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Finland and Iceland are Summer Wonderlands


If You Can't Stand the Heat, Go North for Summer Vacation

Finland and Iceland have long been popular destinations on the world travel circuit. Their magnificent natural beauty, friendly people, and simple living philosophy have been attracting travelers looking for unspoiled nature, wildlife, and a relaxed pace. Now as global temperatures continue to bring record heat to traditional summer spots like Greece, Spain, and Italy, their cooler temperatures are becoming another draw for travelers who want relief from the scorching summers. Instead of going south, these travelers are switching to “coolcations,” according to Conde Nast Traveler, preferring destinations that are warm enough for outdoor summer activities, but not so hot that they’re unbearable.

If you’re among those who wilt in the heat of a Caribbean or Mediterranean summer, take heart. These two Nordic destinations may be just what the doctor ordered. Even if you’re not looking to escape the heat, both Finland and Iceland offer the opportunity for life-changing adventures in extraordinary natural settings.

We’re linking below to sample itineraries, but remember these are just suggestions. Any trip can be customized to your preferences. To find out more contact us at


Finland–Nordic Gem

The picture-perfect Finnish town of Porvoo. Photo by Tapio Haaja on Unsplash.

Summer in Finland is spectacular. During June and July, the sun is visible nearly 24/7 in the southern part of the country. North of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set at all from May to August. The light from the Midnight Sun is a distinctive reddish-yellow that bathes everything in golden warmth. The endless light means more time for normal daytime activities, and you’ll find Finns hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing, or even playing golf in the wee hours. The average summer temperature is a comfortable 68 deg. F, but in the southern parts of the country it can get much warmer.

Helsinki is bursting with activities every day of the year but in summer the city is especially packed with things to do. You are likely to see people picnicking in the many city parks or enjoying new public saunas. There are many festivals, flea markets, and Midsummer-related celebrations. Helsinki Day, Seurasaari Midsummer festivities, Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, and Flow Festival are a few to consider. A walk along the colorful Kauppatori market is an absolute must. Entering the Old Market Hall you’ll be able to taste local delicacies, such as reindeer meat and Finnish rye bread.

You could also spend a glorious summer day island-hopping to some of the 330 islands around Helsinki. These offer easy access to lush forests and sandy beaches. From Market Square, it’s a quick trip to the fortress island of Suomenlinna, as well as the recently opened islands of Lonna and Vallisaari. The islands mix the best amenities of urban life–cafes, bars, restaurants–with the chance to experience unspoiled nature. After a day of island-hopping, unwind like a true Finn and swim in the golden light of the Midnight Sun then relax in one of the country’s 3 million saunas (in a country of 5 million people!).

A boat at the shore of Lake Summanen, Finland

Summer Sunset at Lake Summanen, Finland. Photo by Tapio Haaja on Unsplash.

Outside of Helsinki, there are many other wonders. Lapland, the scene of many notable winter activities like sledding, mushing, and all manner of Christmas fun, is just as magical in summer. Visit the villages of the indigenous Sámi people and learn about their fascinating culture, history, and language. Hike in the forest wilderness of Koilliskaira, part of Urho Kekkonen National Park, the second largest national park in Finland and one of the last true wilderness regions of Europe, an area that has been inhabited for almost 10,000 years. 

Turku, the oldest town in the nation and once the country’s capital, is definitely worth a visit. Founded almost 800 years ago, the lively city is said to have the soul of a metropolis in the body of a small town. There’s a fabulous market square, the Swedish Theatre, the cathedral, and the old castle in the center of town. During the summer, the banks of the river Aurajoki, the heart and soul of Turku, come to life. People gather there to eat, drink, and listen to music. Old sailing ships dock along the river, and you can take cruises to the archipelago or nearby Naantali. 

On a summer’s day, grab something tasty from the market hall and cycle to the charming Ruissalo island for a picnic, or just enjoy the sunshine along the river next to the cathedral.

Join us as we venture to Finland, a sanctuary of untouched natural beauty, for an authentic experience far from the conventional tourist trails. This Nordic gem, with its pristine environment and commitment to sustainability, is a haven for the environmentally conscious and discerning traveler seeking genuine experiences. The Finnish way of life, characterized by a deep connection with nature and a striking simplicity, offers a refreshing perspective on daily living that many travelers fall in love with.



Iceland–Awesome Nature

Jökulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Iceland. Photo by Rolf Gelpke on Unsplash.

The adjective “awesome” is one of those overused words that seems to have lost its meaning. Nowadays a new cereal or a pair of sneakers might be described as “awesome.” That’s too bad, because Iceland really is awesome, in the dictionary sense of “extremely impressive or daunting.”

Known as the “land of fire and ice,” this country with 32 active volcanoes, majestic towering glaciers, thundering waterfalls, steaming geysers, and thermal lakes proves true to the name. The amazing landscape is a testament to nature’s brute force, leaving us to gaze in awe–yes, awe–at what it has wrought.

Iceland’s geology is a result of its position on the boundary of two shifting tectonic plates. The plates’ movement produces intense volcanic activity, making Iceland one of the most volcanically active places on Earth. The movement and the volcanic activity together heat underground water, which results in the abundance of thermal features like hot springs and geysers. Thanks to this geological dynamism, Iceland has some of the most otherworldly landscapes you will see anywhere on Earth, such as lava fields, basalt columns, ice caves, and eerie black sand beaches (see the opening photo for an example).

Icelanders are known to take full advantage of this natural wealth, whether by hiking through the lava fields, kayaking among icebergs in glacial lagoons, or diving into geothermal waters like the Blue Lagoon. And they are happy to share these riches with travelers who come seeking to enjoy these experiences too.

In summer, during the time of the Midnight Sun, the endless days present the perfect opportunity for exploring these amazing sights. Summertime temperatures in Iceland average 50 to 55 deg. F. so make sure to pack a sweater or two.

Where to go? There are too many options to list, but here are some standouts:

  • Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier.
  • Jökulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, one of Iceland's most breathtaking natural wonders, is a must-see for anyone interested in glacial environments. The lagoon is filled with icebergs that have broken off from the glacier, creating a dynamic landscape of icebergs in varying sizes, shapes, and colors, ranging from white to the deepest blue.
  • Snæfellsjökul Glacier, the gate to the underworld in Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.
  • Skagafjörður, famous for breeding the world-renowned Icelandic horses.
  • Kolugljúfur Canyon with its stunning Kolufossar waterfall.

Even in the buzzy capital of Reykjavik, it’s all about the outdoors. The city of 120,000 boasts panoramic views of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean on almost all sides.

But all this is just skimming the surface. There is much more to see and do in Iceland in summer.

If you're an avid explorer or simply seeking a unique connection with nature, Iceland is a must-see destination. Join us on an extraordinary journey where fire meets ice, and rugged landscapes invite adventurers to explore the untamed beauty of nature.

If you’re worried about the current volcano eruption in Iceland, watch this video produced by the Icelandic Meteorological Office. It answers any questions you might have about how, when, and where to travel safely in Iceland.

Ready to go? Summer is almost upon us, so contact us to make your plans for the best coolcation ever at




 Now’s the Time…Australia and New Zealand

Mount Taranaki, New Zealand. Photo by Sulthan Auliya on Unsplash.

Looking to travel to Australia or New Zealand during the high season this year? These countries are very popular destinations that quickly sell out. If you’d like to travel to this part of the world during the period from December 2024 to February 2025, now is the time to book your trip. We are waiting to help you at


Tags: Iceland, Sustainable Travel, Sustainability, slow travel, Finland