Finland

Nordic Walking & Hiking in Europe’s Cleanest Air in the Fells of Finnish Lapland

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Helsinki Nordic Walk

Helsinki, the Capital of Finland, is right in the middle of the Baltic Sea region, with easy access to the East and the West, and with a fast access to other European Union countries.

You can enjoy sightseeing and discovering this small city by foot. It’s surrounded by the sea on three sides, and there several islands around this peninsula. Helsinki is well known in the summer time for its Midsummer Eve festivities 19th June celebrations with bonfires and folk music and dancing. You can experience these and much more at Seurasaari Island in Helsinki with typical traditional Finnish Midsummer traditions with handicrafts demonstrations, musicians and folk dancing and you can hop from one island to the other with ferries and sea cruisers and enjoy the local seasonal gourmet delicacies of the North. The Finnish archipelago is well known for its scenic beauty, and is absolutely worth visiting

I welcome trained members of Nordic Walking for Wellness in the UAE and MENA Region to join our trip to Helsinki by joining Finland’s “National” fitness exercise, a combination of walking and skiing and to participate in The Helsinki Nordic Walk, a health promoting and fun social event which takes place every summer in one of the City’s parks/islands. It is usually held during the month of August in the Hesperia park next to the Finnish National Opera House by the beautiful Töölön Lahti Bay.

Check out the dates in our Blog. It is one of the main Outdoors sports celebration events for the Nordic Walking enthusiasts amongst the population. A full day program packed with fun warm up exercises and a Park Gym session before kicking off the 10 K Nordic Walk. The next days can be spent discovering Helsinki the jewel of the Baltic Sea and its archipelago then challenge themselves for long Nordic Walks/Hikes with marked trails and routes in National Parks all the way from the South to the North of Finland in Lapland, by the Arctic Circle.

Finland is a paradise for outdoors activities and acquiring outdoors gear. Nordic Walking and Hikers can enjoy being in the city’s vicinity and Hiking at the same time shorter to longer trails. For Nordic Walking and hiking Nuuksio National Park is within only an hour’s driving distance from Helsinki and can be easily reached by public transportation. There is the (Trail 2000), a 110-km-long hiking trail, which begins in Laakso in Helsinki, and goes all the way through the Nuuksio National Park. You can follow the blue markings on the trees.

Nordic Walking is a summer training program for endurance athletes training for winter Cross Country skiing. This would be a good opportunity to visit Finland in the Winter as well to enjoy Cross Country skiing from which the concept of Nordic Walking originated.

If you also like water sports, Nordic Walking can be combined with Sea kayaking or River kayaking (Nordicwalkayaking) since Helsinki is on a Peninsula and surrounded by the Baltic on three sides.

HIKING TRAILS

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Mariehamn, Åland The Town of the 6,700 named islands

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The Nordicwalkak and Hiking Island hoping journey starts from Helsinki by taking The Tallink Silja Ferry with a duration of around 11 hours 15 minutes.
Åland has 6,700 named islands and a total of 20,000 islands. You can even pick up an island of your choice to stay on.

July is a high season for finding accommodation and places on the ferries. Åland is as nice in June and in August, but it is calmer then than in July. June is a great time because of the long luminous evenings and the midsummer celebrations in the midst of the scenic nature conservation areas. August offers numerous enjoyable events in the Åland island. There are several sea bays and water ways which allow you to pass through between the inner and outer archipelago. There are both serene waters with a denser archipelago for beginners and the open sea for more experienced kayakers.

There two popular places for kayaking are in the northern Åland where you begin in Eckerö and continue north around Geta and the other one is in the south toward Bomarsund in Sund.

There are also places for paddling for the less experienced in Kayaking. “Föglö is a popular paddling area with dense archipelago and many small islands. It is suitable for a beginner or if you just want to paddle in a safe environment surrounding. You can also paddle to Mariehamn or all the way around and then back to Eckerö again.This is quite a varied route with open sea, wild landscape and red granite cliffs in the north to an archipelago in the south.

Nordic Walking and hiking can be enjoyed in the scenic islands.The hiking trails in Åland range from 10 to 60 kilometres long. They are mostly easy, but the path is often uneven in certain terrains and can be slippery.

The Kvarken Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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The journey can be stretched to Vaasa from where the ferry is taken to Umea. This ferry trip from Vaasa to Kvarken can be also combined with a visit to Vaasa and to Umea from where you will be heading (at a distance of 130 Kms) to Skuleskogen National Park, Sweden.

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The Kvarken Archipelago is a Finnish World Natural Heritage on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and is along with the High Coast in Sweden, part of a global family of 46 Marine World Heritage sites.

Finland received the World Heritage status because this area is the best place in the world to witness land uplift. The 5,600 islands of the Kvarken Archipelago have a genuine geological value since the rapid speed of the land uplift caused by the melting of the ice sheet following the ice age is one of the highest ones observed worldwide and is an important area to understand the processes of land uplift. Unique glacial depositories of landforms from the ice age can be also observed such as De Geer-moraines and Ribbed-moraines. These landforms are the jewels of the variety of landscapes in the region with a serene shimmering ice and sea, fresh wind and birdlife.

Watch The “High meets low” movie for more information about the High Coast and Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage area.By kayaking you can get upclose with the beautiful and unique World Heritage archipelago.

Nordic Walking & Hiking in Europe’s Cleanest Air in the Fells of Finnish Lapland, (The Arctic Circle)

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Your stay in Finland will not be crowned without witnessing the magical long days and short nights of Lapland’s summer and winter and its colorful Northern lights natural phenomena.

By Heading North from the capital, you will find your peace of mind and freedom in the midst of a wilderness stretch seemingly uninhabited and unexplored. It is the ideal place to relax away from the cities hustle and find yourself in the large forests and lake where you can take a bear watching tour and appreciate the unique flora and fauna and species of the North such as golden eagles. In the far north in the Arctic Circle, you can explore its ecosystems and enjoy hundred of kms of hikes outdoors and in the winter, you can enjoy sports from Cross Country skiing to ice fishing, skidoo racing and if you are brave enough you can do like the Romans do by attempting to bathe in the icy water under the Northern Lights.

A favourite spot for this arctic experience is Rovaniemi, Capital of Lapland bordering The Arctic Circle is known for its contract between summer and winter. In summer there is plenty of light around the clock, whereas the winter darkness makes the length of the day reduced to the minimum. In the summer you can experience the peak of the midnight sun with long days and the winter long dark nights and twilight and the amaizing Northern Lights (Aureaborealis).

Rovaniemi is also known to be the fairytale of Santa Claus Village, where many visitors take pictures of each other crossing the Arctic Circle. It offers plenty of things to do in the winter ranging from cultural events to snowmobile safaris.

Nordic Walking and Trekking from one hilltop to the other through the arctic fells along Finland’s first hiking trail. Hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter through the wilderness, with lodgings in historic Lappish villages.

It is known that this part of Lapland has the freshest air in Europe. On dark nights you can look out for the amazing Northern Lights (Aurea Borealis).

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In Lapland, Nordic walking is very popular and is practiced everywhere. It can be combined with hiking and kayaking. There is a Nordic Fitness Sports Park in Rovaniemi, Ylläs and other places in Lapland and you can enjoy hiking in two of Lapland’s long distances hiking trails Saariselkä, Kiilopää Urho Kekkonen National Park and in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park nearby Munio.

Saariselkä Kiilopää Fell

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Kiilopää (546m) is one of the highest fells in the Saariselkä region. Located in the Urho Kekkonen National Park, Kiilopää can be easily accessed via the Suomen Latu Kiilopää gate. The well-marked track is easy to hike with a distance of approximately 2km to the peak. At a brisk Nordic Walking Vertical Meters pace, the peak can be reached within an hour with an excellent physical fitness condition. The hike is demanding, but there are benches to rest on along the way. Kiilopää has wonderful views across the national park and if the weather is clear you can even see all the way up to the other fells on the Russian border.

Urho Kekkonen National Park Trails, Kiilopää Fell Centre

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Nordic Walk and Trek through this magnificent Arctic Fell on foot or on skis and rest in a wilderness hut for the night. This vast park extends eastwards from the resort of Saariselkä accross the wilderness of Finnish Lapland and all the way to the Russian border. The sky at night is illuminated by the Midnight Sun in summer and by the Aurora Borealis during the winter. “It is worthwhile experiencing the unique beauty of Lapland in both seasons and Nordic Walking training in the Summer for Cross Country Skiing in the winter”.

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Urho Kekkonen National Park

Finland’s second largest national park, the Urho Kekkonen National Park, comprises the fell regions of Saariselkä, as well as the forest regions of the northern sections of the municipalities of Savukoski and Salla. This area known to be one of the last wilderness regions of Western Europe.The National Park’s task is the preservation of the native forest and fell.

In the Saariselkä – Kiilopää region there are 200 km of marked hiking trails of which 100 km are in the national park. The national UKK Trail runs through the wilderness of Eastern Lapland and some of its tracks are suitable for longer hikes. These include Hautajärvi – Kelloselkä (75 km) or Naruska – Tulppio (112 Km).

Most trips to Urho Kekkonen National Park start from the Kiilopää Fell Center. There is 4 km trail to get to the summit of the Kiilopää hill at 546 m and it takes about 2,5 hours. There are also other Nature trails around Kiilopää of 1, 3 and 6 kms. Where you can enjoy the biodiversity of the flora and fauna.

Siida (The Sámi People Museum and the Northern Lapland Nature Centre)

It is worthwhile combing the Nordic Walking and hiking with the surrounding Nature facts and Cultural appreciation by learning about the Sami people Cultural Heritage and visiting SIIDA, the home of the Sámi Museum and the Northern Lapland Nature Centre. With its cultural and nature exhibitions, it is both a meeting place and an exhibition center. SIIDA provides the visitor with new experiences and information on Sámi culture and nature of Northern Lapland. By bringing their knowledge and skills together, the Sámi Museum and the Northern Lapland Nature Centre have created an unforgettable exhibition.

Sports Park Ylläs

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The distance by car to Pallas-Ylläs from Rovaniemi, the Capital of Lapland, amidst the Arctic wilderness where local culture, adventure sports activities and fairytales come together, is 2 h 44 min

Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park Trails

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The total length of the eleven different trails of the Nordic Fitness Sports Park™ Ylläs is 127 km. The trails are of varying levels, three easy, six medium and two demanding. The routes are marked with different colors based on their difficulty degree. Hetta – Pallas Trail (55 km) is a trail marked out in 1934 that runs through the amaizing fell landscape of the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. Along the trail there are both open and wilderness huts. The distance by car is 2 h 56 min (253.7 km) from Rovaniemi.

There is one starting point from each of the two villages Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi. Since the trails mainly pass through Nordic ski trails, they offer an excellent basis for Nordic walking. There is a variety of demanding trails too for those who want challenge their fitness endurance. Check out for more information Nordic Fitness Sports Park™ Ylläs trails which are partly located in the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.