Antarctica & Arctic
From the wondrous Lakeland region to the beauty of the vast icefields in the north, Finland offers a true Scandinavian experience.
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Known as the "Land of a Thousand Lakes" Finland offers up stunning forested landscape dotted with pristine waters, where you can explore untouched wilderness in all seasons, boating and canoeing in the summer and ice skating or snowshoeing in the winter. Head to the frozen north and explore the wild expanses of Lapland, uncover rich cultural experiences with the indigenous Sami people, or even go fat biking in the Finnish wilderness; winter activities abound.
June to August promise long days, warm temperatures and opportunities to explore Finland that may not be available during other months. Midsummer celebrations and the fabled Midnight Sun in the North are popular highlights for many. Autumn offers cooler temperatures and is a great time to explore Lapland as it's bathed in red, orange and gold. Though Winter offers a large variety of options to take advantage of the snowy landscapes. During this season you can take part in a favourite pastime: broiling in a rural sauna before cooling off in the frigid waters of a nearby lake.
The capital Helsinki is both dynamic and stylish, flanked by fabulous art galleries and cafes. Its central shopping boulevard and vibrant harbour showcase the best Nordic design, food and fashion.
Extending over the remote reaches of the country’s north, the Finnish Lapland offers adventure and excitement throughout the year. You can glide through ancient forests on traditional reindeer and dogsleds, stay in one of many Ice, Snow and Glass Igloos on offer and admire the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights) as it lights up the dark winter sky with curtains of green, and if you’re lucky, pinks and reds.
Finland is commonly known for its sauna scene. In particular, bathing in the hot air then dashing outside for an icy dip in a hole in the ice - something every visitor needs to experience.
Discover Santa's hidden hideaway in Rovaniemi. A must do for families and Christmas lovers, join the elves and help to feed the forest birds and decorate Christmas trees, cross the Arctic Circle and enjoy a reindeer sleigh ride.
Discover the Midnight Sun that burns brightly throughout the height of summer in Northern Finland.
Experience the culture of the Sámi people (also Saami) are an indigenous people of northern Europe inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
Emergency Services: 112. The emergency services may not always have English speaking staff.
Midsummer celebrations are popular across Scandinavia, when people gather to celebrate the longest day of the year, either with a bonfire or a maypole decorated with flowers.
Electrical Plug type: European
Voltage: 220-240 volts
Getting around Scandinavia and the Baltic States are easy, with car travel the most common mode of transport for visitors. The road systems are extensive and easy to navigate with most major highways paved. Several airlines provide domestic and international flights to neighbouring countries. Scandinavia has an extensive railway network, and ferries connect the islands, fjords and archipelagos. Travellers should always be sure to drive carefully and monitor weather forecasts, particularly in winter.
Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk and requirements when travelling to this country.
Local languages include Finnish and Swedish. Most people also speak English.
Shops generally open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, with reduced hours on Saturdays and Sundays in major shopping centres. Some supermarkets may open seven days a week until 11pm. Local specialities include woollen knitwear, handmade ceramics, glassware and silver jewellery.
Tips are not expected across Scandinavia and the Baltics since service charges are included in the bill. However, locals generally leave around 5-10% of the bill if they were satisfied with the service quality.
Official travel advice regarding visas is available by calling 04 439 8000 or visiting their website www.safetravel.govt.nz
Finnish and Swedish. Most people can speak English, with varying skills.
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