Finland is the eighth largest country in Europe in terms of area and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union.

Finland was historically part of Sweden and from 1809 an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. Finland’s declaration of independence in 1917 from Russia was followed by a civil war, wars against the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and a period of official neutrality during the Cold War. Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and the European Union in 1995 and participates in the Eurozone. Finland has been ranked the second most stable country in the world, in a survey based on social, economic, political, and military indicators.

The country has a very positive gay rights history, with Registered Partnership recognition and anti-discrimination laws. Finland is a traveler’s delight with good roads, picturesque towns, friendly people and a wide variety of scenery.
The best way to see it all is by (rental) car that allows for freedom of movement and spontaneous changes.
We drove from the southern port of Turku to the far north of Lapland.