FINLAND WALKING HOLIDAYS TRAVEL GUIDE
2 MINUTE SUMMARY
Finland features quite outstanding wilderness areas. Its boardwalks over bird-abundant wetlands, and easygoing routes past pristine lakes and lichen-covered spruce, ensure summer strolls are as satisfying as blue skies and blueberry pancakes. Walks don't stop when the snow falls, however, and as this is when snow shoes come into play. This does require a certain element of exercise though, if you were thinking it was going to be all downhill. Another, relatively energetic, Finnish pastime is hiking with huskies. This involves a harness, a dog and a fair bit of core control as you embark on a power-assisted hike that benefits the dogs and local people just as much as walkers. Finally, Finns have thought of everything when it comes to alleviating walking-related aches; from hot tubs and saunas to strong coffee and picnics around open fires, Finland is where enjoying the outdoors in all four seasons really comes into its own.
WHAT DO FINLAND WALKING HOLIDAYS ENTAIL?
Responsible Travel recommends
Walking through the seasons
The beauty of walking in Finland is that you can do it all year round with wilderness trails through pine and spruce forests equally as rewarding when decorated with wild berries and mushrooms during the summer, or a blanket of thick snow in winter.
In winter though, there is only one way to get around on a walking vacation here. If you've never tried snow shoeing then we highly recommend it. It's not technically difficult, and although you'll need to be relatively fit it's no more taxing than hiking, and suitable for all ages from 17 to 77. Daily distances are about half of those on a hiking vacation; 7km will usually take about six hours and experiencing Hossa and Oulanka National Parks covered in snow makes braving the cold all the more worthwhile, especially when followed by the obligatory sauna or a dip in an outdoor hot tub. All kit is supplied, including cold weather gear, a rucksack, thermos and snow shoes. Just put your best foot forward and away you go.
Walk with dogs
Another walking vacation format where Finland excels is hiking with huskies. Not only is this a great way to enjoy the great outdoors but it's also fantastic exercise for the dogs – who have busy winter seasons pulling sleds, but often struggle to get out and about enough during the snow-free summer months. Huskies are incredibly intelligent, loving and loyal creatures, and walking 12km with the same dog – every day if you wish – lets you bond with your husky, as well as participating in a traditional Finnish activity that benefits both the natural world and local people living in these remote, rural regions.
Walking in Finland is great for discovering traditional lifestyles within a wonderfully wild environment. You’ll find everything from bogs, swamps and marshlands to vast taiga forests leading to crystal clear lakes and waterfalls, during and experience that's as Finnish as saunas and lingonberry pancakes.