The city of Tampere stands amid the lakes of southern Finland, 11 miles north of the capital Helsinki via National Route Three. Tampere Pirkkala Airport is eight miles southwest. The Seitseminen and Helvetinjärvi national parks are close enough to explore if you hire a car in Tampere. All the typical Nordic outdoor activities are available in the region, like winter skiing and ice-fishing, and summer kayaking and golf. Walkers head for the Pyynikki Ridge and its Observation Tower and the Hatanpaa Arboretum. And don’t miss the pretty wooden houses in the bohemian village of Pispala. There’s a 1-year-old traditional sauna and pool here too.