In the Summertime When the Weather is Fine
In these longer, season-themed articles I want to give you some insights into everyday aspects of Finnish life, and then recommend some place you can experience them for yourself. Firstly, we will look at things you can do during the bright, sunny daytime hours. Then we will look at where you can find entertainment during the light nighttime hours.)
Top 5 Nature Spots
1. Paukaneva luontopolku – across varied terrains on wooden boards (includes some disabled access) [map]
2. Jouppilanvuori kuntorata – Located only 2 km from the center of Seinäjoki. A longer route at 5.5km but a not-too-demanding track, close to Jouppilanvuori Accessible Hiking Trail – with 1.8km of track that is accessible to wheelchairs [map]
3. Kyrkösjärven luontopolku – In total 6km but with a shorter 3.8km loop tgrough forest, across swamp and past the lake [map]
4. Kalajarven Kuntorata & Luontopolku – In nearby Peräseinäjoki, with a 3.8km nature trail and 1.5km jogging track, all located close to Kalajärvi lake [map]
5. Hyllykallion kuntorata – which passes-by the lovely Tanelin lampi [map]
After a nice walk in the nature, how about finding somewhere to cool off? Despite being 70 km from the coast, the quantity of lakes in Seinäjoki means there’s still plenty of spots for swimming. To me, Summer is not complete without a dip in a lake. Some of the locals may fuss about them being man-made lakes, but pay no attention they are still perfect for boating and swimming with beaches for sunbathing and playing games. Many of these lakeside beaches will have lifeguards, changing rooms and a small kioski (shop) selling drinks and snacks. Some also have some other sports facilities i.e. beach volleyball courts, frisbee golf and diving boards into the lake.
Top 5 Beaches
1. Kalajarvi – my first experience of lake swimming in Finland, includes a caravan park, bar/restaurant, minigolf and concerts throughout Summer.
2. Tanelinranta – Tanelinlampi is only a small pond, man-made but filled by a natural underwater spring and is the home of my friends the Lakeuden Ice-hole Swimmers. It is deep and cool with a lovely grass bowl leading down to a sandy beach, there is the nearby Tanelin Tupa cafe.
3. Kyrkösjarvi – Not too far from the luontopolku and close to Seinäjoki Central hospital, the beach at Kyrkösjarvi is also the closest to my home, so easy to pop along after work on a warm summer evening.
4. Sahalampi – If you’re in the town centre, this might be the beach for you. Alongside a pool created by the meandering of the Seinäjoki river, is a small beach for bathers situated close to Mallskoski Brewery only 1.5 km from the town centre.
5. Veneskoski Quarry – Located 12km out of Seinäjoki, this small beach offers a pontoon for diving, a shallow gradient which is ideal for kids, and sauna twice a week.
What better way to round off my ‘Summer Tips’ than by reiterating how much I like Summertime in Etelä-Pohjanmaa. Any activity you enjoy doing can only be improved by doing it at midnight in (almost) daylight. Don’t ask me why, it’s just better. So I thougt I’d share some of my favourite things to do in the middle of the ‘white night’
My 5 Favourite Things to do During the White Nights
1. Walking to Laavu – when I have visitors to Finland, I always take them for a walk in nature and that normally includes going to a laavu (a covered shelter next to an open fire) to cook makkara (sausages). Doing this at night adds a layer of tranquility and unusualness to the experience
2. Sauna and swimming in lake – again, Sauna and swimming is an fantastic experience, but diving into the cool night time water and letting it settle to almost motionless only increases the magical feeling.
3. Walking home from the pub – When I go out with friends, I often plan to go home by foot afterwards, to walk-off the beer, yes, but also to listen to the birds’ dawn chorus. Except dawn comes much earlier during summer, and the sky brightens and the birds awaken around 2am. I love teh idea that their ‘day’ has already started before I’ve made it to bed!
4. Mowing the lawn – The days are longer so kids are still bouncing on trampolines and people are still mowing their lawns at 10pm. Just because they can. And no-one minds in the slightest.
5. Midnight sport – Midnight golf is a real thing, and the feeling of playing sport at an unusual time just has to be experienced. But if you’re not a golfer, maybe try frisbee golf or get a group together and play beach volleyball. Whatever you enjoy, give it a try at midnight, you won’t regret it.