You’ll never see it all in one trip – which is just as well as Finland has got enough to hook you for a lifetime.
Whether it’s the sorcery of the northern lights in the frosty wilds of Lapland, bear watching in the remote, silent forests of the east, cloudberry foraging as the midnight sun blazes, or paddling from lake to lake with nothing but the seals and sea eagles for company in Finnish Lakeland, Finland will cast a spell over you.
But don’t take our word for it: in this country of extremes and extreme otherness, every moment and memory is wholly unique. Here are 15 of the best things to do in Finland to get you started.
Holding your breath as the aurora borealis swoops and sways in the frozen Arctic night sky is an experience not quite of this world. No photo gets even close to conveying the moment when the heavens light up, the sky shifts in the most unsettling way, and green rays float down like strobe lights, as if the Nordic gods are having a wild party up above.
Finnish Lapland is one of the best places on earth to observe the electrifying, shape-shifting phenomenon that the Finns call revontulet, or fox fires – myth has it they were created when an Arctic fox running through the snow sent sparks flying into the sky. The Sámi have deep respect for the northern lights and remain silent in their presence, as some believe they are the dancing spirits of their ancestors.
Rovaniemi makes a cracking first base for heading out on a tour to hunt down the northern lights. Or go further north still to the snowy fells of Saariselkä, Harriniva, Levi, or Utsjoki, where the odds of seeing the lights from September to April are sky high.
Wish it could be Christmas every day? You’re going to love Rovaniemi, where you can cuddle up to the big, jolly, red-robed, chimney-diving dude 365 days a year. You are forever five years old as you whisper your wish list into Santa’s ear in his grotto at the Santa Claus Village, right atop the Arctic Circle. When you’re done, post letters with the Arctic Circle stamp at the post office or jump on a reindeer-driven sleigh.
And if you’re still fizzing with festive enthusiasm, nip across to the Santapark to hang out with toy-making, gingerbread-baking elves, hop on twinkly rides, chill at the ice bar, and meet – err – the other real Santa…
The mosquitoes are after blood, and the swamps want to suck you down, but who gives a damn: with a basket, a netted hat, a forager’s eye, and mile after shimmering mile of forest and lake ahead, you feel nothing but at one with nature joy as you venture into the remote wilds in search of cloudberries. And where better to find "Lappish gold" than inRanua, the little town just south of the Arctic Circle that bills itself as Finland’s cloudberry
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There’s no denying that the power of libations brings people together—and there’s simply nothing like toasting to the holiday season with Christmas drinks that are essentially crafted cocktails. This year is a perfect excuse to sip your way into one-of-a-kind Christmas traditions, celebrated around the globe.
Why is Berlin the undisputed capital of Christmas markets? Could it be because it has more than 80 different holiday markets that attract nearly one million visitors to Berlin every year. From new additions, to timeless favorites, here are some great Christmas markets in Berlin that you won’t want to miss this season.
I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t this. Pictures barely do it justice. I was passing through West Texas, having already visited the nearby White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks, and figured this would be the easiest time to visit Big Bend National Park. I’d heard from a fellow traveler that it was his favorite park, and he’d been to all of them. With that in mind, I purposely limited how much I’d see of the park before I arrived. I wanted to be surprised, and boy was I.
Royal Caribbean International welcomed its newest ship to the fleet at a celebration at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland on November 27, ahead of the Icon of the Seas’ official January, 2024 debut in Miami, Florida.
Forget the traditional holiday mall crawl and the awkward Santa lap-sit; this year, one hotel is during the festive dial up to eleven. Welcome to Hardy's Holiday Village at Nemacolin Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania, where the usual holiday cheer is swapped for something akin to a Broadway-level extravaganza. It's over-the-top, it's dazzling, and it's everything you didn't know you needed this festive season.
Florence (Italian: Firenze) is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany known as the "cradle of the Renaissance" (la culla del Rinascimento) for its monuments, churches and buildings.
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