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US magazines select must-sees in Finland

Åland has it all: beautiful nature, maritime history and culinary experiences.

Visit Åland

From Santa and northern lights to modern cities and orienteering relays, two US magazines have picked their unmissable places and events in Finland.

Renowned US magazine Travel + Leisure has collaborated with two local experts to curate a list of the 15 best Finnish places to visit, encompassing everything from serene archipelagos to vibrant urban hubs. 

“Adventurous travelers and those who prefer fresh air to indoor activities will feel right at home in Finland,” the magazine writes. 

They can, for example, island-hop in the archipelago of Åland, comprising approximately 6 700 islands, and explore Finnish Lakeland, the largest lake district in Europe. Or they can visit Posio to find out what makes it “the most sustainable village in Finland”. Nuuksio and Lemmenjoki National Parks also make the list for their beautiful scenery and hiking trails.

For an urban escapade, the experts highlight the cities of Turku, Tampere (“sauna capital of the world”) and the actual capital, Helsinki. A “hidden gem”, Varkaus, captivates visitors with its juxtaposition of pure lake nature and industrial heritage.

Winter sports enthusiasts and those with a penchant for meeting Santa Claus are directed to Levi and Rovaniemi in Lapland, the latter being the “Official Hometown of Santa Claus”. The region has attracted many celebrity visitors recently, including Paris Saint-Germain football star Kylian Mbappé, whose Lapland photos have been liked by over 4.5 million fans.

Porvoo is the second-oldest city in Finland and is known for its picturesque old town.

Niko Laurila / Visit Porvoo

And that unmissable event? According to National Geographic, the Lakia-Jukola orienteering relay is worth the trip by itself. Held in Kauhava in June, the event stands among “the world’s most prestigious orienteering challenges”. Here, around 18 000 orienteers in teams of six explore some of Finland’s most dramatic scenery armed with good map-reading and trail-running skills.

By: Eeva Haaramo