The whirlpool in Myllykoski scenic area at winter in Oulanka National Park, Kuusamo, Finland
© Lassi Rautiainen/Minden Picture
Winter in the Finnish wilds
This frozen scene might be a picture of tranquility right now but once the snow melts in northern Finland's Oulanka National Park, this gentle swirl will turn into deafening rapids, hosting rafters and waterfall-seekers. But there's plenty of time to enjoy the winter calm, as the region's wintery cold regularly stretches into April or May. The partly frozen whirlpool churns near Myllykoski, a defunct mill which is now a resting point along Finland's busiest nature trail, Karhunkierros. The 50-mile route begins more than 500 miles north of Helsinki, with midsummer hikers enjoying treks lit by the midnight sun. For determined skiers and intrepid types in snowshoes, portions of the trail remain open through the freezing winter. Not feeling it? Chill at home instead with a hot drink and enjoy this wintery scene from afar.