Lapland Wilderness Week

8 days
from
£1,799
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Trip code: 
CSW
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
New Winter Holidays
Group size:
6–16
Min age:
16

Discover Europe's last remaining wilderness

 

This new winter adventure takes us to the heart of Lapland, some 200 km above the Arctic Circle, where nature is raw and powerful and deep endless forests and mighty rivers dominate the landscape. We base ourselves at Rajamaa, where the Malmström family have been welcoming guests since 1986. Situated on an island in the River Muonio between Sweden and Finland, the local village has only seven inhabitants two of which are our hosts for the week! Immersed in one of the most spectacular untamed wilderness areas Europe has to offer, we spend a week learning about the Sami culture and connecting with nature while trying a variety of activities including dogsledding, snowshoeing and forest skiing. Our trip culminates with a two-day expedition in the forest, where we stay overnight in a traditional log cabin and, with luck, enjoy the magical display of the Northern Lights.

Highlights

  • Learn and experience the Sámi culture
  • Try dogsledding and snowshoeing in the Arctic
  • Two-day wilderness expedition on forest skis
  • Chance to see the Northern Lights

Key information

  • 6 nights fully equipped chalets with twin rooms and shared facilities; 1 night wilderness cabin (dormitory-style)
  • 5 days of mixed activities and 1 free day
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus guides and instructors. Min age 16 years
  • Arctic clothing provided
  • Countries visited: Sweden, Finland

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Local tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • All specialist equipment (see packing list in Trip Notes)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - limited availability) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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.

Itinerary

Muonionalusta (Rajamaa)
to
Muonionalusta (Rajamaa)
  • Day 1

    Start Rajamaa, Swedish Lapland.

    This trip starts at Rajamaa, a complex of cozy wooden chalets located on a remote island in the river Muonio, looking out over two countries, Sweden and Finland. Upon check-in we will be welcomed by the friendly Malmström family, our hosts for the week, who have been running the accommodation since 1986. Depending on the arrival time of the group, the main briefing is usually done tonight or tomorrow morning.

  • Day 2

    Snowshoeing through wintry landscape; spot local fauna and enjoy lunch in the forest; walk back to the chalets over frozen swamps and hills.

    After a hearty breakfast we are provided with all of the equipment and information needed for a week of activities in arctic conditions. Setting off on our snowshoes, we venture into the fabled wintry landscape surrounding Rajamaa and learn more about the unique raw nature of Lapland. Our guide will help us spotting tracks of birds and other local fauna in the snow and explain how the local trees and bushes have managed to adapt to this harsh climate. We enjoy our lunch by a flaming log fire in the forest, before walking back over frozen swamps and hills to our chalets. In the afternoon we have some free time to enjoy a the sauna or a hot drink in the dining room. After dinner we enjoy an interesting presentation and slideshow about one the Scandinavian big predators, the Lynx.   

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Enjoy thrilling dogsledding tour through the forest; afternoon introduction to forest skiing.

    This morning we visit a local sleddog centre and meet a professional musher, who will tell us about the life of the firendly Siberian Husky dogs, their training and behaviour. He will also explain a few simple rules to safely ride and lead the dogs. Divided into pairs, we then enjoy the challenge and adventure of driving our own dogsled for approx. 17km through a magical winter landscape of snow-clad forests and frozen swamps. Taking turns during the tour gives you the chance to feel like a real musher and to enjoy the landscape and take pictures when sitting on the dog sled as a passenger. In the afternoon we return to our accommodation and familiarise ourselves with forest-skiing, in preparation for our two-day expedition later in the week. Forest skis originate traditionally from Scandinavia and Russia and have been used in Lapland as mean of transportation for thousands of years. They are usually wooden and differ from cross-country skis as they are much larger. You can easily glide down hill or go uphill (thanks to the skins located under the skis) but they can also be used in deep-snow and off-track. They come with universal bindings, meaning that you can clip on your regular winter boots. This evening, after a hearty dinner, we enjoy another wildlife presentation at the main lodge.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Free day; optional snowmobile safari.

    Today is free for you to enjoy one of the optional activities available locally. You may decide to experience the thrill of driving a snowmobile through snowy forests, over frozen rivers, and hills or explore the surroundings on cross-country skis or snowshoes. Alternatively you may choose to relax at the lodge and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful setting.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Spend a morning with a local Sami family and learn of their culture, ancient traditions and reindeer herding; enjoy the sauna back at the lodge.

    Today we have a wonderful insight to the life and work as a reindeer herder and the indigenous Sami lifestyle as we visit a local family. Between 75.000 to 100.000 Sami people live in the Arctic regions of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia, preserving their unique language and ancient traditions in today's modern world. We spend a couple of relaxing hours,  listening to their stories and to the sparkling fire while enjoying some traditional Sami food and hot steaming coffee. We will also be introduced to the reindeer and have the opportunity to get really close to them and perhaps feed them. We return to our lodge in the afternoon and enjoy some free time before dinner.

     
    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Set off on a two-day wilderness expedition on forest skis; cross frozen lakes and pine clad hills and stay overnight in a log-cabin; chance to see the Northern Lights.

    Today we start a two day tour on forest skis. On our adventure we carry only the necessary equipment for the day in a small rucksack whilst the rest will be transported for us to the cabin. We venture deep into the forest, crossing frozen lakes and swamps, pine clad hills and valleys, until reaching our special accommodation for the night, a cozy log-cabin, traditionally used for for forest workers, heated by fire and using water from melted snow. We will all participate in the preparation of tonight's supper and will enjoy an optional sauna, before going to sleep in our dorm-style rooms. That is, if the impressive Aurora Borealis is not keeping us awake!

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Ski back to Rajamaa; relax in the sauna and enjoy farewell dinner.

    After breakfast we get on the skis and head back again to Rajamaa. We may be able spot some wild rendeer and moose in the area or even come across the tracks of Lynx or Wolverine. Back at the lodge, enjoy a final well-deserved sauna before our farwell dinner!

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Rajamaa, Swedish Lapland.

    The trip ends in the morning of day 8.

    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

Sweden

There are no specific health risks.

Finland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals (except dinner on Day 1 and drinks) are included. The food at Rajamaa is a mix of Swedish food and sometimes international dishes that is all prepared on site. They only use regionally sourced meat and fish from the Arctic Sea. 

Breakfast will be a typical continental style, with fruit, cereals, eggs, cheese and cold meats. The lunches provided as part of the itinerary will be eaten outside or at the lodge and are usually a sandwich or soup. Dinner is included every night (except on Day 1) and consists of a main course and dessert. Vegetarian options are also available. 

Weather

Temperatures should remain below 0°C for the whole season, however recent years have had some unexpected fluctuations, both warmer and colder. Generally, you should expect much colder temperatures in December and January, around -25°C to -10°C. As the days get longer the temperatures rise to around freezing point by March.

Daylight hours: As we are inside the Arctic Circle, from 01 December to 07 January the sun remains just below the horizon during the day. But it is not dark - there is plenty of reflection from the snow - expect 4-5 hours of daylight. At the end of January daylight hours increase to 6-7. In February there are 10 hours and in March 15 hours.

Northern Lights: The stunning Aurora Borealis are one of nature's most awe-inspiring sights, and seeing them hover above us on a cold winter's night is an experience never to be forgotten. Scientists will tell you the Northern Lights occur 'when solar wind particles collide with air molecules in the earth's atmosphere, transferring their energy into light. The 'season' runs from October to March. Within this window, the slightly better months are October, February and March. During periods of high solar activity (not forecastable) they can often be seen every night, but the sky has to be clear of cloud cover, and you need to be away from other light sources. Displays can vary in intensity - from a greenish-yellow glow moving gently around the sky, to a spectacular multi-coloured show dancing across the heavens. Sightings not only vary in intensity but in duration too, from just minutes to sometimes hours. 

Is this trip for you?

A mixed activity week for adults, with a good selection of guided activities and free time for independent excursions or relaxation. Although none of the activities require previous experience, a reasonable level of fitness and agility is required. 

Some forest ski training and tuition will be provided during the week. The distance covered on the two-day expedition will depend on the group's fitness and on the temperature and weather conditions. Usually you will cover approx. 7-12 km each day and the activity duration is around 4 hours plus lunch-stop by the fire.

Temperatures in this part of Sweden can drop as low as -30 degrees centigrade. You should come prepared for such extremes. With standard precautions and good clothing (please refer to our essential packing list) the cold weather won't be a problem but can in itself be tiring. 

Special New Year's Eve Departure (starts 30th December 2019)

Celebrating New Year's Eve with the Malmström family at Rajamaa is something very special. Far away from civilisation and immersed in in a fabled snowy landscape, we await the turn or really the turns of the year, as here you get the incredible opportunity to celebrate twice on the same night! Rajamaa is situated on an island in the river Muonio, a river that forms the border between Sweden and Finland. As Finland is one hour ahead, we will start with our first celebration across the border, just a few hundred meters from our accommodation, before walking back to 2019 and waiting for 2020 again! 

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:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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

Rajamaa

Our base for the week is Rajamaa, a complex of cosy wooden chalets run by the welcoming Malmström family since 1986. The accommodation lays on an island in the River Muonio which forms the physical border between Sweden with Finland in a remote and unspoilt area of Lapland.

Rajamaa consists of a main building with reception, dining-room, lounge and sauna. Free Wi-Fi is available at the property. Twin and double rooms will be allocated in the big 46 sqm 2-bedroom chalets, equipped with shower/WC, mini-kitchen and electrical drying closet. This means that a maximum of 4 people (2 couples or twin sharers) will stay in each chalet and will have their own twin/double bedroom but shared facilities.

Single rooms are limited and subject to availability. These will be offered for a supplement payable upon booking. Single rooms may be allocated in the big chalets (shared facilities) or in a small chalet with private facilities depending on availability.

1 night during the trip will be spent in a remote forest lodge where accommodation is dormitory style (usually 4 people per room, single-sex) and with shared facilities. No single rooms are available at this accommodation.

Subject to minimum group size, Rajamaa will be exclusively reserved for the Exodus group.

Call for general departures:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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.

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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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