Finland: Nature & Wildlife
The most sparsely populated country in the European Union, Finland has more trees than people. Approximately 10% of the country is covered by water, while nearly 70% of Finland’s area is covered by forests. With 35 national parks, approximately 8,000 square kilometres (3,088 square miles) has been designated as protected land. Each of these national parks consists of at least 1000 hectares and are open to the public. Some of the most popular national parks within Finland include Archipelago National Park, Koli National Park, Oulanka National Park and Repovesi National Park.
Archipelago National Park was formed during the Ice Age but was designated as a park in 1983. It includes more than 2,000 islands and islets and more than 90% of the park is underwater. In 1994 UNESCO named the park as part of the Archipelago Sea Biosphere Reserve with the goal of researching sustainable development between humans and nature in the area.
Koli National Park was established in 1991 and is located in the north Karelia region on the western shores of Lake Pielinen (the fourth largest lake in the country). It has grown to become one of Finland’s most popular areas. It hosts many caves and two ski resorts as well as a great deal of cultural heritage as Koli was once a sacrificial site.
Oulanka National Park is found in northeastern Finland and extends to the national border which it shares with Paanajärvi National Park in Russia. It covers two municipalities, Kuusamo and Salla. Since its inception in 1956, the park’s territory has been expanded twice, first in 1982 and then 1989. One of the most popular parks in Finland, it is located near the Arctic Circle and is therefore protected by the World Wide Fund for Nature. It hosts a variety of landscapes including forests, valleys and a unique river ecosystem. The stunning views within the park make it a favourite amongst hiking enthusiasts.
Just as Oulanka National Park is known for its hiking, Repovesi National Park, located northeast of Helsinki, is a popular destination for rock climbers. Once a spot of heavy commercial forestry, Repovesi is a success story when it comes to nature conservation having transformed itself into a great national park. The River Koukunjoki runs through the park which is populated with pine and birch trees, a great deal of wildlife and many bird species.
Finland Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Finland.
Learn about the history and culture of Finland, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Finland's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Finland for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Finland tours today!
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