Camping In Finland

Camping in Finland: Exploring the best campsites in Finland

Camping in Finland is an unbelievable experience. Easily one of the most beautiful places in the world, the best campsites in Finland offer an excellent opportunity to rediscover nature.

Finnish campsites are dotted all around the country, usually surrounded by phenomenal views and fun things to do — whether it’s heading out on an icy lake or hiking through a forest.

There are various kinds of accommodation to consider too, from cozy cottages with roaring fires, to pitches for tents, and parks for caravans and motorhomes.

With national parks, endless walking trails and crystal-clear lakes, Finland seems like the ultimate place to visit for any camping enthusiast — though you may have to learn to withstand the cold.

Today, we’re going to be teaching you everything you need to know about camping in Finland, including where you can find the best campsites in Finland.

Is camping popular in Finland?

Finland has dozens of well-groomed camping sites from the northern tips of Lapland all the way to the southern (slightly warmer) forests. Though there are plenty of people who would rather spend their days in a sauna than a Finnish campsite, there are countless camping fans in the region.

Much like other Nordic and Scandinavian countries, from Norway and Iceland, to Sweden, the Finns have a close relationship with nature. This includes the use of “Everyman’s Rights” — which means everyone in the country can explore the natural beauty of the region, provided they’re careful with their surroundings, and committed to keeping things clean and tidy.

The “Everyman’s Rights” concept also allows locals in Finland and visitors to go foraging and fishing when they’re enjoying the great outdoors. This privilege extends throughout the Finnish map, throughout the vast forests, into the snowy expanses of Lapland.

The ability to simply drop everything and relax for a night under the stars whenever you choose definitely makes camping in Finland a more popular (and convenient) pastime. However, there are times when you’re more likely to encounter campers than others.

When to visit campsites in Finland

Generally, the times you choose for camping in Finland will dictate a number of things, including how much you can expect to spend on things like accommodation and travel, and how busy some of the top camping spots are most likely to be.

If you’re camping during the summer months, you’re less likely to feel some of the most significant chills of the Finnish weather. However, it’s worth remembering Finland is relatively cold all year round, so you should definitely prepare for some harsh weather whenever you visit.

In the Autumn or Spring, you’re more likely to see the Northern Lights from your tent. However, you’ll definitely have a better shot of seeing the natural phenomenon if you’re closer to the North of Finland and the Arctic Circle.

If you plan on visiting this region, we recommend joining a camping group to help keep you safe.

Generally, we wouldn’t suggest planning your trip for camping in Finland during the winter months unless you have a warm wooden lodge or cabin to stay in. Sleeping in a tent during the winter months is likely only an option or the most hardcore campers.

If you’re going to be camping in Finland during the winter, avoid wild camping, and stick to locations where you can get the amenities you need — just in case the weather drops too low. The last thing you need is to be trapped in the freezing cold.

While Finland is home to an amazing outdoor wilderness, this natural habitat can be extremely dangerous when underestimated.

Camping In Finland

Can you camp anywhere in Finland? Wild camping in Finland

As mentioned above, wild camping in Finland is supported by the concept of Everyman’s Rights. This means whether you’re cross-country skiing or exploring the forests and lakes of Finland, you can essentially stop anywhere with a tent.

Wild camping in Finland gives you an opportunity to really touch base with nature unlike any other camping experience.

You get to choose exactly how “raw” you go with your camping experience. For instance, you could choose to explore one of the 40 national parks in the country and set up a tent away from any creature comforts.

Just make sure you follow the rules of wild camping and avoid leaving any mess or trash behind when you’re done visiting.

Some lake beaches and forests have basic free facilities available for wild campers, to make your experience a little more comfortable if you’re new to the concept of camping without an official site. These locations might come with simple sinks, toilet blocks, and swimming jetties.

If you’re in need of this extra support, make sure you do your research before choosing a camping location.

If you’ve never tried wild camping before, we’d recommend starting slow in a place like Finland, where the outdoors and the weather can be harsher than expected. It’s always a good idea to know where local hotels and cabins might be available nearby if you decide you can’t quite handle the great outdoors as well as you thought.

Additionally, keep in mind you won’t be able to camp absolutely everywhere in Finland. There are a few exceptions to where you can settle down. Some areas are restricted and there are nature reserves you’ll need to avoid in some cases too.

Stay away from anywhere you know a hunting party might be going on.

Is it safe to wild camp in Finland?

Part of what makes Finland such an appealing Nordic destination is how safe and welcoming it can be. Even if you end up stumbling onto someone else’s land during your wild camping expedition, you probably won’t have to pack up and leave.

Instead, you’ll be asked to remember you’re on someone else’s property, and act accordingly.

The key to wild camping in Finland safely is making sure you do your research and prepare ahead of time. Look for any local hunting zones around where you might want to stay, and try to avoid going past these destinations, otherwise you’ll end up putting yourself and your family at risk.

It’s also a good idea to check the weather and understand the seasons as much as you can before you go camping. The last thing you want is to end up in the middle of nowhere in Winter in Finland if you’ve underestimated how cold it can get.

The temperatures in Finland can be extreme, particularly if you’re going to camp near the Arctic Circle.

Watch your footing when you’re hiking, and make sure you don’t step on any dangerous patches of ice. Additionally, remember fires are only permitted in some designated areas. There are often pre-built fireplaces dotted around national parks too.

The rules for camping in Finland

The rules for camping in Finland are similar to those elsewhere in Scandinavia and the Nordic region. Ultimately, the first thing you need to know is the right to camp anywhere is a privilege. It’s something Finnish people treat with great respect, and they expect you to do the same.

When camping or wild camping in Finland, remember to:

  • Pack up all rubbish and trash before you leave: Do not leave any sign you’ve been in the area. As the Scandinavian’s say, take nothing but memories.
  • Don’t disturb anything: You shouldn’t be trying to cuddle the wildlife or picking any flowers. Try to leave the area untouched.
  • Don’t linger too long: Keep moving. Generally, you should only camp for one or two days in each place at most. Don’t stay in the same region for too long.
  • Be cautious with fires: Campfires are only permitted in certain designated areas, so make sure you have permission to light a fire.
  • Avoid private property: Try to stay away from private gardens and don’t stay in any fields used for agriculture or growing.

Can you fish and forage when camping in Finland?

Foraging and fishing in Finland are included under the rules for Everyman’s Rights. You’ll be able to pick berries, and mushrooms, and fish in the rivers and lakes, provided that you’re doing so for your own meals and nothing else. Anything beyond a simple hook and line will require a permit for fishing.

Can you swim in lakes and rivers?

You should be able to explore the waterways of Finland while you’re there, which includes swimming and kayaking. In the winter, you can even skate on many lakes and rivers. Make sure you’re fully aware of the temperature of the water and stay safe when taking a dip.

Is Finland motorhome friendly?

So, what if you want a little more comfort in the form of a motorhome?

Just like camping in Denmark and Sweden, camping in Finland can involve the use of motorhomes and similar comfortable vehicles. Finland is one of the easiest countries to travel in if you’re planning on taking your caravan on a tour.

You can usually find a number of locations where you’ll be able to park your campervan or motorhome overnight.

In general, you can stop your motorhome or car and sleep just about anywhere, provided you’re not putting anyone in danger with wherever you choose to leave your vehicle. You’ll need to make sure you check any local signs when you’re stopping for the evening too.

There are certain urban areas and private roads where you won’t be permitted to park.

Like most Nordic countries, Finland’s roads have excellent infrastructure, with small public parking bays where you may even be able to make a fire. However, once again, you’ll need to check the rules wherever you end up.

Can you sleep in your car in Finland?

There are no rules against sleeping in your car for an evening in Finland, but it’s important not to linger for too long. You may get into trouble if you stay in one location for more than one day.

It’s also worth checking the rules and restrictions wherever you’re going to be setting up your home for the evening. There are private landscapes where you won’t be permitted to stay. You also can’t park your car and sleep overnight if you’re going to be putting other drivers in danger.

Camping In Finland

Camping in Finland: What are your options?

There are countless places to stop for a night or two in Finland, regardless of whether you want a luxurious overnight experience, or something a little more organic. There are tons of cosy pods, yurts, and even tree tents to explore, depending on what kind of vacation you want.

Here are some fun options for your camping trip:

1. Sleep in a tree

Visit the phenomenal region of Puumajoitus in Southwest Finland for a camping experience like no other. The Kommee Kurki Tentsile camping destination gives you a fantastic opportunity to set up for the night suspended among the trees.

There’s also eco-friendly toilets, campfires, and barbecue facilities on site too.

You can request a breakfast to be left for you at the site, and you’ll also be able to either rent your sleeping bags or bring them with you. This is a fantastic location to visit during the summer months if you’re looking for some amazing views.

2. Get back to basics

Head to the amazing Finnish national parks for a more unique wild camping experience in Finland. The Nuuksio National Park is a good place to check out if you’re staying in Helsinki and you want to be close to the city (just in case).

There are several public campsites available here, where you can hike and kayak nearby.

There’s also a wonderful lake in the region, called Holma-Saarijarvi, which has a set of two campsites available to use for free. Both have firewood and campfire sites provided.

3. Enjoy some luxury

If you love nature, but you don’t like the idea of the cold weather in Finland, try something a little more luxurious. The Revontuli Resort glass igloos give you the perfect opportunity to spend your nights gazing up at the stars through the glass, while you still enjoy the comforts of a huge bed and some thick, furry blankets.

This location is wonderfully well-positioned for viewing the Northern Lights, and Summer offers a number of great views over the lake, which is illuminated by the midnight sun too. You can get some eye masks if you’re worried about extra sunlight.

4. Check out a cabin

For a beautiful fairy-tale experience, visit the awe-inspiring Chalet Kuukkeli AuroraCabins. These attractive log cabins are located within the northern side of Finland, towards the Lapland region.

There’s a two-bedroomed chalet available to sleep up to 6 adults, and you get everything you need for an amazing stay included, from a modern kitchen to a wood-burning stove.

The landscape surrounding is ideal for summer hiking and cross-country skiing. For a true taste of what it’s like to live in Finland, you’ll also have access to an in-house sauna.

5. Go camping on a lake

Another excellent example of unique camping in Finland experiences, the Lake Inari Mobile Cabins solution allows you to actually set up a tent in the middle of a frozen lake.

This incredible vacation opportunity is unlike anything else you’ll experience in your lifetime. It’s an amazing opportunity to see the Northern Lights, from the midst of a see-through tent.

There are plenty of comforting extras included with your stay too, such as bed linen, your own toilet, and even heating. You’ll also have access to a service building where you can find a kitchen, shower, lounge, and Wi-Fi.

More of the best campsites in Finland

If the various options for camping in Finland haven’t caught your eye yet don’t worry. There are countless extra alternatives to explore. Let’s take a look at some of the other best campsites in Finland you can check out this year.

1. Archipelago National Park

The Archipelago National Park is one of the most popular places for Finnish camping. Located off the west coast of Finland, the archipelago has thousands of islands to explore, including a number of campsites where you can relax for an evening.

Some of the best locations include the amazing Aland and Prasto islands, where you can see some stunning natural sites.

2. Ruunaan Trekking

If your idea of the perfect vacation involves spending as much time as you can with nature, the Ruunaan Trekking, and hiking center is ideal for you. There are tons of spots to go walking around stunning rivers, or you can spend an afternoon fishing and birdwatching instead.

The campsite is well laid out with access to Wi-Fi, and there’s a restaurant nearby if you get bored of trying to catch your own meal. There are even staff nearby who speak English, so if you have any issues you won’t be entirely on your own.

3. Hanko

Check out the wonders of the sunset over the Baltic sea from the Silversand Camping spot in Finland’s south-western Hanko. The relaxing environment (free from too many crowds) makes this a fantastic location for camping in Finland if you want to decompress for a while.

There are plenty of amenities available, including a kitchen, as well as clean facilities and wonderful staff to help you make the most of your trip.

Camping In Finland

4. Oulanka National Park

Visit one of Finland’s most stunning national parks, complete with clifftop views, hanging bridges, and amazing waterfalls. It’s worth taking a few days to camp around this location so you can really absorb as much of the wonder as possible.

There’s a camp site and a visitor center, where you can get extra support and guidance. You’ll also have access to Wi-Fi in some spots, shower facilities, and well-marked trails for exploring.

5. Kermankeidas

Book a stay in Kermankeidas and enjoy the luxuries of a bed and breakfast nearby if you’re looking for a touch of extra comfort. If you prefer to keep things as natural as possible, the campsite close to the river rapids is one of the biggest attractions in the region.

Though you’ll only get basic facilities here, there are welcoming and supportive people nearby to help you out if you have any issues with your wild camping adventure.

Camping In Finland

6. Petkeljärvi National Park

Ideal for wild camping in Finland, the Petkeljarvi National Park is preserved and maintained by the Forestry Authority in Finland. There are a lot of modern amenities available nearby if you need some extra relaxation and comfort, such as saunas and a supermarket.

You can also find rustic campfire locations, and the occasional washing machine if you need to spruce up your clothing after a night or two of hiking through the woods.

Camping In Finland
Credit: Hostelling International Finland

7. Camping Hostel Jokitorma

Warm and welcoming, despite the northern location, this family-run village in the Kaamanen region is close to Inari and makes for a fantastic camping location. Close to a range of different amenities, including day trips to Northern Lapland, this site is made up of various camping spots, including places to pitch your tent and log cabins.

You can also access a children’s playground, fishing spots, and your own relaxing sauna.

Enjoy camping in Finland

Camping in Finland is one of the best ways to explore the Finnish landscape like never before. There are tons of fantastic locations to visit, whether you’re looking for a place to stop your motorhome for an hour or two or you’re interested in wild camping in Finland. You can even choose to sleep in your car if you like.

With so many options available, camping in Finland is sure to appeal to a wide range of families and individuals.

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