10 tips for visiting Finnish Lakeland
Antti Pietikäinen / Visit Finland
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1. Experience the Finnish sauna
Elina Sirparanta / Visit Finland
Is there anything more Finnish, than a Finnish sauna?
Saunas are good for health – the science has proved it. Saunas have been essential part of Finnish culture for centuries. Did you know, that in the land of about five million inhabitants, we have over three million saunas?
Tips for the original Finnish sauna experience:
- Warm up the sauna to 60-90 degrees. If this feels too hot to begin with, you can try lower degrees. There are no rules for temperature!
- Throw some water to the sauna stove for “löyly”, sauna heat. You’ll experience the gentle, relaxing heathness of the sauna. The more water you’ll throw, the more heat and steam you’ll get.
- Try “vihta”, a bundle of fresh birch branches for smoother skin! All you have to do is gently whip yourself with the birch bundle. Remember to wet the birch bundle first!
- Cool down in the fresh water – you can jump to the lake straight from the deck of your houseboat! The alternation between hot and cold will feel very relaxing.
- Remember to drink plenty of water or other beverages, as you’ll be sweating in the sauna. After finishing your sauna bathing, head to the deck of the boat to enjoy the beautiful lake landscapes!
2. Enjoy the light of the never-setting Midnight Sun
Have you ever heard from the iconic Nordic phenomeon – the Midnight Sun? After a dark and cold winter, we’ll have the contrast of the never-setting sun in the short, but beautiful Finnish summer. The reddish-yellow Midnight Sun will light up the day around the clock – a perfect opportunity for a night swim from the deck of the houseboat!
Make the most of your holiday by enjoying the white nights, staying up to have extra hours for the day. When the sun rises, the nature follows – you can enjoy the bird singing even in the middle of the night, as this is no time to sleep!
3. Paddle through the thousand lakes
If you’ve ever been thinking about trying out for paddling, hesitate no more – the country of thousands of lakes is the perfect destination for that! At the Finnish Lakeland, you’ll be in the middle of a huge amount of lakes and other water areas to choose from. There are many possibilities for paddling – canoeing, kayaking, or maybe even SUP-boarding will be your choice?
Paddle through the peaceful and beautiful lake landspaces for the parade place for watching the wildlife. Or explore the waters where no one else has been, if you feel adventurous. Use all your senses to feel deeply the famous crystal-blue lakes.
4. Make the most of the Finnish Everyman’s rights
Krista Keltanen / Visit Finland
The traditional concept of Everyman’s right in Finland means, that people anywhere are allowed to freely roam around Finnish countryside and forests. The right allow you to pick up delicious and incredibly healthy berries, straight from the pure nordic nature!
In Finnish forests, you can find fresh bildberries, wild strawberries, rasberries, crandberries and lingonberries while roaming around. If you find your way to a swamp, you may find cloudberries as well! In the end of the summer, the first mushrooms will show up, waiting to be harvested as well.
The Everyman’s right also allow you to camp out in the nature. Pack your backpack and head out for an adventure to the beautiful wilderness of the Finnish nature!
5. Hear the beauty of silence and serenity
Modern, hectic lifestyle often lacks the possibility to truly calm down and find the peace of mind. The untouched lake nature of Finland offers a rare opportunity to take completely off from the ordinary life and experience, what it’s really like to re-energize with the help of the nature. Finnish lakeland has plenty of space, peace and quitness, where you can enjoy your holiday listen the calm waves and beautiful bird-singing. You can spend as much time enjoying the serenity as you like – as they say, nature does not hurry, yet everything’s accomplished.
Escaping to the nature is almost an official way of relaxing in Finland – everyone from the youth, to the old enjoys the beauty of the quiet, uncrowded nature when you can rest your mind like nowhere else. Enjoy slowing down for a while and experience the well-being benefits in no time!
6. Conquer the national parks from the lake
National parks in Finland offer stunning nature landscapes. The nature conversation has long roots in Finland, as the first national parks were established in 1938. National parks main tasks are ensuring the biodiversity and giving people opportunities to explore the green forests and blue lakes.
Finnish national parks have good services – there are marked hiking routes, nature trails and campfire sites. Visitors can also stay overnight in the national parks and have a one-of-a-kind nature experience!
With a Houseboat you can easily travel along the lakes to Nature Parks along the shore. Lake Keitele is the way to Southern Konnevesi national park and Lake Päijänne can take you to the Päijänne Nature Park in Padasjoki or to Mämminiemi’s recreational area.
7. Watch the wildlife of the blue lakes
It is said that the last true wilderness in Europe can be found from Finland. The green forests and over 180,000 lakes provide fine conditions for wildlife and Finland is a home for plenty wild animals. For birdwatchers, species that are hardly to be find anywhere else, can be found from these unique conditions.
You can spend a day discovering Finnish nature, birdwatching and spotting animals on the shore – in the evening you can see a couple of swans quietly drifting together, or a bull moose swimming out across the lake. Houseboat takes you in the middle of the wildlife on the Finnish Lake District, which is the largest lake area in Europe.
The wildlife at the untouched lakeland nature is especially amazing. In the summertime, we’ll receive plenty of wetland and water birds breeding, including several wader and duck species, and huge cranes. You may even spot our national bird, the whooper swan or the majestetic white-teal-eagles on the lake!
As we’re talking about water, we cannot leave fishing unmentioned. Finland has more than 60 native fish species, mostly being freshwater fish. There are excellent foaming rapids sites and spots for a holiday full of fishing!
8. Sense the history around the Finnish Lakeland area
Are you interested in historical attractions? Visit our most interesting sites on your summer holiday in Finland!
During your houseboat holiday, visit local galleries and museums and get to know the local handcarft, art and design. The museum selection of Alvar Aalto, Central Finland,Nature and Art and Craft welcome you to learn from the life in the Lakeland area from past.
In the Toivola old courtyard, you can take a journey back to the time when the clattering of hooves was a familiar sound in the narrow streets, and the townscape was dominated by low blocks of wooden houses with their gates and courtyards. Toivola Old Courtyard consists of beautiful wooden buildings from the late nineteenth century, a cosy café, a museum and adorable small shops.
In the Korpilahti harbour, there is located the art gallery “Höyry”, a Steam-Gallery. The building is from the early 20th century and it used to be a steam sawmill. You will be able to get to know the art on the upper floor of the building, as well as in an old carpenter shop. On the ground floor there is an enamel wood shop, where you can buy some souvenirs for your home.
Your holiday route can also be planned with Finnish historical sites in mind. On Lake Päijänne, your itinerary can include the Pyhänpää Rock Paintings, the Vääksy canal or the rock paintings from Pit–Comb Ware culture at Saraakallio.
9. Cycle around the Finnish countryside
Cycling in Finland combines in an excellent way the active lifestyle and relaxing in beautiful nature – and it’s also a great fun! Cycling in the peaceful Finnish rural areas, exploring the small villages and towns and maybe even meeting the locals in the middle of their usual life is an experience itself – you’re always welcome anywhere you go!
If you like to take it to the maximum, put down the anchor of your houseboat and head out to middle of a forest for a mountain cycling route! This is especially a good idea, when you’re planning a visit to a national park. Spend a memorable day among the beautiful landscapes and truly wild places!
10. Marvel the unique Alvar Aalto’s attractions
Explore the legendary architect Alvar Aalto’s production from his earliest works through to achievements in the latter stages of his career. The production of the world-famous architect Alvar Aalto, is found extensively in the Jyväskylä region. In the master architect’s footsteps, we travel from classicism to functionalism, from brick architecture to monumentalism.
Items can be found at close range from the Jyväskylä harbor. You can sail through the Lake Päijänne to explore the impressive attractions, such as an Experimental house in Muuratsalo, a church in Muurame and a town hall in Säynätsalo. Those are considered to be some of the most remarkable work in Alvar Aalto’s production. You can also explore the colorful stages of the the master’s life in the Alvar Aalto Museum.
Along your route, you will find many great places to trek inland, small sandy beaches, and protected coves, still undiscovered by others. Most of all, you’ll be creating memories that will last a lifetime.
You can take the houseboat along routes that lead you to Finnish cities, towns or lively harbours. Or you can arrange your route to avoid all civilization during your trip for a perfect take-off. You’ll be astonished of the beauty of the untouched nature, covered in green and blue. Or you’ll experience the authentic Finnish culture at its best, as the closeness of nature is a keen part of the Finnish identity.
Wherever you decided to sail, or whatever you decide to see and do, you can be sure that visiting the Finnish Lakeland is truly a one-of-a-kind experience!
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