WOOCS 2.1.6

Finland is a fantastic tourist destination, attracting people from all across the world. Yet much of it remains under-explored. Odyssey tours of Finland focus both on the must-see sites and the less well known pockets and regions, across both rural and urban landscapes. If you’re interested in discovering more about Finland’s history, culture, architecture, food or landscape, the best way is to see it all for yourself!

Small group escorted tours with like minded people to key cultural & historic places of interest in Finland.  For mature & senior travellers who are curious about exploring the and learning about the world.

Hand crafted tours for Mature World Travellers

Finland Tours

Baltics Small Group escorted Tour Latvia Estonia Lithuania
Guaranteed

The Baltic States, flexing their economic muscles, continue to become a focus of interest everywhere. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent integration of Germany bound the region into the engine of the European economy. Our program studies the diverse histories of and influences on, the Baltic States and studies how each of them is coping with its different form of independence.

21 days
Europe
Level 2 - Moderate
Payanitsa chapel Krasnoyarsk
Guaranteed

Travel on the Trans-Siberian rail network from West to East to finishing in Siberia  after 21 days. The tour explore 6 key cities along the route with 2-3 night stays in each location before re-joining the train. Irkutsk has good flight connections for onward travel.

21 days
Europe
Level 2 - Moderate

Travel on the Trans-Siberian rail network from East to West to East to finishing in Helsinki after 21 days. The tour explore 6 key cities along the route with 2-3 night stays in each location before re-joining the train. Irkutsk has good flight connections for onward travel.

21 days
Europe
Level 2 - Moderate

Denmark, Sweden and Finland realised that the only way to remain competitive on the world stage was through the value of superior design. We explore the cities and towns where those high quality products, appreciated around the world, are created.

21 days
Europe
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

We will experience serene snow-covered Arctic landscapes. Throughout our journey guides and specialists will outline the history of this stark region and the nature of the peoples who wrested their living from it.

10 days
Europe
Level 2 - Moderate

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Finland has an excellent rail system, with services regularly running between major cities. Bus networks span the entire country, and are generally inexpensive.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our long stay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography, Environment and Weather

Finland is the northernmost country in the European Union, and covers an area of 337k square kilometres. The terrain of Finland is largely flat, with one third of Finland lying under 100 metres in elevation, and two thirds under 200 metres. Vast tracts of forest cover the lands of Finland, with approximately 69% of Finland’s surface area covered by forest. Lakes also dot the landscape, and in fact are so numerous that Finland carries the nickname “the land of a thousand lakes”.

Finland experiences short, mild summers, and long, cold winters. Northern Finland lies in the Land of the Midnight Sun, and therefore experiences continuous daylight in the summer, and continuous darkness in the winter. Temperatures regularly drop below freezing in much of Finland during the winter, so depending on when you intend to travel, check the weather reports and dress accordingly.

World Heritage sites

Finland has 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can view the official list of the sites here (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/fi). The listed sites include:

  • Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmäki, an archaeological site featuring more than 30 granite burial cairns
  • Petäjävesi Old Church, an 18th-century Lutheran church constructed in the distinctive eastern Scandinavian architectural sytle
  • Fortress of Suomenlinna, the imposing 18th-century sea fortress that once protected the harbour of Helsinki

Festivals and events

Numerous festivals and events dot the calendar in Finland. Indepedence Day is an important occasion – held annually on December 6th, the country’s liberation from Russia is celebrated with decorations, parades and the Finnish Presiden’ts VIP ball. The Finnish love the performing arts with many artistic events held across the year, including the Kuopio Dance Festival, the the Pori Jazz Festival, and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. One of the more unusual events held in Finland is the annual Wife Carrying World Championship. Held every year in Sonkajärvi since 1992, it involves male competitors racing each other over an obstacle course, all while carrying their wives on their backs.

Reading list

  • A History of Finland, by Henrik Meinande
    Kalevala, by Elias Lönnrot
  • Finland: The Land of Lakes, by Franco Figari
  • A Concise History of Finland, by D. G. Kirby and David Kirb
    Seitsemän veljestä, by Aleksis Kivi

Eating and Drinking

Seafood, vegetables and meat all characterise the cuisine of Finland. Given the abundance of lakes and rivers in the country, seafood in plentiful, with dishes such as lohikeitto (a creamy soup made with salmon, potatoes, leaks and milk), savulohi (warm smoked salmon), and lasimestarin silli (marinated herring) all national favourites. Much of Finnish food focuses on using meat and vegetables to create simple yet tasty dishes such as pyttipannu (pan fried potatoes with sausages) and kaalikääryleet (cabbage leaves filled with minced meat and rice). Sweeter offerings include korvapuusti (cinnamon rolls) and vispipuur (desert porridge made from wheat semolina and lingonberries). Traditional beverages in Finland include lakka (a liquer made from soaking cloudberries in alcohol), and sima, a mead-like beverage made from fermenting lemon, raisins, and yeast.

Health and Safety

Generally speaking, Finland is safe to travel in, though always exercise common sense while travelling.

Electrical supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. Finland’s electricity supply runs at 230V and 50Hz. Finland uses Type C and Type F electric plugs, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.

FAQs

Responsible travel tips for Finland

  • Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  • Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums and galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of euros in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.

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