We’re Going to Finland & Other Summer Plans

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We are happy to announce our ridiculously exciting plans for the summer!

Finland

On Thursday we’re flying to Finland! It will be our first trip to a Nordic country and we’re looking forward to visiting somewhere completely different from our usual tropical destinations. We’re being hosted by the Visit Finland tourist board who have arranged a number of activities for us, but we’ll also have plenty of time to explore on our own. Finland is known for its winter activities but our trip will focus on what to do in Finland in the spring.

Lapland!

It has been seven years since we’ve been snowboarding (as we avoid winter) and it’s about time we hit the mountains again. I knew we wouldn’t be back in Europe until May so I researched ski resorts with the longest running seasons and discovered Ruka in Lapland. Skiing in Lapland sounded so exotic that we couldn’t resist. We’ll be there for the last weekend of the season (9/10 May) so we hope there’s some snow left!

There’s plenty to do off the slopes in the Ruka-Kuusamo area but we’ve missed most of the winter activities, so sadly no northern lights, husky safaris, or reindeer sleigh rides for us. We might just have to brave the crazy freezing temperatures and come back in the winter.

Instead we’ll be taking advantage of the milder spring weather (although it’s still very cold for us!) and long days (over 18 hours of daylight) to go hiking in the Oulanka National Park and riding on the beautiful Finnhorses.

Helsinki

Helsinki Senate Square by Hecktic Travels

Helsinki Senate Square. Photo by Pete Heck of Hecktic Travels.

We have five days in Helsinki but that’s not going to be enough for all the art galleries, islands, coffee shops, vegetarian restaurants, and markets we want to visit. We’d also love to do a day trip to Porvoo, Finland’s second oldest town which dates back to the 13th century.

Luckily we’ll be in the city for Restaurant Day, a worldwide food carnival that the Finns started to encourage anyone to set up a restaurant, café or bar for a day—in their garden, home, local park, or on the street. We’re looking forward to eating our way around the city that day.

Please let us know if you have any other Helsinki tips!

You can follow along with our Finland adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Italy

At the end of May it’s time for Italy. This will be my 11th trip there and we never tire of it.

Rome

We’ll spend a week in Rome, renting an apartment in our favourite neighbourhood Trastevere. We’ve visited the major sites before so we’d love to get your tips on more off the beaten track things to do and cool neighbourhoods to explore.

Hiking the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is a new part of Italy for us. Our main focus will be hiking the Path of the Gods which has gorgeous views of the coastline. Amalfi is renowned for its high prices but we found a great deal on Airbnb—for just £33 ($50) a night we get a lovely double ensuite room in the quiet village of Agerola up in the mountains near the trail.

Procida island

Capri and Ischia are the well known islands in the Bay of Naples but Procida is where the locals go. The tiny island looks lovely with colourful houses tumbling down the hillside towards the marina. We’ll have a week there to work and explore.

Sailing the Amalfi Coast

Intersailclub yacht

The yacht we’ll be sailing on!

We announced last month that we are joining Intersailclub on a Wine and Sail trip on a luxury 20 metre yacht along the Amalfi coast. Yes, we’re rather excited! You can read more about Intersailclub and our trip here.

Lucca or Orvieto or ??

By the end of June we know we’ll need to settle down for a month and we’re looking for a small attractive town accessible by train. Tuscany and Umbria have the most options—Lucca and Orvieto are top of our list but it really depends where we can find an affordable apartment.

We’ve booked all of our accommodation in Italy with Airbnb as it’s cheaper than hotels, and we like renting apartments to have more space to work and cook for ourselves. If you are interested in trying it yourself, check out our getting started tips and favourite rentals in our Airbnb guide. If you sign up using this link you get $25 (£17) off your first stay.

England

It’s about time we gave our home country more attention.

London

We have a three week housesit in Barnes, a rather posh part of south London by the River Thames. Despite growing up 50 miles away we’ve never spent more than a few days in the city so are looking forward to getting to know it better and catching up with friends.

Cornwall

Cornwall is a beautiful peninsula in the southwest of England. Our first stop is the south coast where we’ve found a great Airbnb—a cosy cabin in a large garden in the countryside inland from Fowey. We’re hoping for good weather for coastal hikes, exploring picturesque villages, and visiting the quirky Lost Gardens of Heligan.

We then move to the north coast near Port Isaac where we’ll stay in a tipi in a forest for our friends’ wedding which is sure to be the most unique wedding we’ve been to.

Bali

Beyond Cornwall nothing is definite but Asia is calling us back again so by the end of August we hope to be on a plane to Bali. We’ve visited Ubud before and with its vegetarian food, yoga, and digital nomad scene it seems like the ideal base for us to spend three months. We’re hoping to rent a villa with a pool surrounded by rice paddies.

We’d love to get your recommendations of interesting things to do, vegetarian eats, and running routes in any of these places.

Top photo of Ruka by Tuomo Lindfors. 
Senate Square photo by Pete Heck of Hecktic Travels
Yacht photo courtesy of Intersailclub

Are you planning your next travel adventure? See our Travel Resources page for our favourite tools and gear to help you plan the perfect trip. 

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18 Comments (1 pingbacks)

  1. My husband and I love your blog and swear by the TrailWallet app as we travel the world for 10 months. It has saved many a strained conversation about money I am sure!

    We lived in Barnes for three years before leaving London for this trip, it’s a great place and I am sure you will love it. Hot chocolate at Orange Pekoe and a cinema trip to the Olympic where you can watch a film whilst enjoying a G&T are Barnes Must Sees. Enjoy!! And thank you for your excellent blog and app.

    Reply

  2. Have you considered staying in an agriturismo in Italy for a month or so? We stayed at Agriturismo Cetine Vecchie outside of Torrita di Siena.
    Also, Pienza is a lovely little hill town. Not sure about train access, but the hill town (maybe) would be pretty quiet.

    Reply

  3. I am jealous of your entire summer. They all sound like wonderful trips.

    Also, I LOVE Barnes! We lived in Hammersmith just over the river. The river is wonderful for running along – just pick a direction and go! Avoid early evening though as clouds of evil midges come out.

    Also, the Brown Dog and the Depot are lovely pubs in Barnes, and if you fancy a walk/ short bus ride up to the river the Dove is also really nice.

    Have a great summer!

    Reply

      • No worries! There is a great little cafe called Street Eats just by Hammersmith Tube (just north opposite B@1 bar); it does great food and juices and the owner is LOVELY.
        The Riverside Studios also has a great cinema and often shows classics. I’m not sure if The Gate (great veggie restaurant) has reopened yet but if it has it’s well worth a visit.

        Reply

    • I know. I’m freezing when the temperature gets to 20 C so it will be interesting! So glad to see that Ubud is up there with Chiang Mai for vegetarians.

      Reply

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