Finland - the Land of a 1000 Lakes

Finland is one of the most interesting countries in Europe, both in terms of nature and culture. This short article will try to give you all the useful information about this country. We at Myecostay are very happy to present a great new accommodation in Finland very soon. This is thanks to our Katell who regularly travels around Europe, visiting interesting rural places and getting in touch with potential hosts. For example, Katell spent most of the summer of 2021 in an exciting, very traditional Finnish eco-community, which gave her an immersive connection to the nomadic way of life. After all, “modern Finland” as we know it today is something that has only existed since the post-war period. In the previous centuries, most Finns lived in rural (often poor) communities and the connection to nature was strong and intimate, a connection that still exists today. Katell reports that she often heard people say that they will never be hungry thanks to all the food that nature provides.

By the way, some clichés about Finland really do apply; for example, the sauna culture is actually very important for many people. However, people don´t usually know that many Finns living in cities also own a chalet by a lake or in a forest, which is usually quite modestly furnished. Here, too, authenticity is key.

More interesting facts about Finland:

  • - Finland is almost as big as Germany, but has just over 5.5 million inhabitants. This makes Finland one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. There are about 16 inhabitants per km². The majority of Finland's population is found in the south of the country, especially in Helsinki, the capital, and in the major cities of Espoo, Tampere, Turku and Vantaa.
  • - While Finnish is the official language of the country, Swedish too,is considered an official language (spoken by about 5% of the population). For those who wonder why Swedish became one of Finland's two official languages, let's have a quick look at Finland's history and how the country was caught between Swedish and Russian influences for centuries. Only after the conclusion of the Peace of Nystad (1721) did the Swedish occupation come to an end. It is also interesting to note that the Swedish-speaking archipelago of Åland still enjoys an autonomous status today.
  • - The historical connection to Russia is also one of occupation and violence. Only the overthrow of the Russian emperor during the Bolshevik Revolution from 1917 onwards enabled Finland to finally break away from Russia. The Finnish parliament declared the country's independence in December 1917, making Finland a relatively young state in Europe.

There is no such thing as a “one” Finnish cuisine

… because here too, the different, centuries-long influences can be seen. Some specialities, such as Karelian pirogi (karjalanpiirakka), are found all over Finland, but many regional differences still prevail today. Traditionally, Finnish cuisine can be traced back to its peasant origins – it has thus become what can probably be called “simple folk cuisine “. Interestingly, and in accordance with the aforementioned importance of Sweden and Russia, many Swedish influences can be seen in Western Finnish dishes, and many Russian influences in Eastern Finnish dishes. Everything existing in Finland's nature will find their way into popular Finnish recipes, including:

  • - Fresh ingredients such as blueberries, cranberries and mushrooms
  • - Herring, vendace, salmon and crayfish
  • - Meat, such reindeer meat,
  • - Bear meat (as a rather rare delicacy)
  • - Turnips and potatoes

Of course, you'll find all sorts of international cuisine in the country's big cities, but the list outlined above is about what you can realistically expect in the countryside.

The importance of environmental protection

Finland is blessed with breathtaking nature, and the Finns know how to preserve and protect it. Endless forests follow huge lakes, deserted landscapes alternate with an arctic environment (for example in Lapland). Today, about one tenth of the country's total area is protected (to varying degrees) and in the north of the country, where very few people live, the proportion is much higher still.

  • - Finland today has over 40 national parks with a total area of about 10,000 km², covering about 3% of Finland's total area.
  • - The Finnish Ministry of the Environment is responsible for all aspects of environmental protection, and its goals include the preservation of biodiversity, but also the careful and environmentally conscious recreational use of the land.
  • - A very characteristic feature of Finland are its lakes. After all, Finland is called the “land of a thousand lakes” for a reason. The protection of this high water supply is also the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment, which officially counts over 185,000 lakes in the country, with over 55,000 of them being at least one hectare in size.

The Finnish climate in the midst of climate change

What has also become clear in Finland in recent years is the real challenge of climate change. Many Finns report that the weather has become much more unpredictable and extreme weather conditions have noticeably increased. Finland is in a so-called “cold temperate climate “. This means that most of the country lies on the border between the maritime and continental climate zones. The low-pressure areas of the westerly wind zone bring humid weather and at the same time Finland is shielded from the Atlantic Ocean by the Scandinavian Mountains. This results in relatively stable high-pressure zones, which makes for cold winters and (relatively) hot summers. However, there are still mild climatic influences, namely from both the Baltic Sea and the inland lakes.

What accommodation does Myecostay offer in Finland?

We don't want to seem secretive, but unfortunately we can't give you any official information yet. As soon as we have officially included the accommodation in our offer, we will add it to this page. Please be patient for a few more weeks. Until then, we recommend other accommodation, such as Rustic yurts in the Cévennes National Park are designed for 2 to 7 people. Have fun discovering them!