Iso-Valkee is a spectacular little lake with nature trail and lean-to shelters

An island in Iso-Valkee lake

Iso-Valkee is a beautiful little lake with sandy beaches, lean-to shelters and a nature trail. This area is especially popular among swimmers and divers, ice-skaters, dog owners and geocachers. The trail around the lake is 3,7 km long. Water in the lake is crystal clear, which is not that common in the Finnish lakes.

I went to Iso-Valkee in November, a day before the snow, and I didn't see any swimmers. The lake was partly open as it is up to 24 meters deep and has some natural springs....

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Pääjärvi recreation area has traces of the ice age

Pääjärvi recreation area

Pääjärvi recreation area is a perfect spot for day visits or short overnight stays, when you want to be out in the nature in Southern Finland. Pääjärvi provides clearly marked trails and nice resting spots around the lake. It's a good place for picking berries and mushrooms, hook and line fishing, skiing, cycling, swimming, and camping. Pääjärvi is also a multi-cache location, in case you are into geocaching.

I headed to Pääjärvi last weekend to enjoy the autumn day and have...

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The Rantaraitti seaside promenade in Espoo shows you the best of the capital area

Rantaraitti seaside promenade and waterfront walkway in Espoo, in Finland's capital area

Whether you prefer a slow, gentle stroll along the seaside or a more strenuous trail running experience, the Rantaraitti (seaside promenade or the waterfront walkway) in Espoo, Finland's second biggest city is the thing to do. It literally has it all: possibilities for berry and mushroom picking, cycling, running and walking, the sea and forests, gentle paved and accessible paths as well as demanding trails in the adjoining forests, fishing and bird watching opportunities, benches...

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Cranberries are the world’s healthiest food

Cranberries freshly picked

Cranberries are said to be the world's healthiest food. This is of course open for debate, but nobody can deny that cranberries have very good fiber content, very low sugar content, and they are known for their concentration of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. This superfood grows in bogs and the best part is that in Finland anyone can go and pick them.

I have recently been picking cranberries at Torronsuo National Park. In some years bogs have red mats of cranberries,...

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Kyynäränharju is a scenic ridge in Liesjärvi National Park

Kyynäränharju

Kyynäränharju ridge is one of the top attractions in Liesjärvi national park, which is located in Tammela, approximately 95 km from Helsinki. Kyynäränharju is a low sandy shored ridge, which separates Lake Kyynärä and Lake Liesjärvi from one another. There are several hiking trails in Liesjärvi National Park and they depart from multiple locations. I recommend for example Pirttilahti parking area, from where you can reach Kyynäränharju easily.

A large part of the...

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Mustavuori caves, fortress, and WWI trenches in Vuosaari, Helsinki

Mustavuori (Black Mountain) is a place where history and natural wonders have been forever mixed together. It is one of the most exciting places outdoors Helsinki has, and it is perfectly suited for adventurers of all ages. It has to be said at this stage that children must not run around in the area because the super-exciting caves and trenches do appear out of nowhere.

We stepped onto the well-covered hiking trail just next to Itäväylä (road 170) in Vuosaari. There...

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Leafy-green Ekudden nature trail in Porvoo

In one of the most beautiful towns in Finland, Porvoo, you can also find the Ekudden (oak cape or peninsula) nature trail that showcases many of the various vistas Finland has to offer. The nature trail is located 3km (1,9mi) from the centre of Porvoo, and it is about 1,5km long. You would think that this is a short trail but it has so many wonderful distractions on its route that you should definitely give yourself 1-2h to go around it. Combining Ekudden with a visit to old Porvoo with...

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Gallträsk – a gentle nature stroll in Kauniainen, Finland’s smallest municipality

Kauniainen is Finland's smallest municipality, only 6km2 (2,3mi2) in diameter, located in the middle of another municipality, Espoo. It has a lovely small lake area that is perfectly suitable for a lazy stroll to enjoy the absolutely huge spruce trees and leafy green oak trees. The area is only about 15km from the centre of Helsinki and easily accessible by car or by public transport, so a perfect place for a quick relaxing visit.

My friend and I were in the area when we, quite literally,...

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Pakasaivo, the Hell of Lapland

Lake Pakasaivo located in Muonio, Lapland, is also known as the Hell of Lapland. When we saw a little star on the map with a text "Hell of Lapland", we knew we have to go and check it out! The last 10km before reaching the area really challenged us because the tiny dirt road is not necessarily the most comfortable to drive on. But on the positive side: we did see reindeer in the forests while driving slowly towards the area! Pakasaivo is approximately 60 metres deep, second...

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Tepasto nature trail in Kittilä is a home for gnomes

If you happen to be driving by Tepasto village in north of Kittilä, have a little walk at Perhejärvi nature trail. There is a nice few kilometers walk to Kaakkurilampi (kaakkuri=red-throated diver, lampi=pond) and a nearby fire place. You might also encounter some gnomes in this trail!

I went to Tepasto when it had already been snowing a little, but it was still possible to walk in the forest. The moose hunting was about to start soon, so this was the perfect moment to head to the...

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