Finland's landscapes are a glorious variation on the themes of forest and water, where the comforts of modern life are never far away. Yet each region has its distinct character, from the wilds of Lapland to the inspiring lakes of the East and the archipelagos of the South-West. Finland is full of interesting contrasts, such as the four seasons, the midnight sun and the long winter nights and the different cultural heritages of the Eastern and Western parts of the country.

The Republic of Finland is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. It borders Sweden on the west, Russia on the east, and Norway on the north, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland. The capital city is Helsinki.

Around 5.3 million people reside in Finland, with the majority concentrated in the southern part of the country. Finland is the most sparsely populated country in the European Union.

Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands 187,888 lakes and 179,584 islands. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat with few hills, and its highest point, the Halti at 1,324 metres, is found in the extreme north of Lapland at the border between Finland and Norway.

Finland is one of the few countries in the world whose surface area is still growing. Owing to the post-glacial rebound that has been taking place since the last ice age, the surface area of the country is growing by about 7 square kilometres a year.

The distance from the most Southern point Hanko to the most northern point of Finland Nuorgam is 1,445 kilometres driving distance, which would take approximately 18.5 hours to drive. This is very similar to Great Britain (Land's End to John o' Groats).

Winters of southern Finland are usually 4 to 5 months long and the snow covers the land about 4 months of every year. The coldest winter days of southern Finland are usually -20C, and the warmest days of July and early August can be 25C to 30C. Summers in the southern Finland last 4 months (from mid-May to mid-September). In Northern Finland, a subarctic climate dominates, characterized by cold, occasionally severe winters and relatively warm summers. Winters in north Finland are nearly 7 months long. Summers in the north are quite short, only 2 to 3 months. The highest temperatures on the warmest summer days of July, are rarely above 20C to 25C.

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