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The most sparsely populated country in the EU, The country’s population is just five million, with one million living in the greater Helsinki area. Having only gained independence in 1917, Finland is a relatively new country, despite this it is now considered one of the best places to live with a good economy and welfare state.
Finland is often referred to the `Land of a Thousand Lakes` because it has over 180,000 lakes which are over 500 square meters and it has over 170,000 islands, unlike its Scandinavian brothers Sweden and Norway, Finland does not have many mountains, it is mainly flat.
Use a hire car Finland to explore this diverse country, take in the sites of its cities or visit one of its lakes or islands. Being such sparse country one should expect long journeys between destinations, but what you will see whilst driving makes up for this, reindeer and dense forests.
Saimaa: Located in the south, Lake Saimaa is the largest lake in Finland at 443 square miles, within the lake one can find an endangered species of seal such as the ringed seal. There are four cities located on or around the lake, Lappeenrant, lmatra, Savonlinna, Mikkeli. One can take a cruise from Lappeenranta through the lake or to the Russian city of Vyborg.
Lemmenjoki National Park: Located in Lapland in north Finland, this national park is the largest in the country, 1,100 square miles. The park is ideal for any hikers, with 40 miles of hiking paths, you can also use huts and boats in the park. Within the parks limits is Sallivaara is a reindeer roundup where you can stay overnight in one of the reconstructed huts. The grounds of Kaapin Jounican be found in the north of the park, it is the home of a famous Sami family, Jouni Aikio otherwise known as the Reindeer Lord, is the most well-known member, the grounds tells the story of the Sami way of life.
Oulanka National Park: considered the most beautiful national park in the country, this 104 square mile park is located in the Lapland area on the Russian border. The park is home to over 500 different plant species and some diverse animals, such as wolfs and lynxes, bears, moose and over 30 other mammal species. The Karhunkierros trail, Finland’s most popular trail, can be found here and it takes hikers through pine forests and along river banks for over 50 miles. On the journey you will see some huts which serve as shelter for a night.
Helsinki: The capital city, it was built as a small version of St. Petersburg, it became the capital in 1812. The greater city area is home to 1.2 million people, one fifth of the entire population. The city is home to some stunning churches such as the Lutheran and Uspenski Cathedrals and some great museums like the National Museum of Finland, showcasing history from prehistoric times to present day. The fortress of Suomenlinna, built by the Swedish in the 1700's to protect against Russian attacks, however it failed to prevent the Russian conquest of the city and country. As well as being a museum the fortress is now its own little complex housing great picnic areas and shops and café, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tampere: Finland’s third largest city is surrounded by lakes and rivers, coming from a very industrial past the city is now a hub for culture, sports and business. It is said that it is in this city that Lenin met Stalin, there is a Lenin museum in the city. There are two very different churches in the city, The Kaleva Churcha concrete structure built in 1966 and the Messukyla Old Church, the oldest building in the city dating back to the 1400s.
Using a car hire Finland gives you the opportunity to take in the diverse scenes of Finland, whether you want to want to relax by one of the thousands of lakes, or take on a hike through some of its beautiful national parks or if you just wish to have a nice city break in some of its beautifully charming cities, all is possible with a hire car Finland.