The northern regions take up a vast portion of Finland: one third of the country lies north of the Arctic Circle. It’s sparsely populated, with small communities often separated by long distances and little of anything in between besides tundra-like plains or dense forest. The coast of Ostrobothnia is affluent thanks to the flat and fertile farmland around; busltling Oulu is the major city, though it maintains a pleasing small-town atmosphere. Further north is the little-traipsed territory of Lapland, its wide-open spaces home to several thousand Sámi, who have lived more or less in harmony with this harsh environment for millennia. Up here are two good bases: the university town of Rovaniemi and, further north, the quiet village of Inari, Lapland’s de facto capital and a great jumping-off point for trips to the rest of the region; there is an extensive bus service and regular flights from Helsinki. Make sure you try Lappish cuisine, too – fresh cloudberries, smoked reindeer and wild salmon are highlights.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Finland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Podcast: in search of the Northern Lights

Podcast: in search of the Northern Lights

In our recent Reader Awards, we asked you to name the thing at the very top of your bucket list. The answer didn't surprise us one bit. It was, resoundingly, …

25 Dec 2017 • Greg Dickinson volume_up Podcast
In pictures: brushing shoulders with bears in Finland’s newest national park

In pictures: brushing shoulders with bears in Finland’s newest national park

In 2017, Hossa – an area of pristine wilderness with superb hiking near Finland’s eastern border – became the country’s 40th national park. Photographe…

05 Dec 2017 • George Turner insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right