Best time to visit Finland

Boating in Finland 2024

Finland's huge number of channels, lakes, and long coastline with thousands of islands offer some of the best boating around!

Best time: May–October


A curious fact about Baltic countries is that they have numerous islands and a huge quantity of lakes in the inland territories. Finland is known as the country of a thousand lakes, but it also has tens of thousands of islands.

The Finnish coastline stretches from the Gulf of Finland to the Aland Islands and to the Gulf of Bothnia in the north. Thus, boats are quite a common means of transport here though the waters may be a real challenge for sailors because of numerous rocks and reefs. Luckily, all the channels are well marked and charted and the seas are calm, but still any cruise needs strong navigational skills. It is a perfect destination for sailors or just those that want to sit back and enjoy an interesting cruise.

The best season for boating in Finland is summer, as the days are really long, the winds are light, and the sea is calm. Finland's some 180,000 lakes and 80,000 islands ensure you've chosen the right place for a boating experience.

Practical info

What are the necessary navigational skills required for boating in Finland?

To safely navigate the waterways surrounding Finland, boaters must acquire skills in reading marine icons and avoiding rocks and reefs. Strong skills in navigating shoreline areas are also essential. It is worth noting that even though channels are well-charted and marked, advanced navigational skills remain vital. Leisure watercraft operators should adhere to the country's boating laws and regulations. As such, operators must understand the safety and legal requirements before going boating. Show more

What makes Finland unique for boating?

Finland stands out as an excellent boating location for several reasons. Tens of thousands of islands surround the area, along with lakes, channels, and a stunning coastline. The destination is unique from others since its residents possess a deep appreciation for nature, which remains the country's focus for its tourism industry. These factors combine to create an authentic and unparalleled boating experience enjoyed while connecting to Finns intimately. Show more

When is the best time to go boating in Finland?

The ideal time for boating in Finland is from May to October during the summer months. Boaters should expect pleasant weather, calm waters, and long days. It is worth noting that high traffic could be evident towards the end of July until the start of August, which is typically a busy holiday period in Finland. It's advisable to be updated on weather conditions since the region is known for sudden storms and rapid weather changes. Show more

Where are the best locations to go boating in Finland?

Some of the best boating destinations in Finland include Saimaa Lake, the Helsinki region, Aland Islands, the Gulf of Finland, and Oulu region, which are home to stunning forests and lakes. Davy waterways in the region around Lake Saimaa are packed with exciting canals found on over 14,000 islands. The nearby areas have several tourist attractions, including museums and parks, to cater for after-boating activities. Show more

Are there any safety precautions first-time boaters should be aware of in Finland?

The regulations set out by Finland governing boating state that operators of leisure boats should have a VHF radio communicator, personal flotation devices, fire extinguishers, and a first aid kit. A skipper certification or proof of equivalent knowledge is mandatory before boating in the region. It's worth noting that Finland limits the percentage of alcohol a boat operator can consume. To ensure safe navigation, employing a local guide, pilot, or skipper who understands the water routes and regional weather patterns is advisable, particularly if it's your first time boating or if the region's waters are unfamiliar. Show more

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