Finland, a country known for its beautiful white winters has earned its name as the Winter Wonderland of the world.
We spent an amazing two weeks exploring the country, from Helsinki to Inari – south to north – and experience the chilling cold polar winter. Although there hardly was ever daylight, the beauty of the landscapes made up for the long nights.
Finland’s Lapland is also one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, but that of course is another story. Through these aerial photos of Finland I hope you can experience some of the most beautiful sights from Finland from a different perspective. From the powder white snow of Kiilopaa, to the frozen sea at the Gulf of Bothnia.
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Welcome to Winter Wonderland!
Aerial photos of the Wilderness Hotel Inari, and its surrounding areas
Inari is an hour’s drive north from Ivalo, and it was also the northern most location that we traveled to in Finland. These photos were taken from the Wilderness Hotel Inari. When we visited, the hotel had newly opened. With incredible hospitality, our stay was one of the best experiences.
Wilderness Hotel Inari sits along the shores of Lake Inari, which by the photos you can tell was well beyond frozen. The hotel’s relatively remote location makes it a great spot for catching the Northern Lights in the winter. That’s why it features several glass igloos that you can book to enjoy the spectacle in the sky from the comforts of your own room. Just in case you were wondering, the temperature was -19 degrees Celsius while we stayed there. The day before we arrived, it was -31 degrees Celsius. I guess we were lucky.
Aerial photos of the Icebreaker Sampo ship, and those who dared to jump into a frozen sea.
Icebreaker Sampo had to be one of the more exciting things we did in Finnish Lapland. The itinerary involves a cruise on a retired icebreaker ship – a ship that smashes the ice so that other ships can sail through the waters. The Icebreaker Sampo was retired once cruise ships and other vessels became so big the ice cleared by Sampo wasn’t enough for them.
Icebreaker Sampo, instead of retiring, was re-purposed into a tourist attraction. The cruise departs from Kemi, and takes you on an ice-breaking adventure through the frozen Gulf of Bothnia. Once away from the shore, the ship drops anchor and visitors put on a life-preserver suit, and jump into the sea! It is an adventure that has bucket list written all over it!
Aerial photos of the Fell Centre Kiilopaa, Saariselka, and its pure white surrounding areas during the polar winter.
Saariselka, an hour south of Ivalo, is among one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lapland. Not only is it famous for skiing, but also as a spot for catching the Northern Lights. These photos were taken from the Fell Centre Kiilopaa, about 15 minutes south of the main town of Saariselka.
Speaking of Northern Lights, Saariselka is also home to Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – Igloos and Chalets, one of the most famous, and popular hotel in Finland. If you’ve ever seen a photo of the Northern Lights taken from a glass igloo, it’s probably shot at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
Unfortunately for us, we didn’t get to see the Northern Lights at Saariselka. It was cloudy, and boy did it snow. During the day time (with minimum light), all we could see was snow around us. I honestly had never seen such obnoxious amounts of snow in my entire life!
However, all that snow did make for some beautiful aerial photos.
Aerial photos of Helsiniki’s skyline, the Uspenski Cathedral, and the Suomenlinna Sea-Fortress
Helsinki, the capital and also the largest city of Finland. We spent a decent amount of time in Helsinki, exploring its beautiful and old city centre.
As you would imagine, Helsinki is fairly strict about drone flying especially in the old city. The only way that I was able to capture these shots was to step outside the no drone-zone.
Nonetheless, with strong winds and dark cloudy conditions, here are some aerial photos of the Helsinki Cathedral and the Uspenski Cathedral.
Suomenlinna Sea-Fortress is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands (Kustaanmiekka, Susisaari, Iso-Mustasaari, Pikku-Mustasaari, Länsi-Mustasaari and Långören) and which now forms part of the city of Helsinki. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage site accessed by ferry, with cannons, tunnels, a dockyard, museums & a brewery.
Our day at Suomenlinna was a beautiful sunny, winter day in Helsinki, which did make for some gorgeous photos.
Aerial photos of the old town of Porvoo.
Porvoo is a beautiful city situated on the southern coast of Finland approximately 50 kms east of Helsinki. It is one of the six medieval towns in Finland. The old town of Porvoo is quaint and charming with its cobbled streets, cozy cafes, and old buildings.
Porvoo makes for a wonderful day trip from Helsinki as it’s easy to get to, and explore without a car. Even though our day at Porvoo was marked by rain, and cold winds, we still ended up enjoying the town’s quaint, medieval character.
Getting these aerial shots wasn’t easy. I had to wait for the rain to stop, and the wind to calm down. And even after I got that, the low light didn’t help. But nonetheless, here are some beautiful photos of this World Heritage town.
Aerial photos of Rovaniemi along a partially frozen Kemijoki River during the winter.
Rovaniemi is to Finland is what Queenstown is to New Zealand. It’s the commercial capital of Lapland, and also the capital city. And, it just happens to be Santa’s home!
These are just a few photos from along the partially frozen river, and the Jätkänkynttilä (Lumberjack’s Candle Bridge).