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  • A Cruising Couple | July 2, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    7 Ways to Have Fun in Finland

    7 Ways to Have Fun in Finland

    Photo courtesy of VisitFinland. All other photos via Flickr.

    Finland is full of unique and awesome experiences for travelers looking for a destination that's out of the ordinary. Here are some of our favorite things to see and do that make Finland so much fun.

    Have A Finnish Sauna

    A uniquely Finnish experience, the sauna is a fundamental cultural experience on any visit to the country. It's estimated that there are more saunas in Finland than there are cars, so you should have no trouble finding the perfect place to give the tradition a try. We decided to partake in the sauna ritual while we were in cold and snowy Yilas.

    Ice Bath.jpg

    It's typically expected that bathers go naked in the sauna. Once you’re inside, water is thrown over hot stones to moderate the humidity. In many saunas, you’ll see a bundle of birch tree branches. You can use this to gently whip the skin and relax the muscles. Once you are properly feeling the heat, it's time for an ice bath! Our private Finnish sauna was a remote cabin that came complete with a frozen lake for dunking. If you don’t have an ice pond nearby, a roll in the snow will also do. There are saunas all over the country, both public and private. Expect the public saunas to be separated by gender.

    Serenity In Lakeland

    Finland, lakes south of Joensuu

    There are literally thousands of lakes in Finland’s Lakeland district. Climb the Puijo tower in Koupio for beautiful views of the hills and crystal clear waters of the surrounding lakes. Or simply grab a cottage and a kayak and start exploring the great outdoors on your own. Other popular locations include Joensuu, Tampere, and the Kainuu region, each of which offer endless outdoor activities like fishing, hiking and even bear watching!

    Rage At A Music Festival


    From hip-hop to indie to heavy metal, Finland hosts concerts that fit virtually every genre. One of the biggest and most unique events is the three-day heavy metal festival named Tuska, which directly translates into the word “pain.” In central Helsinki, metal heads join together and sounds of darkness resonate throughout the city. Big name bands include Alice Cooper, Lamb of God and In Flames.

    Looking for something on the lighter side? Check out the Savonlinna Opera Festival, which takes place in a castle among spectacular scenery in the Lakeland district.

    See Santa

    Rovaniemi - Santa Claus

    At Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, it's Christmas all year long. Here you can visit a husky dog farm, pan for gold and meet Santa himself! Over a half a million visitors venture to the home of Santa each year and the address receives millions of letters from over 180 different countries. There’s no age restriction as long as you’re a child at heart.

    Meet A Reindeer Herder

    Reindeer in Finland

    Although reindeer might be the transportation of choice for Santa, the culture of reindeer in Finland goes far beyond pulling Santa's sleigh. The Sami reindeer herders of Finnish Lapland have been living off of reindeer for hundreds of years. The land in Finnish Lapland is only able to support an average of 200,000 reindeer. During the spring and summer months when new babies are born, the population of the reindeer increases to around 350,000. Due to the scarcity of natural resources necessary to support the extra population, the difference of around 150,000 reindeer is used for consumption. Nothing goes to waste. Furs are made into clothes, bones are used for tools and even the blood finds its way into Finnish cooking!

    Tours can be arranged year round where you can meet and talk with Sami reindeer herders about their heritage. It’s a fascinating experience.

    See The Northern Lights

    Northern Lights Finland

    It was always a dream of ours to see the Northern Lights. The seemingly magical auroras are caused by solar particles colliding with the Earth's atmosphere. For the best chance of seeing the lights, time your visit between September and March, although sometimes it’s still possible to see the lights in early April. The best time to see the Northern Lights is on a dark, clear night away from the light pollution of cities. We were able to witness them for ourselves in the northern town of Muonio, Finland. You can check out our Complete Guide To Seeing The Northern Lights right here on TravelPulse.

    Celebrate Midsummer


    If you’re visiting Finland over the summer, don’t miss the opportunity to partake in the national holiday of Midsummer. Originally the holiday was a way to celebrate the summer solstice, complete with traditional dance, young maidens with flowers, and bonfires. Today it is primarily an occasion for celebrating with friends and family.

    Finland is a fun and unique destination for travelers looking for a destination that's a bit different. Have you visited Finland? What were your favorite memories?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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