Archive For June 30, 2017

Top beaches in Finland

Summer has arrived. It is the time again to spend some time on the beaches with friends and family. We have listed some of the popular beaches in Finland for you to visit!

Yyteri Beach

Yyteri is Finland’s longest beach, which stretches to four miles on the western Baltic shore. The beach itself is clean, white sand, and known for its beautiful sand dunes. There are many events and gatherings hosted on the beach throughout the summer and other attractions such as spa and golf courses. It is one of the country’s most popular leisure destinations in the summertime. Part of Yyteri beach is one of the nude beaches in Finland.

One of the famous beaches in Finland

Nallikari Beach

Nallikari beach is an one kilometre long beach in Oulu. During summer time, the beach is crowded by roller skaters, athletes, cyclists, beach volleyball and football players. There are three volleyball courts, beach football field, playground for children, and gym equipment. All of these are free for visitors. More information on what to see in Oulu can be found here.

Beach at night in Oulu

Hietaniemi beach

This beach, also called “Hietsu” by the locals, is probably the most popular beach in Helsinki. It has lots of sand and beach amenities, even if you didn’t pack all the beach gear in your suitcase. Just like the previous beaches mentioned, it is a great place to play beach volleyball. It even hosts a beach volleyball tournament annually. Note: this isn’t a natural beach. In the beginning of the 20th century this area was being used as a landfill and was converted into a sand storage.

Beach volley

Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna, which means “Castle of Finland” is an island near Helsinki.  The fortress is also a UNESCO World Heritage site with an interesting history. It was built in 1748 to protect Sweden against Russia. Suomenlinna has more than this fortress; it also has a tiny beach. To be completely honest, don’t just go here mainly for the beach – because as a beach it is quite small.

One of the beaches in Suomenlinna

Now you know about some of the best beaches in Finland, it is time to truly enjoy your summer. Go with your friends and family and enjoy the sun!

 

Top 5 Finnish Festivals

The infamously long, dark, and cold winter is finally over in Finland. The whole country seems to come alive in the summer time, and what would be a better way to celebrate this than going to a festival! Finland hosts numerous festivals, ranging from quirky film festivals under the midnight sun to celebrations of thousands of hard core metal fans. Check out the best five festivals in Finland that you should experience at least once in your life!

 

 

5. Pori Jazz

 

8th-16th July 2017

Kirjurinluoto, Pori

http://porijazz.fi/en

Jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, blues, Afro-Cuban, pop

 

One of the biggest and oldest jazz festivals in Europe, Pori Jazz was found already in 1966. Although the festival started with a duration of just two days with only 1 500 visitors, the event has grown exponentially and has been extended to last for nine days and hosts 120 000 to 160 000 jazz lovers every year. The festival has become one of the most beloved ones, and no wonder: it has hosted international big names such as Betty Carter, Alicia Keys, Earth, Wind & Fire, Phil Collins, Chuck Berry, and The Roots. This year’s main artists include future funk act Jamiroquai, Grace Jones, and Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds.

TOP TIP: Bring your own food with you! Pori Jazz is known for people enjoying picnics while listening to the groovy music. 

 

4.Ruisrock

 

7th-9th July 2017

Ruissalo, Turku

http://www.ruisrock.fi/en

rock, hip hop, pop, electronic music, alternative

 

The second oldest festival still running in Europe, Ruisrock was started in 1970 and has hosted many remarkable artists including Bon Jovi, Nirvana, Uriah Heep, and Bob Dylan. Even though Ruisrock’s roots are deep in the rock genre, the contemporary festival has expanded its offerings. This year’s line-up features the Norwegian DJ producer Kygo, rapper Travis Scott , singer-songwriter Charli XCX, as well as many popular and rising Finnish artists!

 

TOP TIP: Take your grandma and grandpa with you! All 70+ year olds have free admission for one day, and ride the waterbus from Turku city centre to the festival site and back for free.

3. Tuska Open Air Metal Festival

 

30th June -2nd July 2017

Suvilahti, Helsinki

http://www.tuska-festival.fi/en

hard rock, metal

 

The hard-core rock festival gathering metal heads from all corners of the world turns 20 years this summer! Having hosted legends like Alice Cooper, Lamb of God, Anthrax, and Megadeth, Tuska is among the most respected metal festivals in the world. Nicknamed “The promised land of metal”, Finland takes pride in . Many big names in the genre, such as Nightwish, Children of Bodom, and Apocalyptica are hailing from Finland. This year, one of the iconic Finnish bands, H.I.M., will climb up on the stage as one of the festival’s main performers along Sabaton and Mastodon.

 

TOP TIP: H.I.M. is disbanding and is on their final tour! It is now or never, take the chance and go see the magnificent band rocking the stage.

2. Midnight Sun Film Festival

 

14th-18th June 2017

Sodankylä

https://msfilmfestival.fi/en/

Indie and Alternative

 

In the middle of Finnish Lapland, north of the arctic circle where the midnight sun burns as brightly in the night as it does during the day, lies the small village of Sodankylä. During the nightless nights the village comes vividly animated with people when everyone with love for cinema gathers together. The sense of time disappears when films are played through day and night, that merge into one under the never-setting sun.

During the festival that was found by the filmmaker Kaurismäki brothers in 1986, altogether over 100 films are played on 120 screens. The programme includes both Finnish and international films, classics and contemporary pieces. Some films to definitely look forward to are the American thriller The China Syndrome (1979), the exotic Finnish-Bulgarian document The Good Postman (2016), and the sensational Finland100 film Tom of Finland (2017).

 

TOP TIP: In some screenings, leading film critics will provide insight into the master pieces and help to understand the delicate undertones and symbolism used in the art of cinema.

 

 

1.Flow Festival

 

11th-13th August 2017

Suvisaari, Helsinki

https://www.flowfestival.com/en/

urban, hip hop, alternative, pop, art

 

The contemporary festival combines music and arts, and the programme includes everything from gigs to film screenings and talks as well as food and drinks. Taking place at a defunct power plat and its industrial surroundings, Flow Festival showcases not only the most notable artists of the moment, but also lets the most promising emerging artists to take over the stage. Previous names include the revolutionary South-African zef-act Die Antwoord, US rapper Kanye West,  the politically aware M.I.A., and the Icelandic sensation Björk. This August, the capital of Finland has the honour to welcome guests like the ever-so-iconic diva Lana del Rey, the ethereal US ensemble The XX, rock cult favourite Ryan Adams, and a broad representation of the new generation of US rappers including Frank Ocean, Young Thug, Princess Nokia, and Vince Staples . Remember to keep an eye open for the new and upcoming artists too; it would not be the first time when the conquest of the international music world has started from the stage of the Flow Festival.

 TOP TIP: Food is an important part of the Flow Festival experience, and this year the emphasis is on Nordic tastes. Over 40 restaurants are showcasing their culinary skills, and in the spirit Flow, the focus is on the use of local, organic, and sustainably produced ingredients. Maybe you can even find some of the Finnish specialities we wrote about in this blog post!

Midsummer in Finland

Midsummer festival, Juhannus, is a celebration of light and summer. It’s one of the most expected holidays in Finland. After the long and dark winter, it is time to relax and get together with friends and family. Midsummer starts the holiday season in Finland and there is even a public holiday to allow everyone to have a long weekend.

 

Festivities takes place the weekend after the summer solstice, around the third weekend of June. People escape to their summer cottages, and cities are ghostly quiet. Yet, cottage districts and camping areas are completely the opposite. People enjoy the nightless night together and do not hesitate to express the joy loudly. Drinking beer, listening to Finnish hits, and cooking outdoors are common midsummer activities. Grill sausage is a must and you can find first-harvest potatoes and herring on your plate for sure.

Summer cottage and lake

 

Sweat it off!

 

Sauna is a crucial part of Finnish midsummer celebrations. Nearly every summer cottage has a sauna and while bathing, it’s common to clean your skin with vihta, a birch whisk. It will renew your skin and improve blood circulation. May sound weird, but it makes you feel refreshed, not to mention the lovely scent of birch leaves. Usually, summer cottages are located next to a lake and it is common to dip into the water in between of sauna baths.

 

Sauna prepares you for the midnight magic. The origin of midsummer spells goes back to the days when people were superstitious and believed in magic. Most of the rituals were for young unmarried women, so the spells concentrated on partner finding and love. Nowadays, the spells are a fun activity to do with friends and family.

Girl and flowers

If you collect seven different flowers and place it under your pillow on midsummer night, you will see your future husband in your dreams.

 

Light it up!

 

Sauna and spells are not the only traditions during the midsummer celebrations. It is common to collect twigs and blocks of wood beforehand, and then light the fire on midsummer. A bonfire is usually set next to a lake or on a raft that is sent out to the water. It is a social event, and people around the neighborhood gather together to have a cheerful discussion over the activity. Originally the bonfire was set up to drive away bad spirits.

 

Midsummer lake view

 

 

There is a countless number of other midsummer traditions depending on the region. In addition, the traditions varies between families and generations. In Finland, you can create a midsummer traditions that suits you the best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three delicious recipes from the forest in Finland

In Finland, you can find so many edible, little things in the nature and they taste delicious. We have listed three natural recipes for you to read!

For instance, there are wonderful berries and mushrooms which you can pick from the bushes. We have, in Finland, this thing called “every man’s rights”. This basically means that anyone could just visit a forest or field and pick some berries or mushrooms.

My personal favorite are blueberries. Blueberries are sweet, but unlike candies, these berries are also healthy for you. You can combine blueberries with so many different food, e.g., ice cream and pies. It is fairly easy; you don’t have to be a master chef in order to create this delicious blueberry pie. Here’s a recipe.


Blueberry pie

Second favorite what most Finns pick up from the forest is chanterelle. Chanterelle is a mushroom, tasteful and maybe the most known one. There are some preparations you have to do with the chanterelles before cooking it, but it is certainly worth it. Here’s a nice chanterelle risotto recipe for you to make your friends and family happy.


The third recipe is made from nettles. I know picking nettles could be painful if you are not well covered when gathering them, but if you put proper clothes on and parboil them, you’ll be fine. Here’s one nice nettle soup recipe for you for the cold summer evenings.


Nettles

There are many benefits from eating these natural foods from the forest. For example, it has been studied that blueberries could prevent cancer, they also increase your brain capacity and easy your metabolism system. Chanterelles also have its own benefits, e.g., full of vitamins and irons.

You can have a perfect three-course meal with these recipes listed above. Start with the soup, then have the chanterelle risotto, and finally the blueberry pie as dessert. Have fun preparing this Scandinavian course meal and remember to eat well!





 

 

7 Secret and Most Charming Finnish Towns

Helsinki, Tampere, Turku are undoubtedly highlights, but visiting the small Finnish villages gives the traveler a more intimate, authentic, and relaxed view of Finland. Dotted around this land of lakes and forests are a number of truly stunning towns. Here are 7 of our favorites:

Porvoo

 

Porvoo has been loved by some of Finland’s greatest poets and artists. It is the second oldest city in Finland and evidence of its long history can still be seen and felt as you walk its charming streets. The historical old town boasts lots of pretty, colorful traditional wooden houses, which are an amazing sight to see. Porvoo is also famous for its countless interior design shops and always has been a source of inspiration for many local designers.

Wooden houses in Porvoo

 

Hanko

 

It may come as a surprise for some people, but Finland has beaches too. Hanko is a summer paradise for anyone who loves sun, sandy beaches and sea combined with the old town’s charming atmosphere, colorful events and enticing restaurants. Hanko is often spoken of as Finland’s Hampton or the Finnish riviera.

Hanko beach

 

Mariehamn

 

Mariehamn is the capital of Åland Island, an autonomous Swedish-speaking territory in Finland. Walking around the small center, you will see streets full of colorful wooden buildings and houses that really bring the town to life, either in summer or in winter. Mariehamn is the perfect antidote to a hectic, big city life style of the Baltic Sea capitals: Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn and St. Petersburg. The town was also once the home for the world’s largest oceanic sailing ships and therefore, there is a large marina to explore and a museum ship anchored in the city’s western harbor.

Mariehamn islands

Raseborg

 

There are a number of things to see in Raseborg, both man-made and natural. There are historic ironworks of Fiskars and Billnäs, Raseborg castle ruins, the Svartå Manor and Ekenäs with its quaint small wooden houses to cheer you up on a dark day. On the natural side, Raseborg is a good jumping-off point to explore the magnificent archipelago, which contains Ekenäs National Park.

Raseborg castle

 

Salla

 

One of the most important Finnish experience is, without any doubt, sauna. Salla is a great place to get an authentic sauna experience by enjoying the relentless sauna heat and afterwards, going swimming in the ice-cold, crystal clear lake. As Salla is in Lapland, there are tons of other great winter activities there, so make sure you stay for a few days to experience them all.

Salla cottage

 

Naantali

 

Naantali is the town of a thousand islands. The highlights of sunny Naantali are the idyllic old town and the nearby archipelago. There is a shimmering energy in the heart of the town with its lively cafes, restaurants, terraces and a world of colorful boutiques. The town’s well-known sights are Moominworld, Naantali Spa Hotel and Kultaranta – the summer residence of the President of Finland.

Naantali islands

 

Saariselkä

 

Ever dreamt of sleeping in an igloo? Ever dreamt of sleeping in an igloo with a glass roof, perfectly suited for Aurora Borealis-hunting? Then Saariselkä is your place to go. You can take a sled-dog safari to witness the beauty of what real winter looks like or come in June or July to find out the real meaning of White Nights.

Saariselkä igloo

 

Also, don’t forget to check our Finland’s Bucket List for the best experiences in this magic country.


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