Aerial view of Punkaharju Nature Reserve in Finland


Unlike craggy Norway and Sweden, Finland is a land of low, rolling plains interspersed with lakes and hills. The capital, Helsinki, straddles several islands, brightened by colourful architecture and the former capital Turku is also well worth visiting. In the north of the country, the gradually rising fells and forests of Lapland are Finland’s most remarkable terrain and are home to the Sámi, semi-nomadic reindeer herders.

Known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, Finland actually has over 180,000 lakes and a similar number of islands, making it an wonderful destination for boating. The vast waters of the Lake Region stretch as far as Russia to the east, with many towns lying on narrow ridges between lakes.