Said to have almost 200,000 lakes, Finland has terrific facilities for those who love the outdoors. Hikers, anglers, skiers are all well catered for, not least by the wonderful saunas which await them at the end of a tiring day. Although the country is warmed by the remnants of the Gulf Stream, its influence is moderate and temperatures can reach -50C (-58F) in the north.

Santa Claus and Lapland are a huge draw here, drawing thousands of families on package tours. The capital, Helsinki, was built by the occupying tsars of Russia in the 19th Century in the image of St Petersburg.


Finland flag

Why you should go:

You want to visit Santa Claus.

Why you shouldn't:

You don't like snow and you don't like mosquitoes.

Map of Finland