Finland winter activity holiday & Northern Lights

“What sets this holiday apart from the Finnish pack is that spotting the elusive Aurora is as much a part of the plan as trying your hand at a new winter activity.”

Highlights

Oulanka National Park | Snowshoeing | Cross-country skiing | Riisitunturi National Park | Husky sledding | Ice climbing | Ruka | Snowmobile safari | Wilderness skills day | Dinner in a traditional tipi | Northern Lights

Description of Finland winter activity holiday & Northern Lights

This eight day winter activity holiday in Finland provides travellers with every opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights with really remote, purpose-built accommodation within Oulanka National Park allowing for peace, tranquillity and perfect conditions for watching the sky at night.

A lack of artificial light and the eerie calm of the snow-covered wilderness always creates an unforgettable experience, close to the Arctic Circle, with small groups able to take advantage of cosy lodgings, always including a sauna, and a variety of winter activities without another soul in sight.

Cross country skiing, husky sledding and ice climbing offer ample excuses to get out and explore in places like Riisitunturi National Park, before heading back to base for hot food and a chat in the sauna prior to donning hats and gloves, once again, as you scan the skies for the Northern Lights.

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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Date
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Basis
17 Dec 2017
£ 1769
including UK flights
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24 Dec 2017
£ 1969
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31 Dec 2017
£ 1969
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07 Jan 2018
£ 1469
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14 Jan 2018
£ 1519
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21 Jan 2018
£ 1519
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28 Jan 2018
£ 1569
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04 Feb 2018
£ 1619
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11 Feb 2018
£ 2059
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18 Feb 2018
£ 1949
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25 Feb 2018
£ 1749
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04 Mar 2018
£ 1699
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11 Mar 2018
£ 1649
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Full
 
18 Mar 2018
£ 1699
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25 Mar 2018
£ 1829
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01 Apr 2018
£ 1829
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08 Apr 2018
£ 1699
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15 Apr 2018
£ 1649
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09 Dec 2018
£ 1649
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16 Dec 2018
£ 1849
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23 Dec 2018
£ 2099
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30 Dec 2018
£ 2099
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Our top tip:
Temperatures can hit -20°C, so pack light layers. Full outer clothing - including hats and gloves - provided.
Trip type:
Small group tour. 4-16 adults (min. age 16) with a tour leader.
Activity level:
Moderate. You need to be reasonably fit with a spirit of adventure.
Accomm:
Cosy, self-sustaining wooden complex in remote area.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Included:
Accommodation, tour leader, flights and transfers (if booked with flights), all arctic equipment.
Meals:
All breakfasts and dinners.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type
“You really feel connected with your huskies; they are taking care of you and you are taking care of them.”

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Finland winter activity holiday & Northern Lights

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 offers a number of environmentally friendly winter activities, including: dogsledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, igloo building etc. 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.

4 Reviews of Finland winter activity holiday & Northern Lights

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 26 Jul 2017 by

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


The sights - historical and cultural, the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis was my favourite place, absolutely stunning

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


Don't book in July and August, its too hot! Also be prepared to be very careful with what you eat, its easy to get sick

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


Definitely benefited local people through the money spent. I don't think it reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation.

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


Excellent - great itinerary, great guide, good group, wonderful country, easy to travel in, well organised.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Tamsin,
Firstly, thank you for your comments, we are delighted that overall you had a great trip.

It is great that you saw the benefit to local people that the holiday delivered – we make every effort to ensure as many people benefit from our custom as possible. Regarding your comments about reducing environmental impacts I would like to reassure you that this is something we are continuously working on. One such example of this is our current push to reduce our plastic waste on trips – we are in the process of starting a new initiative whereby all trips will provide clients with drinking water from a large receptacle. 20ltr bottles will be employed and clients will be able to fill up throughout the trip. We are currently trialling this approach in India and South East Asia and it has been a great success. We regret that this wasn't quite ready for your trip but please rest assured that it is to happen soon as we take the reduction of our environmental impacts very seriously.

We do hope that this explanation provides an adequate response to your review and offers you reassurance that we are continuously working on ensuring our trips are as responsible as possible. We hope to welcome you back to Uzbekistan one day.

Reviewed on 06 Feb 2016 by

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


The all day Husky safari came top very closely followed by the rest of the weeks activities.

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


Bring your own base layer, but holiday notes are correct in that all the other clothing is provided.

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


The week is designed to work with the local environment in all aspects.

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


Excellent holiday in an idyllic location providing, fun and adventure.

Reviewed on 26 Jan 2015 by

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


Huskies. Location. Snowshoeing.

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


Take disposable hand and feet warmers.

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


Yes.

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


Excellent.

Reviewed on 30 Jan 2013 by

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


The scenery was just fantastic, and I really enjoyed being with the huskies. The
whole experience was like nothing I've ever done before.

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


Be reasonably fit and you will enjoy the trip more, and don't go directly from a
warm climate without acclimatising somewhere for the cold beforehand.

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


The holiday provided jobs for the locals, and the opportunity for other foreign
staff to work in and experience/understand the Arctic region.

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


Fantastic experience - the most enjoyable activity holiday I have ever done.

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