Healthy, adventurous, fresh and sauna!! These are some of the words I think about, when somebody asks me about Finland.
It was my first time in Finland, so I was especially excited about this destination and the new experiences I was going to make. I also knew it was going to be the first time I would have 24 hours of sunlight, so I couldn´t hide the excitement.
The city of Kuopio is situated around central Finland in the region of Northern Savonia, located only a 5-6-hour drive from the Arctic Circle and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of small islands and formations, which in my opinion makes it, geographically, one of the most interesting locations in the world. A destination which has one of the lowest levels of pollution worldwide and which, in terms of beauty, can easily be compared to the well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.
In a region where summer and winter are so different from each other, that summer transforms it into a completely different place, I wanted to make the most of those 24 hours of sun and try as many new things as I could.
Food as a connection to culture
I love to eat new things and try local delicacies. Moreover, I need to say that by far, the local cuisine in Kuopio surprised me the most during my travels. Local marmalades, fresh herbs and delicious fresh berries hand picked by farmers just hours ago are just some of the things you can try in this region. With the ingredients coming directly from local backyards the food here has a direct connection to the nature and culture of the region.
Food festivals, local farm trips or “pick your own” events are some of the activities you can try in the region. A great way to taste the local ingredients and experience the culture in a deeper way.
Adventure and wellness go together
Of course, as an adventure travel blogger I had to get my hands dirty and try as many activities as I could and as Northern Savonia is THE destination for outdoor activities, I had no trouble finding things to do in my free time. Although the city of Kuopio is relatively small and easily walkable in a couple of hours, I would totally recommend getting a bicycle and exploring more areas of the city. You can easily move from one small island to another, or simply drive around the lake searching for the right photo of one of those beautiful mini islands. While some hotels offer bicycle rentals for its guests, you can also rent a bicycle in a local tourist office.
However, for a more adventurous experience you will have to leave the city and go to one of the many national parks around the area. Kayaking, hiking or climbing are some of the activities you can do in this area, a great way to spend these long summer days: do some sports while breathing some of the freshest air in the world.
National parks like the Konnovesi National Park offer different types of hikes for travelers, usually including lots of rewards in the form of scenic and wonderful views that you can get from the top of a cliff. They are also a great place to spend a day with friends next to a bonfire, a couple of drinks and good stories. The Konnovesi National Park is surrounded by lakes, where travelers can kayak and spend a day immersed in nature.
Wonderful scenery, adventurous feelings and 24 hours of fun and excitement, that is what the Northern Savonia region has to offer. A great chance to leave your worries and smartphones behind and just enjoy a place full of peace, calm and nature.
Finish your day relaxing with one of the oldest and hottest Finnish traditions: Sauna. Here it is not considered a luxury as in many other European countries, but as a necessity. A way to relax and rest your mind after a long day of work. And with fun and exotic activities like the Finnish sauna, an activity where you jump to the cold river right after the sauna, I just want to stay here longer and try it one more time.
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