If you are looking for a vacation that will bring you joy, book a trip to the happiest country in the world. Finland has been awarded this title for the sixth year in a row by the United Nations World Happiness Report.
The secret of Finnish happiness has long been discussed. But Finns attribute this to five main factors: well-being, a diet in tune with the seasons, close ties to nature, an appreciation for the arts, and a friendly local atmosphere.
Travelers looking for happiness can get a glimpse of these characteristics by visiting Finland.
Here are the activities not to be missed in the happiest country in the world.
Try wellness activities
Finns care deeply about their physical and mental well-being. While you’re in the country, indulge in their favorite treat. The sauna is a Finnish institution with well-established health benefits. You can try the experience alone or with your friends and family.
For a modern and design establishment, try Löyly in Helsinki. Located by the sea, this sauna also houses a restaurant, the terrace of which offers a stunning view of the sea.
For a sauna that combines nature, art and design, visit the Serlachius Art Sauna at the Serlachius Museum Gösta in Mänttä-Vilppula. This lovely seafront lodge features simple interiors and windows overlooking the surrounding pine forest.
Feel free to plunge into the cold water after the sauna, which will give you a huge endorphin rush.
Treat yourself to fresh seasonal produce
Finnish cuisine is a celebration of simple, delicious food made with fresh, natural ingredients.
With exceptionally clean air and the pristine waters of countless lakes, Finland has a natural storehouse full of wild produce, including berries, mushrooms, and herbs. Foraging is a popular activity in Finland, both for home cooks and for the country’s top chefs.
In Helsinki, travelers can choose from a variety of sustainable restaurants. NOLA is one of the world’s first zero waste restaurants serving high quality food without compromising on sustainability. Skörd’s team creates its ever-changing seasonal menu exclusively from local Finnish produce.
Find freedom in nature
Covered in green forests and dotted with thousands of lakes, Finns feel closely connected with nature. All citizens and visitors enjoy the freedom to roam, regardless of who owns or occupies the area.
Hiking in one of the country’s 41 national parks, sailing along the archipelago or canoeing in the lakes are just some of the ways Finns find happiness in nature.
Adventurers can explore the great outdoors all year round in North Karelia, in Finland’s Lake District, home to the majestic Koli National Park. Visitors can hike the hills to enjoy stunning views of Lake Pielenen in the summer or snowshoe through the dense pine forests in the winter.
Unleash the artist in you
Nordic countries are known for their elegant design and Finland is no exception. Finnish design is seamlessly integrated into everyday life – from clothing and furniture to design solutions and architecture – and aims to create a better living environment.
Travelers can tap into their inner creativity through a variety of activities, including visiting famous Finnish designer Alvar Aalto’s home and studio outside Helsinki, browsing the flagship Finnish design store in Turku and exploring a range of art museums and open-air artworks dotted around the country.
Find joy in friendship
Finns are often portrayed as reserved, yet warm and talkative, especially when meeting visitors to Finland.
They have a hospitable nature and a community-oriented attitude. If you try to strike up a conversation with a local, you will find that many Finns are happy to explain why their country is such a special destination and give you travel tips. Some of the best friendships are made in saunas, where being undressed is especially liberating.
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Rebecca Ann Hughes
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