The Republic of Finland is located in northern Europe, extending above the Arctic Circle. Sweden lies to the west of Finland, northern Norway to the north, and Russia to the east. The Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia, extensions of the Baltic Sea, border Finland on the south and south-west. The area of Finland is 338 145 km2, including 33 551 km2of inland water.
Finland is largely tableland broken by small hills and valleys. The land rises gradually from south to north, but the average altitude is only 120 to 180 m. Mount Haltia, the country's highest point at1 324 meters is located in the far north-west. About 60 000 lakes are scattered throughout the country, the largest of which are Saimaa, Inarijärvi, and Päijänne. Thousands of islands dot the Gulf of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland.
Because of the moderating influence of the surrounding water bodies, the climate of Finland is more moderate than would be expected. The average July temperature along the southern coast is 15.6° C; in February the average is about -8.9° C. However, in northern Finland, winter temperatures sometimes drop as low as -30° C. Precipitation averages about 410 mm in the north and 690 mm in the south. Light snow covers the ground from December to April in the south and from about October to April in the north.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.