It was nothing less than a fairy-tale destination. As the descending flight was about to touch down, the view from my window seat was magical. The enchanting spectacle of the snow layered forest made the land look like a winter wonderland. I was hooked at the first sight itself. Located between Russia and Sweden, Finland offers some of the most exotic experiences in the world.  Known as a land of contrast, where the sun rises only for a few hours in the extreme winter, making Finland as one of the coldest countries and at the same time Midnight Sun shines for a month in summer. Blessed with four seasons, the country’s wilderness is one of the most celebrated possessions of Finnish people. With 18,800 lakes and around 70% forest, the Finnish term “Everyman’s Right” makes perfect sense when you are free to roam amidst nature anywhere you want. The flaunting Gothic architectures, the recognition of “The Design Capital” of the world, the only place to meet the real Santa Claus, getting lost in the forest with exotic Reindeer, sharing your smile with the Sami people and the dancing Northern lights, you name it and Finland has it.

Why visit Finland?

When the quintessential Eiffel tower in Paris and the Swiss Alps can fulfill your European dream, why go to a Nordic country like Finland at all? This is the most obvious question that will come to your mind whenever you have an option to choose your vacation in Europe. The only reason which can be mapped out here is the ignorance about this spectacular country and its overwhelming culture. Here are the reasons why you need to put Finland on your bucket list immediately….

Natural Wonderland

“A land of thousand lakes”, Finland is the perfect destination for nature admirers. Breathing fresh air, getting lost in the wilderness, daydreaming under a tree, hiking through the sights, smelling nature, simply sitting for hours and fishing or spending the summer weekend in the lake house, the Finnish people know exactly how to enjoy in the lap of nature. The land of untouched, rich and endless, yet contrasting landscapes make it one of the must visit places for those, who celebrate nature like anything.

Explore Design Capital

Finland is the most desired place for designers and artists in the world. The capital city of Finland, Helsinki is considered as the best place for design studios, boutiques, and cafes. One can find the best of the designer brands and products in the “Design District” of Helsinki. Some of the most accomplished and renowned designers come from Finland. No wonder why the Finnish people are considered one of the most stylish and beautiful in the world.

Meet Real Santa Claus in Rovaniemi

Believe it or not, you can meet the real Santa Claus in Lapland. Finland is the only place in the world, where one can visit Santa Claus in his village named Rovaniemi. He welcomes everyone throughout the year. If you can’t meet him in person, you can drop a postcard in Santa’s office as well. As luck would have it, my resort in Saariselka was right in front of Santa’s Office.

Soak in Midnight Sun

One of the top reasons to visit Finland would be watching the never setting Sun in the northern most part of this country. One of the phenomenal natural wonder, the midnight sun makes Finland one of the unique countries to visit in summer. When the world wonders about the dark and cloudy winter days in Finland, the nature surprises everyone with 24 hours sunlight for two months during summer in Lapland. If you are in Lapland during summer, don’t miss the one and only “The Midnight Film Festival” in Sodankyla, Lapland.

Greet the Reindeer

The Reindeer is an icon of Finnish Lapland. One of the most adorable and domesticated animals, reindeer are the true possession of the Sami People. In earlier days, people used reindeer to travel from one place to another in Lapland and considered it the traditional way of travelling in winter season.  The best way to enjoy the snowy terrain of Lapland is to go on a Reindeer safari in the forest. A must do activity in Lapland.

Have a Cup of Coffee with a Finn

Don’t be surprised if you come across abundant cafes in Finland. Blame it to the Finns, as they are the biggest coffee lovers in the world. The Finnish people consume more coffee per person than any other country. You can go cafe hopping in Finland. I had a great time spending one evening in a cafe, having coffee with my fellow travelers. Do have a cup of coffee with a Finnish local and indulge in never ending conversation.

Share your smile with the Sami

When in Lapland, meet the Sami people . The only indigenous people of the European Union, Sami people live in the northern part of Finland, Norway and Sweden as well as in parts of North-Eastern Russia. The unique cultural practices, lifestyle and humble nature make them one of the most loved communities in the world. There are only 9000 Sami people in Finland today. I had my best time in Lapland meeting one of the most adorable and hospitable Sami Couple –Mr.Timo and Mrs Armi.

Experience Finnish Sauna

The Finns are the proud inventors of the concept of the Sauna. They have more than 3 million Saunas with over 5 million people in the country. The Sauna is the most essential part of their lifestyle, where they just don’t visit to clean themselves, but this a place for relaxation, to unwind and also meditation. The concept of stepping into a heated room, shedding clothes or being nude is a matter of certain inhibitions for other nationals. The Finns consider Sauna as a place for physical and mental cleansing. Nothing can be more Finnish than experiencing the traditional Sauna in Finland.

 Eat like a Finn

Unlike other countries, the food scene in Finland is unique due to its extreme weather condition. The Finnish people literally celebrate food and they are loyal to their traditional culinary roots. One can get plenty of options to relish Finnish delicacies. Though for vegetarians, the options are limited, but a non-vegetarian like me had a feast. From reindeer meat, mushroom soup, rice pies, salmon fish, cloudberry cake, rye bread, to a variety of desserts, I had the best time sampling some of the most authentic delicacies in Finland.

The best place to spot Northern Lights

The Finnish Lapland is considered as one of the best places to see the northern lights.  Popularly known as Aurora Borealis, one can spot it only if the sky is clear and you are lucky enough. Most of the tourists visit Lapland during the winter to see the nature’s light show. The traditional way of spotting Northern lights are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobile and reindeer safari. Though I was not lucky enough to spot the northern light during my trip, but that did not dishearten me as I knew for a fact that I would be back again.

Where to go?

I love to be surprised on my trips. Turning new pages everyday with a bundle of secrets, customs, traditions and the lifestyle of any place simply makes it worthwhile. Finland left me awestruck with almost everything. Though you can’t complete this vast country in one trip.It has four prominent regions – Lapland, Lakeland, Coast & Archipelago, and Helsinki. The best part is that all the regions have contrasting landscapes.

Lapland

Located at the northern most side of the country, Lapland is the most picturesque destination I have ever traveled to.  The snow laden trees, winding roads, vast forest and those colorful wooden houses, you will possibly not see a landscape like this anywhere in the world. It appeared like a dream to me . It’s magical, mythical and mystical. Lapland is possibly the best place to see the Northern lights in Finland. They say that it appears on more than 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland. Most of the tourists visit Finland to spot the northern lights. To add here, Lapland is also home of the real Santa Claus, adorable Reindeer and the indigenous Sami people. I spent the maximum time in Lapland during my trip to Finland, where from indulging in Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, Reindeer safari in the forest, meeting Sami people, sampling local food to spending a considerable time exploring the surrounding in the weird time zone, I did it all.

Helsinki

The capital city of Finland, Helsinki is the buzzing city with a lot of happening in each corner. The very first thing that I noticed in Helsinki was the stunning architectural designs of their buildings. Like any cosmopolitan cities in Europe, Helsinki blends seamlessly with rich history and its tradition. The vibrant seaside city can be easily explored on foot or one can try taking a tram ride within the city. Interestingly, one can find trams or subway trains only in the capital city of Finland. What attracted me in Helsinki was undoubtedly the design district, Gothic architectures and numerous cafes. The food and music scene in Helsinki is cutting edge and vibrant. The Finns love to party and attending music festivals. You can find numerous music festivals in summer in Helsinki.

Lakeland

Lakeland is the largest Lake District in Europe. A land of a thousand lakes, Finland flaunts its crystal clear lakes, deep green forests and rolling hills. In fact visiting Lakeland is like taking a trip to the heart of Finnish identity. The Finnish people love to spend most of their time outdoors, indulging in various activities like boating, canoeing, fishing or daydreaming under the trees. Most of the people have their own lake house where they spend their breezy summer vacation with family and friends. The numerous national parks in this region become one of the attractions for tourists. The great way to explore Lakeland is to rent a boat and board one of the many steamers that will take you far away from the hustle and bustle of the city to a journey of serenity to appreciate the earthy fragrance around.

In winter, the lakes become giant skating rinks where you will see the Finns enjoying skating totally. I went to the biggest lake of Finland called Saimaa. The experience of walking on a frozen lake and doing ice fishing was undoubtedly the best take away from Lakeland.

Coast & Archipelago

One of the most beautiful parts of Finland is its coastline towns and archipelago areas. Finland flaunts world’s largest archipelago and a strong maritime culture. Old wooden towns, lighthouses, stone churches, national park spread across land and sea, beaches and cafes literally sum up life on an island in Finland. Don’t forget to go on an island hopping, kayaking, fishing and most importantly spending a night on a lighthouse island.

Finland with Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays is India’s largest leisure, hospitality player, having a total of  77 resorts across the length & breadth of the country and abroad. The company is reputed to provide unique and memorable family holidays for over 20 years. Bringing together families and providing space to create the bond has been a motto for Club Mahindra. Today, it is the most preferred leisure family holiday company for delivering a holistic experience to the growing community of 2,11,000 members through its wide network of resorts (46 Club Mahindra Resorts in India and abroad and 31 Holiday Club Resorts in Finland, Sweden and Spain).

Having upscale resorts across exotic locations is another selling point of Club Mahindra. The company acquired Club Resorts Oy, Finland and it allows Indians to have their family vacation possible in Europe through their membership. With this acquisition, Mahindra Holidays is now the largest vacation ownership company in the world, outside of US. With Mahindra Holiday resorts in foreign soil, it will not only provide a luxurious vacation with the much needed homely environment & warm hospitality, entertainment, cultural experiences, but it makes your vacation budget friendly as well.

How does it work with membership or without it?

Well, the Club Mahindra membership makes a considerable amount of difference on your budget. All Club Mahindra members now enjoy a Finnish holiday in the most exotic locations in Finland. The accommodation cost per day per person during low season is anywhere between 28 Euros to 90 Euros depending on the size of accommodation booked (Spa Hotels or Villas) for membership holders. In peak seasons, the cost ranges from 38 to 130 Euros per day per person. This includes accommodation and breakfast for an individual.

For non-members (Club Mahindra), this cost ranges from 40 to 150 Euros per person for various accommodation sizes during low season. Duringpeak season, it starts from 60 Euros per person.

For More Information,  Visit  Finland with Club Mahindra 


How to reach Finland

You can fly to Finland with Finnair, which has direct flights to Helsinki from Delhi thrice a week. It takes 7 and half hours to reach Helsinki. There are other airlines like Air France, Air India, Aeroflot Russian, and Lufthansa.

Visit Finland has introduced “StopOver Finland” for en-route travelers to Europe, which provides a great opportunity to explore this Nordic country from 5 hours to 5 days. While considering Helsinki as a layover destination, travelers can actually book a Finland StopOver Tours for up to 5 nights on your way to or from your final destination.

Visa

Finland being part of Schengen countries, one needs to apply visa to reach this country. Find all the details to apply Schengen Visa here Finland Visa for Indians.

I was invited by Club Mahindra on a press trip to Finland .


Disclaimer :

  1. All the used Non Watermarked  photos have been provided by Visit Finland and have been used with permission. 
  2. The Watermarked photographs are owned by the writer and are copyright protected. Reproduction of any of the contents, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.

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59 Comments

  1. MyLine

    Before knowing that the ‘northern lights’ or aurora borealis is best to be spotted in Finland, seeing the northern lights/aurora borealis has always been one of my top bucket lists to check out before I grow too old to fulfill it or begone from this world! Reading this blog made me excited to visit Finland and make it one of my top bucket lists too! As for both, then why not I’ll just merge it into one great bucket list! Being able to visit and enjoy Finland and being able to spot the northern lights both at the same time!
    MyLine recently posted…Best Places to Shower on the RoadMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Contact Canon

    Thank you very much. I got very useful information.

    Reply
  3. web root

    Thank you very much. I got very useful information.

    Reply
  4. web root

    A very informative post. I like the way you write, it helped me a lot. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. James

    You have provided an insightful information. You have really done a thorough research on this topic. I have learned a lot from this post. Thanks for sharing with Us.

    Reply
  6. ALAMGIR

    Thank you and I appreciate your comment.

    Reply
  7. Hamza

    Looks like a very pretty and peaceful place, can you also write an article about the budget we need to travel to Finland?
    Much appreciated. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Paul

    Finland seems a great travel destination. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  9. Shivya Nath

    Absolutely love those northern lights! Nice post

    Reply
  10. Eric || The Bucket List Project

    Visiting Finland is definitely on my Bucket List and I hate the cold! But the beauty that you showcase in those pics makes it worth it! To visit Lapland would be high on my list to see the reindeer and Santa Clause and to see the midnight sun and the Northern Lights! There is just too much beauty there!
    Eric || The Bucket List Project recently posted…The Liebster AwardMy Profile

    Reply
  11. Pooja Bhatt

    Meeting Santa ?with that Silver Twilight : that one reason is enough for visiting this Destination a Dream Destination. Loved the Way you have drafted the entire post 🙂 and Pics too are Magical.

    Reply
  12. Sid

    Wonderfully detailed post Parnashree, you had certainly created a very comprehensive guide! Btw I just say that it was such a pleasure to travel around with you…lets catch up again on another trip! 🙂

    Reply
  13. Jetsetter Jenn

    One of my good friends recently went to study abroad in Finland and I’ve only heard great things from her so far! Your post confirms it. She’s even loving the winter…ha. But it’s easy to see why. Finland is definitely going on my list for 2018! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Jetsetter Jenn recently posted…Havana in 48 Hours: A Guide to Cuba’s Capital CityMy Profile

    Reply
  14. Carmen's Luxury Travel

    I usually don’t like traveling in the winter (unless it’s for skiing) but Finland looks absolutely magical with all of that snow! And it seems like there are so many things to do there. Of course, seeing the Northern Lights is on my bucket list. But ice skating on a frozen lake looks awesome too!
    Carmen’s Luxury Travel recently posted…Sit Back & Relax in Santa Eulalia del Rio, IbizaMy Profile

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      I always avoid travelling in Winter . But after I saw Finland and its breathtaking landscapes, I don’t mind travelling in extreme winter. Finland in winter is beyond imagination.

      Reply
  15. Swati

    I am totally convinced and in love with Finland. Need to plan a trip in Nov or Dec this year as our multiple entry visa thing took way long as expected and no time to apply for Finland visa and do a trip in march this year 🙁
    Swati recently posted…Ayana Resort & Spa Bali – A Destination in itselfMy Profile

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      You must plan a visit to Finland this year for sure.

      Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      Even I don’t mind spending a year in Finland. I am truly fascinated by everything there.

      Reply
  16. Indrani

    Wow! A dream like place!
    I didn’t know one can meet Santa through out the year. He looks so cute with his silvery beard. The sauna concept too surprised me. Must be a great experience.

    Reply
  17. Soumya Nambiar

    I didn’t know that the Sami people were the only indigenous people in Europe. I love their costumes and I would love to see them once. It is such a pity that you didn’t get to see the Northern lights. After seeing all the recent posts, I have realised that I should add Finland to my list.
    Soumya Nambiar recently posted…Half Day Trip To Sintra, Cabo Da Roca And Cascais, PortugalMy Profile

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      I am so fascinated by Sami people that I spend a lot of time with them in Lapland. I am going to write a separate post on Same people.

      Reply
  18. Adam Biernat

    Finland is such a wonderful country. You can discover there so many interesting things because Finish culture is really unique. The thrilling thing is also the fact that is one of the world’s most northern and geographically remote countries. For me, it’s a perfect location. Definitely worth to visit!

    Reply
  19. Raksha Rao

    Wow. This sounds like a great trip. I didn’t know that Finland is a design capital. Would love to visit Finland one day. I would love to experience Finnish Sauna and the Northern lights when I’m there. I have been hearing a lot of Lapland off late. Sounds like an amazing location!

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      You must visit Raksha. Its one unique country with so many things contrasting from each region. Lapland probably one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen.

      Reply
  20. neha

    I had never read such a gorgeous post about this gorgeous place. I am going to put finland up in my bucket list. This is simply the place for me, with its wonderful northern lights, fairytale beauty and charming people. I could really spend a lifetime here doing nothing.

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      Thanks Neha . Finland floored me completely and even I don’t mind spending a couple of years in Finland.

      Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      Lapland impressed me beyond expectation. I have not seen such breathtaking landscapes till now .

      Reply
  21. Sandy N Vyjay

    This once in a lifetime destination – Finland has just made it to the top of my bucket list. The photographs are spectacular and breathtaking. I really look forward to experiencing Finland more than ever.

    Reply
  22. GARETH THOMPSON

    Finland certainly does seem, as you put it, a “magical” destination and you’ve certainly managed to capture at least some of its beauty with your shots. I’ve always promised myself I’d get there someday but have always been a little deterred by the price of things. Was it really as bad as people have lead me to believe? Regardless, when the bank account is looking a little more healthy, it is certainly a destination that I’ll make it to and really, what is a life without seeing the Northern Lights at least once?

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      Hey Gareth, Its surely an expensive destination when it comes to stay options in cities like Helsinki. But I am sure that you can find a few less expensive options there too. I will update you with a few options soon. But do visit Finland at least once .

      Reply
  23. Melissa

    Ok between this article and the Bachelor episode, I’m now dying to go to Finland. I was kind of ashamed to write that sentence…But truly, the midnight sun festival in the summer, the reindeer, even meeting Santa (!) all sound amazing. Finland seems like such a beautiful country.

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      I am keen on attending the Midnight Film Festival in Lapland . Why don’t you plan your summer vacation in Finland this year 🙂

      Reply
  24. Taylor

    Love the nickname “the land of contrasts”. It totally is! We’d love to get to Eastern Europe this year.

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      From one region to another, its surely a land of contrast. You must visit to explore its uniqueness.

      Reply
  25. Lucile

    Although I would go to Norway first, Finland is definitely a country that attracts me a lot. All the beautiful landscapes and the scandinavian legends. It just sounds awesome and your article and photos comfirm my thoughts!

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      Do put Finland on your list and explore the uniqueness it offers. A must visit country for sure.

      Reply
  26. Luca

    I’ve been to Helsinki more than 10 years ago and I remember it as a very nice city. I’d like to go there again and explore not only the city but also what nature has to offer there!. And I’m glad everyone in Finland speaks English ’cause their language is absurd ahahah

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      Hey Luca, Finland is beyond many things. One must visit it to explore its unique culture. You will be amazed for sure.

      Reply
  27. sophie

    Now I know why I should visit the finland before I die! I would definitely love to do Hiking there and the atmosphere looks amazing as well.

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      You must Sophie. Hiking there is one of its kind experience.

      Reply
  28. Christie

    Finland looks absolutely incredible! I spent some time hiking in Alaska during the summer, and really enjoyed the long hours of daylight. So, the midnight sun in Finland sounds like fun to me. Seeing the Northern Lights has always been on my bucket list too, sounds amazing for those lucky enough to spot them while snowshoeing!

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      I can’t wait to see Midnight Sun in Lapland. Lapland has many things to offer apart from Northern Lights.

      Reply
  29. Taylor

    We’ve recently been so interested in Northern Europe! I’m oddly curious about reindeer meat and who can pass up the chance to meet Santa?

    Reply
  30. Jenn

    Finland looks amazing! The midnight sun would be such an interesting experience. I’ve spent some time in Alaska but not far enough north to see the sun stay up all night. And the northern lights are something else! You’ve convinced me… Where do I book a flight?
    Jenn recently posted…Queso Monster: A Guide to Mexican CheeseMy Profile

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      Hi Jenn, Thanks for the comment. Finland is an amazing country and you will love it completely. Do keep Lapland in your plan.

      Reply
  31. Cassidy's Adventures

    Finland seems like such a special and magical place! It is definitely on the top of my bucket list! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      A must visit place for Travelers. It will amazed you totally.

      Reply
  32. Danik

    Finland is an amazing place and totally chilled out. Been there a few times to Helsinki and Tampere but can’t wait to visit the Lapland region in a few weeks time. I loved reading this post and the photos do bring back some great memories from my time up there. 🙂
    Danik recently posted…The Curious Explorers guide to Paris: Tuileries QuarterMy Profile

    Reply
    • Parnashree Devi

      Thanks Danik. You must visit Lapland. This is my favorite place in Finland.

      Reply

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