Northern lights reflected in a lake

Your guide to Finland (inc. best accommodation types for the Northern Lights)

Text: Claire Lessiau
Photographs: Claire Lessiau & Marcella van Alphen

From the desolated Lapland where admiring the ruska (the fall foliage) in the fall, picking berries in the summer, or watching the northern lights in the winter are all magic experiences, to the traditional Finnish saunas all over and more specifically in the Kuusamo region close to Russia, via the stunning lakes of the Koli National Park, or the off-the-beaten path and hip Helsinki, Finland has much more to offer than simply forests and lakes!

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Private log-house at Wilderness Muotka Nellim, Lapland

Lapland’s fields of gold

Text: Claire Lessiau
Photographs: Marcella van Alphen & Claire Lessiau

Northern Finland was an uncharted wilderness with a scarce population living off the land until gold was found in 1836. Rumours about the discovery were fast to spread… If the quantities extracted have been little, even after state-sponsored expeditions and heavy investments, the precious metal has changed Lapland to this day, with the development of infrastructures and later tourism facilities to observe the Northern Lights and enjoy the vast wilderness whether snow Mo biking, cross-country skiing, hiking or mountain biking.

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Whisk treatment at Pohjolan Pirtti sauna, Finland

The Finnish sauna culture: relaxation, spirituality & health

Text: Claire Lessiau
Photographs: Claire Lessiau & Marcella van Alphen

The Finnish sauna culture is definitely one of the reasons why the Finns regularly rank first in the yearly polls about the happiest people on the planet. Cleansing and relaxing, saunas are very anchored in the Finnish daily life, and have been exported and modified all over the world. Join us on a trip through Finland in order to dig deeper into authentic Finnish saunas, a 9,000-year-old tradition that has been recognized as a UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, and experience some of the best saunas of Finland out of the 3 million of them (for 5.5 million inhabitants!).

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A reindeer surrounded by fall colours

15 fun & interesting facts from the North!

Text: Claire Lessiau
Photographs: Marcella van Alphen & Claire Lessiau

1. The North Cape is not the North Cape!!

There are actually three points claiming to be the northernmost point on the European continent:

  • The touristic North Cape on Magerøya Island where the visitor’s centre stands and where travellers take selfies by the iconic globe landmark and buy 71°10’21” souvenirs.
  • The real northernmost point on the same island, at the tip of a narrow peninsula reached after an 18-kilometer round trip hike.
  • For the purists, the actual northernmost point on the European continent – and not on an island of that continent – that requires a demanding 50-kilometre round-trip trek to be reached: Cape Nordkinn.
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