Featured Locale:  Naantali, Finland  

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About Naantali

Naantali is widely known in Finland as one of the most visited tourist spots in the county and is home to an interesting blend of rural astrosphere, island life, and medieval history. It’s known for its historical architecture, festivals, and proximity to the Archipelago Sea. There are outdoor sports for every season as well as opportunities to see the Northern Lights, depending on time of year.


Summer is festival season in Naantali, two must-see events being the annual Music Festival in June and the Sleepyhead Festival in July. The Music Festival primarily caters to classical music, choirs, and orchestras. The best musicians in the world climb over one another to get a spot on Naantali’s musical docket. The festival lasts days and tends to be the country’s most popular event of the year. The schedule and pricing details are not yet available for 2017 so be sure to check their website again as the festival draws closer: http://www.naantalimusic.com/.

The Sleepyhead Festival in Naantali is also widely known as the best in the country. This national holiday grew from a religious holiday dating back to the middle ages where it was believed the person who slept the latest near the last days of summer would be “lazy” for the rest of the year. The people of the time would carry their sleeping friends and relatives to the river and toss them in the cold water as a reminder to be productive citizens. Today, while it is still common for families to douse sleeping relatives with buckets of ice water, the primary entertainment of the people comes from watching celebrities and notable public figures taken from their beds and tossed in the river. After the ritual, the streets open up to days of performers, music, vendors, and food. There is no website for Sleepyhead Day as it’s a low-key, high-fun holiday similar to New Orleans’s Mardi Gras. Our advice? Wake up early and join the party.

Moomin World

Moomin is an amusement park based on the popular books by Tove Jansson. Keep in mind that there are no roller coasters or rides at this park—it’s not what we would consider to be a traditional amusement park which makes it great for young children because they will be able to do all of the activities. The park is designed like a fairy-tale village. Kids can have stories read to them, brew potions in a witch’s cottage, and watch various performances. In winter, the ice rink, sled rides, and ski courses open. Visit their website for more details: http://www.moominworld.fi/.

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