This guest post was contributed by Lela Lake for Finland holiday experts, Baltic Travel. Finland is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden on the west, Norway on the north and Russia on the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland. Around 5.4 million people reside in Finland, with the majority concentrated in the southern region. If you travel to Finland, these are four incredible sights you can reach by car.
1) Santa Claus Village
(Image Credit: Webax)
About 8 kilometres outside the city of Rovaniemi is the popular Santa Claus Village, which honours the spirit of Christmas all over the world. Follow the white line that shows the path of the Arctic Circle through the park.
Stop by Santa Claus’s Office for a chat with the jolly old elf, or if he is busy elsewhere, check out the Santa Claus Post Office, where you can send out letters with the coveted Santa Claus postmark. There are shops and restaurants where you can soak up the atmosphere and learn the true story of Father Christmas.
2) Lampivaara Amethyst Mine
(Image Credit: Pajaratorio)
About 130 kilometers from Rovaniemi is one of the few working gem mines that welcomes visitors. This fascinating tour explains how various shades of violet are created to form amethyst and recounts some of the fascinating myths and legends that surround this treasured gemstone. You even get to dig up a lucky amethyst to take home with you.
3) Hannu Hautala Nature Photography Centre
(Image Credit: RukaKuusamo)
In the town of Kuusamo is the 150 square metre exhibition hall that houses the incredible collection of photographer Hannu Hautala, who has spent his life capturing the beauty of the wildlife in his native Lapland. Visiting photographs also share their work with the public in the exhibits with names like “Starry Nights” and “Creatures and Spirits.”
4) Ranua Wildlife Park Zoo
(Image Credit: Esapekka)
Just an hour’s drive from the Rovaniemi’a Arktikum Museum is the Ranua Wildlife Park, where you visit the animals you have learned about in the Arktikum museum. Once you arrive, you can take a sleigh ride or a dog sled to view and take pictures of the 60 species of wild animals that roam the park. Tours are available in either winter or summer.