Cover photo by Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Lapland, Finland. 

There are many exotics things you can do while visiting Finland. From reindeer safaris to having reindeer for dinner, cooked and enjoyed outside in the wilderness. There’s extreme sports like Swamp Soccer, and there’s easy going relaxing things like a summer sauna at a lake shore. For something a little more eccentric, here’s a few suggestions:

Hiking at Korvatunturi

Korvatunturi is a fell in Lapland. A fell is a term for a high and barren landscape feature, like a mountain range or a moor-covered hill. Korvatunturi is located on the border of Finland and Russia, the Finnish part is within Urho Kekkonen National Park, named after the longest serving, almost 26 years in office, President of Finland. The name Korvatunturi literally means “Ear Fell” in Finnish due to its unique shape.

Since 1927, when a children’s radio personality leaked in the information that Santa Claus actually lives at Korvatunturi, it has been the place Finnish children address their letters to Santa each year. Because Santa is magical, his home is well hidden from the hikers, but you can go and try to find him.

The hiking trail to Korvatunturi and back is about 50 kilometres (~31 miles), and five of those kilometres run along the border area, so you do need a permit from the Finnish Border Guard to be there, but the permit is free and easily available online.

A night under the Northern Lights

One of the most beautiful things in Lapland is the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. It’s a magical thing. There is science behind it too, but it was very complicated and hard to understand. Finland is positioned very high on the globe, and that makes Lapland a great place to see the Northern Lights.

Northern Lights, photo by Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Lapland, Finland. 

Of course it takes a dark sky to see them in full glory, which luckily Lapland has for the most of the year, during daytime too! The season for Northern Lights is from the end of August until the end of April, and you can bet there’s a lot of darkness in Finland during that time.

You can see the nature’s light show just by going outside, or you can do it in style. There’s a hotel in the very north of Finland, Hotel Kakslauttanen, that specializes in the Northern Lights experience. You can stay in a Glass Igloo, that will let you see the night sky while laying on the bed, preferably with someone you like. There’s also Glass Igloo cabins, made from logs, featuring a sauna, a little kitchenette and of course, a bedroom with a glass roof.

Naturally, Hotel Kakslauttanen also offers many kinds of Finnish activities to the guests, including safaris with reindeer, huskies or snowmobiles, ice fishing and skiing, downhill or cross country.

Glass Igloos, photo by Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Lapland, Finland. 

Käräjämäki

Finland’s very own Stonehenge, with a mysterious stone circle known as “Court circle” or “judges’ stones”, that stands guard above two graves. When comparing to the actual Stonehenge, the stones are quite small. But it’s just like everything else in Finland: modest.

Käräjämäki, located in South West Finland, in the municipality of Eura, translates to “Court hill”, and was inhabited as early as the Stone Age. During the Iron age, it was used as a burial site, and more than 200 graves have been found, the oldest were cremation pits where people were buried during the Migration Period 400–500 AD. Most of the graves examined have been dated to 600-700 AD.

Käräjämäki is open to visitors free of charge all year round, but the site is not staffed and there is no winter maintenance.

The Queen’s Piss Rock

Or the King’s. Or both of them, depending on which source you believe. What even is a Piss Rock? I’ll tell you. It’s a big rock on the side of a road. Story goes, that when Adolf Fredrik, King of Sweden, and at the time Finland too, travelled on July 18th 1752 through Kurikka, a small town in Western Finland, on his way from Turku to Vaasa, with his wife Louisa Ulrika, they had to stop to relieve themselves, and they did that behind that exact rock.

The memorial plaque on the rock itself indicates that it was, indeed, the both of the royal travellers who used the stone as a cover so the other members of the party did not see them pee. This might confuse the current passers by if they don’t know the fact that the now 60-70 cm (25-28 ½ inches) tall rock used to rise a lot higher 250 years ago. It was believed that during that time, the rock was as high as two meters, which is close to six and a half feet.

But, it would be considered public indecency if you tried to reenact the noble’s act now, and you would probably get fined. It’s not okay to urinate in public in Finland, unless you are the King, or the Queen.

— Editors

The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.


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