Release peace: the magazine
Release peace: the magazine
Analysis & Background Stories on International Affairs
Rivers, Archipelagoes, Coastlines: A Nordic Experience.
Article by: Tatiana Sondej
A Special Time of the Year
North of the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun refers to the constant daylight that the summer offers – the sun truly never sets. This never-ending daylight is a particularly special part of Nordic summers. The season of the midnight sun begins in April and lasts all the way through to August. How to take advantage of that is what we will explore in this article. Let us take you to the midnight twilight and think of the many opportunities for outdoor activities that are on offer.
The Concept of Allemansrätten
While savoring your summer in the Nordics, it is important to acknowledge Allemansrätten; this is a Swedish term referring to the people’s ‘right to roam’. We have explained this very fascinating concept in more detail in this article. In short, it means that individuals have the right to exploring the outdoors unhindered. However, it comes with the responsibility to respect the natural surroundings. This concept is equally important in HaparandaTornio – a relatively small but lively region in Lapland. It is located between Sweden and Finland, consisting of the towns Haparanda and Torneå. Between June and August, the summer weather is very pleasant, with temperatures ranging between approximately 14-20°C. HaparandaTornio is an ideal destination to enjoy the sun, offering plenty of attractions to people with all sorts of interests.
Adventure on the Rapids
A famous landmark in the region is the Tornionjoki River (Väylä to the Finnish locals). The river has formed the border between Swedish and Finnish territory since 1809, and it is also home to plentiful salmon and whitefish. HaparandaTornio has plenty of riveting water activities like kayaking- for those who enjoy an adrenaline rush. Kayaking activities take place on the Finnish side of HaparandaTornio at the Kukkolankoski Resort. For adults and children, this is a fantastic family activity for those looking to try something new. The kayaking experience runs between the months of June and October.
Alternatively, the Nordic Safari is another great option, with thrilling activities such as whitewater rafting, raft-safaris, and fishing programs. These programs also offer a wonderful cultural experience – you can get involved in the local culture and food which is sometimes also offered in these programs.
Activities for the Nature Lovers
One can also enjoy HaparandaTornio through its calm and immersive summer activities. The Haparanda hiking trails are perfect for those who love to explore the forests and spend the day outside. The 15km trail features a plethora of flora and fauna for visitors to admire, a sightseeing tower which gives the best possible view of the area, and seating areas to enjoy a mid-hike snack. Perhaps you are looking to experience the thrills from afar, in which case you can visit the rapids in the Tornionjoki river. One of the most renowned is Matkakoski, said to be an excellent spot for salmon fishing. Here, one can spend a quiet and peaceful day fishing, sight-seeing and taking in the clean mountain air.
Why not have a go at the Tornio Golf course? This course is located only two minutes from Haparanda and Tornio hotels, making it a very convenient spot for tourists to have a family day out. The Tornio Golf course prides itself with being a one-of-a-kind experience. What makes it one-of-a-kind, you might ask? It is split directly across the border between Finland and Sweden. Due to the time difference between the two countries, visitors can hit the longest Hole-in-one (one hour and five seconds). The Green Zone golf course is also surrounded by spectacular scenery on each side, featuring the wonderful river and rapids.
The Archipelago Experience
An archipelago is a cluster of islands scattered across a stretch of water, and Finland is said to have some of the largest in the world. A treasured place to visit in HaparandaTornio is the Archipelago, otherwise known as Haparanda Skärgård National Park. It is made up of many islands spread across the coast of Tornio. A visit to the Archipelago can be exciting for many reasons – enjoy a refreshing swim at the sandy beaches or spend a morning at the local fishing spot. While exploring the islands, the classic summer activity of berry picking is great to try. Much of the Nordic landscape in various areas is covered in wild blueberries, and the Tornio Archipelago is one of these areas.
Allemansrätten at an Archipelago
During the summer months, many Nord’s have a common activity of taking their boats to archipelago cottages and spending the long days there. This activity is often accompanied by a small barbecue and a refreshing dip in the water. As a tourist, you can experience much the same with the Innala Tours – small guided boat tours which run between the mainland and the islands. Visitors can even spend the night at the cottages on Sandskär. This is the biggest island in the Haparanda Archipelago, featuring lots of budding nature and the Saddskär chapel. The islands on the Finnish side of the Archipelago offer a different experience with flowery beaches and great spots for bird watching.
Journey to HaprandaTornio
HaparandaTornio is a wonderful place all year round, but it is especially magical during the cosy Nordic summers. There is a great deal to explore and a wide range of activities from sporty rafting programs to quiet forest hikes. Travelling to HaparandaTornio is simplest by plane or train – you can fly to the nearest airport Kemi-Tornio with the company Finnair. From the airport there are public transport connections to get to the town centre, or alternatively taxis. Those travelling locally can also take the train from Stockholm, or Luleå in northern Sweden. Train connections are also available in Finland to the town of Kolari from which you can take a direct bus to HaparandaTornio.