Finland is a treasure chest of beauty….yet few tourists ever venture farther than Helsinki.  Fortunately, you can easily savor some of Finland’s most splendid landscapes by renting a car in Helsinki and making a leisurely loop through the countryside. Finland is called “The Land of Thousands of Lakes” which is an understatement: 187,888 lakes have been counted – there are probably even more.  Most are located in the southeastern portion of the country, making this are of the map look like a lace doily, with bodies of water separated by threads of land creating an intricate pattern. Sometimes the islands are just toy-like dots of land with a few trees, seeming to float on the water.

Finland is really not a “country inn” country. It took a great deal of research to be able to offer you hotels with character and those included are usually very simply decorated. If you want more sophisticated accommodation you can use Helsinki as your base and make daytrips into the countryside.  Finland’s charm does not lie in the ambiance of her hotels but in her countryside’s serene, unspoiled beauty.

We suggest you travel to the lake district with the coastal village of Porvoo a picturesque highlight:  colorful painted wooden houses date back to the 16th century; travel along the Russian border at Imatra (famous for its waterfalls) and then journey across Punkaharau Ridge which threads across the magical lakes, visit the 15th-century city of Savonlinna (with its dramatic lake castle) and include a visit to Lahti (one of Finland’s ski centers).

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