FI - Finland

When to go
January is the coldest month with average temperatures of -3 ° C in the southern areas, with a milder climate, and -15 ° C in Lapland. Temperatures can also drop to -30 ° C. The climate is dry so even low temperatures are more acceptable. In the months of December and January the long kaamos night falls, which lasts two months in the north: the days are short because the sun does not rise but remains low on the horizon, sending only reflected light, while from mid-April the hours of sunshine rise to 14- 16. Summer daytime temperatures fluctuate between 15-30 ° C and in the southern regions the sun remains constantly above the horizon (midnight sun) for several weeks. Snow covers the southern part from December to March, while in the north the snow already arrives in late October and melts in late May. The high season (winter) runs from February to March in the south, while the best time for winter sports in Lapland is from March to April.

Information on climate and weather forecasts is available from the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Territories and tourist destinations:
For tourism purposes we can attempt a division of the country as follows:

     Northern Finland – The northern half of Finland is mostly deserted. It includes Finnish Lapland, Kainuu the former Oulu Province and northern Ostrobothnia.
      Finnish West Coast – Overlooking the Gulf of Bothnia, the western region includes the center of Turku, the country’s ancient capital with a medieval castle. Another historic city in the region is Vaasa, with a substantial Swedish minority. From its port, we embark for the Kvarken Archipelago, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Jyväskylä is a university center famous for its buildings bearing the signature of Alvar Aalto. It includes the southern part of the historic province of Ostrobothnia (Pohjanmaa, Österbotten).
      Lake Finland – On the border with Russia, eastern Finland includes that part of the lake region that hinges on the cities of Mikkeli and Savonlinna which offer canoeing excursions to the numerous lakes and parks in the area. Further north is Kuopio, an equally pleasant village accessible by ferry from Savonlinna. Tampere, industrial center and Finland’s second largest by population, Tampere is famous for a museum dedicated to espionage and an international short film festival. The Koli National Park on the western shore of Lake Pielinen deserves a mention.
      Southern Finland – Overlooking the Gulf of Finland, the southern region includes the capital, Helsinki and Hanko, a busy marina that boasts the primacy of the southernmost center of all Finland. Also to the west of Helsinki is Ekenäs, a seaside resort frequented mainly by Finns. The southern coast can prove uninspiring, being occluded by hundreds of islets. At 35 km from the capital there is the Nuuksio National Park which covers the forest area around the lakes of Espoo, Kirkkonummi and Vihti. It also includes the historic region of Uusimaa (Nyland). Lappeenranta, on the shores of Lake Saimaa and is connected to the Russian city of Vyborg by a summer boat service that crosses the Saimaa canal.
      Åland Islands – Located at the southern end of the Gulf of Bothnia, Åland are flat islands that are suitable for cycling excursions.
Urban centers

St. Olaf Castle; the northernmost medieval castle in the world, built in Savonlinna by the Swedes in 1475.

Helsinki – The capital of Finland is by far the largest city, also known as the “Baltic Daughter”.
Jyväskylä – A university city located in the central part of Finland.
Oulu (Uleåborg in Swedish) – A technological city at the end of the Gulf of Bothnia.
Rauma – The largest historic wooden center in the Nordic countries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rovaniemi – Gateway to Lapland and home to the Santa Claus Village.
Savonlinna – A small lakeside town with a large castle and a renowned opera festival.
Tampere (Tammerfors in Swedish) – An industrial city, home to culture, music, art and museums, in the midst of other large cities in southern Finland. Perhaps it has the best music scene in the country.
Turku (or Åbo) – The former capital on the west coast. Noteworthy is its medieval castle and cathedral.
Vaasa (Vasa in Swedish) –

Koli national park
A city with strong Swedish influences on the west coast located near the UNESCO world natural site the Kvarken archipelago.
Other destinations
Levi – Saariselkä and Ylläs – Famous winter sports resorts in Lapland.
Koli National Park – Large and scenic national park in eastern Finland. Symbol of the country’s nature.
Lemmenjoki National Park – Lappish land excavated for gold and one of the largest natural areas in Europe.
Nuuksio National Park – Small but lovely national park a stone’s throw from Helsinki.
Suomenlinna – Island off the coast of Helsinki, where there is an 18th / 19th century fortress, which can be visited by ferry.

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