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The Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomi; Swedish: Finland) is a Nordic country in northeastern Europe, bordered by the Baltic Sea to the southwest, the Gulf of Finland to the southeast and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. Finland has land frontiers with Sweden, Norway and Russia and a maritime border with Estonia. The Åland Islands, off the southwestern coast, are under Finnish sovereignty while enjoying extensive autonomy.
Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands; 187,888 lakes and 179,584 islands to be precise. One of these lakes, Saimaa, is the 5th largest in Europe. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat with few hills and its highest point, the Haltitunturi at 1,328 m, is found in the extreme north of Lapland. Beside the many lakes the landscape is dominated by extensive boreal forests (about 68 percent of land area) and little arable land. The greater part of the islands are found in southwest, part of the archipelago of the Åland Islands, and along the southern coast in the Gulf of Finland. Finland is one of the few countries in the world that is still growing. Owing to the isostatic uplift that has been taking place since the last ice age, the surface area of the country is growing by about 7 sq. kilometres a year.
The climate in Southern Finland is a northern temperate climate. In Northern Finland, particularly in the Province of Lapland, a subarctic climate dominates, characterised by cold, occasionally severe, winters and relatively warm summers.
A quarter of Finland's territory lies above the Arctic Circle, and as a consequence the midnight sun can be experienced — for more and more days, the further up north one comes. At Finland's northernmost point, the sun does not set for 73 days during summer, and does not rise at all for 51 days in winter.