Oulanka, Finland


In Lapland near the Finnish-Russian border, Oulankanational park looks stunning all year round. The Karhunkierros trail that runs through it is Finland’s most popular hiking route; the full 80km trail can take up to seven days to complete – through forests and over rivers on wooden footbridges. You can, however, stay overnight, for free, in the log huts dotted along the way. There are also canoeing routes through the rapids of the Oulankajoki river, as well as more easy-going, family-friendly routes to take downstream. Established in 1956, the park is known for its reindeer and its diverse mix of natural features and rare plants. The pink-and-white calypso orchid, the emblem of the park, is scarcely seen elsewhere, but is common in Oulanka.


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