Finland tailor-made holidays

Finland is a quiet, laid-back place made up of vast expanses of forests and lakes dotted with small towns. It's also the home of Santa Claus and all the kitsch fun associated with him. [See Finland itinerary ideas]

Helsinki, the chic capital, is the place to see Finnish design, take advantage of excellent shopping and enjoy a lively nightlife. Turku, located at the mouth of the Aura River on the south coast is an historic centre and the gateway to a stunning archipelago that stretches into the Baltic Sea. Tampere in the beautiful western Lake District is a popular start point for sailing, salmon fishing and skating; it's also home to the only Lenin museum in the world.

However, people come to experience the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis that play across the Arctic sky. Discover a world of exciting experiences in the fresh, clean Lapland countryside, where activities include skiing, snowmobiling, reindeer or husky safaris and ice golf; a tot of vodka and a proper sauna provide everything you need for total relaxation.

Wexas Travel brochure for Finland

Scandinavia & Beyond brochure

Our in depth guide packed with background information, sample itineraries designed by our experts and hand-picked suggestions for what to see and do, where to stay and when best to go.

When to go

"I love borders. August is the border between summer and autumn; it is the most beautiful month I know."
Tove Jansson

Despite its northerly situation, Finland has a fairly mild climate thanks to the warming Gulf Stream and its many lakes, and there are good reasons to visit in any season.  The climate is warmest, and the landscapes at their prettiest, during months of June, July and August in southern Finland and Lakeland. August is a holiday month for Finns too, who head in large numbers to the coast and countryside, but even the most popular destinations are hardly crowded. Autumn is visually stunning in the countryside, especially in Lapland where the ruska-aika (russeting) of shrubs and trees provides a riot of colour, from gold and orange in the lower fells to deep crimson in the high hills. Lapland's mosquitoes can be unbearable in high summer, while October to March provides splendid opportunities for winter pursuits and northern lights viewing.

Finnish winters are long, cold and dark, but far from severe. Temperatures generally hover at just below freezing, keeping the snows crisp and fresh for cross-country skiing or snowmobiling. Intrepid travellers also join in the local pastime of heating up in a sauna then jumping into an icy lake. Other winter attractions inside the Arctic Circle include visits to Santa Claus Village (though Santa has been open to visitors year-round since 1985) and Ice Park Finland, which is sculpted from scratch each year for a December-to-March season.

Spring begins in mid-April, but it's not really till summer that the last snows disappear and trees and wildflowers burst into life.


Essential Experiences

We’ve rounded up our list of recommended sites and things to do. Click on the map to enlarge it and see what we suggest or follow the links in the list to discover how to get the best out of your holiday.

Practical Information

"Finland is a rich country. What have they got? They got Nokia phones and plywood. How'd they get so rich? Because they're free."
P. J. O'Rourke

Capital - Helsinki

Size - 338,145 sq km

Language - Finnish (91%), Swedish (5%) and small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities

Population - 5.4 million (2011)

Religion - Evangelical Lutheran (80%); Finnish Orthodox (1%); none (18%)

Currency - Euro

Time zone - GMT + 2 hours

Flight time - London Heathrow to Helsinki 3 hours; London Stansted to Tampere 2 hours 40 mins.


Midsummer is the main event in the Finnish festive calendar. Named Juhannus (for John the Baptist), the main parties - when people head for their summer cottages, make lakeside fires, swim, row, have a sauna, light a barbecue and raise a glass or several - take place on the Friday nearest the Summer Solstice, leaving the rest of the weekend to relax and recover. The midsummer parties have a wistful echo throughout August when Crayfish parties are convened under the moonlight to say farewell to the short summer. Other notable festivals include:

March - Tampere Film Festival. Including national and international screenings and competitions.

March - Lahti Ski Games. Annual three-day event featuring ski jumping, cross-country and Nordic combined competitions.

April - Funky Elephant Festival, Helsinki. Four-day festival of modern rhythm music from soul and funk to hip-hop, reggae and afrobeat.

April - April Jazz, Espoo. Five days of the best Finnish and international jazz artists.

September - Manifesti Factory Festival, Turku. Art exhibitions and performance in Manilla, a 20th-century factory building-turned cultural centre.

September - Love & Anarchy: Helsinki International Film Festival. Finland's biggest film festival, promoting inventive, controversial and visually stunning new films that would otherwise not be seen in Finnish cinemas.

The summer months welcome many smaller quirky festivals all over the country, with annual favourites including the Wife Carrying World Championships (Sonkajärvi, early July), the Sauna World Championships (Metsäkansa, mid-July) and the World Mobile Phone Throwing Championships (Savolinna, late August).


Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.

Passport requirements

Passports must be valid for the full duration of your stay. No additional period of validity is required.



Euro notes and coins from all issuing countries are accepted, with the exception of 1- and 2-cent coins, which are judged to be of too low a value for circulation. Swedish krona is also accepted on Åland and in western Lapland, and Norwegian krona can be used near the border with Norway in northern Lapland.


ATMs are everywhere in towns and cities, and in rural areas you can usually withdraw money at kiosks or petrol stations.

Cash and EFTPOS

Always keep some cash on you for small purchases. If you wish to withdraw or exchange money over the counter, banks are normally open from 9.15 am to 4.15 pm Monday to Friday. Credit and debit cards are accepted almost everywhere, even for small amounts. Mobile phone usage is so ingrained, handsets are commonly used by locals to buy from vending machines, while text messages confirming payment serve as tickets for travel and entertainment.

Guideline prices

Finland can be expensive, especially Helsinki, but most daily purchases cost no more than in many European countries. Look out for summer offers as venues and restaurants compete for trade.

Museums and attractions typically charge between €5 and €25, a small beer is €3 to €4, and express rail or bus travel between Helsinki and Turku (200 km) up to €32 at spring 2013. Expect to pay €12 to €15 for a gastro pub burger in Helsinki, €30 for a main course, €40 and up for a bottle of wine at a smart bay front restaurant, and a minimum of €400 for a week's car hire in high summer.

Regions [6]

Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Finland, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

Itinerary ideas [22]

The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Finland. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

Glass Igloos and Northern Lights

From £980 pp incl. flights
Natural world Northern lights Off-The-Beaten-Track

A five-day winter break combining a stay in a fell-top glass igloo and Harriniva Hotel in the heart of Finnish Lapland

Bear Watching Kuhmo, Finland

From £880 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Natural world Short break

Finland is one of Europe's few remaining wildernesses, its vast forests home to about 1,000 brown bears. Imagine viewing them in their natural habitat, your …

Belles of the Baltic - Helsinki, Stockholm & Tallinn

From £530 pp incl. flights
City History & culture Natural world

This superb five-day independent tour takes you to three fantastic capitals in just five days. You'll travel from the Swedish capital, Stockholm, to Finland's …

Northern Lights at Nellim

From £1,105 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Lodges Natural world

All Northern Lights enthusiasts should have their sights set on Lapland and this four-day trip gives you every opportunity to view the celestial spectacle.

Muotkan Maja Wilderness Lodge

From £1,295 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure History & culture Lodges

Muotkan Maja Wilderness Lodge is a charming log-cabin style lodge by the Saariselkä fells in Kakslauttanen and makes a wonderful alternative to either Nellim …

Charming Saimaa Self-Drive

From £1,135 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Natural world Self-drive

This nine-day self-drive tour takes in the beautiful lakeland region of Saimaa, on Finland's border with Russia.

Visa Free Cruise to Russia

From £635 pp incl. flights
City History & culture Ocean cruise

Travel from Helsinki to St Petersburg by sea without the time-consuming process and expense of applying for a Russian visa. An overnight cruise from the Finnish …

Harriniva Santa break

From £990 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Christmas Natural world

Your base for this four-day Santa break is the Harriniva Hotel, a cosy retreat high up in the Arctic Circle, complete with jacuzzis on the riverbank and a …

Time out! Huskies in Lapland

From £855 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Lapland Natural world

Enjoy the incredible beauty of Finnish Lapland on this five-day winter adventure to Harriniva, deep inside the Arctic Circle.

Hotel Jeris – a week of fun in Finland

Call for details
Activity adventure History & culture Safari

The beautiful scenery of Finnish Lapland is the ideal winter playground for the whole family. Easily reached from the UK, with great accommodation and a wealth …

Meet Santa in Lapland Finland

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Activity adventure Northern lights Short break

As summer turns to autumn, countless Santa holidays are available to book. Most herd their guests into large, impersonal groups and offer little more than a …

Lapland Honeymoon

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Activity adventure Honeymoon Lapland

Finnish Lapland offers you the perfect setting for a romantic snowy honeymoon and a stay at the Hotel Kakslauttanen offers you the perfect escape.

Winter fun at Ylläs, Finland

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Activity adventure Natural world Northern lights

The idyllic log cabins of the Ylläshumina Hotel lie at the foot of the Ylläs fell, on the shores of Finland's Lake Äkäslompolojärvi, around 200km north of …

Hiking the Russian Border

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Activity adventure Escorted tour History & culture

This excellent eight-day escorted walking tour along the Finnish-Russian border is a real back-to-nature experience through diverse forests and pristine …

Kakslauttanen snow adventure Finland

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Activity adventure Honeymoon Luxury travel

Deep inside the Arctic Circle and surrounded by Lapland’s exotic and stunning scenery, Hotel Kakslauttanen offers a perfect setting for a winter break.

Supercar ice-driving experience, Finland

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Activity adventure Short break Winter

The ultimate thrill for any budding petrol head, our supercar experience will give you the chance to rally such cars as a Volkswagon Golf, Audi R8 and …

Powder Pro snowmobile break

Call for details
Activity adventure Natural world Safari

Learn the secrets of deep-snow driving on this five-day adrenaline-pumping snowmobile tour across the fells of Finnish Lapland.

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