Discover Finland's wide open spaces, lakes and arctic mystery, as well as its urban sophistication. Catch the midnight sun, the Northern Lights and the icy wilderness. You'll appreciate the huge contrast with the busy capital, Helsinki, and the stimulating cultural attractions of provincial cities like Tampere. Families will be drawn by its connections with Santa Claus and Tove Janssen's classic children's characters, the Moomins.
Start with elegant Helsinki and take in its grand boulevards, Sibelius Monument and the city's striking white Neoclassical Cathedral. Head to the inland city of Tampere for its annual theatre festival each August. Visit the west coast of Finland to explore Rauma's UNESCO-listed Old Town, or go south to see the former capital of Turku with its medieval castle and cathedral.
You'll notice the influence of its eastern neighbour throughout its cities - distinctive Orthodox churches vie for attention with contemporary architecture. But escape the few urban centres and you'll soon find yourself in vast open spaces, natural forests, and lakelands in the south. In the arctic north the ancient Sami culture takes over, with herds of reindeer wandering the tundra.
Cruise on boats through the Saimaa Lake District or hike through the Linnansaari and Kolovesi National Parks. Travel to Rovaniemi and Utsjoki where life is based on reindeer herding, hunting and fishing. In the bitter north, you may marvel at the spectacle of the Northern Lights or experience 24-hour daylight. Or go skiing and snow-shoeing through the forested wilderness of Lappland.
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