The level of sound is measured in decibels. A barely audible volume is officially 0 decibels, but in reality a human being can never experience a state that is truly without any sound at all: even in an insulated and echoless room we can still hear our own heartbeat.
Conversely, the sounds of nature are good for us. Research has been carried out into what different people think of various background sounds; the most enjoyable proved to be a babbling brook.
Finland is one of the world's best destinations for finding peace and quiet. The country's surface area is large but its population relatively small: 5.5 million inhabitants within 338,000 square kilometres means just 16 people per square kilometre. Compare this to tiny Monaco, which is the world's most densely populated independent nation with over 16,600 people per square kilometre!
In Finland you can drive for hours without seeing any buildings at all. Another rarity is that the wide open nature starts very near to our capital, Helsinki: Nuuksio National Park, with its forests and lakes, is only half an hour's drive from Helsinki. There you can hear things that are only audible in the silence of nature.
Finnish Quietness, Three Ways
- The silence is almost tangible in Lapland; it envelopes you so completely you feel you can touch it with your own hands. Each season brings its own special quietness to Lapland: the rustling of leaves under your feet on an autumnal walk bursting with every shade of yellow, orange and red imaginable is a completely different experience to the squeak of the snow under your skis in a white, sub-zero landscape during the winter months. www.lapland.fi/en/travel
Fly from Helsinki Airport to Kittilä (Levi) in just 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Located in Heinävesi in Eastern Finland, Valamo Monastery is an active centre of Orthodox life and culture. The monastery welcomes guests all year round for daily visits and longer stays. Valamo continues the age-old European tradition of monasteries offering a place of rest and restoration to travellers, offering unhurried time, peace and rest with no interruptions from the outside world. www.valamo.fi/en.html
Fly from Helsinki Airport to Savonlinna and Joensuu in about an hour.
- You can find a different kind of silence underwater. Take the unique opportunity to dive into the past in the waters of the Åland archipelago: there are some 500 known shipwrecks on the bottom of the Sea of Åland, but in reality there could be twice as many. Time stands still for these vessels and they have been conserved in exactly the same state they were in when they sank, thanks to Åland's special diving legislation. You can get the most out of your excursion by booking with local diving guides. http://www.visitaland.com/en/do/outdoor_life/diving
Fly from Helsinki Airport to Mariehamn in Åland in under an hour.
Text: Tiia Soininen