A Guide to Berry and Mushroom Picking in Finland

Wild berries
Wild berries | © karsten madsen/Pexels
Jessica Wood

For a fun outdoor activity and a way to take part in Nordic cultural tradition at the same time, it doesn’t get much better than berry and mushroom picking. Here’s everything to know about the popular pastime that appeals to the Finn’s love of nature, living off the land, and simple but healthy meals before heading out to Finland’s vast forest—or even just the local park—to gather them.

Loved by over 40s

When and where to go

Berry-picking season tends to begin in mid-July when the first berries begin to ripen. However, the effects of climate change mean that the season is now beginning later and later each year. The season ends around October when autumn sets in.

Mushroom season can start as early as mid-May when the first mushrooms begin to emerge, but the serious picking doesn’t start until the same time as berry-picking season when they are more numerous. They can appear almost anywhere including urban areas, but it’s best to gather them from a forest or park since they can easily pick up traffic fumes.

Right of access means that pickers can go foraging anywhere in the country including summer houses, surrounding forests, city parks, and national parks. The only exception to this rule is picking on private property.

Many travel companies and even national parks organize berry- or mushroom-picking excursions and also provide equipment and often a campfire and meal afterwards. These guided tours are ideal for beginners to avoid getting lost in the dense wilderness or accidentally picking something poisonous.

A basket of wild mushrooms

What to look for

Lingonberries: one of Finland’s most popular berries, they are noticeable by their bright red colouring. They taste bitter on their own but make good desserts and jams.

Wild lingonberry

Wild strawberry: many merchants at Finnish markets sell strawberries, but wild strawberries are much sweeter and have a more intense flavour. Eat them fresh as close to after picking them as possible.

Pot of wild strawberries and raspberries

Cloudberry: an orange berry that is mostly found in Lapland and is somewhat of a delicacy in southern Finland. They are somewhat of an acquired taste but are a popular addition to desserts.

Wild cloudberry

Chanterelles: a common variety of wild mushroom distinguished by its yellow colouring and funnel shape. They are especially delicious when fried in butter.

Chantrelle mushrooms

Boletes: considered one of the tastiest varieties of Finnish mushrooms, boletes are recognizable by small pores rather than gills underneath their caps. Be cautious though as some species of bolete are poisonous.

A large bolete

False Morel: considered the Holy Grail of mushroom picking, this strange mushroom resembles a brain. It is so rare that it can be sold to restaurants or grocers for a lot of money. It is best not to try eating it at home after picking, however, as it can be toxic when not prepared correctly.

A false morel or ‘brain mushroom’

Safety tips

The right clothing and footwear are important when foraging as summer weather in Finland can be highly unpredictable. Even when it is hot, it is best to wear clothing that covers the skin to avoid scratches, sunburn, and mosquito bites. There are no disease-carrying insects in Finland, but remember to carry some insect repellent and medicine for bites and go to a doctor for tick bites.

Out of the 50 species of berries that grow in Finland, only 37 are edible. Those unfamiliar with which species are poisonous and which aren’t should go picking with an expert. The golden rule is that if uncertain about whether a berry or mushroom is safe to eat, leave it alone and don’t eat it.

Wild berries

Serving suggestions

Much as they were in ancient times, berries are frequently stored for the winter so they can be enjoyed at any time of year. Otherwise, they are used for preserves, desserts, cake decoration, or just eaten on their own topped with some cream.

Mushrooms go bad much quicker but can be included in any dishes which include mushrooms—soups, pastas, salads, or an English fry-up. Try this recipe for mushroom and sage macaroni cheese to really make the most out of Finnish wild mushrooms.

Cloudberry cream cake
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

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: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

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.