One of my travel resolutions for 2016 was to visit counties, cities and regions that are new to me and so I’m thrilled that my first trip of the year is to a country I’ve never visited before – Finland. Funny enough, I have long wanted to visit Finland, but the stars never aligned until recently when I was accepted to participate in a conference and trade show occurring in Helsinki. The Nordic Bloggers’ Experience is a special event that takes place at the Nordic Travel Fair MATKA and is intended to be a way to bring together some of the best travel bloggers from around the world not just to share experiences professionally, but to experience the beauty of Finland. I always love meeting with other professional travel bloggers, sharing best practices and learning from each other, but I’m especially excited about the travel opportunities I have at the event. With scheduled tours both before and after the trade show, I can’t wait to learn more about a region I’ve never visited before. Here’s a brief look at what I’ll be up to.
I love great airlines and while I’ve heard a lot about Finnair, this will be my first flying experience with them and I can’t wait. Even better, I’ll have the chance to try out their Business Class product to see for myself why it’s so very highly ranked. Flying Finnair is a great way to connect to destinations around the world, especially when you add in a Helsinki stopover on the way to Asia or anywhere else they fly.
Rovaniemi – An Arctic Adventure
Also known as the official home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland bordering the Arctic Circle. I love great adventure activities, and I’ll be getting my fill in this northern region. Some of the highlights include:
- Snowmobile safari along the 100-kilometer long Polar Bear Track
- Marveling at the Northern Lights
- Day spent driving my own team of huskies and spending the night at a wilderness camp
- Seeing some of the beautiful winter landscapes for which Finland is so very well known.
While I love adventure, I’m also a luxury traveler which is why I’m also excited for a very different, but no less interesting experience in another country I’ve never been to – Estonia. Taking an Eckerö Line ferry to Tallinn, first I’ll spend some time exploring the city before embarking on a relaxing and luxurious stay in the countryside. Some highlights include:
- Staying at the countryside retreat Vihula Manor.
- Enjoying luxurious spa treatments and some outdoor time in Lahemaa National Park
- Luxury stay in Tallinn at the Savoy Hotel, exploring the best parts of the city.
Helsinki and private travels after the conference
The conference just so happens to land around my 40th birthday, and instead of coming home to spend it in my PJs, I decided to herald in the next decade of my life in Helsinki. My partner is flying out to meet me and together we will spend a couple of days exploring Helsinki, touring the popular sites, staying at the best hotels in town and eating some amazing meals. I won’t have a lot of time to sightsee during the conference itself and I’m really looking forward to some private time doing just that. We will then fly out to Stockholm, Sweden and spend two more days exploring the city for the first time. While I’ve been to Sweden before, that trip didn’t include Stockholm and among other activities I’m most excited to:
- Stay in the top rated hotel in the city
- Go on a food walking tour, learning more about Swedish cuisine
- Visiting the ABBA Museum
- Touring the world famous Vasa Museum
- Many other activities to experience the best of Stockholm in the winter.
I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a long time and I hope you’ll follow along as I explore three countries, discovering what makes them all so special. If you aren’t already, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and be sure to search for the #NBEFinland hashtag on all platforms to see the latest photos and updates not just from me, but from all of the Nordic Bloggers’ Experience participants.