Finland snowshoeing holiday

“One of the most tranquil weeks you could imagine, being guided through remote Finnish Lapland on snowshoes, exploring winter landscapes at their most beautiful. ”

Highlights

Oulanka National Park | Lake Jyravajarvi | Linnakallio 'Castle Rocks' | Jyrava Waterfall| Riisitunturi National Park | Five days of snowshoeing | Visit to reindeer farm

Description of Finland snowshoeing holiday

This week long Finland snowshoeing holiday is a walk through winter wilderness. Based at Oulanka Basecamp in Oulanka National Park, you will trek through the serene landscapes of Finnish Lapland, where pristine forests that are laden with snow, lakes and waterfalls not only feel frozen by this far northern climate, but also by time.

Beginners are welcome on this snowshoeing holiday which is ideal for hikers who love the outdoors but don’t want to stop exploring in winter. You don’t have to be a winter sports expert to explore the white wonders of not just Oulanka but also Riisitunturi National Park, where the surreal sights of snow laden spruce trees are famously beautiful. This is also a culturally rich area, with Lappish reindeer herding, crafts and local food all playing a part in this winter holiday.

Indeed, this holiday has a very positive impact on the local economy, as we always employ expert guides locally, support the local reindeer farm, eat locally sourced food and make a donation to the Kärpäskelhä pasture land which had been neglected for decades, but now has herds of cattle and reindeer grazing there again.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
22 Jan 2017
£ 1099
including UK flights
6 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Jan 2017 departure
29 Jan 2017
£ 1149
including UK flights
Full
 
05 Mar 2017
£ 1199
including UK flights
1 space left
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Mar 2017 departure
12 Mar 2017
£ 1199
including UK flights
1 space left
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Mar 2017 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Finland snowshoeing holiday

Environment

Accommodation and Meals:
You will spend 7 nights at Basecamp Oulanka. This wilderness camp is a lovely complex of wooden buildings on the edge of Oulanka National Park and is renowned for its environmental and sustainability practices. They have won several awards including the VESTAS award as an ‘Outstanding Example of Accommodation’ and TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Gold Award. All energy used is renewable and all waste and water is recycled. The heating system used throughout the complex relies totally from 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. Ingredients are sourced locally or at the very least produced in Finland, so guests can expect fresh elk, reindeer, salmon, vegetables and berries.

Activity:
This trip is spent snowshoeing in the Finnish wilderness, so there is a very minimal effect on the environment from our activity. If possible, man-power is used over motors to minimise carbon emissions and there is constant attention to a strong ‘leave no trace’ policy. We also visit a reindeer farm and museum where everyone will have the opportunity to ride a reindeer and try some lasso throwing. The farm is part of a co-operative and is dependent on tourist visits like this as it is in such a remote place. Optional activities like snowmobile tours are also run through local people, who really benefit from our business.

Conservation:
Part of the trip cost is a contribution which goes towards wilderness protection and conservation of Oulanka National Park. This donation is used partially for the restoration of Kärpäskelhä- which is an old meadow area used for cows, sheep and reindeer to graze in. The meadow has been out of use since the mid 50’s and has since been growing freely, slowly losing its usual customers and instead becoming overrun with plants and insects. Now, with Basecamp Oulanka, clients can volunteer in Kärpäskelhä if they like and participate in conservation activities. Together with our local operators we have donated more than 60,000 Euros over the past 6 years to wilderness protection work.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Local Craft and Culture:
Along with spending time with local people and visiting businesses (including the reindeer farm), we intend to share local culture by introducing clients to the varieties of handcrafts and local produce on offer here. Smoked elk is a traditional delicacy in these parts and can be purchased in the area, as well as traditional Lappish socks, hats, drums and Karhunkynsi tableware. By buying local crafts, we are contributing to the community and often encouraging customary craftsmanship which has lasted centuries. However, guides will remind clients not to purchase any products made with parts of endangered species whilst they are on the trip.

A Fair Deal:
All of our guides are local and live close to the camp, which has a positive effect on the very high unemployment levels in these rural areas. This also ensures that all generated income stays within the community and helps the village to function properly. Our staff work all year round and receive wages every month- despite our working season not covering the whole year. All staff is educated on responsible tourism issues and this should come across to clients in frequent briefings on current environmental and community issues. Their training extends to topics like flora and fauna, socioeconomic systems and sustainable tourism.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Reviews of Finland snowshoeing holiday

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 29 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The frozen trees at Riisitunturi; the ability to walk all day without meeting any other human beings; learning how to make a fire in a snow pit and cooking reindeer sausages in the open air; spotting fresh wolverine tracks and bear markings.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Really don't bother bringing cold weather gear. The clothing supplied includes comfortable boots - even in very small sizes; two good warm layers (thick and thin, top and bottom) plus a waterproof outer layer (top and bottom - and an extra one if you go dog sledding), excellent inner and outer gloves, rucksack, thermosflask and head torch. Evenings are spent around a roaring fire in the main lodge, or in the sauna. Airport transfers are in warm buses. They recommend your bring your own vest and longjohns - I'd add a decent warm hat, pull up neckscarf, sunglasses and thin gloves so you can operate your camera without your fingers falling off.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I hope so. I think most of us foreign visitors were keen to support the reindeer farm by buying a few souvenirs there. It was also very useful - I'd rather buy from a family business than at the airport, but perhaps they could stock some local jams? All those delicious berries...

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic! Great landscape, wonderful guiding, excellent food, top-notch equipment and accommodation. Just perfect.

Reviewed on 05 Feb 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole holiday was amazing, the location, the walks, skiing & husky sledding, the accommodation, the food & the wonderful staff who did their utmost to ensure that it was an unforgettable experience for us

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I thought that "winter equipment provided" meant snowshoes, skis & boots etc but all clothing (plus thermos, head torch, rucksack) was also available to borrow, no need to pack anything other than a few baselayers & something comfortable for the evening. Having said that, it was nice to wear my own ski gear but don't buy things if you don't already have them....except maybe a balaclava/buff for the minus 30 days!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the whole concept of Oulanka is based on this & I felt that all the staff believed in it.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A fantastic experience. Almost 5 stars

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