The Best Adventures and Sustainable Trends in Finland

Credits: Juho Kuva


Press release, Helsinki, 1 October 2023

There are many ways to spend sustainable holidays in the happiest country in the world, but one favoured by many includes some serious doses of adrenaline.
Credits: Juho Kuva

The daredevil ways of spending sustainable holidays in Finland include adventures that can last up to 24 hours in the never-setting sun and meeting locals in a variety of activities. The country boasts endless gravel bike roads, infinite white water rafting routes, and mile upon mile of breathtaking hikes in Lapland – in the last wilderness of Europe. 

Finland, the adventure gem of the North with its pristine views over a landscape of thousands of lakes and the world’s cleanest air, provides travellers with a multitude of ways to adventure sustainably. While adventuring in the country relies on discovering the Arctic wilderness during the four distinct seasons, on the Everyman’s Rights Act in the constitution, and the shared responsibility of respecting local culture –– it is also supported by the Sustainable Travel Finland program by Visit Finland. This label helps visitors make more sustainable choices when visiting Finland.

“We always want to offer experiences that allow for our guests to slow down and take a deep breath in nature. But for those looking for an adrenaline boost, we recommend canoeing in Lake Saimaa, sleeping on wild campsites on the islands, testing your sisu, and downhill swimming 24 kilometers in river Kitkajoki or biking 300 km under midnight sun. These are only some of the sustainable and adventurous ways to spend summer holidays in Finland,” says Liisa Kokkarinen, Head of Sustainable Development, Visit Finland.

Kayaking in Lake Saimaa
Credits: Mikko Nikkinen

The Arctic by Cycle, Lapland

Arctic gravel and bikepacking in Lapland. The Arctic by Cycle Bikepacking Route Network consists of 2,000 kilometers of gravel, quad-track, and single-track bikepacking routes that cover the area from the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland to the Arctic Ocean in Northern Norway. The routes connect villages, National Parks, wilderness areas, and over 100 wilderness shelters into a versatile network of stunning bikepacking routes, divided into gravel and MTB routes. All the tracks are designed to be accessible by public transportation, which makes hopping on and off the routes relatively easy. 

Canoeing, Lake Saimaa

Canoeing to sleep on islands. Lake Saimaa, Europe’s fourth biggest lake, welcomes visitors to the most unique paddling experiences. June on the routes is a feast of light and a never-setting sun, while the winter months allow for moving on ice. During warmer months, overnight stays on the islands are encouraged.

Sauna Capital of The World, Tampere

Test your ‘sisu’. The testament of Finnish endurance and strength has throughout the times been known as ‘sisu’. So why not test one’s own in the gentle company of the locals in the sauna capital of the world, Tampere? Hot and cold therapy forms are widely available in winter and summer time, allowing for the blissful experience of swimming under the Midnight Sun.

UNESCO Global Geopark Rokua, Muhos

Hike the northernmost UNESCO Global Geopark in the world. Discover the heritage of the Ice Age by taking a hike in the official UNESCO Global Geopark Rokua, comprising three different landscape areas: the Oulujoki River Valley, Lake Oulujärvi, and the Rokua Eskers and Dune area. The Geopark begins in the town of Muhos, about 20 kilometers from the city of Oulu, continuing for over 90 kilometers to the southeast to the northern part of Lake Oulujärvi. 

Rokua National Park
Credits: Harri Tarvainen

Sustainable Travel Trends in Finland

1. Trash-less travel. From the 41 National Parks, many have been piloting trashless travel seriously. The latest one to join the movement is the Pallas-Yllästunturi, where trash containers, bins, and collection points have been removed from the Hetta-Pallas route. While recycling is located at the beginning and end of the treks, what you bring into nature you will also carry along with you. Collecting and carrying one’s waste allows for less maintenance driving in the pristine parks – this way slowing down local erosion and reducing both noise and emissions.

2. Adventure is for everyone. Kainuu is the latest to launch its sustainable travel aimed at exactly everyone. One of the region’s top destinations is Eskonsaari, an island that allows unobstructed easy access to travel into and out of the island. Routes are easily planned on the Arctic Lakeland website, which indicates and communicates both possibilities and issues related to accessibility.

3. Travel made regenerative. In Finland, travel has been morphing into something much better. Annu Huotari, a third-generation entrepreneur, welcomes visitors with the unique chance to build an insect hotel while having a wonderful stay and making space for new. Another regenerative approach has taken place during the 2023 summer in Haltia Lake Lodge in Nuuksio National Park. The project aims to reverse biodiversity loss by engaging visitors in conservation work. Win-win for both the local nature and those visiting, looking to make a change, fight feelings of climate anxiety – or simply connect with local nature.

4. Phone-free travel. There is nothing like engaging in some digital fasting while on holiday. Finland introduces the world's first phone-free tourist island, located in the Eastern Gulf of Finland National Park. The aim is to encourage holidaymakers to switch off their smart devices, take a break from social media and enjoy nature. Ulko-Tammio is believed to be the world’s first phone-free tourist island.

5. Swimming in wild waters. According to research, more than 720,000 people of the little over 5 million population of Finns winter swim regularly. According to the Outdoor Association of Finland, the country is a leader in winter swimming. In 2023, the City of Helsinki announced the opening of five new winter swimming spots in the Finnish capital alone.

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About Visit Finland

Visit Finland, a unit of Business Finland, is a national authority on tourism and an active force in promoting international travel to Finland. Its main goal is to develop Finland’s international image as a destination. Visit Finland supports the travel industry through research and helps businesses and groups develop products and services for the international market. For more information, please visit