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 due to the adjacent flat and fertile farmland; busy and expanding Oulu is the region’s major city, though it maintains a pleasing small-town atmosphere. Further north is the remote and wild 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 buzzing 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.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Finland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

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 – will become the country’s 40th national park. Photog…

19 Sep 2016 • George Turner insert_drive_file Article
Brave new world: the quirks of Finland’s saunas

Brave new world: the quirks of Finland’s saunas

To Finns, it is the most natural thing on the planet: disrobing, sweating it out naked in front of strangers in temperatures of 80°C, occasionally self-flagell…

11 Aug 2016 • Luke Waterson insert_drive_file Article
18 beautiful pictures of Finland

18 beautiful pictures of Finland

Professional travel photographer Tim Bird shares his love of photographing Finland.  "I’ve been based in the Finnish capital Helsinki for more than thirty…

12 May 2015 • Tim Bird insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month