Finland is for the most part a quiet land, where a ramshackle cottage
by a lake and a properly stoked sauna is all that's required for happiness. It's
a vast expanse of forests and lakes and more forests, punctuated by towns full
of people who are genuinely surprised to see tourists.
The Republic of Finland is in Northern Europe and is bordered by
Norway, Sweden, Russia, the Gulf of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic
Helsinki is the capital city and Tampere and Turku are important Finnish cities.
There are thousands of islands along the coastline (the largest are the
Aland Islands).Finland has many thousands of lakes and seventy-six percent of
the land is covered with forests and woodlands. Trees include birch, lindens,
oaks, pine and spruce.Finland is mostly flat with rolling plains and low hills.
Finland has a number of National Parks including the Oulanka National Park.
During the months of the midnight sun, coastal regions are a sailing and
fishing paradise. Inland, the largest unspoilt wilderness in Europe attracts
thousands of trekkers every year. In the south, the capital Helsinki is a
paradise for lovers of art and architecture.
When the nights are long in Finland (and they can be very, very long) it's
tempting to huddle inside with a vodka, but it's much more fun outdoors. You can
ski across vast frozen lakes or relax in a sauna, beating yourself ever so
gently with a fragrant branch of birch leaves to loosen the travel grime.
The climate of Finland is marked by cold winters and fairly warm
summers. In the far north of the country the sun does not set for about 73 days,
producing the white nights of summer. In winter the sun remains below the
horizon for 51 days in the far north.
In summer the temperature quite often rises to +20 Celsius or more and
occasionally goes close to +30 in southern and eastern parts of the country. In
winter, temperatures of -20 Celsius are not uncommon in many areas. Finnish
Lapland invariably has the lowest winter temperatures. The mean temperature in
Helsinki in July is +17 Celsius and in February -5.7 Celsius.
Some of the animals living in Finland are the Artic fox, bears, elk, deer, lynx,
reindeer, wolves and seals.