Scandinavia trip with the liner-for-two

Why Finland?

Our customers David and Sharon tell: "We had always planned a summer trip to Scandinavia after purchasing our liner-for-two which gave us so much more comfort and space than we previously enjoyed. We had thought about Norway which is still very much on our bucket list but a Finnish friend kept extolling the virtues of his country and we were sold! We also watched the TV programme by the Hairy Bikers who traveled much of the country in the making of their programme. Our two weeks in Finland were part of a seven week, twelve country trip and was probably our favourite section.


Finland is a lot bigger than we originally thought coming in at around 40% larger than the size of the UK. It has 90% fewer people though at around 5.56 million so there are vast areas with very few people living in them. It has 168,000 lakes and 179,000 islands and more trees than you could ever count! The language is Finish, the currency is the Euro and almost every home has a Sauna.

To get there we drove through the Baltic States, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia which we really enjoyed and will be the subject of a future article. We spent an excellent weekend in Tallin and first thing on the Monday morning we had booked the two hour ferry crossing to Finland's capital Helsinki. 

We had pre booked Rastila Camping on the outskirts of Helsinki but before going there we parked up in the city and went exploring. It was enjoyable to stroll around and our favourite part was the harbour area. Several boat trips were on offer and we chose one that lasted an hour and sailed past many of the small islands within a few kilometres of the shore.

After disembarking there were a number of stalls set up with seating areas serving food. Salmon was the dish of the day at all of them! A decent sized portion served with potatoes and vegetables was 15 Euros and was very tasty! Finland is generally quite expensive to eat out but this was good value. 

The campsite was very good with generous sized pitches, all designed to drive in one end and out the other which made for easy manoeuvring. There were some shops near by and the toilets and showers were fine.


We had booked a campsite in Oulu in three days time to give us somewhere we knew could take on fresh water and dump waste. It was 475 miles away but an easy drive in that timescale. Our friend had suggested various alternative routes and Lahti being his home town we made that our first stop. A 75 mile drive took us to the city. Although we had never previously heard of it, it's Finlands 9th biggest city with a population of 121,000. It's most famous for winter sports, especially the annual Lahti Ski Games. We had only ever seen ski jumping on TV but standing beside the ski jump we realised its absolutely massive! The complex includes an olympic sized swimming pool, and a football pitch with a full sized running track surrounding it so it was easy to see how sport plays a big part in the lives of Finns.

Leaving the city we carried on north and the opportunities to wild camp were vast. We stopped in the village of Varkaus which had a designated overnight parking area on the edge of a lake and beside a forest. It was absolutely idillic. 

Carrying on northwards the following day and using a combination of google maps and our road atlas we hit a snag when the road stopped at the edge of a lake with seemingly no road round it! Fear not though because a few minutes later a ferry appeared and remarkably it was free to use! This apparently is not that unusual in parts of Finland where the government supports rural living with some free ferry services. By then it was mid afternoon and we came across a campsite called Manamansalo built out on a peninsula and more or less surrounded by water. Another gorgeous spot for overnighting. It was here we saw the most beautiful sunset of our entire holiday.

The next night we were booked into Nallikari Camping in Oulu. Situated on Finlands west coast not far from Sweden, it is a lovely town. The site was particularly busy due in part to a classic car rally taking place the following morning. Unusually a few pitches along from us the site had an outdoor hot tub. Although it wasn’t particularly large four lads pilled into it and proceeded to work their way through a fairly sizeable carryout. They did invite us to join them but we declined!

The next morning after watching the start of the rally we moved on to Rovaniemi, probably our favourite destination in Finland to cross the Arctic Circle and meet the real Father Christmas! We were lucky that with June being his quietest month we got more time with him than we otherwise would. When he learned we were from Scotland he said he was very disappointed we hadn't taken a bottle of whisky for him. It's his favourite drink, something to remember when leaving him a wee refreshment at the bottom of your chimney on Christmas Eve.

We also got our picture taken straddling the Arctic Circle but what we didn't know is that it moves a little bit every year. This is because its definition is “The line north of which the sun never sets for at least one day in summer and never rises for at least one day in winter”. Every day is a school day.

When we planned our holiday Rovaniemi was to have been our most northerly destination but our friend extolled us to keep going north which we did until we ran out of Finland. The scenery is absolutely stunning but after a few days of driving through massive forests looking at lakes we were ready for a change. We did pop into Norway for a night, just to see it really, before recrossing the border and starting our journey south. We also stopped at the shop of a 4th generation reindeer herdsman and enjoyed chatting with him and buying some of his wares. 

On our final day we again traveled south before crossing the border into Sweden somewhere close to Kolari. We loved our time in Finland and would thoroughly recommend it to fellow travellers. It is a bit more expensive than we are used to, especially alcohol. A top tip is to take with you all you plan to drink! Eating out is expensive and we certainly ate in the motorhome more often than we usually do on holiday. There is no LPG Gas for sale in Finland so make sure you fill up before the border. If you have a dog you will need it checked between one and five days of your arrival. We found a vet in Latvia who understood exactly what was required."