3 Wildlife-Watching Experiences You Need to Try in Finland
Nature at its best in the Scandinavian wonderland
5 September 2019
All Credits: PA
With advanced conservation initiatives, 39 national parks, and 73% of its land covered by forest – Finland has been named the world’s best wildlife travel destination for 2019.
The report, carried out by True Luxury Travel, examined metrics ranging from sustainability to megafauna, and found that Finland narrowly edged out Scandinavian neighbour Sweden at the head of the pack.
Here’s a freeze-frame of the finest Finnish wildlife experiences, from the southern lake district to the icy northern tundra.
Go on a bear hunt
If you go down the woods in Finland you shouldn’t be in for a big surprise – because you’re likely to spot bears all the time.
The taiga forest straddling the Russian border is hands down the best bear-watching spot in Europe, and a host of well-furnished, overnight hides ensure that you get up close and personal with the predators, while being safely hidden yourself. You’ll have no problem seeing them in summer, because it barely gets dark, and groups of 10 to 12 are often seen coming together to socialise and scratch their backs on trees.
If you’re lucky, there’s also a chance of caribou, wolverine, and wolf.
A brown bear weekend starts at £599/AED2,694.23, from Explore.
Rub shoulders with real life reindeer
Covering Finland’s sparsely populated northern reaches, Lapland is said to contain more reindeer than people.
The freezing cold region is a hotspot for wildlife-watchers, and its fearless reindeer population can be found frolicking in the forests, pulling sledges laden with tourists, and rifling through the urban bins. Coincidentally, Lapland’s capital Rovaniemi’s road system is in the shape of a reindeer, and you’ll be able to experience the animals in a different way in the city’s many restaurants.
We can’t promise actual real life Santa Claus, but we can promise literally thousands of his sleigh-pulling pals.
The winter wonderland experience starts at £519/AED2,334.40, from Transun.