A February break in Finland will take in some of the most startling and beautiful winter landscapes on the planet, with the Northern Lights flashing and winding overhead as the team of huskies takes you past Christmas-card perfect forests and log cabins. But there are lots of other things to see and do in this magical land just below the Arctic Circle. The January to April period sees the best snow conditions of the year, and there are plenty of snow-based activities to enjoy on a romantic break, to say nothing of cuddling up under reindeer blankets in front of a roaring log fire in your own cabin and listening to the sweet sound of absolute silence.
But if that sounds crushingly boring, there are also great cities like Helsinki and Kajaani to dance away the night and dine on local or international cuisine before heading back to the modern luxury apartment and for a nightcap and some satellite TV. Finland caters for all tastes and recognises that winter wonderland isolated cabins are not everyone’s glass of lakka.
But in Finland there’s no getting away from it – log cabin holidays in such snowy surroundings are considered wildly romantic by most visitors, and there are plenty of types and locales to choose from. They come in a vast range of shapes and forms and hark back to a time when this land was peopled only by a few nomadic fishermen and hunters. Apart from small cabins out in the wilds of northern Finland there are ones not quite so isolated on the outskirts of Helsinki, such as the charming seaside villas at Pyhtaa, just an hour’s drive out of the city.
Other romantic couples may prefer the isolation of remote cabins in Heikki and Kaija, converted farmhouses that overlook the River Lemmenjoki in the heart of Sami country, with reindeer herding and snow-shoe trekking amongst the activities on offer. Wherever they’re located, Finnish log cabins come with full amenities, often including an outside hot tub and sauna, to really soak up the Scandinavian experience.
Of course, no Finnish holiday is complete without craning the neck for a glimpse of the famous Aurora Borealis. These celestial shows actually dominate the skies at certain locales in February and make the perfect natural backdrop to a romantic holiday here. One of the best spots for seeing the Lights in February is at Kilpisjarvi in the north, although it’s easier to get to Saariselka by transfer from the airport at Ivalo. Yllas is also a good place to watch them, and if you want to combine the Lights with some decent nightlife and bars then Levi is the place to head for. Generally speaking, you see better displays the farther north you’re prepared to go, and you can find information about how to get there in the tourist information offices in cities like Helsinki.
Chill out in Helsinki
Helsinki is not only cool on the temperature side in February but also has an extremely cool culture. The weather outside doesn’t impact much as long as it provides the picturesque snowfalls, and if you wrap up warm in your imitation furs you can get out and about to explore some of the iconic sights of this beautiful northern capital. There are great views across the sea and of the archipelago of offshore islands. It’s the unique combination of snow-covered streets and natural beauty along with chic fusion bars and attractive modern restaurants that make Helsinki such a great destination for a romantic break in February. There is a fabulous zoo, cathedral, the Ateneum Art Museum and some beautiful public parks to stroll around, and don’t miss getting your photo taken in front of the Sibelius Monument, which looks like a cluster of frozen organ pipes.