8 Things You Didn’t Know About Finland
Finland is home to stunning views, lakes and one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. There is something to offer all year round, but bear in mind that it can get very cold in winter.
The UN 2018 World Happiness Report has named Finland as the happiest nation on earth, as well as being home to the cleanest air on earth.
There’s plenty of offerings in this marvellous country, we have listed a few things you may not have known about Finland here
Nature is everything
Finland is called a “Country of Thousand Lakes”. That however is an understatement as Finland is a country of 187,888 lakes.
Finland is also home to Lake Saimaa, which is western Europe’s second biggest lake at approximately 4,400 square kilometres (which is around 1,70 square miles). It has the world longest lake coastline, at 14,500km long and is made up of 13,710 islands. In 2014, it was listed in the 5 most beautiful lakes in the world by the Wall Street Journal. The famous lake is also home to the Saimaa ringed seal, which is the worlds most endangered seal with a population of 310 seals. If you want to experience local culture, you can stay in one of the 45,000 holiday cottages around Lake Saimaa and taste some local delicacies.
As well as being home to nearly 200,000 lakes, the country is largely compromised of lakes and rivers too. As a result, there are so many different accommodation types to be explored for those looking to stay among the stars! A lot of people that live in the city also have a small cabin in the country that they like to escape to at the weekends.
Most saunas per citizen
Sauna is an integral part of the Finnish culture so it’s not a surprise that there’s loads of them. As a matter of fact, there’ over 3 million of them, which is approximately 1 for every 2 people, and also meaning there are more saunas in Finland than cars”
As a substantial part of Finnish culture, a trip to Finland would not be complete without spending time relaxing in a sauna. There are different types of saunas in Finland, including steam sauna, smoke sauna, ice sauna and wood sauna. As a huge part of health and wellness, it is a regular denture in the lives of the Finnish people. Real Finnish saunas do not have any music or aromatic fragrances, they are dimly lit, and offer natural scents such as fresh birch.
If you are going to a sauna, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, because you will be sweating heavily. Beer and cider is what is enjoyed by a lot of locals, but water would be best for hydration, as the saunas are warmed to around 80 to 100 degrees Celsius.
All saunas have a basket of rocks called “löyly”. Throwing the ricks onto the stove will increase humidity and steam, which increases the feeling of heat. There’s no rules to when to throw the stones onto the stove, just whenever you feel you want more steam.
“Sauna” is also the most common Finnish word used outside Finland.
Finns really love coffee. Coffee consumption per capita is the highest in the world. The average Finn consumes between 9 and 12 kilos of coffee every year, with some people consuming as many as 30 cups of coffee per day (which is not recommended, it can lead to serious health problems). Its particularly popular in winter when temperatures can dip below minus 40 degrees, which makes a warm cup of coffee even more desirable. Likewise, in the short but hot summer, many natives opt for an iced coffee.
The best place to see the Northern Lights
Also called the Aurora Borealis, nature’s most spectacular light show can be seen from Finnish Lapland. It is one of the best places in the world to view the light, and they can be seen over 200 nights per year, from September to March, which is almost every night in winter. To see them, the sky need to be clear.
Be prepared if you are going to see the Northern Lights, they might unexpectedly appear and suddenly vanish any time from sunset to dawn. Also, the best place to see them is away from buildings and lights. The darker the area, the easier it is to see the lights.
Speeding fines are based on your income
In Finland, speeding tickets are calculated based on your income. It is estimated how much spending money the offender has for 1 day, and that number is then divided by 2. This is considered a reasonable amount of money to deprive the offender of for speeding. From here, it is decided how many days to charge the person for, and this depends on the severity of the crime. The maximum number of days you can be fined for is 120 days.
The more you earn, the more you pay. Former NOKIA executive Anssi Vanjoki was handed a €116,000 speeding ticket in 2001.
Country of extreme weather conditions
Finland is situated in Northern Europe stretching well beyond the Arctic Circle in the north. Due to its location, it is possible to experience extreme weather conditions. In the winter polar night lasts up to 51 days and temperature can drop all the way down to -45C°. During the summer Finns get to enjoy up to 73 days of consecutive sunlight in the northernmost region and in the southern part of the country temperatures can go up to +35C°.
The most heavy-metal bands per citizen
Finland among the other Nordic countries certainly have a taste for heavier music. Finland leads the pack by having 53.5 heavy metal bands for every 100,000 citizens.
The home of Santa Claus
If you are visiting Finland in winter time, Lapland is a must on everyone’s bucket list. Seeing Santa Claus and his reindeer in their home in Rovaniemi and learn about Finnish Christmas traditions. Lapland is big, so we would recommend renting a car to explore!
Car hire in Finland
There’s no doubt about it – the best way to visit the hidden gems of Finland is by car. Holiday Autos’ handy car hire comparison site helps you find the best deals for your next trip to Finland.
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