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Finland : The Republic of Finland (in the Finnish Suomi) is located in Northern Europe in Scandinavia. Finland has 5.5 million inhabitants. Neighboring countries are Russia, Norway and Sweden. On the other side of the Finnish golf is Estonia. Finland is located at the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea. The capital of Finland is Helsinki. The nickname of Finland is the land of a thousand lakes, because it contains 180,000 lakes. The lakes are at least 5 months per year frozen. Finland is mainly known for the intensive use of saunas: 1.7 million saunas at 5.5 million inhabitants. After Iceland Finland is the most northern state of Europe. A third of Finland lies above the Arctic Circle. Lapland (Lappi) is the largest province of Finland. Finland has 1.2 million hectares of protected area including 27 accessible national parks ( "kansallispuisto '). Not accessable are 19 regional nature reserves (luonnonpuisto '). Finland can be visited during the whole year: winter is popular as a winter sports destination and in the summer there are many open-air theatres and festivals in Finland.

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