6 Reasons Why Finns Love Spending Time at Cottages During Summer

A summer barbecue at a Finnish cottage.
A summer barbecue at a Finnish cottage. | © Timo Tervo / Flickr
Photo of Jessica Wood
8 May 2018
View

Nothing is more Finnish than spending summer holidays at a lakeside or island cottage, known in Finnish as a ‘mökki’. Most mökki are constructed from wooden logs on lakesides or beaches and usually contain a sauna, boat dock, outdoor cooker and sometimes even a separate guest house. Most don’t have running water or electricity, and even requires guests to rely upon outside toilets when needed. Around a fifth of Finns own their own cottages, with many more renting one during the summer season. Many people also visit cottages owned by their friends and relatives, particularly just in time for the Midsummer holiday. They are so popular that cities can almost feel deserted during Midsummer weekend. These are some of the top reasons why Finns still love visiting their cottages every summer.

Getting back to nature

Even with more Finns migrating from the countryside to the cities, they still love to spend their free time getting back to their natural roots. Being immersed in nature far away from civilisation allows them to take in the landscape, pick wild berries and mushrooms, cook on a campfire and hopefully even spot some of their country’s elusive wildlife.

A forest path in the Finnish countryside | © Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho / Flickr

Spending quality time with loved ones

Finns tend to prefer to socialise in small, intimate groups, hence why a summer cottage is a perfect place for a catch-up in a more relaxed environment. It is almost a staple of Finnish children’s summer holidays to visit their grandparents and relatives at their cottages. They are also a popular place for friends to gather for a weekend of drinking or the Finnish practice of bonding in the sauna.

Friends relax together at a summer cottage | © Sami Keinänen / Flickr

Seclusion and privacy

But staying in a summer cottage does not always have to be a social activity. It can also be a place to get away from the noise and find headspace. The lack of electricity and internet connection makes it easy to cut yourself off from the pressures of work, constant news updates or the obsessive need to check social media. There are very few places where you can sleep in complete silence and wake up without feeling social or work pressures.

Finding peace and seclusion in a summer cottage. | © Ville .fi / Flickr

Relaxation

This privacy also allows for total relaxation and a sense of calmness and contentment. Sitting by the water is soothing, and since most cottages are located next to forested areas, Finns can take part in what the Japanese call ‘forest bathing’ – spending time in a forest to improve physical and mental health.

Aquatic birds spotted at a mökki. | © Ville .fi / Flickr

Aquatic birds spotted at a mökki

Preserving a tradition

While Finns are quick to adapt to modern trends, they also like to preserve their traditions. Staying at summer cottages allows them to return to a time when people still lived in the countryside without modern amenities. Most Finns not only spend their Midsummers at a cottage but they also light a bonfire, taking part in a century-old tradition. Most cottages even have traditional log-burning saunas rather than modern electric saunas.

A mökki dock at sunset | © Fat Nimrod / Flickr

Outdoor activities

There is a lot of freedom that comes with staying in a cottage, including the freedom to either relax or partake in a wide range of physical outdoor activities at your own leisure. A few common pastimes include swimming, sailing, and fishing, or simply taking a walk in the open space.

Campfire cooking at a summer cottage. | © Ville .fi / Flickr

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"