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Riisitunturi National Park, Finland (photo by Erkki Ollila)

Finnish Wilderness Week

8 days
from
$4,099
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Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
CFA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Winter Holidays
Group size:
4–20
Ages:
16+

Relax in an unspoilt wilderness location

In the heart of Oulanka National Park sits Basecamp Oulanka, a self-sustained complex of wooden buildings in a truly stunning location. In one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe, you are able to enjoy a variety of winter activities in this beautiful landscape and hardly ever see another soul. Dogsledding through the silent snow-caked forests, you couldn’t feel more removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Get back to nature this winter and head to Basecamp. 

Highlights

  • Enjoy a host of winter activities in magical surroundings
  • Stay in fantastic lodge accommodation
  • Experience an evening snowshoeing under the Northern Lights 

Key information

  • 7 nights Basecamp Oulanka: twin/double rooms two separate buildings
  • 5 days mixed activities
  • Group normally starting from 4, plus leader. Min age 16 years
  • All Arctic winter equipment and clothing provided
  • Countries visited: Finland

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 7 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Local tour leaders throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • All specialist equipment

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for private group trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we spend the nights at Basecamp Oulanka, a lovely complex of wooden buildings on the edge of Oulanka National Park which is renowned for its environmental and sustainability practices. All energy used is renewable and all waste and water is recycled. The heating system used throughout the complex relies totally on nature using special wood pellets for fuel. Even the hot tub is run from an ingenious system that uses the excess heat generated from the sauna.

For every guest travelling with Exodus Travels, who stays at Basecamp Oulanka, Exodus donates money to the WildOulanka Foundation towards the preservation of the local Taiga (forest). In 2018 this protected some 87 hectares of forest, contributing to the creation of a wildlife corridor across the Russian-Finnish border between two national parks. Careful management of the protected area has led to the reappearance of several species, including bears, which had not been seen here for some years. This amount of forest also equates to a carbon sink of 23,480 tons which is enough to cover the emissions of all our customers travelling from London to Kuusamo and much more.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

Basecamp Oulanka
to
Basecamp Oulanka
  • Day 1

    Start Basecamp Oulanka.

    Our trip starts at Basecamp Oulanka, a complex of cozy wooden buildings located in a remote, unspoiled location overlooking the Juuma lake and backing into Oulanka National Park.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Snowshoe hike in Oulanka National park walking through snow-caked trees and the Kitka River

    In the morning we are provided with all of the equipment needed for a week of activities in arctic conditions. Strapping on a pair of snowshoes we head straight out into Oulanka National Park where we are taught the necessary skills for this activity. Our route today will take us through forests and along the Kitka River, passing an old flour mill that sits adjacent to the dramatic Myllykoski rapids (approx 2½ hours). Our guides will prepare a roaring fire and some hot soup for lunch. 

    After lunch, there will be a chance to do some further exploration on snowshoes (self-guided) of the surrounding area or relax in the sauna or hot tub.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Cross-country skiing in the morning heading down to the Juuma lake; free afternoon.

    Today we experience the Scandinavian-born sport of cross-country skiing. Heading down to the nearby JuumaLake, our instructor will literally walk us through the basics of how to cross-country ski. There may be a few tumbles to start with, but in the soft snow, this is half the fun! After becoming more confident on the skis we then head out onto the lake, gliding through the untouched snow. During your stay at Basecamp, there is the option of further unguided skiing in the area during your free time. Alternatively, you might wish to try kick sledging; a metal frame sled you can use on your own and venture out around Basecamp.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Half day dogsledding instruction and tour (about 10km) in Riisitunturi National Park; optional ice climbing.

    After breakfast, we take a bus transfer to the husky farm on the edge of the Riisintunturi National Park where we meet up with our dogsledding guide. The day begins with tuition on how to ride on the sled and the importance of caring for the huskies correctly. We then head off into the woods where our teams of dogs eagerly await our arrival, ready to take us on our 10km mushing adventure. Our route follows a gently undulating forested trail into the wilderness. Travelling two per sled, you are able to really appreciate the serenity of this snow-laden landscape.  Today we will have lunch at the husky farm. The afternoon is free to experience some of the optional activities that Basecamp has to offer such as ice climbing (min 4 persons). This evening we head out for nighttime snowshoeing, in search of the Northern Lights. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day in Ruka for optional activities.

    We spend the day at the popular ski resort of Ruka. Your guide will take care of transfers and can book activities for you. Group transfers are included only to the designated areas and are scheduled at specific times, it is advisable to check at reception before making your activities booking.  Downhill skiing and snowmobile safaris are available. See the 'Optional excursions' section below. Please note that due to operational reasons, the bookings for activities in Ruka need to be made by Tuesday. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Wilderness skills including quinzee building and fire-making; optional night in the quinzee.

    Today we are taught the ancient art of quinzee building. Provided shovels and spades and in groups of four, we create a mound of snow, which is later hollowed out to make sleeping quarters (2-3 persons per quinzee). You have the option of sleeping in your construction, but the lodge is just a short walk away if you prefer the warmth of your room.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Optional activities including ice climbing and dogsledding; farewell dinner

    Today we have a free day with several options on offer to make the most of the magical Finland Wilderness. Some of the activities available include unguided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, dogsledding or snowmobile safaris. As a farewell celebration, we have a wonderful four-course dinner back at Basecamp.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Basecamp Oulanka.

    The trip ends at Basecamp Oulanka. Those on the group flight transfer to Kuusamo and fly to London. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Finland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 7 evening meals are included.

The food at Basecamp is a delicious range of locally sourced (Finnish food) that is all prepared on-site by the in house chef.
Starters consist of a salad buffet with 3-4 different choices. The main courses consist of wild game such as elk, chicken, and salmon. Vegetarian options are also available. Dessert consists of lingonberries, blueberries, and cloudberries that have often been picked by the chef herself. These berries are served with a selection of quark kurd, cream, ice cream, cakes, and pancakes.

Lunch normally consists of hot soup with elk, salmon, or vegetarian option.

If you have any kind of dietary requirement (including the ones mentioned below) please inform your customer operations executive at the time of booking, so Basecamp can prepare for this. Vegetarians, Vegans, and gluten-free diets are easily catered for on this trip. 

Weather

In the regions close to the Arctic Circle temperatures during the season range from -30ºC to +5ºC. Christmas will normally be the coldest (usually below -20ºC), but the temperatures rise as the days lengthen, and early April can see temperatures around -10ºC to +5ºC. Recent years have seen massive fluctuations in the space of a few weeks with lows of -40ºC and highs of +7ºC just a few days apart. If the thought of such temperatures scares you, then think again. When dressed in the Arctic clothing provided, with insulated boots, woolly hat, and large mittens, -20ºC can actually feel very pleasant. The Arctic cold is a dry cold, there is usually no wind, and remember, we will keep you active.

Remember that at extreme latitudes, the days shorten and lengthen much faster. So while in mid-winter (December/January) the sun remains just below the horizon, by April there are more daylight hours than in the UK, and the midnight sun is only a matter of weeks away. Even in midwinter, it is not dark, as the sun is just above the horizon and there is plenty of light reflected off the snow.

The breathtaking Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are visible from September to late April on most clear nights at latitudes close to, and above the Arctic Circle. They can be seen further south but will be less spectacular and less frequent. Solar activity is greater around the equinoxes (September and March), and at lower latitudes, this can be the best time to see them. At Basecamp you need to have a clear window of weather with no clouds, and then your chances of seeing them are quite good as there is hardly any light pollution. With most "Northern Lights tours" starting from Arctic cities like Tromso and Reykjavik, you have to drive a bit of a distance to go and see the lights. The benefit of Basecamp is that if the conditions are good, all you need to do is go outside and look up!

Is this trip for you?

Level 3 - Moderate

This is a mixed activity week for adults with a good selection of guided activities and free time for independent activities or relaxation. None of the activities require previous experience, however, a good level of fitness is needed to make the most of this holiday. Basecamp provides an excellent kit for the conditions, with a layered system allowing you to keep warm and dry.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for private group trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Basecamp Oulanka

Basecamp Oulanka is a superb self-sustaining wooden complex that takes immediate inspiration from its wilderness location. Twin rooms are in two separate buildings. The third building is a cosy restaurant and bar, with a log fire, sauna, and outdoor hot tub. The heating system used throughout the complex relies totally on nature using special wood pellets for fuel. Winners for outstanding accommodation in the VESTAS 2011 awards is proof of Basecamp's dedication towards quality.

Please be aware that multiple Exodus trips are running at Basecamp at the same time and you might share the room with a member of a different group.

Please note that there are Exodus family groups at Basecamp during the school holidays.

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for private group trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for private group trips:
1300 131 564
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed April 2022

    What a week!

    This was my first Exodus Trip, Joining my sister who has been on numerous Exodus trips before - I knew this was going to be a worthwhile trip. It was my first time to Finland and I was on the hunt for the Northern Lights. Having been to Iceland a few years back and not seeing them there I was determined to find the Lights.... And i did....twice!! Basecamp is warm and cosy and in the perfect location. With a frozen lake and the woods to wander around you are not short of things to do. The staff are all really friendly and more than accommodating. They all have a brilliant but wicked sense of humour and definitely kept us laughing throughout the week. I enjoyed every single activity that was planned and during our own time we got to explore, practice cross country skiing, sit in the hot tub and play in the snow!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    At the start of the week we were losing hope of seeing the Northern Lights as our leader expressed he hadn't seen them for about 3 weeks. On our 'Oulanka by night' we snowshoed through the woods and onto the frozen lake where, in other times the Northern Lights would be shining bright above us.... But this was not the case. As we were heading back to Basecamp we spotting what looked to be the start of the Lights ... so we all stayed for 15 minutes longer but they did not really develop. We all decided we would go back to Basecamp and then head back down to the Lake in about an hours time and hopefully they would be brighter. As soon as we were back in the cabins and starting to take off our gear, we got THE KNOCK. The staff offer to knock on your cabin door if the Lights appear so we all opted in for this. This was definitely the most exciting part of the trip for me as it has been one of my bucket list dreams to see the Northern Lights. It was really funny because everyone - including myself, was so excited and rushing around trying to get their kit back on so we could go down to the lake as quickly as possible. Luckily our leader told me to change the settings on my phone so that the camera would pick up the night sky and i managed to get some amazing photos that I will treasure forever.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Oh Martii! Martii was our leader for the week and he was awesome. He was full of knowledge and had numerous stories to tell. He knew how to persuade us to do things we didn't even know we wanted to do. He was relaxed, friendly and worked every single day of our trip. All of the staff were really lovely, Bar Staff, Kitchen Staff and anyone else who was helping out.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I took too many clothes!! You really do only need a couple of warm base layers and everything else is provided. I ended up wearing the same few items of clothing pretty much all week. I did take my own snow boots and coat which came in handy for when we handed back our equipment but still wanted to stand out in -11°C watching the Northern Lights on the last night. We didn't need too much cash as you can pay the room bill via card. We took cash mainly to tip the staff at the end of the trip - If i had more cash on me I would've definitely tipped more as they all deserved it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really enjoyed the Dog Sledging - upgrading the to 20km is definitely worth it. The doggies are so excited and are just raring to get going and run like the wind! The Reindeer Farm was a fun morning out, the Reindeer ride was short but sweet and did make us chuckle. The food in Basecamp was always delicious, There wasn't one meal i didn't enjoy. They cater for all sorts of diets and allergens so you don't need to take any food with you at all. I was worried about mixing with the group all week but everyone was so lovely and it was great to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds. I do miss sitting around the table with everyone and having a good laugh. It was hard coming back home to reality after such an amazing week that I will never ever forget!
  • Reviewed April 2022

    It's a must do!

    This was an amazing week filled with first time experiences. Finland is such a beautiful place. We were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights on 2 nights- which was my main reason for going on this trip as well as the husky sledding. The day trip to Ruka was a great day, where I went snowmobiling which was great fun and watched people on the ski slopes. We visited a reindeer farm, where we got to feed the young reindeer. An added bonus was crossing the Arctic Circle on the way to the airport at the end of the week. This was unexpected and ended the holiday wonderfully!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I have never skied of any type before but I gave it a go after Martti (our group leader) showed us how it was done. I was going down little hills without falling over by the end of the week. Watching the Northern Lights appear and move in the sky was fascinating.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti was a brilliant group leader. He was always around when we needed him. He has a great sense of humour and made us laugh throughout the week. Nothing is too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Give everything a go. The quinzee building was great fun and people on our tour stayed in them all night- I wish I had now. You don't need much cash, as everywhere takes card. Take your own flash so you can fill up with tea or coffee to take on your outings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was delicious and catered for vegetarian and gluten free diets. The people on our tour were lovely and we all shared our photos of each other.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Fabulous, immersive week

    The activities, landscape and Basecamp were all excellent. I was concerned that the itinerary looked less active in the second half of the week but, in fact, it was cleverly designed so that we were introduced to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on days 1 & 2, and allowed to retain the equipment so that we could continue with these activities whenever we had free time. Also, quinzee building on Friday was interesting and very active. Our room was spacious enough, with good storage, a comfortable bed, decent shower and even hairdryer - all with a lovely view. And it was warm! Communal areas were also warm, and welcoming at all times of day and evening. Staff always made time for a chat. The forest, lakes (frozen) and rivers are so pretty, it was wonderful to explore them. As a huge bonus, we saw the Northern Lights - twice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dogsledding was thrilling. (Definitely worth upgrading to the 20K route.) It was so exciting to drive and be driven through that lovely scenery, with the most excited dogs we've ever encountered! I loved being able to "hike", using snowshoes, on a variety of trails. These were quiet and magical, but also well resourced with shelters and firepits. My husband enjoyed practising cross-country skiing, and he bravely slept in the quinzee.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti is a very good leader. He's an excellent instructor, with a fund of stories and a nice quirky sense of humour; also hard-working and really well-planned. His enthusiasm was inspiring. He often went out of his way for us and was generous with equipment to suit individual needs and activities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Basecamp really does provide plenty of kit, as in the Trip Notes, so that you only need baselayers and whatever clothes you want for the evenings. On the free afternoon in Ruka, we decided to snowshoe, and Martti recommended the Valtavaara winter trail. In mild March weather, this was quiet, well-marked and manageable, and the steep climb was rewarded by fabulous panoramic views. It's a really enjoyable option and only costs the price of the gondola.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Lot's of fun!

    This is a different slant to the other guided trips I have done where you get some instruction on snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and then practice on your own to some extent. This allows you to progress at your own pace and explore on your own. All the other activities are with the group with leaders or guides. The frozen lake, nearby forests and the rivers are all fantastic to be around, nature at its best. It feels remote and very untouched. Lovely atmosphere when you are out walking on your own. The accommodation is ideal for the trip, warm, clean, functional and quiet too! There was a light room clean and towel change mid-week. The communal eating area works well with all the food freshly prepared and plenty of it too. Drinks available all day if you are around. Staff always there to help if needed. Alcoholic drinks available in the evening to buy. All the clothing and footwear is supplied along with any equipment needed for the activities and whenever outdoors.. This includes a rucksack and flask, even a seat pad to sit on in the snow. Dog sledging and reindeer farm are great visits, nice to be close to these animals. We had great weather and this made for a most memorable trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Easy to say what was most fun, dog sledging and 'qiinzee' building but for inspiration for me it was the Little Bear walk which we did on our own on snowshoes. Just great scenery with amazing views of waterfalls, frozen water and sunlight through the trees. Just being here away from the rat-race and it was so peaceful and clean. I think overall you feel closer to nature in these moments and appreciate what these places offer. Having been hunkered down during the pandemic it was great to have this release at last!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Elina was just brilliant. Apart from the usual organising and day-job role she was also really funny, interacted really well with everyone on the trip and nothing was too much trouble. You felt you were an individual as well. Elina was encouraging and supportive as well as being patient when needed! All the leaders and their assistants mucked in to support the chef and kitchen staff. A real team effort!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light, you could put all you luggage into a carry-on bag easily and save money if you are travelling independently. Basecamp provide all the clothing for the daytime and some of the evening activities as well. So apart from your travelling clothes you hardly need anything else, just something for the evenings in the dining room, some just wore the provided thin layers. Use your down time to take advantage of the time to do your own walks and ski practice. Take a walk outside when its dark to see the stars and maybe even get in the hot-tub! This trip is easy to do as long as you are reasonably fit and can walk a few miles in snowshoes. Nothing was too arduous or complicated.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You will get an afternoon free after the reindeer farm visit. One option not listed would be to go Fat-biking. We only saw this while we were there but it would be good to book in advance if you can. All the optional activities looked good and those that went on them said so. We did the Riisitunturi National Park snowshoe walk which was really good. You don't need any cash except for any tip you want to leave. Bar bill and any other costs are settled at the end of the week. So glad we did this trip, its very relaxing and you will feel so good when you get home!
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Narnia! (without the witch and other scary beings)

    Finnish Wilderness Week exceeded our (my daughter’s and my) expectations! Our incredible guide, Martti, established an amazing group culture, taught us a ton, and kept us safe all week. There were many different ability levels in our group, and Martti made sure each person was challenged, engaged and having fun. Our 1st-class accommodation, Basecamp Oulanka, and it’s attentive staff, definitely exuded a vibe—totally chill. Every meal was comfort food (Finnish style), delicious and plentiful, with all dinners and desserts made from-scratch. And of course, there was a sauna! We snowshoed through snow-covered fir trees, we skied on a frozen lake, and we drank hot tea from a thermos at the summit of a mountain, overlooking a lake. Everywhere was so silent! When we visited the dog-sledding and reindeer farms, we experienced first-hand how the owners of each organization “walk the talk”, and are true stewards of their animals. I, personally, overcame a huge fear of mine, when I was coached, entrusted and encouraged to drive a team of dogs! Another personal challenge I met, as a claustrophobe, was squeezing through the opening of the quinzee we built, then committing to spending the night in it. And when we turned off our headlamps to call it a night—lo and behold, the Northern Lights began to shimmer! But my favorite and most memorable travel adventures are the ones where I end each day sitting around a table with new-found friends, eating and drinking together, and sharing stories—this week had that in spades! This adventure is another Exodus home run—challenges, comfort, fraternity.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Wow, wow, wow!!

    Wow is the only word for this trip! I was truly blown away by the breathtaking scenery and the incredible experiences and adventures of this trip. A real holiday of a life time - I can’t recommend it highly enough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention! The husky dog sledding was incredible (definitely upgrade to the 20k option in you can). The snow shoeing adventures around base camp were fantastic and the optional extra to visit the breath taking Riisitunturi National Park is a must. Finally the excitement of getting to sleep in a quinzee you built, is a truly memorable experience (and not as cold as you’d image, even when it’s -16.c outside)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti was an exceptional leader, he was very friendly and knowledgeable and above all made the activities fun for everyone. The rest of the staff at base camp were friendly and the food was delicious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t hesitate - just book it, you really won’t regret it!! Although they do provide the clothing needed for the week I would definitely recommend taking your own clothing if you would prefer, especially base and mid layers including fleeces (as theirs were a little ‘tired’) Their boots and outer layers were of good quality though.
  • Reviewed February 2022

    The best

    A great itinerary of fantastic activities. Enough spare time to go and snow shoe or cross country ski in the area in any spare time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 20km husky drive and optional Ski Mobile trip were the best single moments for me but I also hugely enjoyed the optional walk high up in the national park that is visited by Instagram photographers to capture the beautiful snow sculpted trees. In the spare time a few of us took the skis out and set off on the cross country trails at our own pace which was a good taster for a possible cross country ski holiday in the future.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marti was great, very friendly and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for all of the extras, definitely extend the husky ride from 10km to 20km as you go further out into the higher up areas which are so beautiful. If you are worried that you cannot do an activity then you can always skip it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We didn't need any cash Euros except for the tip, all the charges went on the room (under your own name if shared). Pack light they give you boots and around 3 outer layers, thermos, towel, hair dryer.
  • Reviewed February 2022

    A Must Do Trip!

    This is an absolutely fabulous trip that I would not hesitate to recommend. I really wasn't sure how I would get on with a holiday in the cold as I am a warm weather person normally but I really enjoyed it. My feet and hands got cold sometimes but my body was warm all holiday - even in -24 watching the Northern Lights. The variety of activities is brilliant - I got to do so many things for the first time. I loved the Basecamp - so cosy with lovely staff and great food. The rooms are fairly small but are warm and comfortable with good storage space. I was fortunate to have an absolutely amazing group as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to pick one as the whole trip was an inspiration. Obviously things like the Northern Lights and Husky ride were amazing as was the optional walk in Riisitunturi National Park but I also really enjoyed some of the things I wasn't so sure would be as amazing like the reindeer farm which was really interesting and also the quinzee building which was brilliant fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti is fabulous. Funny, interesting, efficient - a great tour leader. His love for his country and the outdoors is infectious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry about taking too many clothes if you don't already have them as they give you lots of layers to wear as well as boots and gloves etc. I would recommend hand and foot warmers though and good socks. It is well worth upgrading from a 10km to 20km husky ride if you have the option. Also - being on the back is way more fun that sitting down! Remember your driving license if you want to snowmobile as that was great fun as was the ice karting.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it - it is a truly wonderful trip.
  • Reviewed February 2022

    A fantastic week of winter activities in Finland

    We've just returned from the Wilderness Week at Basecamp Oulanka and it's been brilliant. I can't believe that we managed to pack so much into one week. As complete novices to wintersports we weren't sure how we'd fare but wanted to give them a try, which we did and thoroughly enjoyed them all. The tuition from Elina, Martti and the team was really good, they are a really friendly team and were happy to ensure that we got the most from the trip. For example Elina gave my wife a one to one lesson in cross-country skiing after she had to miss the group session. The food was lovely, including some traditional Finnish dishes and plenty of it too. The accommodation in the cabins was warm and comfortable and we were supplied with all the kit we needed, which included three sets of boots to cover all the activities. I would wholeheartedly recommend the trip to anyone after an active holiday, as I have done to all our friends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, I would say that three activities were my favourites. Firstly, the dogsledding was really memorable gliding along through the snow behind seven huskies. Secondly, the chance to try some ice climbing was a treat even if I'm not likely to repeat it at 70 and thirdly, racing ice karts was really good fun with the competitive spirit kicking in big time. I'm sure that my wife would add spending a night in the Quinzee we built in -20C to that list.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina, Martti and the team were really first rate with their tuition and helpfulness as I've said. They were all really sociable, informative about flora and fauna and Finnish history and customs all of which go to make the holiday enjoyable. All of the organisation was first class and all the excursions and externally provided activities went like clockwork.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not particularly save that when the trip notes say that all kit will be provided it will be and good quality it is too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As I said earlier, I would wholeheartedly recommend the trip to anyone after an active holiday, as I have done to all our friends.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Alice Nimmo

    What a week!

    Highly recommended and couldn't stress how much effort the guides put in on making you feel welcome to this amazing country and how supportive they were in making the trip perfect for each individual. Head guide Elina is a fantastic overall lovely person. The food was to die for (all traditional Finnish), don't be expecting burgers unless it's an Elk one! The drink was expensive, but I had budgeted for this prior to the trip as I knew this would be the case. It's good idea to purchase alcohol at a UK airport or lack some in your case before hand. All of the activities were perfect to gain a taster of each, and once equipped with your gear, you were free to use them as you please in your free time. I took a hike up a local hill on our free day, using the snowshoes provided, Elina showed me a map in which I took with me, and an easy to follow, well marked trail. What a fabulous day to get a view of the Russian border from the top. The owners of the Huskies were so caring and knew a of the dogs inside out, what a lovely life they lead and the dogs really enjoy their work, this is obvious when you meet them, due to the excitement and noise they make when they know they're going on a trip. The reindeer are well looked after, and the herdsmen explained that they are trained to pull the sleighs in the winter when they are brought back to the farm, but released again to roam during the summer months. I can't tell you enough how much I love this country, the lovely people and how close they are to nature. If your after a really laid back holiday and an escaped from the rush of day to day life, this is for you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way of life the Finnish lead is to die for, they really are the most lovely people with an amazing connection to nature and their wildlife

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Elina couldn't have been any better, she couldn't have tried to please everyone anymore if she tried

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect restaurant quality food, expect a more rustic and traditional Finnish cuisine such as reindeer, elk and fish

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Worth every penny

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