If you’re looking for your next Instagram worthy place, you should definitely put Finland at the top of the list. While there are some other places that may be higher on the Instagram list (Sidebar: the 2017 list includes New York City, Paris, Disney to name of few), there aren’t many places to can provide a combination of beauty, history, and nature all in one package.
First off, there is likely no better place to watch the Northern Lights that in Finland. For those that need a little background, according to the Northern Lights Centre, the northern lights are:
The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south.
Auroral displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported. The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.
In the winter, Finland becomes a magic snow-filled wonderland. While there is some debate, Finland claims to be the original home to dear Santa. According to the BBC, they will say Korvatunturi is the birthplace. “Home to roaming herds of reindeer and often blanketed in snow, the Korvatunturi fell is believed by many Finns to be the site of Santa’s secret workshop.”
There are a total of 39 national parks that are absolutely striking. These parks have an amazing blend of forests and lakes and offer completely different perspectives depending on when you visit (summer / winter). The above is a striking sunset at Koli National Park.
In addition to the sheer beauty, Helsinki, Finland boasts some of the cleanest air in the world. Plus, Finland claims that it’s one of the safe places in the world. In a Reader Digest survey, 11 out of 12 wallets deliberately left around Helsinki were returned to their owners.
Finally, why wouldn’t you want to visit a place where the sun never sets for two months during the summer? The Finns know how to take advantage and created The Midnight Sun Festival. Along with thousands of fellow movie buffs, you can watch films all night long with the sun shining overhead.