Intrepid Travel Guide – Finland
Today in Finland the temperature hit a balmy 14°C. And while Europeans often plan to leave the snow and ice for sunnier climes, many Singaporeans are planning a trip away from our tropical paradise. If you are looking for cool – Finland may be just the ticket.
Flight time to Finland from Singapore is 12 hours. Enough time for dinner, a couple of movies and a refreshing nap. Here are our tips to make the most of your holiday.
Summer is very light and warm. North of the Arctic Circle, the temperature varies from 20 – 30°C. The midnight sun is above the horizon from early June to early July. Even in the south, the sun sets just below the horizon, so nights are short and bright.
In the north of Finland, winter arrives in the form of snow from November to April. In the south, the snow tends to fall from December. Winter in the region includes a phase called the ‘polar night.’ At this time, the sun does not bother to show itself above the horizon. In the very north of Finland, polar night lasts for 51 days. The shortest day in the south is around 6 hours. Temperatures can drop to -20°C.
As a guide, the average temperature in Helsinki ranges between +17°C in July and -5, 7°C in February.
Things To Do
While Finland is still a relatively unexplored part of Europe, Helsinki is famous. And for good reason. This elegant city is packed with all the art, culture, shopping and culinary adventures you could dream of.
Highlights include the architecture around Senate Square, Finlandia Hall, the underground Rock Church and Suomenlinna. You can choose from the Finnish National Museum of Art, or the Finnish National Museum. On the nearby on the island of Seurasaari, there an Open-Air Folk Museum, with houses and timber buildings, relating to Finland’s past.
2. Day Trips From Helsinki
The historic town of Provoo – reached by road or boat.
The medieval castle at Hameenlinna.
The ancient capital of Finland at Turku.
3. The Northern Lights
In Finland, nature’s most spectacular light show, the Aurora Borealis, can be viewed in a range of purpose-built spaces from glass igloos to luxury suites. The Northern Lights are visible on roughly 200 nights a year – or every other clear night – in Finnish Lapland.
The more traditional ways to go Aurora spotting are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobile and sled dog touring. If gazing at the dark sky in crispy winter air is not your thing, there are many places to snuggle up and sleep well under the Aurorae.
The Åland archipelago consists of around 6 500 islands, but only more than 60 are inhabited. Åland has its own taxation system, its own postage stamps, its own flag and Swedish as its only official language.
For travellers, the Åland islands offer activities from adventurous island-hopping to boating, fishing, golfing and lots more. It’s easy to get from one island to another thanks to the many bridges and ferries, and Åland’s roads are terrific for cycling holidays.
Famous for it’s majestic red brick medieval castle on the shores of Lake Vanajavesi, and for being the birthplace of the great composer Jean Sibelius, historical Hämeenlinna enjoys a vibrant cultural and commercial life.
Surrounded by beautiful National Parks, the city boasts one of the best equipped theme parks in Puuhamaa, two excellent spas at at Aulanko and Vesihelmi, 8 golf courses, and the chance to hike, cycle, ride horses, ski, jet-ski, snowboard, sail and lots more besides.
6. Lemmenjoki National Park
The legendary River Lemmenjoki leads into the homelands of Lapland’s indigenous Sámi People. Experience the wilds and try panning for gold on a guided river trip. Tuck into tasty reindeer stew as you scan the night sky for the Northern Lights in winter, or bathe in the rays of the Midnight Sun in summer. Finland’s largest national park has plenty of wild places to explore off the beaten track.
Staying Safe and Warm
Dr Lee Kheng Hock is the Senior Consultant and Head of Singapore General Hospital’s Family Medicine and Continuing Care. He advises –
“Exposed and vulnerable areas such as the ears, nose, face, neck and the extremities need to be well-protected because these areas are very vulnerable to cold injuries and are most likely to be exposed. Clothing items that we seldom use in our climate in Singapore, such as insulated hats, masks, ear muffs, gloves, boots and scarves, become very important.”
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