Road Trip Through the Land of Lakes and Northern Lights
Finland is an alluring Nordic country situated between Sweden and Russia. Much of the country is low and nearly flat, with some rolling planes and smaller mountains to the north. What sets Finland apart geographically, are its nearly 190,000 lakes and 180,000 islands! Imagine the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets over these landscapes as you cruise along on your Finland road trip! The weather fluctuates quite a bit from summer to winter but is generally cooler and temperate. The summer is brief with temperatures only reaching into the mid-20s (ºC), while winter drops well below zero and only gets colder the further north you go. Despite this, Finland travel is a good idea year-round, depending on your interests. Winter offers thrilling snowmobile treks across the frozen north, while summer would certainly be more suited for a road trip by motorcycle or car.
This country offers fun, excitement, and plenty to see and do. Again, it’s natural beauty is stunning, and Finns love to escape their city homes for time spent relaxing in the wilderness. If you have the opportunity during your Finland trip, there are a few natural phenomena that are not to be missed: the midnight sun, which brings nearly endless hours of daylight during summer; the arctic night during the peak of winter, when there is hardly any sunlight; and the aurora borealis, or northern lights. There are countless historical sites to explore during your Finland travel. One can wander amid the wood houses of Porvoo, some of which are more than 100 years old (and the town itself dates back to the 13th century); explore the castles of Savonlinna and Hämeenlinna; or learn more about the Winter War between Finland and Russia.
No Finland tour would be complete without sampling some of the unique Finnish cuisine. Finland’s nearly endless coastline leads to fish being a staple, and maybe you’ve even heard of Gravlax, which is salmon cured in salt, sugar, and dill. Further north, in Lapland, you are likely to find dishes incorporating reindeer meat, as they are raised and herded there. Dairy products are another major component, and you will find cheese, milk, and yogurt everywhere. Breakfast will usually consist of porridge made from oats, barley, or rye, and some toppings. Don’t worry, though; there are plenty of delicious pastries and desserts to be tried. Try some pulla, which is a cardamom coffee bread, or a cloudberry tart. Finn’s are also the world’s biggest coffee drinkers, so be sure to take a note from the locals and enjoy a cafe or two.
Starting your Finland road trip will likely see you arriving at the main airport in Helsinki. From there you can take any number of budget and regional airlines to reach the smaller cities and towns. Train, bus, and ferry are also options for traveling into and around Finland, and some ferries are quite massive, almost bordering on cruise ships! Finland is a member of the Schengen Agreement and the European Union, so entry is generally smooth and straightforward. Americans and Canadians only require a valid passport.
Finland has a low crime rate, and you are unlikely to encounter any issues during your trip. Of course, use common sense and travel in a group if you’re going out at night. Be careful if you’re venturing out into the wilderness, and take any necessary precautions for inclement weather, wild animals, etc.
What Planet Ride offers for travel adventures in Finland
Currently, we primarily feature treks through the northern part of Finland. Most of these tours are by snowmobile during the winter time, but we also offer a 35-day motorhome trip that goes all throughout Norway and ventures into Finland briefly. As long as you can handle a little cold, winter (December to April) is an excellent time for a Finland trip! We currently offer several snowmobile adventures that range from five days to eight days long and let you explore the vast, snow-covered landscapes of northern Finland.
Our partner guides will ride along with you for the duration of the trip, providing any help you might need. We only work with the best guides, and they are experts on the local customs, food, and routes, and also on the vehicles you will be using, like the BRP Grand Touring 600 ACE snowmobile or a Yeti 600 ACE. We also keep the planning for your Finland travel as simple as you would like. You can jump into a group trip with fixed travel dates, or create your own group and choose your riding dates.
One example trip is our 5-day ride around Lake Inari in the far north. You will begin in Kittila, in the heart of Hossa National Park. From there, you will explore Rennes, Hetta, and Muonio. Along the way, you can visit with and learn about the indigenous Samii people who live as semi-nomadic reindeer herders, revel in the snow-covered landscapes, and warm up at night in a traditional sauna.
Another longer Finland trip would be our 8-day ride along the old smuggler’s trail between Finland and Sweden. You will cruise through Pallas Tunturi National Park, mount the highest point of the region – Mount Lannavaara, and fly across the snow in the vast open wilderness. During our rest stops, you will get to enjoy a lunch in the unique surroundings of a restaurant made entirely of blocks of ice, visit a chapel built of ice, picnic in a trapper’s camp, relax in the sauna or jacuzzi, and enjoy plenty of rest and good food in the night’s accommodations.