Finland is among the Nordic countries of Northern Europe. It is a natural wonderland with more trees than people and more islands than any other nation in the world. With endless kilometres of wilderness and 188,000 lakes on their doorstep, the Finns are uniquely in tune with their surroundings. Even committed urbanites retreat to wooden cottages in the country during the brief, warm summers to relax, fish in the lakes and go wild berry and mushroom picking in the forest, before unwinding with a barbecue, sauna and a swim in the lake.
Finland’s most famous contribution to world culture is the sauna: the country has a staggering 1.6 million of them. Around 10% of Finland is covered by water and 69% of the country is covered by forests, providing a natural adventure playground for trekkers, cross-country skiers, fishermen and watersport enthusiasts. More than 8,000 square kilometres are protected by Finland’s 40 national parks, providing great opportunities to spot birds, reindeer, elk and bears. The Finns have become famous for their technological innovations and their flair for design. The reputations of architect Alvar Aalto and the Marimekko design studio extend far beyond these shores.