Finland is a large country with a small population and offers a lot of space and unspoiled nature. Finland is often referred to as the country of the thousand lakes. The true number is actually 187 888. The lakes are linked by rivers, straits and canals and offer opportunities for a variety of recreation. In summertime, boating, swimming and fishing are very popular outdoor activities. In winter, the frozen lakes transform into a giant playground for skiers and skaters. The other main element of nature is the forest, which extends to all parts of the country except for northern Lapland.