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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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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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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Metsäkoivula trail is an easy day trip from Helsinki

Metsäkoivula trail

Metsäkoivula trail is an easy day trip from Helsinki as it is located in a small town called Somero, about 100 kilometers from the capital area. Nearby are the national parks of Liesjärvi and Torronsuo, but Metsäkoivula has some unique characteristics that make this small trail worth a visit. Not only this trail is located in my hometown but there is a beautiful view to a small forest lake that occasionally attracts swans, a Moonshiners' Creek now serves as a perfect spot for a barbecue,...

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Observation tower and Stone Age views at Luhdanjoki, Finland

When I was climbing up the seemingly-endless stairs of the observation tower in Luhdanjohki, I wondered why I always seem to choose places to see that are very high up. It's not that I'm afraid of heights but I just always feel that by the time I get up to the top, I know I seriously need to exercise more. In any case, my little teenage friends were almost flying up the stairs and didn't seem winded at all. Well, good for them!

How did we end up in a tower then? Well, some...

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Torronsuo National Park, Finland’s deepest bog

Torronsuo National Park in Tammela Finland

Torronsuo National Park is the closest national park to where I grew up and I have visited it many times since it was opened in 1990. It is one of my favorite locations to go for a walk on the duckboards and I like to go cross-country skiing on the bog in the winters. I have my secret spots for cranberry picking and I occasionally like to climb to one of its birdwatching towers at Kiljamo.

On a good winter during the months of January-March Torronsuo might have up to 45 kilometers of...

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Bird watching in Enontekiö, Lapland

Yrjö Kokko birdwatching tower in Enontekiö Lapland

Yrjö Kokko bird watching tower in Hetta, Enontekiö, is a popular place for any migrating birds, and birdwatchers. The tower is named after a famous writer, Yrjö Kokko. Kokko was writer and a vet, and often went hunting in Enontekiö. He is especially known for his work to protect whooper swans.

The most rewarding time for bird watching in...

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