Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east, and Estonia to the south across the Gulf of Finland.
5.4 million people live in Finland (end of 2012), with the majority concentrated in its southern regions. In terms of area, it is the eighth largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. From the 12th until the start of the 19th century, Finland was a part of Sweden.
According to some measures, Finland has the best educational system in Europe and has recently been ranked as one of the world's most peaceful and economically competitive countries. It has also been ranked as one of the world's countries with the highest quality of life. In 2010, Newsweek magazine ranked Finland as the overall "best country in the world".
Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands—about 188,000 lakes (larger than 500 m2 or 0.12 acre) and 179,000 islands. Its largest lake, Saimaa, is the fourth largest in Europe. The area with most lakes is called Finnish Lakeland. The greatest concentration of islands is found in the southwest in the Archipelago Sea between continental Finland and the main island of Åland.
Finnish cuisine is notable for generally combining traditional country fare and haute cuisine with contemporary style cooking. Fish and meat play a prominent role in traditional Finnish dishes from the western part of the country, while the dishes from the eastern part have traditionally included various vegetables and mushrooms. Finnish foods often use wholemeal products (rye, barley, oats) and berries (such as bilberries, lingonberries, cloudberries, and sea buckthorn). Milk and its derivatives like buttermilk are commonly used as food, drink or in various recipes.
Lapland, where you will find our selection of horse riding holidays, is the largest and northernmost of the regions of Finland. It is the least densely-populated region being home to only 3.4% of the population. The nature of Lapland is varyingly diverse. The hills and the coastal area of the sea form great differences in altitude. The highest point of Lapland, and indeed the whole of Finland, can be found in Enontekiö - Halti Fell rises from the ground to an altitude of 1,328m. Eight national parks are located in Lapland's vast area. They are valuable and conserved natural attractions where the richness of nature is emphasised.
The seasons in the northern climate are clearly distinguishable from each other. Nature lives and changes according to the seasons, which in turn increases possibilities for recreation and activities. The summer and autumn bring possibilities; in the land of the midnight sun try a wilderness trail in the wilds of Fell Lapland. For adventurous riders, camp or stay in traditional cabins and ride along sandy tracks, through thick forests and by crystal blue lakes. Eat by the campfire everynight and truly immerse yourself in this magical region and all that it offers. read less