On the lake trail in Finland – Time & Leisure

“Tina Lofthouse heads to a lesser-known part of Finland and finds peaceful forest-filled landscapes, mushroom cocktails and the proper way to sauna…

There’s something about the Nordic countries that have always captured my imagination – not in the lands of the Midnight Sun type way with the continual sunlight all summer long, but as they head into the colder months, and there’s every reason to spend long evenings fireside.

So Finland had been on my bucket list for a while, and while most visitors head to Helsinki for a weekend break or to Finnish Lapland on the hunt for the bearded man in the red suit, I wanted something altogether different. Lake Saimaa fitted the bill. It is Europe’s fourth largest natural freshwater lake, and it snakes its way through miles upon miles of forests. You simply can’t avoid it. The lake is ever-present with some 14,500km of coastline: look right, look left: the beautiful waters will be shimmering somewhere in sight.”

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