Request A Catalog Sign Up for Enews Login menu

Explore the World
One Step at a Time®

Country Profile: Finland

Fresh off its centennial celebrations in 2017, Finland has emerged as one of Europe’s most unique and intriguing countries. Regularly placing high on quality of life indexes, it’s a land where long-standing ties to nature come together with a multi-layered history, a flair for modern design, and a shared commitment to public education and healthy living. The result is a delightful destination for a walking adventure.

Whether you’re here for the sheer beauty of Finland’s forests, lakes, and Baltic coastlines or the urban sophistication of its capital city, Helsinki, you’ll come away impressed. A walking holiday here combines the pristine allure of Nordic landscapes and the historic appeal of Helsinki’s architecturally eclectic center, where Art Nouveau treasures rub elbows with grand 19th-century market buildings. Finland’s centuries under the political sway of neighboring Sweden and Russia are evidenced by Helsinki’s onion-domed cathedral and the Swedish-built Suomenlinna fortress. But it’s the unique underlying culture of the Finnish people—reflected in their distinctive Uralic language, their love of saunas (a Finnish invention), and their sisu (resilient character)—that really shines through. Above all, when you walk here, you’ll come to understand the Finns’ eternal fondness for their land, a tradition that spans the entire country, from the ancestral reindeer-herders of Lapland to modern-day kayakers in Finland’s beautiful national parks.

Read more about Finland

View Our Finland Tour

Country Highlights & Attractions
  • Explore the Finnish sea fortress of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Wander through the waterfront gardens and nature preserves of Helsinki on an urban “green walk.”
  • Ferry through island-dotted harbors and catch a glimpse of Helsinki Cathedral’s stunning green dome from the water.
  • Hike through Nuuksio National Park for stunning lake views and the chance to spot the rare flying squirrel.
  • Sample reindeer, herring, lingonberries, and other flavors of the far north.

Why Walk With Us

  • Trust our expertise with 39 years in active travel.
  • Immersive experiences with our local guides.
  • Virtually everything is included, even beer and wine with dinner.
  • Your departure is always guaranteed.
  • We take care of our solo travelers.
  • Past guests and referrals always save.

Contact a CW Travel Expert

800.234.6900

Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm EST

Request a Call Request a Catalog Contact Us

Country Facts

About Finland:

Bridging the gap between Scandinavia and Russia, Finland is one of earth’s northernmost countries, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the wilds of Lapland, high above the Arctic Circle. The Finnish landscape is dominated by vast stands of boreal woodlands—with Scots pine, Norway spruce, silver birch, and downy birch predominating—and nearly 200,000 lakes. Trees cover more than 75% of the land area, making Finland Europe’s most forested country. These abundant natural treasures are protected in more than 40 national parks, from the remote rapids and waterfalls of Oulenka National Park to the forests, lakes, and ice-carved valleys of Nuuksio National Park, just outside Helsinki.

U.S. citizens: Passports are required and must be valid for at least six months beyond the dates of travel. Visas are not required for stays of up to 90 days. For more information, see travel.state.gov.

Finland uses the euro (€). For current exchange rates, visit oanda.com.

Some international businesses no longer accept credit cards without PIN numbers (chip and pin cards). Always contact your bank or your credit-card company for details on fees and card use when traveling.

Finland is on Eastern European time, seven hours later than Eastern Standard Time. For more information on worldwide time zones, see: worldtimezone.com.

Finland country code: +358

Cell phone coverage throughout Finland is extensive, but cannot be guaranteed to be accessible on all American mobile carriers or to function at all times while on the trail or in remote areas. For more information regarding international phone use, please refer to https://www.countrywalkers.com/best-phone-options-for-travelers/.

Internet access is generally very good in towns and villages, and Wi-Fi is available at all hotels used on tour. For more details, please refer to the Tour Itinerary Overview.

Finnish, of Uralic origins and therefore unrelated to the Scandinavian languages, is Finland’s official language.

While knowledge of the local language is not necessary, you may want to learn some fun and useful phrases; see www.bbc.co.uk/languages/other/quickfix/finnish.shtml.

Alternating current of 230V and 50Hz is used in Finland. Wall outlets generally take plugs with two round prongs. For a full listing of electrical outlets worldwide, see electricaloutlet.org.

Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Finland’s weather is not as cold as its northern location might lead you to expect. While snow can fall anytime between October and April in the extreme north (around 70°N), southern Finland (around 60°N) enjoys a more temperate climate. Average highs in the Helsinki region, where we’ll spend the entirety of our tour, top 70 degrees Fahrenheit in July, with June and August being only moderately cooler. Precipitation is possible anytime of year, with August through November being the wettest months.

For up-to-date forecasts, see qwikcast.com. For historical average temperatures and rainfall, see weatherbase.com.

No immunizations are required to enter Finland. Always consult a travel clinic at a local university, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, and/or your personal physician for the most up-to-date recommendations. Routine vaccinations—including MMR (measles, mumps-rubella), DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis), varicella (chickenpox), and polio—are generally advisable for all travelers. Be sure to let your physician know what parts of Finland you plan to visit, as recommendations may vary depending on the regions you are visiting.

This tour provides the opportunity to sample a delectable array of Finnish cuisine. Traditionally, Finns have built their menus around local fish—salmon, herring, Arctic char, zander, and whitefish—along with game, meat, dairy products, hardy cold weather crops such as rye and potatoes, and foraged wild foods such as berries and mushrooms. In summer, these are complemented by an abundance of fresh, organic produce. On tour, you’ll find trend-setting chefs putting all of these ingredients to creative new uses while incorporating a variety of international influences.

Finnish specialties worth seeking out include reindeer, smoked salmon, marinated herring, lingonberries, cloudberries, fish soups, and hearty stews made with meat, peas, cabbage, and other vegetables. Also look for the popular snacks korvapuusti (cinnamon buns), grillimakkara (grilled sausages served with mustard), and karjalanpiirakka—rye pasties filled with rice, typically served with “egg butter” (a spread made from hard-boiled eggs and butter).

Shopping hours

Shops and stores are generally open Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Banks are open Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Meal times

Breakfast is served at hotels from around 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. In restaurants, lunch is typically served from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and dinner from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., though many places remain open throughout the day, from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Tipping

In restaurants, service is typically included in the bill, so there is no expectation of a tip—though a gratuity for good service is always appreciated. As a general rule, don’t tip in U. S. coins, as they don’t have much value in Finland.

Travel Tips

In outdoor markets, bargaining is appropriate and expected. If moderate bargaining does not conclude with a fair and acceptable price, there is no obligation to buy the item.  Always agree on prices in advance of purchasing goods or services. Often merchants do not have abundant cash on hand, so try to have an ample supply of small bills.

We recommend that you do not acquiesce to the temptation of rewarding children who beg for sweets, pencils, or spare change. As difficult as this may be, you can make a more positive impact by giving donations of school supplies or books to your guide, who will ensure that they reach an appropriate organization, or by making a donation to a non-governmental organization working in Finland.

A wealth of information is available at www.visitfinland.com.

Airports

Most international flights arrive at Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, 20 kilometers north of Helsinki.

Ferries

Tallink & Silja Line (www.tallink.com) operates regular ferry service from Helsinki to Stockholm (Sweden) and Tallinn (Estonia).

Trains

Finland’s national rail system, Valtion Rautatiet (VR), offers fast and efficient connections throughout the country. Visit it online at www.vr.fi.

Other local transportation

Both long-distance buses and car rentals are available in Finland. Visitors for fewer than 90 days can rent a car and drive with a valid U.S. license.

The national Finnish tourist board official site

To assist in travel planning, it may be helpful to be aware of public holidays, festivals, or calendars of events. Visit the Finnish tourist board’s website, www.visitfinland.com, for a list of public holidays and festivals.

Photos

Fun Facts

Saunas: A Finnish way of life

The crackle of a log fire, the scent of birch smoke, and the healing steam that the Finns call löyly (spirit of life): these are just a few of the joys of the true Finnish sauna. Finland’s most enduring cultural tradition, the sauna offers more than toasty comfort and relaxation; it’s also a meditative space for spiritual cleansing and bonding with friends. In the classic sauna, cold water is poured over red-hot stones heated by a wood fire. Finns breathe in the aromatic vapor, stimulate circulation by lightly slapping their skin with a vihta (a whisk of birch leaves and twigs), and plunge into cold water as needed (a lake works nicely, if you have one handy!). You’ll find saunas in every hotel and Finnish home—and there’s nothing more soothing after an exhilarating day’s walk.

 

White Nights

Summertime in Finland is pure magic. Even in Helsinki—the country’s “deep south” at 60°N—the sun barely dips below the horizon at midnight. The result? Finns come out and celebrate life into the wee hours—and you should join them! Whether you’re savoring the endless sunset from the deck of your overnight Baltic cruise, or watching locals fish and kids play by the dockside on your post-dinner stroll, Finland’s white nights will be a highlight of your journey.

Finland - 1 Tour Available

Guided Walking Sweden, Old Town from Stockholm, City Hall
Europe

Sweden & Finland: Stockholm to Helsinki

Activity level: Easy Terrain

3-6 miles daily

Flight + Tour

10 days, 9 nights

From $6,798 USD

per person

Tour Only

7 days, 6 nights

From $5,598 USD

per person

Tour Highlights:
  • Explore the Finnish sea fortress of Suomenlinna and the Swedish royal gardens of Drottningholm, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Ferry across picturesque channels to the urban island oases of Djurgården and Långholmen, and soak up Swedish history while wandering the medieval lanes of Sigtuna and Gamla Stan.
  • Sample reindeer, herring, lingonberries, and other flavors of the far north in atmospheric, top-of-the-line restaurants.

Have Questions?

Speak with a Travel Expert 800.234.6900

Request a Call
Departure Dates
Flight + Tour Combo

2019

  • Aug 31
  • Sep 7
  • Sep 14
  • Sep 21
Tour Only

2019

  • Sep 2
  • Sep 9
  • Sep 16
  • Sep 23
foo