Route to Finland. Planning the journey.

Route to Finland snowmobile

The route to Finland begins from the North. Why? Easy. Because you cannot talk about Finland without putting it into Scandinavia so inside a complete route.

Route to Finland Turku by boat

Of course, as we have already explained, it’s not a short route and it’s not even a cheap route. But it’s a complete route so you can fit it according your needs and the period. Of course, you can follow it backwards.

Route to Finland boat

If you are planning the journey following my tips, you are going to arrive from Norway, you got off the Hurtigruten and you are at Kirkenes, a town in the northernmost of Norway overlooking the Barents Sea (once it belonged to Russia).

Route to Finland boat

Do you know Finland in the North has no access to the sea, don’t you? Not everybody thinks about this, but Norway and Russia border each other preventing Finland to access the sea.

Route to Finland harbour

Now you have two possibilities: you can hire a car or you can use the public means.

Route to Finland on the road

If you choose the car, you can also go back a bit towards Cape North: I made skip you this stage before onboard Hurtigruten since the excursion is really expensive. So you can discover it calmly and alone.

Route to Finland reindeer

Anyway my tip is to really skip it. In Summer it’s a place full of tourists and admittance is very expensive. Instead in Winter is a deserted place, so free, but the visitors centre is closed. To me it’s most charming in Winter.

Route to Finland ice town

If you opt for the public means it exists a very good bus line linking Kirkenes to Rovaniemi. From there on, a full and efficient railway line will allow you to reach Helsinki and from here or from other southern places, you can leave again towards Italy.

Route to Finland ice and sea

It’s useless to say the best way is the car because it allows you to move alone freely even if it’s not cheap.

Route to Finland reindeer on the road

In this case you can save moving by public means and once reached the destination you are interested in, you can go around there by the hiring car to avoid hiring the car in a place and then leave it in another one, since it will cost you more.

Route to Finland reindeer on the road

The Finnish Lapland is charming in all seasons but I prefer it in Winter. Don’t worry about the roads conditions.

Route to Finland Rovaniemi museuum

Services are very efficient and it will be enough to adjust the speed for not having troubles (in Winter is advisable to hire a 4×4 car).

Route to Finland on the road

Also Autumn is charming for the thousands colours of the Finnish woods: they are made of all sorts of plants so in this season they take all shades of red and yellow.

Route to Finland santa park in rovaniemi

The foliage is really magic. But remember it starts very early compared to our season.

Route to Finland snowmobile on the lake

Explore calmly the Lapland, do trekking, sail the lakes, try to drive a sleight drawn by dogs (it’s very easy), and go and have a safari by snow mobile by night, on the frontier with Russia, trying to take some pictures of the bear. You can’t miss it!

Route to Finland sledding huskie

Only this emotion it worth the journey. Did I already tell you about when I sighted the bear in Florida, didn’t I?

Route to Finland fishing on the ice

Levi is practically the capital of winter sports. It will be very beautiful trying to go down the tracks at -30 degrees while a lot of people are snowploughing on those “panettoni” which have nothing in common with our Alps.

Route to Finland husky

Even I seemed a good skier!

Route to Finland ski

Rovaniemi and the Santa Claus Village deserves a quite different story.

Route to Finland ski rovaniemi santa claus village

It’s the most tourist (and the most expensive) place in the world but you have to pass by here maybe without stopping too much.

Route to Finland ski rovaniemi santa claus village in the night

A walking in the depths of Winter by night is a spectacle to enjoy the atmosphere without tourists. Choose Levi or other places to do any Winter activity: you will find them more real and cheaper.

Route to Finland ski rovaniemi santa park

Then go down through the area of the great lakes, which you can admire from the top by the Kuopio Tower, going up in a beautiful sunny day.

Route to Finland kuopio tower

But here the best is Summer when the look sweeps the blue of the sky reflecting on the waters.

Route to Finland landascape on the lakes

In Winter it’s very distinctive since lakes are white expanses melt with the sky.

Route to Finland smoke sauna

Of course, you can’t miss the sauna with the consequently dive into the snow.

Route to Finland night sauna with snow

The best is the smoke sauna near there, always in Kuopio and the dive into the frozen lake. Have a look on the website for days and times.

Route to Finland night lake after sauna

Whether you decide to do cross-country skis, trekking, to walk on the frozen lakes, to try fishing, to visit the Ice Hotels or to try the icebreaker Sampo (very beautiful experience but with a crazy amount), you will fall in love with Finland.

Route to Finland icebreaker sampo

Do you want to go onboard an icebreaker? The Viking Line linking Stockholm to Turku or Helsinki is what you need.

Route to Finland icebreaker

Go to the boarding, pay and go onboard (with the car, too) to get the best price.

Route to Finland viking line

The creaking of ice breaking when the icebreaker passes in the arctic night, to form again immediately after due to the very rigorous temperatures, it’s as exciting as watching the Northern Lights.

Route to Finland reindeers

Helsinki needs no presentations. Perhaps it’s the capital with the northernmost flavour in the whole Scandinavia.

Route to Finland cathedral in helsinki

Admire its white gothic cathedral or the orthodox cathedral, but above all don’t miss the fish market in any season.

Route to Finland cathedral in helsinki

It’s not as tourist as that one in Bergen and prices here in Finland are definitely more affordable than in the whole Scandinavia, even thanks to Euro.

Route to Finland fish market

Eating at the fish market is a riot of senses. You will find cooked and raw fish, fish to cook and also already seasoned fish, and really many in a vacuum versions. Bring it at your home and freeze it to taste the North for really many time!

Route to Finland ice

From Helsinki you can come back to Italy by plane or go on towards Stockholm by the Viking Line.

By the way, see you on the next route for this!

Route to Finland sunrise in helsinki

 

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