Discovering Finland: A 10-Day Road Trip Adventure in a Campervan
Discovering Finland: A 10-Day Road Trip Adventure in a Campervan

Discovering Finland: A 10-Day Road Trip Adventure in a Campervan

Finland, often referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes,” is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With its stunning landscapes, pristine wilderness, and welcoming communities, it’s no wonder that Finland is a dream destination for a road trip adventure. What better way to explore this Scandinavian gem than by hitting the road in a campervan? In this 10-day itinerary, we’ll take you on a journey through Finland, sharing key stops, route details, and camper van-friendly places to stay.

When to Visit Finland

Finland is a country that offers distinct experiences and attractions throughout the year, so the best time to visit depends on your interests and what you want to experience. Here’s a breakdown of when to visit Finland based on the seasons:

  1. Summer (June to August):
    • Best for Nature and Outdoor Activities: The summer months are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy activities such as hiking, cycling, fishing, and camping in Finland’s abundant forests and lakes.
    • Midsummer Celebrations: Midsummer’s Eve (Juhannus) is a significant holiday in Finland, marked by bonfires, traditional rituals, and festivities.
    • White Nights: In northern Finland, especially in Lapland, you can experience the phenomenon of the “White Nights,” where the sun barely sets, providing ample daylight for exploring.
  2. Autumn (September to November):
    • Vibrant Fall Colors: September and October offer beautiful autumn foliage, making it an excellent time for photographers and nature lovers.
    • Less Crowded: Tourism tends to be quieter during the autumn months, allowing for a more peaceful experience.
  3. Winter (December to February):
    • Winter Wonderland: If you’re a fan of winter sports and snowy landscapes, this is the perfect time to visit. Finland is renowned for its winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.
    • Aurora Borealis: In Lapland, you have a good chance of witnessing the Northern Lights during the dark winter nights.
    • Christmas Magic: Experiencing a Finnish Christmas in Lapland, complete with Santa Claus and reindeer, is a magical experience.
  4. Spring (March to May):
    • Sunny Days and Snowy Adventures: March can still be quite snowy, but as spring progresses, the days become sunnier and milder. It’s a great time for winter sports and witnessing the transition to spring.
    • Birdwatching: Spring is the season when migratory birds return to Finland, making it an excellent time for birdwatching enthusiasts.
  5. Late Winter/Early Spring (February to April):
    • Snow and Ice Activities: If you want to experience winter without the extreme cold of December and January, late winter is a good choice. You can still enjoy winter sports, ice fishing, and the chance to see the Northern Lights.
  6. Shoulder Seasons (May and September):
    • Mild Weather: May and September offer milder weather and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season. It’s a great time for hiking, cycling, and exploring cities without extreme temperatures.

Day 1: Helsinki – The Capital City

Your Finnish road trip begins in the capital city, Helsinki. This vibrant metropolis offers a mix of modernity and history, making it a fantastic starting point for your adventure.

Key Stops:

  1. Helsinki Cathedral: Start your day with a visit to this iconic white cathedral in Senate Square. It’s a fantastic spot to take photos and soak in the city’s atmosphere.
  2. Suomenlinna Sea Fortress: Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on a cluster of islands just a short ferry ride from the city. Suomenlinna offers history, beautiful views, and a perfect picnic spot.
  3. Market Square (Kauppatori): Indulge in some Finnish cuisine at the lively Market Square. Try traditional dishes like salmon soup or Finnish Karelian pasties.

Where to Stay:

  • Rastila Camping Helsinki: Conveniently located near the city, this campground welcomes campervans and offers modern facilities, including showers and a sauna.

Day 2: Porvoo – Quaint Charm by the River

On the second day, drive east from Helsinki to the picturesque town of Porvoo, known for its cobblestone streets, colorful wooden houses, and scenic river views.

Key Stops:

  1. Porvoo Old Town: Wander through the charming old town, with its narrow streets, artisan shops, and historic architecture.
  2. Porvoo Cathedral: Visit the stunning medieval cathedral, a significant landmark in the town.
  3. Porvoo River: Enjoy a relaxing stroll along the riverbank and take in the beautiful views.

Where to Stay:

  • Porvoo Camping: A camper-friendly site that offers a serene setting by the Porvoo River, perfect for a night’s rest.

Day 3: Lakeland Region – Nature’s Retreat

Prepare for a drive deeper into Finland’s heart, as you head to the enchanting Lakeland Region. Here, you’ll find countless lakes, forests, and a peaceful atmosphere.

Key Stops:

  1. Linnansaari National Park: Explore the untouched wilderness of this national park, known for its clear lakes and resident Saimaa ringed seals.
  2. Savonlinna: Visit the charming town of Savonlinna, home to the stunning Olavinlinna Castle, which sits on an island in Lake Saimaa.
  3. Lappeenranta: Enjoy a leisurely walk along the harbor of this town, which borders Lake Saimaa. You might even want to take a relaxing boat ride.

Where to Stay:

  • Lakeland Campsite: Experience nature at its finest by camping in the heart of the Lakeland Region. This site offers tranquil surroundings and campervan facilities.

Day 4: Kuopio – The Puijo Tower Vista

Continue your journey through the captivating Lakeland Region and make your way to Kuopio, a city known for its breathtaking vistas.

Key Stops:

  1. Puijo Tower: Ascend the Puijo Tower for panoramic views of the surrounding lakes and forests. Don’t forget your camera!
  2. Kuopio Market Hall: Sample local delicacies at the market hall and immerse yourself in the city’s culture.

Where to Stay:

  • Camping Kalakukko: A camper-friendly campsite surrounded by lush greenery, located just a short drive from the city center.

Day 5: Oulu – Coastal Charms

Venture northward to Oulu, a coastal city that boasts a unique blend of urban life and natural beauty.

Key Stops:

  1. Nallikari Beach: Relax on the sandy shores of Nallikari Beach or take a dip in the Baltic Sea if you’re feeling adventurous.
  2. Hupisaaret Park: Explore the beautiful islands of Hupisaaret Park, home to lush greenery and tranquil walking paths.
  3. Oulu Market Square: Savor fresh seafood and local treats at the bustling market square.

Where to Stay:

  • Nallikari Holiday Village: This campervan-friendly holiday village offers proximity to Nallikari Beach and modern amenities.

Day 6: Rovaniemi – Gateway to the Arctic

Heading further north, you’ll reach Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus and the gateway to Lapland.

Key Stops:

  1. Santa Claus Village: Meet Santa Claus himself and send postcards with the official Arctic Circle postmark.
  2. Arktikum Science Museum: Discover the culture and nature of Lapland through engaging exhibitions.
  3. Jätkänkynttilä Bridge: Cross this beautiful bridge for stunning views of the Kemijoki River.

Where to Stay:

  • Ounaskoski Camping: A peaceful campsite on the banks of the Kemijoki River, offering a tranquil atmosphere for a good night’s sleep.

Day 7: Levi – Winter Wonderland

As you continue your journey through Lapland, make a stop in Levi, a renowned winter sports destination.

Key Stops:

  1. Levi Ski Resort: If you’re visiting during the winter months, hit the slopes for skiing or snowboarding. In the summer, enjoy hiking and mountain biking.
  2. Levi Ice Gallery: Explore the enchanting world of ice sculptures and unique art.

Where to Stay:

  • Levi Camping: This campsite is conveniently located near the Levi Ski Resort, providing easy access to the area’s activities.

Day 8: Inari – Discover Sámi Culture

Head east to Inari, where you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Sámi culture and enjoy the serene wilderness of Finland’s northernmost region.

Key Stops:

  1. Siida – Sámi Museum and Nature Center: Learn about the indigenous Sámi people, their history, and their connection to nature.
  2. Lake Inari: Explore the pristine waters of Lake Inari, the largest lake in Lapland.

Where to Stay:

  • Inari Reindeer Farm Camping: Experience the Arctic wilderness at this campsite, located on a reindeer farm.

Day 9: Kemi – The SnowCastle Experience

Your penultimate day takes you to Kemi, a town renowned for its SnowCastle, a winter wonderland like no other.

Key Stops:

  1. Kemi SnowCastle: Visit this incredible snow and ice fortress, complete with intricate ice sculptures, a chapel, and a restaurant.
  2. Kemi Marina: Stroll along the picturesque marina and enjoy the coastal atmosphere.

Where to Stay:

  • Kemi Camping: Spend your last night in Finland at this campsite, offering modern facilities and a cozy ambiance.

Day 10: Raahe – Seaside Serenity

For your final day, travel to Raahe, a coastal town known for its historical charm and beautiful seaside setting.

Key Stops:

  1. Raahe Old Town: Explore the well-preserved wooden houses and cobblestone streets of this charming town.
  2. Raahe Archipelago: Enjoy a leisurely drive along the scenic archipelago and take in the breathtaking views of the Gulf of Bothnia.

Where to Stay:

  • Raahe Camping: Spend your last night on this picturesque campsite located by the sea, providing a peaceful and scenic farewell to Finland.


Your 10-day road trip adventure around Finland in a campervan has come to an end, but the memories of this enchanting journey will stay with you forever. Finland’s diverse landscapes, from the bustling streets of Helsinki to the tranquil wilderness of Lapland, offer a unique and unforgettable experience for any traveler. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, cultural immersion, or simply a break from the everyday hustle and bustle, Finland has it all. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and let the Finnish adventure begin!