Finland scores all the way from the Baltic Sea in the south to the depths of Lapland in the Arctic Circle in the north. It’s better known for its snow-covered hills and sub-zero winters than its balmy summertime – this is the home of Santa Claus himself, after all! But where are the warmest places in Finland to travel to?
Although this far-flung corner of Scandinavia is usually known for its colder climbs, there are actually plenty of spots that can see the thermometers crank up to T-shirt-worthy levels. That almost always ONLY happens in the peak summer months of June, July, and August, and then dips away again pretty quick, so keep the bobble hat handy, folks.
The other thing to note is that virtually all of the warmest places in Finland are wedged into a thin sliver of land in the deep southwest of the country. The reason? That’s the only part of Finnish territory that’s officially classified as a warm-summer humid continental climate zone, as opposed to the great swathe of subarctic land that rolls north. It’s there that we focus on in this guide…
Turku is a regular topper on temperature recording charts for the early-summer months of May and June. Back in 2016, for example, it broke its own peak for annual highs two times in a single week, managing to hit 28.5 C (83.3 F) only a couple of days after setting the country’s top temp for that year at 27.7 C (81.8 F). Overall record highs for all time have also seen the mercury creep well past the 30 C mark here, up to scorching heights of 35 C (95 C) or more.
The thing about Turku is that it’s just about perfectly placed within Finland to hoover up these hotter summer sessions. Just look at the map. The town is nestled in the far southwestern region (remember that warm-summer humid continental climate zone we spoke about?) in the province of Varsinais-Suomi. There, it enjoys good protection from the windy Baltic thanks to its own offshore archipelago and a halo of ash and maple forests that keep the colder winds out when they blow from the north.
Temperature also isn’t the only superlative that Turku can lay claim to. This happening city is the oldest in the country to boot. Human history here has been traced back to at least the Bronze Age, and the town even reigned as the capital from 1809 for a short period before the honor was shifted to Helsinki at the whim of the Russian Emperor Alexander I.
Turku’s proximity to the sea means that it’s not a bad place to be stuck in a Finnish heatwave at all. We’ve already mentioned the Turku Archipelago that splinters off from the south side of town. That’s a wonderworld of wooded islands – around 20,000 of them, in fact – and sounds; the perfect place to seek out hidden coves and swimming spots in the summer.
The sole place on this list of the warmest places in Finland that doesn’t sit down in the continental climactic zone deep at the southwestern end of the country, Liperi is actually a part of North Karelia. That’s a region that’s still in the balmier southern half of the Scandinavian nation, sitting wedged up to the Russian-Fin border roughly 200 miles from the sea.
Now, you’ve probably never heard of Liperi. That’s okay – it’s not a big town. In fact, it’s barely a town at all. Just 11,300 people call this one home. Just two roadways intersect in its center, which is little more than a cluster of cottages, a few shops, and a lone pizza restaurant (a must anywhere, right?). The reason it makes it up here with the bigger cities of Turku and Helsinki is because it’s where the highest peak temperature ever recorded in the country was set back in 2010…
Mhmm, natives of this pint-sized municipality wedged between the eastern lakes and the pine forests watched as their gauges soared to a whopping 37.2 C (98.96 F) back late July that year. It surpassed the previous record holder and then some and is still the only temperature record to even come near touching the 100 F mark this far north in eastern Scandinavia.
Locals of Liperi do know how to make the most of their sizzling summer months. Regular open-air theatre productions take place all over the town – there are three separate venues dedicated almost entirely to those sorts of shows. There’s also a midsummer Cottage Activity Society, which was founded as a way to get the residents of summer cabins in Liperi meeting and mingling. When it’s super-hot, though, we prefer the lakes. There’s an abundance of them around the town, including lovely Lake Kuorinka and its pebble swimming coves.
No list of the warmest places in Finland could possibly miss out on Helsinki, and not just because this is the hottest town for culture and the arts the country can muster. It’s here because it’s also a member of the southwestern continental zone, and even comes in further south than Turku in terms of latitude.
The sultriest it’s ever been here was a tarmac-melting 33.2 C (91.7 F) back in 2019, although it’s normal for June and July days to peak above 22 C (71 F) for weeks on end. You might also notice the effect of the sea on the capital. The water has a strange chilling presence by day, cutting down midday temps by a degree or two compared to inland. However, that flips in the night when it re-releases stored warmth into the air. The upshot? Helsinki has cool days and mild nights – sounds perfect, right?
Well…it’s not always. The summer can be muggy and humid in the happening capital. That’s probably why the locals have worked very hard to put together a lineup of tempting things to do when it’s too hot to handle. There’s just too much to get through here, but here’s just a taster of what’s on the menu come May…
- Allas Sea Pool – A salt-water pool that’s built right into the harbor of downtown Helsinki. It gets busy in the warmer months but there’s a lovely buzz about it. There’s a dedicated children’s pool from May to September.
- Pihlajasaari Recreational Park – Take a ferry out to this sandy beachfront on a pine-studded island.
- Pikkukoski Beach – This riverside beach is a bit different to what you get on the Baltic. It’s remote and bucolic, with ample boating opportunities between evergreen woods.
Hanko crowns off the whole country from its own peninsula – conveniently called the Hanko Peninsula – in the deep southwest. In fact, it’s just about as far southwest as it’s possible to go here without dropping off the edge of Finland into the Baltic Sea. The next place over the water if you kept swimming would be Sweden or Latvia.
The geography has a knock-on effect on the climate. Basically, Hanko is deeper into that all-important continental climate zone than just about anywhere else on this list. That helps it to maintain pretty steady – steadily warm – mercury levels throughout the hotter parts of the calendar. And so it is that average highs start at about 12.8 C (55 F) in May and quickly creep up to around 20.7 C (69.3 F) in July. Peak temperatures, meanwhile, often level out at something around the 32 C (90 F) mark.
The best news of all, though? Hanko is up there with the most popular summertime getaways in the country. It’s loaded with all sorts of attractions and pursuits that really come into their own when it’s sizzling. Take the Hangon Regatta, a famed boat race that passes through in July. The ships for that will moor up in the main marina, which is also a stopover point for sailing crews crossing the northern Baltic.
There are beaches to boot. The headland hits a zenith with the rock protrusions of Tulliniemi and Uddskatan. Around those, you get pebble coves (on the west side) and longer stretches of sand (at Tulluddsstranden on the eastern side) alike.
Remember when we said that Hanko was just about as far as it’s possible to go in southwest Finland without dropping into the Baltic. Well, that was sorta’ a lie. Cue the Aland Islands, a group that covers over 1,500 square kilometers of sea in the middle of the Gulf of Bothnia with thousands upon thousands of tiny rocks and islets. Only about 60 of them are inhabited, but they do boast one of the most pleasant summer climates this side of Helsinki.
Yearly highs usually come in July, when things can topple over the 31 C (88 F) mark. Things tend to be beach-worthy for at least three months in the season, though, from late May through to the end of August. Those are also the times when the sea temperature – an important thing to keep an eye on in this salt-washed archipelago – can creep to something near 20 C (69 F).
That’s all good news for the would-be vacationers. And there are lots of them. The Aland Islands are a doozy for summer romps to the sand. Most will go to Fasta, the liveliest and largest of the whole lot. However, having a boat should help loads, since that’s the way you’ll be able to explore the remoter skerries in search of lonely beaches and elk-stalked shores.
The warmest places in Finland – our conclusion
The warmest places in Finland aren’t as easy as you might think to pinpoint on the map. This country is better known for its wild northern tundra and Arctic Circle climate zones. That’s where you find the reindeer herds and Santa! However, things can get warm here between May and September so long as you stick to the far southwest of the country, along the continental climactic zone where cities like Turku and Helsinki make their home.