Finland in summer travel guide

Nature recognises what Finland endures during the winter and adds on a hours daylight each summer, allowing the Finns to embrace it like a much loved sibling, home for the holidays.
Finland’s Wild Taiga forests and infinite choice of lakes offer a host of summer activities to keep you outdoors and active from noon until, well, noon. In fact, tuning your body clock to endless daylight is one of many recommendations that you’ll find within our Finland summer holidays guide. Hiking with huskies, bear watching and self drive tours of Finland’s national parks are just some of our suggestions and if you time your trip to tie in with a few Finnish festivals – swamp soccer or wife carrying, perhaps – you’ll find fabulously friendly Finns loving life outside the dark depths of winter. Lakesides provide Finns with a place to fish, sauna, hike or canoe while reindeer sausages and foraged wild berries and mushrooms, enjoyed over an open fire, are just as traditional a summertime activity as swatting mozzies amidst the pines – don’t forget to cover up.

Finland summer holidays are...

all about making the most of nature and those everlasting summer nights.

Finland summer holidays aren't...

going to tick all the luxury boxes, but they will encourage you to switch off as you explore ever closer to the Arctic Circle.

Things to do in Finland in summer...

Helsinki is handsome, for sure, and Oulu is unique, but step away from the city streets and discover Finland's fens and taiga forests, which almost completely cover the countryside. Self drive holidays through Tiilikkajarvi and Hiidenportti National Parks take you into Wild Taiga country close to the Russian border, with an abundance of wildlife, including bears, wolves, lynx and reindeer. Hossa National Park, especially, has some excellent well maintained footpaths through old growth forests and over boardwalk covered wetlands. Daily hikes of 13km to 19km connect hiking huts and locally owned guesthouses. Hiking in Finland is simply what you do in the summer and although you might think hiking with huskies is a winter sport, think again as strap a harness onto one of these guys and you've got a jet propelled summer stroll into the wilderness that works on all levels. Some things are more enjoyable when shared and if you're thinking of bear watching, foraging and wilderness walking in Finland then joining a small group tour (max 13) is an ideal option for summer adventurers who also value a safety first approach. Knowledgeable guides, luggage transfers and bonding in the sauna are all further benefits of a small group tour with chances to canoe on a lake before campfire cooking ringing true for those keeping an ear out for the call of the wild.

Things not  to do in Finland in summer...

Stick to the south and you'll miss Finland's finest regions. such as Kainuu and Lapland, which open up unique cultural heritage close to the Arctic Circle. Starting a self drive tour in Kuopio is one way to hit the trail running with the national parks of the north all within a couple of days' drive, and seeing Santa in summer is a unique road trip quest that's not actually as odd as you might expect. Huskies, reindeers and Angry Birds (the activity park in Vuokatti) are just a few of the reasons not to leave the kids at home. As if watching Daddy thwack himself with a birch branch whilst half naked in a sauna wasn't enough, family summer holidays in Finland open up an array of active and easy going options all within an hour's drive of Oulu. Bears, canoes and ancient rock graffiti - families love Finland, and not just because of you know who. Summertime amongst the pines is enjoyed by happy hikers and keen canoeists, but don't underestimate the midges and mozzies. Although they're fairly easy to avoid, they can be extremely annoying. Repellents, loose cotton clothing and steering clear of bogs and riverbanks all help keep bugs at bay. Don't worry: bodies don't react as much to bites after a couple of days and saunas also help to alleviate an itch or six.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Finland summer or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

The Finnish summer, month by month

Making the most of the great outdoors, spending time beside a kettle hole lake or fast flowing river, tracking wildlife or hiking with huskies.
In summer, inland comes alive to nature's call and Finns turn dour stereotypes on their heads. The best time to visit the north for endless daylight is mid-May to mid-July as the Arctic sun doesn’t set. Bear watching takes place from early May to late September.

Wildflowers appear in early summer with edible plants supplementing foragers’ baskets alongside mushrooms in August - September. Further wild food for thought features in Finland’s forests throughout the summer season with cloudberries in July, blueberries in August and lingonberries in September adding to freshly caught fish cooked over lakeside campfires. Finally, peak season for mozzies, especially in Lapland, is July.

Helsinki Weather Chart

RAIN (mm)
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Grisha Bruev] [Intro: Thomas Gartz] [Are/Aren't: Valentin Hintikka] [Things to do: Risto Varhe] [Best time to go: Joakim Honkasalo]