From designer dens to remote refuges, there are thousands of – often free – walkers’ huts in amazing locations across Europe
Finland has a huge network of open wilderness huts across its 40 national parks, where hikers, skiers and canoers can spend one or two nights for free. Most are log cabins, some dating back to the 1900s; more unusual huts include a former lifeboat rescue station on Koivuluoto Island and an ex-military canteen on Ulko-Tammio Island, both in the Gulf of Finland national park; and a former fire guard’s home in Rokua national park. Facilities are generally basic, but a few have saunas. Vargis, a hut with a jetty on the banks of a small channel in the Kvarken archipelago, is a fantastic place to stay on a canoe trip. It sleeps eight, has a wood stove, and was once a hunting hideout and a base for smugglers during Finland’s prohibition period (1919-1932).
• Prices vary, basic huts free