If you had to name one “national landscape” from Finland, it would most probably be the astonishing view from Ukko-Koli hill over Lake Pielinen. Most Finnish people recognize this view as it has inspired several famous photographers and painters, including Eero Järnefelt and Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Ukko-koli rocks are 347 meters above sea level and located in Lieksa, in the province of North-Karelia. Finland is a rather flat country if the far north is not taken into account, so we are really talking about a very special natural formation here. In Koli National Park there´s several other beautiful places and natural wonders to admire as there´s over 80 km of marked hiking trails and the area is well known for its majestic hills and old-growth forests.
2. The mysterious lighthouse islands of the Finnish archipelago
There´s several lighthouse islands in Finland but the most famous ones are Bengtskär and Söderskär, which are open for visitors during the summer months. Söderskär can be reached from Helsinki by joining a cruise and it is the highest lighthouse in Nordic countries reaching up to 52 meters, there´s a hotel too so spending a night at this beautiful place is possible. Easiest way to reach the lighthouse of Söderskär is to go on a day cruise from Helsinki or Sipoo. The creator of the world famous Moomin –characters and stories, Tove Jansson, is said to have been inspired to write one of her most famous and loved books, “Moominpappa at Sea” after spending a lot of time on this charming little island, standing firmly at the mercy of the sea.
Punkaharju is situated in the province of Etelä-Savo and is one of the most famous areas in the South-Eastern parts of Finland because of it´s amazing lake views and scenic roads running on narrow ridges, definitely a place to add on your bucket list especially if you are into road trips. In 2017 the Harjutie road was actually voted as the most beautiful road in whole Finland.
4. Taivaskero in Pallas
Taivaskero is a viewpoint situated along a hiking trail in the most visited National Park of Finland, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, that is a vast wilderness area located in Western Lapland in the municipalities of Enontekiö, Kittilä, Kolari and Muonio. The view from Taivaskero over the vast rugged beauty of Lapland truly is one of those “national landscapes” so there is a good reason why so many people want to experience this majestic place with their own eyes.
5. The capital city of Helsinki from the sea
The city of Helsinki should definitely be experienced from the sea; jump on a boat or ferry during summer and capture the iconic postcard view over the market square with the Allas –sea pool upfront, the Skywheel Helsinki –ferris wheel and the dome of the Helsinki cathedral on the background. This is a wonderful place to visit and catch the vibe of the one and only truly big city in whole Finland.
6. Olavinlinna castle
The Olavinlinna castle dates back to the 15th century and it stands majestically on its own island near the center of the Savonlinna city. This powerful fortification was built to protect the strategically important Savo region and to repel Russian attacks from the East. Catching this special combination of a medieval castle nearby an idyllic city and the beautiful lake Saimaa on the background is a must if you ever plan to visit the province of Etelä-Savo.
7. Oulanka National Park
Along the most popular hiking trail in whole Finland, the 80 km Karhunkierros trail situated in the Oulanka National Park in the province of Northern Ostrobothnia, two amazing viewpoints can be found; the Ristikallio rock and the Pähkänäkallio rock. Especially the view down from Pähkänäkallio to the Oulankajoki –river, with a dense forest reaching as far as the eye can see, is probably one of the most photographed spots in whole Finland and for a good reason.
8. The Pispalanharju ridge in Tampere
Pispalanharju is actually a neighborhood/suburb in the city of Tampere and it´s a former worker´s district that has become a very popular area where many people would love to live. Plenty of old wood construction, a lot of trees and wonderful views down to the Näsijärvi and Pyhäjärvi lakes create a unique combination and a wonderful setting to go out on a walk and catch the vibe of this special area. From the Pispalanharju ridge you can also see the most famous landmark of Tampere city, the Näsinneula tower.
9. Saana fell in Kilpisjärvi
The Saanatunturi fell near Lake Kilpisjärvi in the municipality of Enontekiö is one of those iconic spots that are a must if you ever happen to travel to the North-Western corners of Finland. Kilpisjärvi village itself is very remote, yet there´s plenty of accommodation and other services making visiting the area more convenient. The mosaic of rugged land and clear-watered lakes that opens up from the top offers thrills even for the most experienced of travellers.
10. Suomenlinna fortress
The Suomenlinna fortress in the city of Helsinki is a beautiful, easy to reach -island where you can easily spend the whole day as there´s restaurants, museums, shops, a beach to swim and dozens of beautiful spots and views to admire. The castle itself is a Unesco world heritage site and its construction began in the mid-18th century, when Finland was still part of Sweden. If ever visiting Helsinki, this is a place you can´t miss!