A Golfing Midsummer Weekend in Finland
When you're thinking of a weekend away to play golf, Finland may not be top of everyone's list of top golfing destinations. However as we discovered this slightly different location certainly has a lot to offer to both the golfer and non-golfer alike.
Whilst generally people tend to associate Finland with snow and winter sports less well recognised it's its outstanding natural beauty during the summer months too and a whole range of recreational opportunities, including an ever expanding number of golf courses. These now number in the region of 120, the majority in the South West region of the country in the Helsinki, Turku, Tampere. Probably 100 of these courses have sprung up in the last 20 years and more are on the way.
Tampere's airport is small but efficient
Ryanair now fly to Tampere from London Stanstead airport, and with flights available at the time of writing for just £3.99 plus taxes there are certainly bargains to be had. This is where we based ourselves for a Midsummer weekend of golf in Finland.
Tampere (population 200,000) is about 110 miles of Helsinki in the South Western part of Finland and unlike some budget destinations the airport is nice and close to the town, about a 15 minute drive to the town centre. The airport is small and spartan, but very efficient, there are several hire car services available and with the car park just a few feet from the terminal building you're out of the airport and into the countryside within a few minutes of landing.
Hertz are Ryanair's exclusive car hire partners and if you fly Ryanair they offer a discount, so something to bear in mind if you are planning on driving, additionally they promise to have someone at the desk for every Ryanair flight, an important consideration sometimes as flights can be quite early or late in the day.
Additionally both British Airways and Finnair fly from London Heathrow to Helsinki.
We visited three courses in our weekend Nokia River Golf, Lakeside Golf and Tammer Golf. In addition we fitted in a tour of Tampere, a Finnish sauna and several very pleasant meals.
A trip to Finland in the summer can be thoroughly recommended, either for just a weekend, or for a more extended stay, its different, scenic and its closer than you think, you'll be made to feel welcome and the golf is pretty good too!
More information can be found out about visiting Finland from the website of the Finnish Tourist Board - www.visitfinland.com
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