Adventure Tours -- Summer and winter are both great periods for a holiday in Finland. Apart from the midnight sun and the northern lights, Finland has much to offer the adventurer. For information about adventure vacation packages in Lapland, we recommend Lapland Winter Wonderland Holidays at tel. 01923/457-017. It might be more convenient to contact one of the U.S. tour operators: Nordique Tours (tel. 800/995-7997; www.picassotours.com); Passage Tours (tel. 800/548-5960; www.passagetours.com); and Scantours (tel. 800/223-7226; www.scantours.co.uk).
Bicycling -- In Finland, you can either rent a bike and cycle on your own, or join one of dozens of cycling tours. One 6-day/5-night tour in the Åland Islands, for example, takes you along an excellent road network, past low hills and shimmering water. For bookings, contact Ålandsresor, Torggatan 2, P.O. Box 62, FIN-22101 Mariehamn (tel. 018/28-040; www.alandsresor.fi). Some hotels, holiday villages, camping sites -- even tourist information offices -- rent bicycles. More information is available from the Cycling Union of Finland, Radiokatu 20, FIN-00093 Helsinki (tel. 09/278-65-75; www.uci.ch).
Canoeing -- The Finnish Canoe Federation, Olympiastadion, Etelääkaarre, FIN-00250 Helsinki (tel. 09/49-49-65; www.kanoottiliitto.fi), arranges guided canoe tours along the country's most scenic waterscapes. One- and two-seat kayaks or canoes are available for rent, and charts of the coastal waters are provided.
Fishing -- Finland has more than 6,000 professional fishers and about 1.5 million people fishing for recreation. Visitors in both summer and winter can make arrangements for fishing, with lure and fly permitted.
In Finland most fishing waters are privately owned; cities and private companies also own fishing waters. The National Board of Forestry administers state fishing waters, mainly in northern and eastern Finland.
Visitors must buy a general fishing license to fish recreationally in Finland (a separate license is needed for the Åland Islands). You can get a general fishing license from post offices; it costs 6€ ($9.60) per person and is valid for 1 week; a year's license costs 20€ ($32). More information is available from the Federation of Finnish Fisheries Association, Köydenpunojankatu 7B, FIN-00180 Helsinki (tel. 09/684-45-90; www.ahven.net).
Golfing -- There are 98 golf courses in Finland and 66,000 members of the Finnish Golf Union, Radiokatu 20, FIN-00240 Helsinki (tel. 8158/2244; www.ecs.net), the organization that keeps tabs on the locations and attributes of every golf course in Finland. The best courses are in Helsinki and include Tali Manor, 6.5km (4 miles) from the center, and the Espoo Golf Course. Information about golf courses and their pars, entry requirements, and greens fees is available from the Finnish Golf Union. The Travel Experience Oy (tel. 09/622-9810; www.travel-experience.net) offers golf tour packages to Finland, including golf tournaments under the midnight sun.
Hiking -- Finland is an ideal country for hiking. The northern wilderness boasts the highest fells (rolling and barren hills), clear streams, and lots of open country. Eastern Finland's forested hills and vast woodlands conceal many lakes and deep gullies. Western Finland's low, cultivated plain is cut by fertile river valleys leading to the Gulf of Bothnia. Central Finland is known for its thousands of lakes and rolling woodlands, and the south of Finland, though densely populated, has many forests suitable for hiking. Hiking maps and a special brochure on hiking are available from the Scandinavian Tourist Board abroad.
Skiing -- Skiing conditions in Finland are among the best in the world. The season is long and the trails are good. The best skiing season in northern Finland is March through April, when there may be up to 16 hours of sunshine daily. But the early winter -- kaamos, the season when the sun doesn't appear at all -- has its own attractions for visitors who want to experience something different.
Finland is about 1,125km (700 miles) long, with distinct differences at each end. The south consists of gently rolling hills, with no elevations exceeding .9m (3 ft.), but the farther north you go, the more deeply forested and mountainous the country becomes. The highest hills are in Lapland.
The slopes of Finnish ski resorts are maintained in excellent condition. Skiing instruction -- both cross-country and downhill -- is available at most resorts, and equipment can be rented on the spot.
Long-distance ski races are becoming increasingly popular, and the long trails, ranging from 40km to 90km (25-55 miles), attract more and more participants from all over the world every year. As many as 15,000 skiers take part in the biggest event -- the Finlandia Ski Race. A fair number of resorts organize guided ski treks. They last a few days, and overnight accommodations are arranged along the trail in farmhouses or, in Lapland, in wilderness huts or shelters.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.