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Winter in Finland

Scotland
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Winter in Finland

Hiya guys, I hope you are all well :).

I'm considering spending a couple of weeks in the Finland during winter for New Year. I'm not a big partyer, somewhere historical with pubs, historic towns and most importantly...beautiful forests. Can anybody suggest a good itinerary? It would be great to get up to Lapland, but I think it would take a long time to get there and it might be quite expensive.

Thanks!

With a handshake!

Ewan

Finland
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1. Re: Winter in Finland

Hi, towns with some history, pubs and not too far away from Helsinki? Turku and Tampere at least would qualify with that criteria. Both are within about two hours by train. Your question is quite broad, can you narrow down it a little? Would you be interested of outdoor activities, for example?

Oulu, Finland
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for Helsinki, Oulu, Lapland
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2. Re: Winter in Finland

If you can decide the time of your "detour" to Lapland early (approx. during September), you could get economical flights to Rovaniemi, Kittilä or Ivalo airports (especially from Norwegian but also Finnair has often cheap return flights).

Helsinki, Finland
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for Tallinn, Finland, Helsinki
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3. Re: Winter in Finland

Be prepared for short daylight hours and possibly depressingly slushy weather. It isn't always winter wonderland scenery in the more southerly parts of the country during the period you mention.

Scotland
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4. Re: Winter in Finland

Hiya guys! Thanks for your help :)!

Oh, I'm from Scotland and have spent sent time in Murmansk - I know about the weather :p!

A bit of history and a bit of walking around the forest would be the plan :)! I send a lot of holidays in the Estonian islands, so some nice forests and a bit of winter wildlife.

With a handshake!

Ewan

Rovaniemi, Finland
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5. Re: Winter in Finland

There are not many hiking routes maintained in winter. Some, but not many. So you'd better pick up skiing or snow shoeing... :)

For wintery landscapes Lapland is of course the number one destination. Snow is guaranteed for New Year.

Finnish wildlife is a bit sparse, some birds, squirrels and an occasional rabbit in its winter fur. But in Lapland we have at least reindeers loitering loitering even on public roads. And Ranua wildlife park. Like Zam suggested, if you book early, Lapland is realtively cheap to reach by air.

But then for the history part... Not much up here in Lapland for a history buff. A couple nice museum here and there, but they are some 200km apart. Historic town centers are in aouthern Finland. I know a Scotsman has seen a castle before, but you could maybe arrange yourself a little castle tour. Our castles tend to be... lets say more modest than many of their mid-European counterparts.

Edited: 02 September 2013, 23:06
Finland
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for Helsinki, Finland
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6. Re: Winter in Finland

"Historic town centers"

Someone coming from Scotland, there is none. Helsinki was founded 1550, but what we call the old town is from the Russian period from 1810 onwards. Suomenlinna/Sveaborg is from around 1750. Turku is older, but was pretty totally burned down in 1827.

Rovaniemi for instance was destroyed in WWII and it'sbuildings are from post war period.

Forests and nature related activities we have plenty of. Concentrate on those.

Helsinki, Finland
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for Tallinn, Finland, Helsinki
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7. Re: Winter in Finland

Tampere's not at all a bad place to visit in wintertime. Good pubs aplenty, and surrounded by lakes (most likely frozen by then) and forests. One place of special interest to Brits is Pyynikki church, which has a fair-sized plot for the English and Scottish pioneering families who did much to build this formerly international city in the 19th century. Pics: flickr.com/photos/… One Scottish name that hits you in the eye in Tampere is Finlayson, but once there were many.

This is a fairly neglected era of Finnish industrial history. I lived in Tampere for 2 years in the 1970s and nobody ever mentioned it to me. In those days, the local resident Brits were down to single figures (they all knew each other).

Scotland
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8. Re: Winter in Finland

Thanks guys :)! Maybe Tampere. Are the Aland Islands worth visiting in winter?

Thanks for your info guys :)!

With a handshake!

Ewan

Helsinki, Finland
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for Tallinn, Finland, Helsinki
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9. Re: Winter in Finland

Åland will be a bit bleak to say the least, but that may be what you're looking for. The province isn't noted for its forests but it's rich in rugged coastline. The ruined massive fortifications at Bomarsund and partially restored castle of Kastelholm will be dramatic in wintry conditions and you'll likely have them all to yourself, though you won't have much daylight to see them in. Better hire a car as the public transport there is iffy even in summer. The only substantial town is Mariehamn, which will be quiet at that time of year.

Edited: 03 September 2013, 22:40
10. Re: Winter in Finland

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