Finland is a natural wonderland with more trees than people, and more than 188,000 lakes, which provides a unique adventure playground for skiers, fishermen, watersports enthusiasts, and trekkers. Aproximately 8,000 sq km make up Finland's 37 protected national parks, providing a haven for birdwatchers, and those who would like to see moose, reindeer, bears, and wolves in their natural habitat.
From the breathtaking beauty of the archipelago of the south, to the mystical shimmering of the Aurora Borealis lighting up the skies in the north, Finland presents a rare natural paradise to charm and soothe the soul. Europe's 8th largest country is also the European Union's most sparsely populated, so it is no surprise that so much of this country remains untouched. Indeed, at 8.2% Finland has the highest percentage of protected areas in all of Europe, including 13% of all its forest area.
Finland rewards the explorer, it is a land of contrasts, of ever-changing landscapes. The seas around it are dotted with islands; Europe's largest archipelago, the Archipelago Sea (which includes the Åland archipelago), which lies between Finland and Sweden. In total, there are a total of 179,584 islands off Finland's coast. On the mainland the numbers are even more astonishing: 10% of Finland is water, there are 647 rivers and 188,000 lakes, including the fourth largest lake in Europe, with over 98,000 islands on those lakes. Some 69% of the country is covered in forestry.
Today, Finland is a destination of choice for nature lovers and outdoors sports lovers the world over. With 37 National Parks, 9 Hiking Areas, numerous areas of untouched wilderness, and over 200,000 islands scattered among the country's archipelagos, Finland offers a wealth of choices for hikers and trekkers, cyclists and horse riders, canoeists and kayakers, birdwatchers, fishermen and hunters. In Finland, getting away from it all is Everyman's Right!
Discovering Finland has provided an in-depth guide to various nature experiences in these sections:
The Archipelagoes of Finland
The Wildlife of Finland
The National Parks of Finland
National Hiking Areas in Finland
Wilderness Areas in Finland