levi-finland

Finland Travel Guide

Practical information

08:39:48
Language(s)
Finnish, Swedish
Currency
Euro
Time zone
GMT +3

Finnish History and Culture

The first inhabitants of Finland arrived about 9,000BC and were nomadic Sami people, the descendants of whom still roam the northern parts of the country today. They lived here peacefully until the invasion of the Vikings. During the Viking age (A.D. 793–1066), rule over Finland was avidly fought over as it became a centre for trade, supplying furs to the Vikings.  Claims were made by both the Russians and the Swedes to take control once the Vikings were diminished and, in the process, this influenced the language and customs of the Finnish people.  The conflict built into a religious rivalry, resulting in the pope declaring Finland a Swedish territory in 1120. They then remained a part of Sweden until 1809, when Russia regained control. The struggle for power between the two persisted over the coming century until the year 1917 when Finland was established as an autonomous region under the Russian Empire. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Finland then declared total independence. The following years were not as desirable as they would have liked, as civil war broke out almost immediately between the two social classes - The White Force (upper class land owners) and The Red Force (lower class labourers). This continued into WWII with Finland allying alongside the Soviet union and handing over nearly 10% of it's land. This and the Pact of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance between the Soviet Union and Finland developed a peaceful position for Finland, keeping good relationships with both East and West. The collapse of the Soviet Union then made room for Finland to join the European Union where it has thrived economically until the late 2000s. More recently Finland has struggled with an aging population causing a reduction in labour and therefore a slowing in economic growth. 

The majority of the people living in Finland now are native to the country, with nearly 90% speaking Finnish. Finland has a strong indigenous culture, passed down through the Sami, a herding people who live in Lapland. They embrace the forested landscape, seeing the forests as places of shelter and adventure, and farm reindeer on these lands. Due to the cool climate, another common Finnish tradition is taking a sauna, with on average one sauna per family across the country! Finns also pride themselves on being a mecca for heavy metal music, hosting a number of festivals throughout the year.

Time Zone

The time zone in Finland GMT+2. It also observes Daylight Saving Time making it GMT +3 during the summer months.

Languages

Finnish, Swedish

More than 150 different first languages are spoken in Finland, however it has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish.

Useful Phrases

  • A - pronounced as "u" in "cup"
  • Ä - pronounced as "a" in "bat"
  • E - pronounced as "e" in "men"
  • I - pronounced as "i" in "tip"
  • Y - pronounced as "u" in "you"
  • Ö - pronounced as "u" in "fur"

  • Hello - Hei
  • Goodbye - Näkemiin
  • Yes - Kyllä
  • No - Ei
  • Thank you - Kiitos
  • You are welcome - Ei kestä
  • Excuse me - Anteeksi
  • My name is ... - Nimeni on ...
  • Nice to meet you - Hauska tavata

Currency

Euro

The currency in Finland is the Euro (EUR).  For the latest exchange rates please see www.xe.com

 

Foreign money can be exchanged at the Forex in Kuusamo airport on arrival or you can bring money already exchanged with you, as the Euro is an open currency.  We would recommend the latter as we will be heading to a remote area of Finland, so you may find it difficult to exchange your money after leaving the airport.

 

The simplest way to pay for things is to use an international credit card or debit card. Visa and Mastercard are accepted everywhere alongside standard travel cards such as Monzo and Revolut. You may wish to have some Euros to hand, to pay for drinks or personal expenses in more remote areas. 

USD
EUR

Electricity

In Finland the standard European plug (Type C and F) with two round prongs is used. The majority of Scandinavia is 220V.

Weather

Thanks to the gulf stream, Finland enjoys a milder climate than other countries at the same latitude such as Alaska or Greenland.  Having a more continental climate than the rest of Scandinavia, means that there is less chance of rain, hard wind and unstable weather so generally expect cold but calm conditions.

The weather in Finland can be extremely cold in winter however, with temperatures rarely exceeding 0°C and dropping to as low as -40°C! The coldest temperatures are usually found away from the coasts or in the far north within the Arctic Circle. In the summer months, the temperatures will range from 15˚C – 20˚C but highs of 32˚C are possible in July and August in Southern regions of the country.

We run our Finland adventures through the winter months when the weather tends to be cold but relatively stable. With possible lows of -40°C, it is therefore extremely important that you have the right clothing and equipment to protect from the cold. 

Safety and Security

Your safety and well-being is always the number one priority at Kandoo Adventures.


We operate all our travel destinations in accordance with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice, which publishes travel advisory notices for British nationals. We also closely follow the advice of ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents) which provides support to UK tour operators.  


In addition to this, our extensive, directly-managed operations in each of our destinations, provide us with detailed knowledge and up-to-date information, which enables us to make informed decisions and operate our trips safely.

We always recommend that you regularly check the FCDO's travel advice, in order to keep up to date about the country you are planning to visit.

If you are not a UK resident, we would recommend that you visit your government's travel advisory website for further information:



Alternatively, you may wish to visit our Travel Updates page or seek further information from the World Health Organisation.

Lost or delayed luggage

We recommend that you wear your walking boots to travel and pack as many essential items as possible in your carry-on luggage for your Finland adventure. If your luggage is delayed we can then do our best to kit you out to take part in the activities on time. In the event that your luggage is delayed or lost, our procedure is as follows: 

  • Establish what items are missing and a contingency plan for each critical item
  • If it reaches 6pm on the evening before starting the trip and your luggage has not arrived we recommend buying and/or hiring items immediately as a precaution
  • We will take you to a shop where you can buy toiletry items, e.g. toothbrush
We will do everything we can to help if your luggage is lost or delayed. Be sure to check your insurance policy coverage for lost luggage cover
Taiga-forest-in-Finland

Geography

Geographically, Finland makes up part of the northern European countries of Scandinavia, bordering both Sweden to the northeast and Norway to the north. On it's eastern side it also borders Russia and to the south and southwest lies the Baltic Sea. Finland has a generally flat, densely forested landscape which creates a tranquil, remote environment. Over 70% of the landscape is covered by Taiga forests, and the remainder is filled by lakes. Known as the “land of a thousand lakes,” Finland has over 180,000. The Scandinavian Mountains also forge a line through the flat lands to the northwest of the country.

With it's northern lands lying within the Arctic circle, Finland is one of the world's northernmost countries. Helsinki, the capital, is one of the most northern capitals in the world, second only to Reykjavik in Iceland. This wild and wonderful place is not only great for it's ice fishing and dog sledding. The stunning natural landscapes of Finland are quite simply awe-inspiring, and home to a surprising amount of rare and endangered wildlife such as brown bears, lynx and wolverine. Finland's unique habitats are nurtured and protected by the indigenous Sami culture who have roamed these lands for centuries.