Finland versus Turkey
Snow or sand, oceans or ice, this is one of the most debated questions by sportspeople and common folk alike. No matter which side of the fence you sit, whether it’s soaking up the sun on the beach, or making snow angels in the cold, there is no denying that both terrains have a great deal to offer to each and every individual, both young and old. In the icy corner we find Kuusamo, a town in Finland with its beautiful Ski Resorts. While in the sunny corner we find the Turkish Rivera, the utopian-like southwest coast of Turkey. Here are some of the best activities that both areas have to offer.
Skiing versus Windsurfing
Both activities require you to have perfect balance as well as a lust for the extreme. Skiing is one of the most entertaining activities you can perform in the snow, allowing you to twist and turn down massive slopes without a care in the world. There is very little that matches the feeling of standing at the top of a slope, frozen white landscapes stretching in all directions around you, as you take that leap of faith. If you’ve ever watched the Winter Olympics, you will surely know that there is a large number of different types of skiing, such as alpine skiing, telemark skiing as well cross country. Whist at the Ruka Ski Resort in Kuusamo, you will have the opportunity to perfect your skiing skills in all of the above mentioned.
If windsurfing is more your cup of tea, with the idea of massive waves and cool winds allowing you to soar high above the oceans like a seagull on steroids, then I suggest you hop on one of the many flights to Dalaman, take a short journey to the Western town of Alacati and let the fun in the waves begin.
Icy Hikes versus Sunny Hikes
Hiking is one of the best ways to become one with nature, as well as allowing your camera to work overtime taking photos of the beautiful views. Kuusamo as well as the Turkish Rivera both have some breathtakingly stunning hiking trails for you to explore. The most popular trail in Kuusamo is definitely that of the Karhunkierros Hiking Trail. In case you don’t feel that the word “Karhunkierros” sounds awesome enough, you will be glad to know that it is in fact Finnish for “Bear’s Ring”. This trail is definitely not for the faint hearted, stretching some 80 kilometres from Salla to Kuusamo, allowing you to experience unique hillside terrains, dense pine dominated forests and the beautiful river banks of the Oulanka National Park.
On the warmer side of our magnificent planet, you will come across the Lycian Way, one of the most popular hiking trails that southwest Turkey has to offer. This fantastic trail stretches some 509 kilometres long, connecting Fethiye in the west with Antalya in the southwest. Be sure to keep an eye out for the half white, half red markings along the way, pointing out the trail.
Wonders of Wildlife
Both Finland and Turkey have some magnificent wildlife to offer. The Kuusamo Predator Centre is the perfect place to become better acquainted with some of the biggest and most deadly predators of Finland. Come face-to-face with bears, lynxes, foxes, wolves and even reindeer.
Although you will probably never spot a bear soaking in the sun in Turkey, this area has a large number of fantastic wildlife also on offer. With caracals, wild deer and goats, dolphins and sea turtles, animal lovers will definitely spend a fair amount of their time with binoculars pressed against their eyes.