Traveling in Finland
I visited Finland at the end of December expecting some of the coldest temperatures I had faced in years. As a matter of fact even though I don’t like the cold I welcomed this, hoping to test out my aging mountaineering gear that I hadn’t used in almost five years. In Helsinki I found the weather the same as back home in DC, and even when I ventured well into the Arctic there were days above freezing that had the locals wishing for winter to return!
Even though it was much warmer than I expected, a winter vacation to Finland was one of my most unique trips. I failed to see the northern lights in this country, but I had the experience of crossing the Arctic for the first time, staying in an ice hotel, and exploring the capital of Helsinki.
Finland’s capital is located in the country’s south. With only 600,000 people living in Helsinki, this mid sized city has an old town feel but with lots of modern attractions.
Just a few kilometers below the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is Finland’s gateway to winter wonders like dog and reindeer sledding, ice hotels, and even ice-karting!
Right outside of Rovaniemi is Santa Claus Village and Santa’s Park, two Christmas themed amusement parks.
One of the most unique hotels in the world, Finland is home to the “Snow Village”. This freezing hotel is full of beautiful carved out rooms, ice sculptures, and even fine dining.