Hanikka glacial erratic

The humongous Hanikka glacial erratic stands, as it has for the past 12 000 years, firmly in place among some pine trees. As we approached, a young couple stood next to the gray boulder, one third of the height of the hardened giant. They looked determined.

This massive rapakivi-granite boulder is one of the largest...

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Mustikkamaa – a recreational park at the heart of Helsinki

Mustikkamaa Rantaraitti beach route

Mustikkamaa, the land of blueberries. One of the most popular recreational areas in the Finnish capital area is right at the heart of Helsinki. Jogging and skiing tracks with lights, beaches and playgrounds, seascapes and heath forests - they are all at Mustikkamaa for your leisure. There are even tennis courts free of charge for those who enjoy the...

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Vattuniemi urban park in Helsinki has ruins, islets, and seascapes

Practically at the heart of the Finnish capital, Helsinki, lies an island called Lauttasaari (Ferry island). This suburb is famous for its leisurely pace as well as an abundance of nature. Vattuniemi (Raspberry headland) is a peninsula at the southernmost tip of Lauttasaari island, and a very popular urban recreational area for the locals. There is a...

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Ospreys and marshlands at Valkmusa National Park

All I knew about Valkmusa National Park before parking my car at the start of a circular route on a late autumn afternoon was that it was in southeastern Finland. That's it. By chance, I noticed that my route elsewhere would take me past Valkmusa so it was the perfect excuse for me to get out and stretch my legs. As soon as I got out of my car, I noticed how quiet it...

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Malonsaari island trail at Imatra

If you have already checked out the largest and most impressive rapids at Imatrankoski, another great nature place to visit at Imatra is Malonsaari island. Popular among the locals, the peaceful and small 1km-long Malonsaari is one of the many islands located just outside of Imatra. I visited it on a Sunday afternoon, and I gave myself a lot of time to enjoy the...

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Porkkala is a mixture of adventure and history

Porkkalanniemi sea view

Visiting Porkkala is the perfect way to get to know a lot about Finnish nature as well as Finnish history. The recently improved hiking areas now have even more accessibility for more people to enjoy a place where beautiful seaside cliffs and pine forests meet the glistening sea.

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Castle gardens at Mustio

Well-kept castle gardens, a folly and a love bridge, a river with a floating bridge, and picturesque statues dotting the landscape. The private (yet free) gardens at the Mustio castle offer lovely vistas for those who just want to meander around aimlessly, gazing at the beautiful surroundings, but the garden also has plenty to explore for those looking for more...

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Tulliniemi – a wonderful nature walk at the southernmost tip of Finland

Tulliniemi is a multifunctional area with plenty to see: a nature reserve, the southernmost tip of Finland, a pilot station for ships, a coastguard station, and a beach fit for swimming. It also has a historical women's penal colony offering even more intrigue and mystery to the area.

Pebble beach and...

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Korpudden – a hideaway with a view

The steep cliffs overlooking lake Lohjanjärvi and southern Finland, the lush hazel groves, and forbidding pine trees offer a fantastic place for exploration and adventure... and all handily next to the old ironworks hamlet and castle at Mustio. Korpudden is a hidden gem close to the capital.

I visited the Korpudden...

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Koli – the most famous national park of Finland

Koli national park

Dark green pine forests, shining blue lakes, magnificent high fjells, and the open sky as far as the eye can see. That is what you have at Koli, which is probably the most famous of all Finnish landscapes. I have visited Koli several times and every single time when I climb those last few steps to the top of the hill and stop, I am silenced by the majesty of the...

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