Finland has over 188,000 lakes and around 180,000 islands, many located in the Lakeland district, the largest in Europe. Finnish Lakeland is a blue labyrinth of lakes, islands, rivers and canals, interspersed with forests and ridges, stretching for hundreds of kilometres in a placid and staggeringly beautiful expanse.
There is no scenery more Finnish than a summer cottage by the lake surrounded by emerald green forest. In fact, over 90% of Finland is covered in either forest or water. But it’s about much more than just an iconic view. Nature is a huge part our identity, and a significant source of wellbeing for millions of Finns. It is also something we treasure: Finland has the cleanest water in the world.
The best way to experience Lakeland and to slow down is to try the iconic Finnish triad of cottage, sauna and water. Swim, hop on a steam boat, try a SUP board and simply admire the view. Relaxation is guaranteed.
Here’s a look the most interesting places to visit in the region:
SLOW DOWN BY ILKKA
“I have lived almost my entire life abroad with work and extreme sports. One might say that I never stay still. Many of my foreign friends, who have visited me here at our Lakeland cottage, are amazed to see me here – to see me go from an adrenaline junkie to someone who is quiet and relaxed. This is where I go offline.
During my childhood, we spent a lot of time here at our cottage. The nighttime trips to the nearby island are something that I will always remember and treasure. These days I come here every year, often multiple times.
When I arrive, I instantly leave all daily worries behind when I go fishing or start heating up the smoke sauna. Dabbling around – or ‘puuhastella’ as we say in Finnish – is an essential part of relaxation at a Finnish cottage. You can do all kinds of little things all day long. But always just one thing at a time. There is no rush.
The silence of this place puts me in such an awe that sometimes it is almost a bit scary. The difference between the cottage life and the city life is so huge. Each season brings its own unique feature. Spring comes with flowers and birds chirping. The scent of the autumn rain is magical. In the winter time, the snow and the frozen lake continue to astonish me.
The most important thing is to enjoy the fact that here you are in peace, in the middle of nature. That is really important to me when I need to find more balance in my life.”
Loving Lakeland and can’t wait to get there?
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