The winter landscape lends itself to cross-country skiing, the season lasting from December until January in the south and April or May in northern and central Finland. There are ski slopes, too – Levi, Ylläs and Ruka are the main ones – see www.ski.fi for more information. Several operators offering off-piste skiing. The hiking season is short (May to September) because of snow coverage, but trails like the 80km-long Karhunkierros (bear’s ring; nationalparks.fi/en/karhunkierros) remain popular. Watery pursuits like kayaking (or kitesurfing on the frozen lakes in the winter) are a worthwhile option in the lake regions, especially around Lake Inari. Popular national sports include the distinctively Finnish pesäpallo, similar to baseball, and ice hockey.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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Finland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

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
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
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