Finland doesn’t make headlines too often. When Finland does make the papers, the Scandinavian country is usually being reported on for its remarkable welfare or education systems or some new pilot scheme such as basic income, which has been in the news in recent years. To the luck and delight of the Finns, it’s rare to hear of massive tragedies coming out of Finland—though of course like anywhere tragedy does strike. For all of Finland’s quietness, shall we call it, it’s one of the more interesting places in Europe to go on holiday. And for water lovers it definitely needs to be at the top of the list.
Finland has thousands of lakes and hundreds of rivers and streams. Like many arctic regions the growing and receding of glacials over the last thousands and hundreds of thousands of years has left a landscape that’s absolutely littered with lakes, making it one of the world’s best places for canoeing. Not only does it offer fresh water lakes and rivers but it also has plenty of coastline in the Gulf of Bothnia, the Baltic, and the Arctic Ocean. While the Arctic Ocean probably isn’t the easiest place to kayak or canoe it can most certainly provide the more adventures paddlers with an unforgettable experience of a life time.
But for the average person there’s plenty to do and see that doesn’t require a drysuit and the bravado of an explorer of old. Even within an hour of Finland’s capital Helsinki there are places to kayak or canoe—and at that there are lakes, river, and the sea—meaning that the visitor doesn’t even have to leave the capital to have some time on the water.
However, to really see some of the beautiful nature that the Nordic country has to offer it’s probably best to head up north. Scandinavia is one of the few remaining places in Europe with proper wilderness and the farther north one goes the less populated the country becomes. It’s probably best to plan a trip more thoroughly than one would otherwise if heading up north because the nature can get dangerous.
Don’t let that discourage you though because Finland really is one of the most beautiful places to go canoeing or kayaking and for any avid fan of water sport it’s a place worth visiting.