It might come as a surprise, especially because we are talking about a country of the deep North where winter temperatures are far from being mild, but outdoor activities in Finland are a crucial part of the local lifestyle, no matter what’s the season. Whatever you like to do in your leisure time, soaking in nature and tradition will be a big part of your Finland holidays.
Outdoor activities in Finland, Vierumäki Flowpark
The perfect place to engage in sports outdoor activities, in Finland I had several first-time experiences. To begin with, during the trip, I went kayaking and canoeing for the first time. I also had a sauna for the first time.
But that’s not all. If you ever want to do zip wires, swinging bridges and other shaky stuff during your Finland holidays, try Vierumäki Flowpark. Here you can easily spend the whole day with the most daring outdoor activities. You will feel as in an open-air gym immersed in nature.
Vierumäki Flowpark is the quintessence of Finland’s outdoor activities for kids and adults. The centre offers also wellness facilities as well as sports holidays and courses, tennis courts and golf courses. They have plenty of packages and activities for families and nature lovers, such as hiking and jogging in their pristine nature trails, mountain biking, forest yoga, paddling, mushroom picking, fishing, swimming and more.
With so many outdoor leisure activities, Finland is a great place to travel with your kids.
More things to do on your Finland holidays: canoeing
My canoeing experience started in Hartola, near our base, Linna Hotel, right on the shores of Jääsjärvi Lake. Here our instructor, Helena of Maahisen Muki ja Mela (here their website, if you are familiar with Finnish, or here is her number: +358 50 569 6117) explained to us how to behave once on board along with some useful tips on how to avoid capsizing, how to face a rapid (even the tiny ones we found on our way) and also how not to get stuck in the bushes or in the rocks (like I did).
After our little outdoor class, we jumped on a canoe and started our trip on the calm waters of Jääsjärvi Lake, just to get warm and familiar before facing the not-so-raging flow of Tainionvirta River and its first small rapids. We did some 4 kilometres and took us a couple of hours, but depending on how experienced you are and on the trail you choose, it can take you from a couple of hours up to four days, like the trail from Hartola to Sysmä.
Whatever your level of experience is, the best way to fully enjoy the landscape, the seemingly endless stretch of water, the local vegetation and the occasional fish and birds, is to go slowly and stop from time to time to marvel at some of the wonders nature unleashes in this untouched corner of Europe.
More things to do in Hartola
A trip around quaint Hartola is kind of water-themed. After canoeing along the lake and the river, and a mandatory scrumptious snack at Koskenniemi guesthouse, we went back to our hotel via an inspiring trek along a wet bog. Here, we managed to delve into the local way of life and traditions, from enjoying the peat right in nature to berry picking, from float fishing to simply hiking surrounded by nothing but trees interrupted only by fluffy expanses of golden barley.
We saw quite a few people fishing, both a man fishing directly from the water and two from the boat. For all of them, the common feature was one and only: silence. Fishing in Finland is seen as a way of meditating, the reason why silence is the first step to reach a true peace of mind.
Below you can see the rest of the shots I took during this walk, images that will inevitably inspire you to unplug from your daily routine and plunge headfirst into this tranquil spot of southern Finland.