Dogsledding through snow-capped trees, Riisitunturi National Park, Finland (photo by Erkki Ollila)

Finnish Wilderness Week

8 days
from
$1,935 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 118 reviews >
Moderate
Learn more
Trip code: 
CFA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Winter Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–20

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. As the only accommodation for miles around, 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 of the nearby Riisitunturi National Park, 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

  • A host of winter activities in magical surroundings
  • Fantastic lodge accommodation
  • Evening Northern Lights snowshoe included

Key information

  • 7 nights Basecamp Oulanka: twin rooms with en suite bathrooms in two separate buildings
  • 5 days mixed activities
  • Group normally 4 to 20, plus leaders. Min age 16 years
  • All Arctic winter equipment and clothing provided

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
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

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click 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 Kitkajoki River; free afternoon.

    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 Kitkajoki River, passing an old flour mill that sits adjacent to the dramatic Myllykoski rapids (approx 2½ hours). The afternoon is free for further exploration of the surrounding area or relaxation 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 Juuma Lake, 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 virgin powder. In the afternoon, keep hold of your skis as there is the option of further unguided skiing in the area.

    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 short transfer to the nearby Riisitunturi 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 takes us deep into the national park and up onto the surrounding fjell where we are rewarded with a fantastic view. Travelling on your own sled, you are able to really appreciate the serenity of this beautiful snow-laden landscape. The afternoon is free to experience some of the optional activities that Basecamp has to offer such as ice climbing (min 4 persons).

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day in Ruka; morning option of snowmobile safari; afternoon option of downhill skiing.

    Free day in the popular ski resort of Ruka, transfers are included. Downhill skiing and snowmobile safaris are available. See 'Extra Expenses' section for approximate prices.

    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. Issued with 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 snowmobiling; dinner around a campfire.

    Free day. Today we have several options to make the most of the magical Finland Wilnderness. Some of the activities available include unguided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, dogsledding or snowmobile safaris. As a farewell celebration, we have the option of eating dinner around a campfire, on the edge of the National Park.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Basecamp Oulanka.

    End Basecamp Oulanka.

    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

Finland

No visa required for UK passport holders visiting Finland.

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 local produce (Finnish food) that is all prepared on site by the in house chef.
Starters consist of a salad buffet with 4-6 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 a hot soup with elk, salmon or vegetarian option.

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. Daylight hours 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. Northern Lights 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 excellent kit for the conditions, with a layered system allowing you to keep warm and dry.

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 with en suite bathrooms 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 school holidays.

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

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

Bobsledding

Celebrate the 2018 Winter Olympics by taking part in a challenge of your own.

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Heidi Dempsey

    Fab Trip -Just Book It!

    The trip was recommended to me by previous travel buddies and lived up to all expectations. The scenery is beautiful, the accommodation great and very warm and the equipment provided is superb. Although you try lots of activities there is plenty of time to chill out and you aren't expected to be up too early so definitely a holiday to recharge the batteries. There is lots of food and always tea, coffee and squash on the table if you are chilling in the lodge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many! But seeing the Northern Lights appear above the trees as we did the nighttime snowshoe walk in the forest was totally amazing. I also really loved the dog sledding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sonja was brilliant. Very knowledgable, fun and nothing was too much trouble. All the staff at base camp were excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is lots to do but also plenty of down time so time to chill. The optional activities are expensive but definitely worth choosing some. I have never been skiing so had a shared ski lesson in Ruka which was definitely worth the money. If you don't want to spend too much there are walks and fat bikes too. Make use of the sauna and hot tub and do roll in the snow after jumping out the sauna it's not that bad. Also pack very light you really don't need much for the evenings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A brilliant trip and very much recommended.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Rod Whitaker

    Great fun and so beautiful !

    really great week with an interesting and varied group of people. The clean air, beautiful fresh snow, pristine scenery, great home made food and the daily exercise made for a really good healthy break from the stresses of work !

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    chillin with the group around an open fire and doing the midnight walk in total darkness through the forest !!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juuli was absolutely fabulous, patient, informative and always smiling. Nothing was too much trouble and she works incredibly hard for very long hours to make sure everyone is fully looked after.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light ! the lodge and accommodation is really warm and cosy so just t-shirts required ! extra base layers are a good idea as you will need to change after most activities, bring some cosy slippers for the lodge especially the evenings so there no wet boots being walked through and if you like a big mug of branded tea then bring our own cup and bags !!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    enjoyed this trip so much, make sure you make use of the sauna and hot tub
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Bonita Rayner-Jones

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    Beautiful Oulanka National Park in March, got to see the Northern Lights and experience the basics of snow shoeing and cross country skiing. The activities were very good and the group leaders. Very remote location with just a few people at the Base Camp. Accommodation very basic which lets down the whole experience unfortunately. No comfy chairs or sofas to relax in after a day of activities. To relax you were either bolt upright at a wooden dining table on a hard wooden chair or laying down in a dark wooden lodge. First time an aeroplane seat looked so inviting at the end of the trip. No fresh fruit all week either. Go for an active break, definitely not for rest and relaxation as the accommodation is too basic in the winter to accomodate this.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Oulanka National Park is beautiful, great snow conditions and forest all around for snow shoeing and cross country skiing. Getting to see the Northern Lights was magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader very nice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As stated above, accommodation very basic. Take fruit with you and some alcohol as average bottle of wine was Eur 27 at the bar and there was no fruit all week. Also no food provided on both plane journeys so grab some food at the airport. Take your own thermal underwear and socks. Also your own hats. Everything else provided. Definitely do the Ruka trip as its a fun place and skiing is very good there.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Richard Hillman

    Fun in Finland

    This was very enjoyable holiday. It didn't matter that I'd never done any type of skiing, dog sledding or snow mobiling. We were taught how to do each of these activities. See the Northern Lights was a bonus as there is no guarantee.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Northern Lights and the dog sledding with huskies. Finishing the week with a campsite fire was a nice way to conclude the holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All the leaders were friendly, accommodating and enthusiastic. This was true of all the staff at basecamp. Juuli was happy to spend time chatting with us and obviously enjoyed her job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make the most of the free time. There is quite a lot of free time but you are free to use the snowshoes, cross country skis and sledges whenever you like. You might want to bring a few travel games for the evenings. You really don't need to bring many cold weather clothes. I was provided with good quality inner and outer gloves, a hat, boots, 2 layers of thermals, waterproofs and a head torch. If you want to sleep in the quinzee a sleeping bag and mattress are also provided.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were 31 of us on my trip which is many more than there would normally be. This didn't adversely affect the attention we received but it did mean it took longer to get to know the fellow travellers which meant the group felt less intimate. However, that really is my only grumble and it is a minor one. Otherwise there was near to being the perfect trip. The activities were varied and exciting. The food was plentiful and more varied that other reviews had led me to expect.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Clare Day

    Enjoyable

    This holiday was a great opener for those who have little or no experience at previous winter sports. I really enjoyed the Husky sledging and snow shoeing was more fun than I anticipated. Very cosy accommodation and although the food was not in anyway gourmet it was what I expected for a Nordic menu. (Would be nice actually if you could include a cookery lesson as a optional extra) Would defiantly recommend as a winter holiday if you want to try a bit off everything and once you have had a lesson you can be as active or lazy as you like.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Defiantly the husky sledge, have always wanted to do this.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teddy (Bjorn) was very informative and consciencious of the needs of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of books, or games, helps especially during the dark evenings.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Angela Speed

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    A beautiful journey of snow filled landscapes and frozen lakes. Looked after from arrival to departure. Delicious hot food every day and competent friendly and efficient staff

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Storytelling in the dark by leader Henri. One seriously creative and skilled guy like a great teacher one never forgets the

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dedicated and hard working to ensure we were all looked after at all times. Incredible knowledge on all levels yet humble and funny. Someone I will never forget and use as an example of goodness and kindness yet strong and inspiring

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go! Experience the challenges and embrace the Finnish culture and hospitality

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I shall go back again. I must!Ex38Q
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Claudia Schmid

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    A week in beautiful and snowy Lapland. It's great to try different activities and get away from it all. With the New Year's Special group we stayed in the "Logging Lodge" which is deep in the forest; far away from the next village.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the ice climbing wall. Plus the husky and snowmobile safaris

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri and Miriam were absolutely great! Very knowledgable, good company and they spent hours on the phone to arrange everything!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're at the Logging Lodge, bear in mind that it's a 45 min drive from Basecamp. And if you're at Basecamp, there might be a family group staying there at the same time (I preferred the peace and quiet of the Logging Lodge!)
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Brian Crockford

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    I loved this holiday. Finland in the snow was gorgeous and I enjoyed the mix of activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had a 2 hour (?) Huskie sledging trip as part of planned activities and we enjoyed it so much we booked the optional day sledging trip. It was absolutely magical and I can honestly say it was one of the best holiday days I have ever had. Beautiful scenery, lovely dogs, well organised and a very tasty lunch.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bjorn (Teddy) was lovely. He was very chilled but organised and very knowledgeable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have two quibbles about the trip, which don't reflect on Oulanka Basecamp: 1. My boarding pass for the flight out and the return had the wrong name printed - my traveling companion's surname was used instead of mine. Fortunately I was still able to go through security and board without any problems. 2. I was very disappointed to discover that we shared the hotel with an Exodus family group holiday as I had thought I was booked on an adult only holiday. It wouldn't have been a problem if there had been more than one public room - one room was used for meals, relaxing and drinking - and if some of the children had been better behaved. There is only so much shouting and screaming I can take.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Brian for his review and we were pleased to hear that he enjoyed the trip overall. We are aware that a family group was also staying at Basecamp the week this departure of our Finnish Wilderness Week visited, and whilst groups do not usually do activities together and mealtimes are normally staggered, we have updated our trip notes to include details of when two departures may be at the property at the same time (during some school holidays) so that clients are aware of this in advance.

    Paolo Bonato - Product Manager for Finland

  • Reviewed January 2017
    Jane O'Brien

    Out of this World!

    Amazing, stunning, incredible, beautiful, we ran out of words to begin to capture the beauty of this location and the sheer volume of fun to be had on this trip, it has to be seen to be believed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snowmobiling through the Finnish forest, taking my own team of huskies through the national park, skiing by floodlight, having a mini party in our quinzee, the staggering quiet and breathtaking beauty of the landscape.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti was brilliant. It's a big group and I'm sure we tried his patience at times but he was organised, clear and determined to make everything perfect for us. He worked incredibly hard, along with all the staff at Basecamp, and was friendly, approachable and had a good sense of humour. The experience and knowledge he passed on was great, we learnt new fascinating things all the time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Along with your own base layers I would recommend taking your own socks, hat and buff. The first two can be borrowed and the last purchased but it's nicer to have your own (and having your own hat makes you identifiable in pictures!). You only need one pair of shoes, which you can travel in and use for the evening. Budget for the activities not included, but the vast majority of it can go on your room bill or be paid by card at the various locations so you don't have to take much cash at all if you don't want to.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you're even vaguely considering it just go, it will stay with you as one of the best experiences of your life.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    helen belcher

    Trip of a lifetime!

    This is an amazing trip packed full of winter activities.I especially loved the (optional) full day husky trip on christmas day but I also did lots of other exciting things.The accommodation was comfortable and the staff at Basecamp Oulanka were excellent especially the leader Bjorn (Teddy).We saw the Northern Lights the day we arrived and we also had a sighting of that special person on christmas day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dog-sledding on christmas day...perfect!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bjorn was excellent in every way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a pricey trip.I was tempted by all the extra optional activitites and spent more than £500 on these during the week.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great trip...one of the best I have been on.Book it..you won't regret it!

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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