A Winter Break With A Difference | Central Finland, The Sauna Region

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When it snows in the UK everything stops. We can’t drive, we can’t work, we can’t do anything! If you’re lucky you’ll get a ride down your local hill on a bin bag or get to build a grey looking snowman with some stones for eyes in the back garden. We dream of a proper winter wonderland but worry about life coming to a standstill at the same time, which is why a wintery break can be the perfect compromise!

We all know those people who like to ski and jet off to their cabin in the alps for a week of swooshing down mountains and jager selfies while the rest of us look on helpless stuck on our backsides on the baby slopes. Just me then? Ok. But what if I told you there was a place you could go when it snows that doesn’t just involve wobbling down a mountain with a pair of sticks strapped to your feet and overpriced hot wine?
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My first trip to Finland took me to Lapland in Autumn and it was one of the most heartwarming trips I’ve ever taken. So when the opportunity arose to travel to Finland again, this time in winter, I was really excited. We travelled from Helsinki to central Finland and The Lakeland to experience what winter in this beautiful country is really like.

Of course there are ski slopes and places to board if that’s what you like to do with your snow time but our trip showed us that there’s just so much more to do in a winter wonderland. Here are a few of my favourites from our time in Finland…it just so happens that we did most of them in the pitch black so excuse the grainy photos!

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Snow Shoeing

Now snow shoeing isn’t something I thought I would ever really do or actually enjoy for that matter! It’s basically going for a ramble through the forest but in the snow with big funny things on your feet! We did our snow shoeing at night with gas lamps to help light the way for us!

The main thing I noticed during our walk was how quiet it was out there. With the day coming to a close and a thick blanket of snow covering the forest floor it was completely silent. When we stopped trekking to listen it was incredibly peaceful, and there’s something to be said for a quiet walk with just your thoughts for company especially in somewhere as beautiful as central Finland.
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Husky Sledding

This has been a bucket list item for me for so long! You can imagine my excitement when we heard the dogs barking ready to run and I realised we would be in that sledge! Having seen and cuddled the husky puppies in Autumn last year it was amazing to see them all grown up and sporting their thick winter coats!

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We stepped into the sledge one behind the other and with a few Finnish words the dogs were off! Their barking turned to steely silence as they got to work pulling us along and they were in their element speeding through the forest picking up quite some pace along the way! The dogs are so clever understanding entire sentences in Finnish and obeying their loving owners intently and it’s lovely to hear the owners talking about their pack and the bond they share for many years.

This is definitely something to do when you visit Finland in Winter time. You can even see the Northern Lights if you head out on a night-time husky safari out into the forests and onto the lakes.
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Sauna

There’s nothing quite like sitting in a red hot jacuzzi with a beer when it’s snowing. Or even hopping from the sauna  in your swimwear and rolling in the snow or dipping in a frozen lake. Yes the Fins really are quite hardcore!
I got a taste of Sauna during my trip to Lapland, even taking a running jump into the cold lake myself (it wasn’t frozen at that point but it was still VERY cold!) but in The Lakeland we really came to love and learn about the great tradition of Sauna.
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We tried three different types of Sauna at the Revontuli, The Northern Lights Resort – A traditional smoke sauna, a tent sauna and a more modern electric sauna. We were even treated to some traditional whisking (essentially being beaten with a tree in the sauna!) by a lady who is only 1 of 5 people in Finland who do this. The social aspect of sauna is amazing and it’s honestly one of my favourite things to do in Finland.

We of course have saunas over here but there’s nothing quite like the respect and importance sauna provokes in Finland and in central finland it’s the best way to spend an evening! Grab your swimwear, eveb try a body scrub while you’re steaming away and then enjoy a cold refreshing beer or cider int he jacuzzi afterwards. There’s nothing quite like the feeling after a sauna, or the night’s sleep you get either!

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If they don’t take your fancy you can also ride fat bikes, go ice diving, play winter golf, ice skate, go sledging and so much more. Snow isn’t just for skiis, in Finland winter is THE place to be and is guaranteed a fun yet peaceful break away.

 

I really loved Finland in Autumn but in Winter it’s just as magical. Summer trip next?
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*I visited central Finland as part of the NBE Blogger Programme. We had some amazing adventures and it really showed me the fun side to this beautiful country!

Written By

Amelia is a luxury lifestyle blogger and youtuber with a penchant for luxurious travel, sampling (and cooking) great food with even better wine, discovering new beauty products, styling wearable fashion and enjoying all of life's little adventures one day at a time!