In our opinion, the best way to explore a country is to abandon the cities and take to the woods. It gives you the chance to get to know the landscape and the creatures that live off the land, and the Finnish wilderness has always been close to our hearts at Transun. In Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, Finland’s forests truly are a sight to behold and they have a lot to offer a visitor who is willing to explore.
Here are some of our favourite things about the Finnish countryside:
The forests are incredibly important in Finland. They make up around 60% of the country and the wilderness looms large in Finnish mythology and folklore. There is a belief in Finland that nature belongs to everyone and that the country’s fells and forests, lakes and rivers should be free for all to enjoy free of charge. This is a concept that is enshrined in law, and so you are free to walk, hike, ski and cycle through most of the country. It is however important to remember that you have a role to play in this system: you must leave the countryside as you found it, not disturb the wildlife, and be respectful of others’ property.
Silence – almost…
Finland is a sparsely populated country and so it isn’t hard to find yourself far from civilisation. The forest is never completely silent as the rustle of deer, foxes, birds and other creatures making their way between the trees and through the snow follows you as you go, and the wind whispers across the landscape. But the complete lack of traffic noise and the wonderful sense of isolation creates an atmosphere of calm and an almost-silence that is hard to come by in the modern age. We can think of nowhere more relaxing or more peaceful.
Berries and Mushrooms
While our trips to Scandinavia depart in the winter, no look at Finland’s vast swathes of forest would be complete without mentioning the treats that you can find amongst the undergrowth during the summer months. A walk through the forest can offer a delicious trip through Finnish cuisine, and everyman’s right states that wild-berries and mushrooms can be picked by passers-by. Raspberries, blueberries and lingonberries can be found throughout, but it is the local cloudberries that we love. Eaten fresh, these have a tart flavour, but eaten over-ripe they taste sweet and have a creamy texture not unlike yoghurt – they are wonderful with cheese! The wide variety of mushrooms also makes Finland a paradise for mushroom pickers. Look out for delicious boletes and brittlegills which can be used to cook up tasty Finnish dishes.
Our trips to Finland will take you deep into the wilderness where you can discover this fascinating landscape for yourself. Nothing quite beats a stroll through the enchanting Finnish trees, especially when snow blankets the area as far as the eye can see, and this will be the stunning backdrop for your husky and snowmobile safaris, cross-country skiing and any other exciting activities you want to try – perfect!