This Nordic nation boasts innovative cities surrounded by endless stretches of unspoilt nature. Around 10% of the country is covered by water, with around 180,000 lakes making it a great destination for swimming, boating or fishing. Finnish tourism is very much a tale of two seasons, with the winter period (typically December–March) offering wonderful skiing in Lapland, snowmobile treks and a chance to catch a glimpse of the other-worldly Northern Lights. Summer sees the arrival of the midnight sun and a huge variety of diverse music festivals and wacky events. Keep an eye out for the Air Guitar World Championships and the mobile phone throwing contest. Nicknamed the ‘Daughter of the Baltic’, the capital Helsinki is a hotspot for design shopping, cultural sites and striking architecture. Finland is awash with hotels, lakeside cottages and hostels. Helsinki features the widest range of choice including a number of self-catering apartments. The more remote accommodation options tend to be open in the summer season only.