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.
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.
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.
Aquatic birds spotted at a mökki
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.
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.