk!

independent people lapland winter

independent people lapland winter

independent people lapland winter

Any town, any forest, any road

Honestly, never did we suspect that Finland might be so incredibly beautiful. This beauty is too powerful to try to describe it. To enjoy it, there are no particular places, it’s gorgeous wherever you go.

independent people finland winter

independent people lapland winter

independent people finland winter

independent people finland winter

independent people finland winter

independent people lapland winter

independent people lapland winter

And remember – you will ADORE Finland!

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10 things to try in Finland in Winter

2017-05-13T13:15:51+00:00 December 17th, 2015|

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