Summer in Finland offers plenty to do if you’re looking for the perfect family holiday. However, what sort of a trip will keep the whole family happy, from small children to young teens, without the parents getting fed up? How about a weekend trip travelling from west to east across Finland, with plenty of family tourist destinations along the way?
On the east coast of Finland, just outside Turku, you’ll find the idyllic small town of Naantali. It is famous for being home to the Moomins. With their timeless philosophy, the characters created by writer Tove Jansson in the 1940s continue to appeal to all ages, but Moomin World is mainly designed with the smallest members of the family in mind. Located on a beautiful island just off the coast, the spirit of the place does rub off on the adults too. As in the stories themselves, nature and the countryside play a central role at Moomin World.
Väski Adventure Island
Moored by the entrance to Moomin World is the pirate ship Rosita, which takes adventurers to the island of Väski, located 1.5 km from the mainland. It boasts an adventure trail, archery range, rock climbing and also offers panning for gold. It has a charming historic fishing village, complete with resident animals, and is the perfect place for a picnic and coffee made over an open fire. Weather permitting, why not go for a dip in the sea or try out the traditional sauna?
Särkänniemi Adventure Park
Head a couple of hundred kilometres inland from Naantali and you’ll reach Tampere, Finland’s third largest town. In the summer, Särkänniemi is undoubtedly Tampere’s biggest attraction. Enjoying a fantastic location on the shore of Lake Näsijärvi, this amusement park is packed with entertainment, with lots to do besides spinning upside down on the latest ride. How about popping into the world’s northernmost dolphinarium or eating in Finland’s highest restaurant (124 metres)?
A cottage is part of the Finnish summer
In Finland, renting a cottage is an excellent alternative to a hotel. Having your own cottage in the peace and quiet of the countryside means you can enjoy a family holiday entirely on your own terms. Finland has hundreds of thousands of cottages so whichever direction you head in, you’ll find a high quality place to rent, equipped with everything you might need.
The east is known for its spas
Eastern Finland is known for its spas. Within a small radius, there are an incredible number of spas, the majority of which are perfect for a family holiday. At a spa, all the services are within reach, so the whole family can concentrate on the essentials, like splashing in the pools and relaxing in other words.
If you’re spending several days in the area and fancy a change of accommodation, then try Imatran Valtionhotelli, built in 1903. This hotel wasn’t intended to be a family hotel but the ‘fairy tale castle’ is well worth a visit, so you can discover just why it was once popular with the aristocracy of Imperial St Petersburg.
Next door is Finland’s oldest tourist sight, the rapids at Imatra. During the summer, the water is released in thundering displays of power.