Finnish people are known for being outdoorsy and taking full advantage of their short but beautiful summers and snow-covered winters. Many tourists are also discovering Finland as an ideal adventure travel getaway. There are plenty of opportunities up and down the country to experience unique thrills, take in some unspoilt countryside, and unwind with a beer and a sauna at the end of the day.
Seeing the Northern Lights and Santa Claus are some of the most popular draws to Lapland for families at Christmas break, but there are plenty of winter sports and activities to try as well. Husky and reindeer sledging are particularly popular due to their association with Finnish culture and identity. Hetta Huskies offers short or multi-day ‘husky safaris’ with a chance to mush and spend time with the adorable huskies (and if you’re lucky, their puppies as well). There is also cross-country skiing, regular skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice sledging, ice skating, and for the truly brave and foolish, ice swimming.
If you can’t handle the cold so well, you can still enjoy the vast, thick forests of Finland or the ice free tundra for adventure breaks at any time of year. The Finnish winter is worth seeing, but the summer months and the midnight sun also provide an ideal backdrop for excursions, particularly the Karelia region of Eastern Finland which is known for its natural beauty. Explore offers bear-watching short breaks and Wild Nordic has husky hiking as a great alternative to dog sledging.
These are two more popular pastimes in Finland, not only for exercise or a cheap way to travel to work but also as a chance to see and enjoy the Finnish countryside to its fullest. You can tour cities easily by bike too thanks to multiple cycle lanes and trails. Multiple companies such as Freedom Treks offer cycling holidays in the most serene parts of Finland, such as travelling the Turku archipelago (the largest archipelago in the world) by bike, or you could easily rent a bicycle and explore the country for yourself. Locations such as Urho Kekkonen National Park in Lapland or Koli National Park in Karelia are ideal for hikers and ramblers, both offering spectacular views and challenging mountain trails as well.
For car lovers, there is the rare opportunity to drive and race a rally car with qualified instructors, sometimes even through snow and ice. In Northern Finland, you can race in the frozen tundra with four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen.
Any one of these excursions, or a combination, offers a unique and memorable Finnish adventure for both adults and children and a chance to take in some breathtakingly beautiful landscapes at the same time.