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Compiled and written by Laura Iisalo.
Photo by Jussi Hellsten.
Take a dip
A ten-minute tram ride (plus a short walk) from the city centre brings you to Uunisaari Island across from Kaivopuisto Park. During the coldest months, the island is connected to the mainland by a bridge, and the views across the sea are stunning. A hike around the island is exhilarating, but to really get your blood pumping, try taking a dip in the icy water. Many locals swear by the health benefits of winter swimming.
Those with a little more time to spare are advised to head for Nuuksio National Park. Just 30 kilometres from the city centre, it’s the perfect place to experience a true winter wilderness. The best way to explore the area is to follow a signposted hiking route, many of which are suitable for beginners. To help identify birds and plants in the region, download the free NatureGate mobile app, a great travel companion providing information about hundreds of wild species.
If you’d rather join a guided expedition in Nuuksio, check out Olli Rinne’s company Feel the Nature, which organises outdoor adventures year-round. In winter he likes to take his guests on a twilight adventure they will never forget. “People are always blown away by the peace and quiet. On night hikes we sit around the campfire waiting for the moon to rise,” he says. And when it does, it’s often enough to subtly light the way for a trek through the woods and across frozen lakes. If a day trip leaves you hankering for more, guests can arrange to stay overnight in a nearby cottage.
This article was first published in the January 2016 issue of Finnair’s monthly in-flight magazine Blue Wings.