3. wild finland
The Finns’ sacred bond with nature is reflected in their national folk epic, The Kalevala, a collection of ancient poems and songs about the creation of the world. The saga features gods who are responsible for various elements in nature, such as Tapio, the god of the forest, and Ilmatar, the spirit of the air, and the stories themselves take place in an imaginary otherworld that bears resemblance to primeval Finland.
In a way, Finns have assumed the role of the Norse gods as protectors of the largely untouched wilderness they inhabit. More than seventy five percent of the country is covered in boreal forest. Finland is often referred to as the “Land of Thousand Lakes” when in fact there are 188,000, and the islands off the coast comprise the world’s largest archipelago. Finland is also home to some of the last freely slowing rivers in Europe, and the rivers and lakes total up to 10% of the country’s surface.
When you visit you will see that Finnish nature is not only big and beautiful but that it is well cared for. Approximately 10% of the total land area in the country is protected under the Nature Conservation and Wilderness Acts, but a reverence for nature has helped to keep all of the natural landscapes in pristine condition, from the forests and lakes, extending to the northern fells and outer archipelago.