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Finland Travel guide

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Finland : Michelin's recommendations

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Finland, still unfamiliar to many, is as everyone knows not part of Scandinavia, but has many fans throughout Europe and, curiously, in Japan too! (newlyweds like to come to Finland on their honeymoon to observe the aurora borealis, said to increase fertility).

Finland is probably about to become the next trendy destination, especially if global warming continues to hold sway! With its forests and innumerable lakes all over the country, its untamed wilderness, reindeer, bear and wolves, Finland boasts fascinating, well-preserved natural landscapes, in summer and winter.

Despite their legendary melancholy, described with great humour by the excellent novelist Arto Paasilinna, its inhabitants have maintained a distinctive lifestyle, the universal symbol of which is the sauna - and every family must own one by a lakeside! Discretion, love of nature and civic-mindedness: the Finns resemble their Scandinavian neighbours in this regard, but distinguish themselves through their sense of self-deprecation and, above all, through the Finno-Ugric language.

Finland is renowned for its high level of education and mastery of cutting-edge technology, as attested by Nokia, world leader in the mobile phone industry. Finnish design has been famous since the early 1960s and is omnipresent in fields such as furniture, household electrical appliances and table arts. Helsinki, its capital, is a pleasure to visit.

Finland - See all cities and regions

Finland : Must-see towns and regions

  • Helsinki

    Of fairly recent origin (Helsinki’s current site was settled in 1640), and capital since only 1812, this "daughter" of the Baltic Sea that surrounds it is a city of contrasts. It is calm yet bustling,...

  • Kuusamo

    Kuusamo lies in the uplands of northeast Finland, a region of ravines and canyons in which lazy rivers suddenly transform themselves into gushing rapids. Kuusamo’s forests are still home to bears and ...

  • Tampere

    Tampere is the largest town in the Scandinavian interior, and Finland's third largest urban area. It is situated on an isthmus flanked by two huge lakes, Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi, which are linked by r...

  • Ekenäs

    Situated on the south coast, the charming town of Ekenäs was originally a small fishing village, on a peninsula jutting out into the gulf of Finland. Today it is the main resort and cultural hub of th...

  • Porvoo

    Until the 18C, Porvoo was the country's second largest commercial hub after Turku. The colony established on the banks of the River Porvoo prospered under the protection of a powerful fortress and in ...

  • Savonlinna

    This charming town is magnificently situated on a string of islands separating lakes Haapavesi and Pihlajavesi, forming part of Saimaa lake system. Savonlinna grew up in the shadow of Olav Castle (Ola...

  • Rovaniemi

    Lying just south of the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland. Not far from its centre are beautiful wild expanses (their rounded hills seem to have blue haloes when seen from afa...

  • Naantali

    Lapped at by the sea on three sides and taken over by holidaymakers and their yachts in summer, this summer station was already popular with the Russians in 1723 for its thermal baths, a tradition tha...

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