Cross-country skiing holiday in Finland, Russian border

“Not for absolute novice skiers, this cross-country adventure takes you right along the Russian border through forests, lakes and swamps - a real wilderness venture.”

Highlights

Hossa National Park | Jatkonsalmi | Local reindeer farm | Rajakartano | Kovavaara | Arola | Martinselkonen Wilderness Centre | Martinselkonen Nature Reserve | Daily saunas | Cross-country skiiing | Home-cooked traditional food | Ice swimming

Description of Cross-country skiing holiday in Finland, Russian border

This week long fully guided, cross country skiing holiday in Finland takes you up to the far reaches of NE Finland, by the Russian border. Following an established cross country trail that follows the border, we stay in wilderness huts and private guesthouses along the way, enabling us to get up in the morning and straight out into pristine snow covered forest, across stunning frozen lakes and through crispy white wetland. You will hardly meet another skier along the way, although we will keep an eye out for animals that enjoy these habitats, seeking out wolverine and elk tracks along the way. With luck, you will also have a chance to see the Aurora Borealis but, even if the lights don’t appear, the night skies here are still a wonderful addition to the winter wilderness experience.

Our hiking hut accommodations are warm and cosy, totally kitted out for Finnish winters including the all important sauna to warm us up in the evenings, which you will welcome after a day of cross country skiing. On average we ski for five to seven hours every day, so some cross country skiing experience is required with a good level of fitness to make the most of this holiday. We travel with a small group, maximum twelve people during the months of February and March to allow for top cross country skiing conditions. We also run trips for very experienced skiers, with more kilometers per day out on the trails. Please just ask for more information on this trip.



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

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
18 Feb 2017
€ 935
excluding flights
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25 Feb 2017
€ 935
excluding flights
2 spaces left
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04 Mar 2017
€ 935
excluding flights
7 spaces left
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11 Mar 2017
€ 935
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20 Mar 2017
€ 935
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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25 Mar 2017
€ 935
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Mar 2017 departure
Our top tip:
Remeber to stretch properly at the end of each day.
Trip type:
Small group. Max. 12 skiers.
Activity level:
Moderate. Average distance 20km daily.
Accomm:
6 nights local hotel.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms only available at some hotels for a surcharge.
Meals:
Full board.
Included:
Accommodation, meals, transfers, luggage transport, guide, daily sauna.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type
Small group holidays
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.
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cross-country skiing holiday in Finland, Russian border

Environment

Travelling from place to place on skies is very eco-friendly. The carbon dioxide emission arising from passenger and service transport for each client during the skiing tour is four kilograms per day. For comparison, this amounts to what is caused by a thirty-kilometre tour in a normal passenger car.

The volume of waste is minimised by avoiding the use of unnecessary packaging material. The use of disposable plates and cups is also avoided. During the tour, all paper and cardboard packaging waste is burned. Easily decomposing garbage, such as coffee grounds and used tea bags, are composted or disposed of by means of "distributed composting". All other waste is taken back from the tour or trip. Back at the base, the waste is classified and recycled as far as possible.

A well-balanced connection with nature is the foundation of all our operations. Thus considering the environment constitutes an essential part of our business philosophy and is also of utmost importance to the success of the whole operation. The basic business idea of our company is to offer the tourist a range of products which are in concordance with Finnish nature. The products are specially designed to fuse into a harmonious whole with nature, special attention being paid to the immediate environment in which the activities take place.

We encourage our clients to show consideration for the environment: the visitors are offered a chance to take part in activities contributing to sustainable development. The adequacy of environmental activities is regularly assessed by means of collecting customer feedback and studying key parameters.

Community

On this trip you will visit the local companies and will enjoy their services. For example on day 4 you will arrive to Arola where you will be welcomed by Helena and Eero, the couple who are running this authentic place. You can here the stories from the war time and how they changed the farming into small tourism business some years ago. Helena´s cooking, where everything is local, fish from the river, elk from the forest, vegetables from the garden, berries from the forest, brings the local food culture live.

By participating the trip you help Helena and Eero and their children and grandchildren to live their lives in this remote area.

Our company does not own any hotel, restaurant or buses for transportation. We buy all these services from the local operators. Also the guides of our tours are locals for as much as possible. So the money which we get from the clients goes for 70% for the local companies in the area and the guides.

In our purchases, we are committed to preferring durable, locally produced, high-quality products. Disposable products are avoided as far as possible. Ecologically sound products are acquired whenever possible. When selecting co-operation partners, preference is given to those having an environmental policy. In addition, subcontractors are informed of the firm's purchases policy.

Reviews of Cross-country skiing holiday in Finland, Russian border

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 03 Apr 2016 by

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


Just fantastic all the way. Great forests, lakes, paths, nature; delicious food; relaxing sauna; great people; great company. Being stopped by three border guards on snow scooters was fun. Spending a night at the wonderful Domnan Pirtii made an impression. This holiday had an impact on me.

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


Be prepared for some early morning wakes. One of the accommodation was a bit basic.

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


A cross country holiday is responsible travel. Finland is a very well developed country so I don't think this question is relevant. I am happy to have had the opportunity to experience Finnish nature and taste the locall cuisine.

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


I felt at home in the Finnish forrests. Not quite sure why, as it's far from my "natural habitat"... Anyway, I think I will make it a habit, and go back every year.

Reviewed on 29 Mar 2016 by

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


Lack of people, and miles and miles of skiing through forests, and across swamps and lakes. Bumping into some Finnish border guards was exciting too.

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


Make sure you're fit enough before you go, so you can enjoy it to the full. Make the most of the Finnish saunas - including the snow rolling!

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


Yes, could see that it benefited locals by staying in independent guest houses. The guide and skiddoo driver were both careful to follow the code of using the fire pits and huts along the route.

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


Really enjoyable holiday. All the people we met were friendly, hospitable and easy-going.

Reviewed on 11 Mar 2015 by

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


Staying in a log house without electricity or running water, surrounded by a snowy, silent landscape & enjoying a sauna after a day skiing across frozen lakes, over bogs and through forests.

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


All of the accommodation is warm and dry, it is easy to dry damp clothes - don't take too much gear with you. The landscape is not flat - you will be going up and down hills, unless you are an experienced skiier expect to fall over! Bring pain killers and do your stretching exercises.

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


Eco tourism is a growing business in eastern Finland. Our guide was well informed and took time to pass on information about the areas we were passing through. Accomodation was owned - as far as I know - by our hosts. All the lunch stops were at developed refuges with fire pits, dry toilets etc. The group would have had a minimal impact on the area we were passing through.

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


This type of holiday was a totally new experience for me. The operator facilitated a ski lesson for me a couple of days before the trip started, they also booked acomodation and organised airport transfers. All in all they looked after me well. I only have one small grouse - there was a change in itinery resulting in us staying in our first accomodation for 2 days and missing out on a chance to visit a reindeer farm and ice swim. These would have been highlights for me.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you very much for your comments Anna. We're sorry you were not informed before the tour about the change of accommodation (2nd night) which was due to organizational reasons. Anyway the visit to the reindeer farm was intended to organize as planned but due to a communication outage you never had a chance to visit the farm. We are happy to hear that otherwise you returned home with good memories.

Reviewed on 02 Apr 2014 by

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


Professional organisation & friendly & welcoming people at the places we stayed at. A nice feature was to send an email giving all the names of the other people on the holiday & their nationality. A great help when trying to remember people's names.

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


Check that you can comfortably ski the distances described in the itinerary.

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


We were supporting people who were committed to looking after their environment.

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


Reviewed on 27 Mar 2014 by

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


Each day -- Skiing (47 KM on the longest day) under sunny, blue skies with beautiful scenery, fun people and a supportive, helpful guide, eating lunch by the fire, seeing the Russian border and animal tracks, then having a well deserved sauna and delicious meal.

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


Bring a variety of clothes to wear as the weather varies. Put a bag with coat and warm mittens/gloves on the ski do in the morning to wear at lunch. Definitely take a sauna at the Inns/cabins.

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


Yes because we stayed at Inns and cabins and ate at some restaurants to benefit the local people.

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


Excellent - tasty food, beautiful scenery, fun travel mates, great guide and beautiful scenery.

Reviewed on 04 Apr 2012 by

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


As if in a 3-D Christmas postcard that goes on for miles and miles and miles.

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


If you want a proper bit of Finland, meaning quiet, far out and everywhere lovely sauna's, go for this.

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


It did. Cross country skiing is a lovely gentle exercise for you and the environment.

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

Reviewed on 15 Mar 2011 by

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


Great touring from place to place on cross country skis across the beautiful snow covered scenery of Finland.

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


Have a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the holiday. Be prepared for any and all types of weather conditions.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We stayed in very traditional homes/hotels on our travels which benefited local community, and the tour helps to provide an income to a dying way of life in the Finnish wilderness. The guides respected the local environment, which was good to see.

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


A great holiday experience. The tour operators, and tour guides, made a very hostile environment (Finland cross country skiing) feel safe and enjoyable. The tour guides were especially knowledgeable about the area, and worked tirelessly to make this an excellent holiday for the clients.

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