The joy of Finland is that it has all the sophistication that the visitor would expect from any major destination together with its great forests and thousands of lakes, which make it the last great wilderness in Western Europe. Effectively it is two countries superbly blended into one.
Situated in the Northeast, Finland is one of the most northerly countries in Europe. One third of the country is north of the Arctic Circle, although because of the proximity of the Gulf Stream and the effect of the Baltic Sea, the climate is milder than in any other countries on the same latitude. It’s other half is Lapland in the north of the country, a huge and heterogeneous area that forms it’s own exotic region. Lapland has several national parks and nature reserves, vast highlands and the second largest lake in Finland, all of which contribute to give it the largest wilderness in Europe.
Most Finns speak a little English and many are impressively fluent. Finnish is the mother tongue although 6% are also Swedish speaking. In Lapland the language is Lapp, spoken by the minority Sami population.
Although menus tend to be international, there are some Finnish specialities that should definitely be tried, including reindeer, whitefish, sprats, herring, crayfish and, in the autumn, a variety of wild game.