- 5.4 million
- Finnish, Swedish
Are you a metalhead with a taste for the wild? Then pack your Doc Martens and pocketknife, and hop on a boat to Finland. This Nordic country, bordered by Sweden, Norway and Russia, embraces quirky culture and natural living. Eccentric events like the Wife Carrying World Championships and the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships are hugely popular, as are heavy metal music and the computer-gaming scene – the Finns even invented Angry Birds.
But Finland’s most exciting attractions lie outside of Helsinki. In the far north a summer’s day can last two months and it’s when Finns take to the wilderness for a spot of cottage living. So pull together a picnic, jump on a kayak and take your feast and to one of the country’s 70,000 islands before camping out in an abandoned lighthouse.
When winter hits Finland it can last for seven months. Thankfully, the rural Finns can navigate the snow with their husky-drawn sleighs and the bright lights of the aurora borealis. Do as they do and forget your winter blues by plunging naked into a hole in the ice and digging into some moose meatballs.