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    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

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    Macedonia: Traditional architecture. Go Now!

    Macedonia
    Macedonia is a country still finding its unique identity, but its architecture is already one of a kind. Explore Macedonia!

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    Netherlands
    This low country might be small, but it maintains a unique place in history and culture. Explore the Netherlands!

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    Austria: Belvedere Palace. Go Now!

    Austria
    Belvedere Palace (pictured) is just one of many palaces found in Vienna. The capital is a good start to Austria, which also features the Alps, the Lakes District, and incredible history & food. Go Now!

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    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukraine
    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

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    Latvia
    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Finland

Geography

Finnish Geography - Lapland
Lapland

Finland is a fairly long country stretching north almost to the Arctic Ocean and south to the Baltic Sea. Finland borders Norway (northwest), Sweden (west), and Russia (east); Finland is also a short distance from Estonia, which sits across the Gulf of Finland to the south.

Geographically, Finland is almost entirely marshland or rocky lowlands. Except for the far north and far south, the country is low-lying and has a huge number of lakes, which tend to freeze over in winter and always have the possibility to flood in spring and summer. The far north is at greater elevation, but climatic conditions tend to prevent life there. The far south, along the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland is very rocky and has good drainage, making this the most ideal place to live, although population numbers are still very small compared to the rest of Europe.

Weather

Finland has two primary seasons, winter and summer. Winter and the surrounding months can be cold; even Helsinki, which is warm on Finland's standards, averages about 18˚ F (-7˚ C) in the winter.

Summers are short, but have long days; the lakes in southern Finland are still cool, but temperatures in the south during this time average about 65-68˚ F (18-20˚ C), with days getting a few degrees warmer on average.

Wildlife

Finnish Wildlife - Reindeer
Reindeer

Finland boasts a number of hardy animals that can withstand their harsh winters. This list includes various large mammals like the bear, elk, wolf, and reindeer. The country is also spotted with lakes and rivers, making sea life abundant; salmon, trout, pike, and herring are all very common in various regions.

There are a huge number of migrating water fowl in Finland, including the tern and duck, along with other birds.

This page was last updated: March, 2013