Finland is located in Northern Europe, eastern parts of Scandinavia. It is located between 59 and 70° north latitude in the eastern hemisphere. It is bordered on the north by Norway, on the west by Sweden and the Gulf of Bothnia, on the south has an outlet on the Gulf of Finland and on the east has a large border with Russia. Finland is an external border of the European Union. It has an area of about 338 145sq.km. It is one of the major European countries.
Relief of Finland. Almost the entire territory of Finland has flat or hilly terrain. Only in the northwestern frontier areas there is a small area occupied by not very high mountains.
Here on the border with Norway is located the highest peak in Finland – Halti, 1328 meters high. The biggest part of the landscape of Finland is formed by the influence of glaciers that covered the Northern Europe 11,500 years ago.
On closer look at the map of Finland you will notice that the coastline is very indented and carved by the retreating ice.
Water resources of Finland. Finland is a country which has huge water resources. This country is second in the world after Canada by number of lakes. Their number is around 187,888!
Few countries in the world can boast with such a large resource of fresh water. The lakes freeze over completely in winter so that their beauty can be seen only during the summer months. Here, as it is in Canada, local lakes are a natural consequence of the withdrawal of glaciers.
The country is known for its extremely harsh winters, and this is not wondering as the Arctic Circle cross its northern parts.
Finland has a colder climate than Norway and Sweden, as it is more distant by the Atlantic Ocean and by the softening influence of the warm Gulf Stream, which warms the northern parts of mainland Europe.
Finland has four seasons – winter, spring, summer and autumn, of which the longest and pronounced is winter. Warmest (if you can call it that) is the winter in the southern parts of the country where is located the capital Helsinki.
In this part of the country winter lasts from November to late March and is also very cold with heavy snowfalls. Last days with positive temperatures of 1-2 degrees typically occur in November.
This month the nights are already very cold with temperatures around (-5) – (-6) °C. Starts freezing of the Gulf of Finland, and the days begin to shorten rapidly. December is even colder.
Days are around (-1) °C, and the nights are between (-5) and (-10) °C. January and February are the coldest months of the year. Temperatures during the day are around (-4) °C, and at night fall down to (-10) °C. In this part of the year often occur extremely low temperatures to freeze hard the country!
In March daytime’s temperature gradually reach and even exceed 0°C, but is still very cold, especially at night. In April spring comes and snowfall turns into rain. The days are already mild – between 5 and 10 degrees, but the nights are still cold – about zero.
In May, you can feel in the air the approaching of summer. Temperatures are similar to those in the Mediterranean in the winter – around 15°C during the day and about 5°C at night. Summer lasts three months – June, July and August. The weather is warm, very sunny and pleasant.
Temperatures are between 20 and 23°C but abundant sunshine gives the impression of higher temperatures. As it is located on the same geographic latitude as St. Petersburg, in southern Finland the most enjoyable weather is also in late June and early July.
In August rainfall increase and you can feel the approaching autumn although temperatures are still high. This is the rainiest month of the year. September is typical autumn month.
Temperature is the same as it is in May – between 5 and 15°C, but is rainier. October is cool. The days are between 5 and 10°C and night temperatures approach zero degrees.
Here is what tells about the weather a resident of Helsinki: “One night in early February a few years ago a storm arose. In our country we are used to see such weather events and they do not impress us particularly, so I went to bed early as I had to get up on the next day for work.
The next morning I opened my eyes and everything seemed strangely quiet and light on the street. This bit surprised me, because our winter is usually quite dark, and also at this time of day on the street man can hear noise from vehicles of neighbours who go to work.
When I looked out the window I was just amazed – the weather was very quiet and the snow was buried almost the entire first floor of my house! And another time there was snow blowing, but it was a case which I think will never forget! I did not see cars on the street.
I have no idea whether there was no cars or they was remained buried under the snow, but could not see anything. Everything was like a snowy tale and in this day I remained at home until the streets become passable again. ”
Population, settlements and languages of Finland. This Nordic country has a large area, but is very sparsely populated. Here live near 5.5 million inhabitants, of whom 1.4 million live in urban agglomeration of Helsinki.
The reason for the lower population can be found in relatively harsh climatic conditions in Scandinavia. Not incidentally most major cities are clustered in southern Finland. Besides Helsinki, the other major cities are Turku, Tampere, Vaasa and Oulu. Of these, only Oulu is located on the north.
The official language is Finnish. This is one of the most unfamiliar and difficult European languages. The only country that falls into one language group with Finland is Hungary.
Economy of Finland. Like its Nordic neighbours Finland is a very rich country and has well-developed economy and local population enjoys an exceptionally high standard of living.
Finland’s industry is well developed thanks to its rich resource base. Engineering and metallurgy are very well developed. Biggest part of its national treasure Finland dues to its forests.
The great forest resources are reason for producing of furniture and paper. Finland develops also high technologies. It is a world leader in producing of mobile phones.
Tourism in Finland
Finland is very beautiful country with incredible nature. Most of its territory is covered with thick forests of pine and birch. The local fauna is impressive.
Here live such species as elk, wolverines, a small number of wolves, brown bears, otters, foxes, rabbits, reindeer, golden eagles and some species of amphibians and some more resilient reptiles.
Largest and most important tourist resource, are thousands of lakes, which are excellent place for ecotourism especially during the warmer summer months. The country is very popular place for fishing.
In the crystal clear cold freshwater you could hunt trout and salmon, which are considered to be two of the most delicious fishes in the world. Most of the lakes have a glacial origin and it is not surprising since during the last glacial period the country was eternally frozen.
Therefore, if you have ever had the pleasure to visit Canada probably you will find similarities between the exclusive nature of these two countries. Ice and cold have shaped today’s landscape like a polished diamond.
Extremely interesting is the area of Lapland, which is considered to be the home of Santa Claus. It covers a large area of the northern parts of Finland and neighbouring Sweden.
This part of the Scandinavian Peninsula is covered with thick snow during most of the year. Here a large part of the population deals with reindeer breeding. If you want to get the best of your visit in Finland, you should not miss the Lake Inari, located beyond the Arctic Circle on the territory of Lapland.
The lake falls within the sub polar climate zone, which is usual in these latitudes. But here because of the warm Gulf Stream, which warms the North Atlantic we might call Lapland “the place with the mildest sub polar climate in the world”.
Vicinity of the lake is covered with many beautiful deciduous and coniferous forests. Among its waters there are wonderful islands – some small and others large. The depth of the lake is almost 100 meters.
Who says that only the Southern Islands are attractive for tourism and spending the summer holidays? Åland archipelago is the other place except Lapland and the Lake Inari, which you should not miss during a visit to Finland.
The islands are located between the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea. The rhythm of life here runs so slowly as on the small Mediterranean islands. The main center here is Maarianhamina.
This small town with population of around 11000 people is covered with dense vegetation. It is an ideal place to spend the summer among a clean, green and cultural environment.
This archipelago for many years has been the subject of dispute between Sweden and Finland. Today, although part of Finland, the islands enjoy a fairly extensive autonomy, which is quite in the spirit of Europe.
Speaking of Finland should be noted that this is a country that impresses not only with nature, but also for its beautiful architectural monuments.
For example, in the small, but very beautiful town Savolina, located at around 50 kilometers from the border with Russia, you will find one of the architectural treasures of this Nordic country – the Castle St. Olaf (in Finnish Olavinlina).
The castle and small town are surrounded on all sides by calm and cool lake waters. On the opposite end of Finland, in the southwestern part of the country is located the picturesque coastal town of Turku.
Here on the shore itself is located the white castle Turku. It is situated in a beautiful park setting. On the Åland islands, which we mentioned earlier is another castle, which should not miss – Kastelholm.
It is situated amidst a picturesque rural area. Most attractive is the area in the summer months when everything is covered with dense deciduous vegetation. You should not miss also the Hemel Castle.
This castle is located in the Finnish city of Hemenlina. This city is located approximately an hour drive north of the capital Helsinki.
When to visit Finland? Finland is most beautiful during the summer months June, July and August, when the country enjoys abundant sunshine and pleasantly warm weather.
This is the best time for tourism in this northern country. During the short Nordic summer life boils at full speed. Everywhere there are many tourists eager to enjoy the countless cultural and natural attractions.
If you want to see Finland, surrounded by snow-hugging, we recommend you to visit it in the period from November to March when there is snow even in the southern most parts of the country.
What kind clothes to wear when we travel to Finland? If you travel to Helsinki, Finland in May and September will be better to prepare spring clothes (warm anorak, thin jacket) as the temperatures are around 15°C.
If you chose June, July and August for your travelling, you have to wear your summer clothes, but given that this is Finland, do not forget to add into the suitcase and some warmer clothes.
From November to April, winter clothing is required. In January and February will be better if you are ready for extremely low temperatures. If you travel in the northern parts of the country warmer clothing should always be present in your luggage.
Even in July, when the weather is very nice is required to have and some warmer clothes, although at the height of summer near the Lake Inari in Lapland, short sleeves are perfect.