Winter in Finland
If you think about winter in Finland, I'm sure that northern lights, Lapland or even Santa comes to your mind first. But what about the rest? Finland is a huge country with a lot to offer and there is soooo much more to discover than the auroras in winter. Today I'm gonna talk about Lakeland, a peaceful place at the heart of the country with more lakes than inhabitants... how amazing is that?
Just relax and enjoy the nature
Imagine yourself in a place covered in forest and lakes with hardly any people around... That's what lakeland looks like. In winter it's even more quiet than in summer (it is the high season with many Finns coming in their summer cottages) even though there are as many interesting activities to do. To give you a small taste of what you could do, here is what we did when we were there:
Enjoy a traditional finish sauna
Sauna is so much at the heart of Finnish culture that any trip to Finland would not really be complete without it. In my opinion, it is even better in winter, when the temperature outside is so cold that you're just dreaming about it! But remember, a real winter sauna experience is also about dipping into the ice cold water of the lake Saimaa... It might sound horrible but try it; it feels just great when you come out of the water!
Try ice fishing
In winter, the ice is so thick over the lake Saimaa that you could even drive on it. You might think these are not the best conditions for fishing but you are wrong! Finnish fishermen dig holes in the ice to fix their nets or traps. We had the chance to observe two of them at work and I have to admit it was really impressive.
It is impossible to go trekking in winter in Finland... That's not correct! Just put on your snow shoes and go explore the amazing nature around you. You will not regret it! We went once for a walk on the Niinisaari Island and it was just great. The snowy landscape of Finnish Lakeland was just so beautiful!
Enjoy local delicacies
You can imagine, good ingredients are all around in Lakeland: berries, fresh fish, herbs, cheese, honey... And local chefs are so proud about cooking with local products. We enjoyed so much the food we tasted in Mikkeli and around... salmon cooked on an open fire, blinis, fish soup, and mushrooms salad... sooo tasty! If we had to choose 2 restaurants, we would recommend you the bistro Vilee in Mikkeli or the restaurant of the Sahanlahti resort with its amazing view on the lake Saimaa.
Many other activities
Don't believe that's it! There is so much more to do in Lakeland during winter time... you could for example go skating on the frozen lakes, cross country skiing, have some fun with a kick sledge or just enjoy a nice evening talking around an open fire... possibilities are great.
So if you need some vacations in a quiet area close to the nature, I hope I convinced you that the Finnish Lakeland is THE perfect place. Just rent a small cottage with a sauna on the shore of a lake (and believe me, that's not so expensive) and enjoy the silence of nature... that's it ;)
This article is written and photograph by Fabienne & Benoit from the blog Novo-Monde.com (all rights reserved)