One of Europe’s coldest countries, it’s also one of the most scenic, especially in winter. From the Baltic Sea in the south to the north inside the Arctic Circle, Finland is a winter wonderland. People make their way to this part of Scandinavia to go see Santa in his Lapland grotto, get a clear view of the Northern Lights and go skiing.
In summer, when the snow has melted, visiting the south of the country can be just as rewarding. Helsinki, the capital, is a great place to see live music, visit art galleries and go for a stroll. Away from the big cities, summer is a good time to go canoeing, walking or fishing, while unique events such as the Air Guitar World Championships take place here every year!
What are the roads like in Finland?
In spite of the harsh climate, the Finnish road network is in very good condition. Motorways are only common in the south where most people live, although the rural routes aren’t too bad, even when the weather is at its coldest. Drivers have to watch out for deer, moose and reindeer on the roads nationwide, while bears are another hazard towards the border with Russia.
What are the drivers like in Finland?
On the whole, Finnish drivers are very polite and courteous. Some of the complex driving laws and traffic in and around the big cities and towns can lead to the occasional bout of road rage, so it’s advisable to drive more conservatively than usual.
What are the best times to drive?
Avoiding the morning and evening rush hours are necessary for cutting down your journey times. Driving at night in winter can be dangerous too, so to be on the safe side, mid-morning to mid-afternoon are the best times to drive in Finland. Weekends are a little easier, but the same can’t be said of bank holidays.
What are the driving laws?
You must have a valid UK driving licence, motor insurance certificate, wear your seatbelt and use your headlights all year round, day and night. You must have winter tyres for your car between December and March. Children under the age of 3 or shorter than 4ft 5in must be in an appropriate child seat. A warning triangle and headlamp converters are essential as well.
There are no tolls on any motorways in Finland, so you don’t need to carry so much change around with you.
The majority of petrol stations in Finland close after 9pm, while some stations in the north are over 30 miles apart.
If you’re involved in an accident where you have collided with some of the local wildlife, you must report the incident to the police.