Head for the frozen north with Ryanair destinations in Finland

Tired of the same old beaches and city breaks? We've all taken a look at the list of Ryanair destinations and wondered what they might be like. Why not indulge your curiosity and investigate the fascinating country of Finland?

Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) offers direct flights from Edinburgh and London Stansted to Tampere in central Finland. Fares are available at £37.99 for each leg of the journey. This is a no taxes fare, but you still need to add on charges for baggage, check-in and EU levies. Dedicated Ryanair website searchers can probably find even cheaper deals than this, if they are very flexible on dates.

Tampere is an old mill town set on a perfect location between 2 lakes, with fast-running rivers. It looks like a spa town, although for more than a century it was the Finnish heartland. Now the old factories and workers' houses are being developed into artisan's studios, coffee-shops and restaurants.

Those who want an even more exotic experience might like to investigate another of those obscure Ryanair destinations, Lappeenranta, in the south-east of Finland. This will involve an indirect flight, via Brussels Charleroi or Weeze in Germany.

Lappeenranta is on the shores of Lake Saimaa just 20 miles from the Russian border.The city has a well-preserved old town, pleasant paths by the lake, and excellent spa facilities.

It is possible to take a trip to Russia from here, by boat across the lake to Vyborg or by express train to St Petersburg (in just 1.5 hours). In effect Lappeenranta might be the closest budget airline destination to one of Russia's largest cities. For more information, visit www.lappeenranta.fi.

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