With thick and luscious pine forests, dense rolling hills, labyrinth of lakes and inlets, Finland is everything that Mother Nature ought to be proud of. This Nordic country shares boarders with Russia to the east, Norway to the north, Sweden to the west and Estonia is south of the country across the Gulf of Finland. Animal lovers would enjoy visiting this country for wild-life is abundant here.
Kick-start trip by heading over to Helsinki - its dynamic capital. Be sure to visit the Finlandia Hall. The striking building is the city's main conference and concert venue and is the present residence of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Sports fans can tour the Olympic Stadium. Helsinki is home to a plethora of museums that are worth visiting such as National Museum of Finland (comprises of rich archaeological and ethnographic collections depicting Finnish life from the earliest times to current day), Contemporary Art Museum (exquisite display of Finnish art from the 1960s to present day) and Design Museum (traces the history of the Finnish design movement).
Viewing the Northern Lights is a pure visual treat. Finland is probably the leading country in the planet for witnessing these shimmering lights spanning across the sky. Even though, occasionally, these lights can be seen in the southern most region of the nation, the ideal location to view them is Lapaland, especially between September and March. Nature and animal lovers oughts to visit the Lemmenjoki National Park. Encompassing over 1,000 sq miles, there are several hundreds of miles of marked trails for hikers and trekkers to be happy about. Do catch a glimpse of the Lemmenjoki River for it is a breathtaking sight as it flows down from the fells into a gorgeous valley of looming pines. Try to spot brown bear, wolves, and wild golden eagles as well as moose and reindeer.
Don't miss out on the experience of whizzing across the snow on a quintessential Arctic sled. One will find several dog-sled centres in Lapaland, including Harriniva and Saiji. Finland is a country of lakes for there are about 188,000 of them. The nation is a haven for swimmers, canoeists, fishermen and boating fans, as well as folks who love to sit and watch the sunset over the soothing calm still waters. If you're one of them, do visit the Lakeland, in eastern Finland. If you're into water-sports, then the Lakeland offers excellent ones such as water-skiing, jet-skiing and sailing.
Icy-cold Finnish winters are known for cross-country skiing. One can view the marked tracks, all over the country, including the numerous national parks. Those who are enthusiasts of downhill skiing and snowboarding can trek over to the hills of Lapaland. Rovaniemi is popular being the 'official' home town of Santa Claus. There are numerous child-friendly attractions themed around Santa Claus. It is a fun destination for both kids and adults.
When it comes to shopping, be on the look-out for Finnish Puukko knives, handwoven ryijy rugs, Lappish handicrafts and so forth. As for cuisine, be sure to dig into local delicacies such as Karjalanpiirakka (A savoury pastry stuffed with rice pudding and devoured with egg butter) and Lihapullat (Beef and egg meatballs, usually accompanied with lingonberries and gherkins).
The stay options in Finland are abundant with the best luxury hotels, rental apartments and cheap accommodations available for tourists who can decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and taste.
The whole of Finland lies in the boreal zone, which sees warm summers and freezing winters. The best time to visit is through May to September. However, if you're keen on the Santa Claus tour or wish to participate in winter activities, then the ideal period is from October to March.