Snowshoeing holiday in Finland

“Small group snowshoeing adventure in the Finnish wilderness. Stay in remote forest lodges, with saunas, on this wonderfully active week in winter. ”

Highlights

Basecamp Oulanka | Introduction to snowshoeing | River Oulanka | Russian border zone | Lake Paanajärvi | Elk and reindeer tracking | Remote lodges with saunas |

Description of Snowshoeing holiday in Finland

Snowshoeing in Finland unlocks the snow-bowed pine forest trails and secret snow-covered wilderness areas where other types of tour simply can’t reach.

This week of winter walking in the wilds of Finland puts you in a small group of active travellers looking to become immersed in the still and tranquillity of Oulanka National Park.

Oulanka is one of Finland’s most beautiful locations and even more so when it’s covered in snow. Exploring in taiga landscapes close to the Arctic Circle and the Russian border is a real thrill, with snowshoeing the only way to travel for anyone looking not to disturb the natural peace and quiet.

It’s very easy to get to grips with snowshoeing and your small group of snow explorers will be led by a very experienced local guide who will point out the wildlife as well as where to tread.

Group accommodation will be in a rustic lodge located alongside the River Oulanka about as far from the noise and light pollution of the big city as you can hope to imagine. An additional two nights in a remote hunting lodge close to Russia is always eagerly anticipated with the Aurora Borealis all the entertainment you need after a cosy hour or two spent in the sauna, of course.

Travel Team

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15 Dec 2019
£1549
including UK flights
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29 Dec 2019
£1849
including UK flights
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12 Jan 2020
£1399
including UK flights
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09 Feb 2020
£1549
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16 Feb 2020
£1699
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05 Apr 2020
£1649
including UK flights
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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

Snowshoeing holiday in Finland

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip we spend most nights in the Logging Lodge and 2 nights in the Russian End Cabin. The accommodation is run by locals and uses local produce for meals whenever possible. The Logging Lodge is a wooden building built in 1950s, located on the edge of Oulanka National Park. It has been recently renovated to improve its heating system and overall conditions to ensure it is as environmentally friendly as possible. A new boiler has been installed to provide fuel efficiency to the place and the renovation of the lodge is a way to preserve part of the local history of the area.

The Russian End is a traditional elk hunting camp that consists of one main building and several outbuildings including a sauna, basic long drop toilet and a lean-to, the location is particularly remote and fascinating: close to the river and not far from the Russian border. There is no running water and no electricity, so our stay here has a very minimal impact on the environment. The clients can experience a Finnish shower and they get involved in the process of cutting water from the river ice to use for the shower and for the sauna, along with hot water. The fuel used is totally sustainable and no waste is produced as all rubbish is removed and taken away at the end of the stay by the leader.

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. On the trip, we visit a reindeer farm where everyone will have the opportunity to look for reindeer. The farm is part of a co-operative and is dependent on tourist visits like this as it is in such a remote place. One of the days is free for clients to engage in a variety of optional activities such as fat biking or a 10 km husky sled ride.

Local Craft and Culture:
This trip is in the remote areas of Finland where tourism is rare and that there are limited opportunities to support local craft and businesses. Other than the lodge, the reindeer farm and the optional visit to the Karhunkierros visitor centre are other possible places where clients get to explore local produce and handicraft. Nonetheless, our local guides will still remind clients not to purchase any products made from parts of endangered species whilst on the trip. By buying local crafts, we are contributing to the community and often encouraging customary craftsmanship which has lasted centuries.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help clients understand how they can help reduce their impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from our visit.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, 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.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

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