Finland was recently ranked one of the most peaceful, competitive and livable countries. The incredible Finnish landscape is covered by thick pine forests, rolling hills and a labyrinth of lakes and inlets. Much the land is pristine as it contains 35 national parks from the Southern shores of the Gulf of Finland to the high fells of Lapland. The region however is also highly urbanized with many cultural events and activities.
I could go on, but I want to mention an article I recently came across by Jim O'Donnell for BootsnAll.com - Five Island Treasures of Finland's Baltic Coast. It goes into the history of the formation of Finland's nearly 180,000 (!) islands, many of which are now National Parks, Biosphere Reserves or World Heritage Sites. As he writes,
"Finland's islands are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. This is the place where the sky meets the sea and where the feeling is that of being at the edges of the Earth. The air is quiet and the sea relatively calm. On the aquamarine waters of the inlets, sailboats glide under candy blue skies filled with playful terns and cotton-ball clouds. Sea geese pass overhead, eagles turn far above, swans crowd on an outer edge next to pink masses of granite. Steer a small rented boat – or better yet, a kayak – through groups of eiders to fish for large pike and trout. Then there is the silence and the peace, the sound of the waves, the breeze off the sea."
Check out the full article for a complete list on where to start your adventure through this amazing place - Jurmo, Utö, Nötö, Aspö & Houtskär - you don't want to miss out.