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The pretty European country that’s massive but American and British tourists don’t visit | Travel News | Travel

A beautiful European country is an absolute gem hidden in plain sight as it hardly gets any British or American tourists – despite being one of the best to visit on the continent. Finland is home to some of the most spectacular nature in the world, and while it is known for its wintery attractions, people are starting to take notice of its summer offerings too. 

People from Finland enjoy hours of endless sunlight in the summer, and you could do much worse than heading to the capital, Helsinki, for a delightful blend of town and country life. Urban planning has ensured people are never more than a fifteen-minute bike ride away from nature, and the city is also home to vast open areas and the Gulf of Finland, with beautiful seaside restaurants lining the waterfront. 

The country’s seasons are really accentuated by its northern hemisphere positioning, meaning you’ll see beautiful colours throughout the year. Outdoors lovers will feel right at home, as it is a powerhouse for hiking, biking, paddling and exploring the wonderful fjords and countryside. 

Its winters are crisp and snowy, meaning locals love to ski – whether cross-country or downhill – as well as mess around in the fluffy white stuff. The northern lights, too, are a spectacular sight and accessible in vast swathes of the country as not much of it is affected by light pollution. The combination of the two is most prevalent in the region of Lapland – where a decent number of Brits do actually go in the winter. 

Lapland is known for its authentic Christmas experiences where families can meet Father Christmas and be dragged around by huskies and reindeer. If that sounds a bit cold to you then remember, the Norwegian summer is just the opposite. 

Saunas are also huge in the country – it is the only Norwegian word that has made its way into English vocabulary – and helps the population get cleansed both physically and mentally. One popular activity is to warm up in the sauna, before stepping outside and jumping into a freezing cold lake.

There are plenty of lovely lakeside cottages that are ready to rent – giving Brits the chance to sample the tranquility and clean air of the Nordic countryside. 

Daylight hours are very weird in Finland – in the winter, you can go close to 24 hours without seeing any sun, while in summer, you can often experience a midnight sun if you are inside the Arctic Circle. 

Finland is home to the happiest people on the planet, and experts have put it down to their active and outdoors lifestyle – with close access to nature – as well as feelings of trust towards each other. They also say the outstanding education system and universal health care contributes to these feelings of security. 

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