If you’re looking to escape for a while or to completely avoid any sort of distraction, you can’t do much better than Finland. Even though the country enjoys extensive mobile phone and internet coverage, many parts are so remote that they are hardly connected (if at all), allowing for complete immersion in wild, secluded and beautiful landscapes. These are some of the best ways for you to get off the grid in Finland.
The ultimate escape for anyone hoping to do some distraction-free work is to rent one of Lakeland’s thousands of cabins. Many of these are on private islands or lakesides and few have internet access. Some don’t even have electricity or running water, but what you get from the rustic living, beautiful location, and endless outdoor activities more than makes up for it.
All of Finland’s national parks have secluded areas, but Urho Kekkonen National Park in northern Lapland is particularly desolate. A pilgrimage for adventure seekers is to trek or cross-country ski to the wilderness hut. There are no marked trails leading up to it, so hikers must rely on navigational skills alone. The hut itself is a beautiful log cabin with a sauna, but contains only basic amenities and there are no nearby shops. Yet, this is precisely what makes it the perfect camping accommodation.
The Finnish wilderness, where one can spot bears and other wildlife, is drawing more and more people to this country. There aren’t many other places in the world where you can safely get so close to such magnificent animals in the wild. Eastern Finland has the largest bear population, particularly around the Kuusamo area close to the Russian border. Look up some bear watching holidays to spend the weekend starting at bears instead of your phone screen.
Juujarvi is a tiny, rapidly declining village of only around 50 people located just inside the Arctic Circle, but it is one of the last places left in Finland where you can see how people lived before modernisation. There are few shops or services in the village, but this is what the elderly residents seem to like best about it. Staying in the village feels like being transported to a simpler, internet-free time.
Heading up the Kirintovaara Fell by foot, horseback, or snowshoe offers spectacular views of Lake Kitkajarvi, the largest natural spring in Europe. This is regarded as one of Finland’s best hiking trails and the area also boasts ski slopes, 60 km of cross-country ski trails, snowmobile routes across Lapland, and several cottages that you can rent. A two-day hiking trail passes through the Karitunturi protection area into Riisitunturi National Park.
If sailing is more your thing, Finland’s southwest archipelago is perfect, as it is the largest in the world with over 20,000 islands open for you to discover. In the summer, you can go island hopping on a rental boat or the ferries which cross between the islands. The right of access allows you to camp anywhere or use any of the public fire pits. On the various islands, which dot the waters all the way from Helsinki up to the west coast towards Lapland, you can explore distant sites such as the Aland Viking market, the ancient stone labyrinth, and the spooky church graveyard in Seili.