Finland, Finland Driving from Helsinki to Santa! Mini Guide by Juho Virtanen

Finland is a great green land to explore. Here is a road trip (with some nice detours) from Helsinki to up north in the Lapland region, passing through cities, UNESCO villages, museums, natural parks and, of course, Santa Claus's village.

source: Triposo

 
Suomenlinna, until 1918 Viapori or Sveaborg (Swedish), is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands (Kustaanmiekka, Susisaari, Iso-Mustasaari, Pikku-Mustasaari, Länsi-Mustasaari and Långören) and which now forms part of the city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. The fortress has been included in Unesco's Word Heritage List.

Suomenlinna

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Hanko is a popular town to visit in summer and a lot of tourism ensures good services and a lot of restaurants in the marina. The skyline of Hanko is dominated by the church and the water tower. The Hangon Regatta has been a traditional fixture on the Finnish social scene, and is the town's major summer event.

Hanko

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Turku, the oldest town of Finland and former capital, is located on the shores of river Aura. It's the gateway to the Archipelago Sea, where the huge castle and cathedral are the two poles of the historic old town, between which just about every important site in the city can be found.

Turku

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Nantali is one of the most important tourist centres of the country. It's called Finland's official summer holiday city because the Kultaranta estate, the summer residence of the President of Finland, is located here.

Naantali

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Rauma is a beautifully preserved old town which is on the UNESCO world heritage list.

Rauma

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Tampere is an industrial city, home of culture, music, art and museums. Perhaps the best music scene in Finland.

Tampere

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Linnansaari National Park is a national park in the Southern Savonia and Northern Savonia regions of Finland. The National Park was established to conserve the valuable natural features of the Finnish lakeland. On the main island there's an old croft. Controlled crop burning is still practised on its fields, keeping old traditions alive. A large part of the island is natural coniferous forest with some herb-rich parts.

Linnansaari National Park

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source: Triposo

 
This 17th century ruins of Kajaani castle are one famous historical monument in Kajaani. They are located on an island in River Kajaani in the centre of the city. The castle was originally built in 1604 and was commissioned by Charles IX of Sweden. It served as an administrative centre, prison, military base and a refuge for the citizens.

Kajaani Castle

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source: Triposo

 
Karhunkierros is a hiking trail that stretches from Salla to Kuusamo in north-eastern Finland.

Karhunkierros

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source: Triposo

 
Art, music and events. Art museum collection consists mostly of modern Finnish art. Home of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland. The architecture of Korundi blends the structures, aesthetics and atmospheres of the old industrial building with the modern elements of the art museum and concert hall.

Korundi House of Culture

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source: Triposo

 
Santa Claus Village is an amusement park near Rovaniemi in the Lapland region of Finland.

Santa Claus Village

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source: Triposo

 
Siida is a museum devoted to the history and culture of the Sámi, the original people of the area. It also doubles as a natural history museum for the region, displaying plants and wildlife from all of the areas inhabited by the Sámi. The main building is from 1998, the outdoor museum has traditions from 1959. The exhibitions are of international standard, and text is provided in local languages, English, and German. In addition to the indoor exhibition, there is an outdoor museum which features traditional Sámi dwellings. Plenty of free parking available at the site.

Siida

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