Cross country skiing in Finland

“A week of cross country skiing in Oulanka NP in the far north of Finland, staying in a gorgeously refurbished log cabin. A truly wild break. ”

Highlights

Oulanka National Park | 6 days of guided cross country skiing | Staying in wilderness lodges | Northern Lights | Lake Paanajärvi | Sauna

Description of Cross country skiing in Finland

This week long cross country skiing holiday in Finland takes us to the far north of the country, near the Russian border to the white wilderness of Oulanka National Park. This is made easy by the fact that you can fly to Kuusamo, just under two hours from the park. You will meet few other people during your time in this remote spot, where we spend five nights in a beautifully restored log cabin, with a sauna, in a former Finnish loggers’ camp. In the middle of the trip, we also go a little more hardcore and stay at a more basic and rustic hostel, close to the border, to really connect with the wilds and, hopefully a chance to see the Northern Lights.

You can choose the level of cross country skiing that you want on this holiday, from beginners to more advanced. Whichever you choose, you will get instructions from a local expert skier and guide, then after that we spend each day following tracks, or loipes, that we create with our own snowmobile, travelling through ancient forest, spotting little other life except for elk or reindeer, and enjoying the frozen fragility Finland, at its finest.

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

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
21 Jan 2018
£ 1399
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 21 Jan 2018 departure
04 Feb 2018
£ 1479
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Feb 2018 departure
18 Feb 2018
£ 1649
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Feb 2018 departure
04 Mar 2018
£ 1499
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Mar 2018 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: Cross country skiing in Finland

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip you will spend 5 nights in the Logging Lodge and 2 nights in the Russian End Cabin. 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. A new boiler has been installed to provide fuel efficiency to the place. The renovation of the lodge is a way to preserve part of the local history of the area. In the final years of the industrial revolution, around 1840, the Wilderness of Lapland was discovered as a precious source of timber for trade with Russian and Europe. Lodges were built as homes for people who were coming to work in this business and had to live here for months. The Logging Lodge is an example of one of the luxurious lodges that have been built after strikes and protests made by workers to improve their living and working conditions in the area.
Russian End is a traditional elk hunting camp. It consists of one main building, with several outbuildings including a sauna, basic long drop toilet and lean-to and 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, our stay there has zero impact on the environment. The clients can experience a Finnish shower and they get involved in the process of cutting ice from the river water to use for the shower and for the sauna, along with hot water.The fuel used is totally sustainable and no waste is produce as all rubbish is removed and taken away at the stay of the stay by the leader.

Activity:
This trip is spent cross country skiing in the Finnish wilderness, so there is a very minimal effect on the environment from our activity. Cross-country skiing has a significant lower impact than downhill skiing. The tracks are prepared by the guide and 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. The local leaders have a great interaction with the group and play a key role in imparting local knowledge about Finnish traditions. One of them has married into a reindeer farming family.

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.

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 are 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 and 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.

This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the 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 a unique, family-run hotel that cannot benefit from big coach tours and other mass tourism due to its limited size.


Popular similar holidays

Finland Northern Lights holiday, Wilderness Auroras

Finland Northern Lights holiday, Wilderness Auroras

Winter activities & Aurora hunting in the Finnish wilderness

From £1415 - £1675 5 days including UK flights

Husky safari in Finland

Husky safari in Finland

Sled with huskies through spectacular Finnish scenery

From £1865 - £2195 8 days including UK flights

Winter cottage holiday in Finnish Lapland

Winter cottage holiday in Finnish Lapland

Log fires, lakeside trails & a range of winter activities

From £1625 - £1895 8 days including UK flights

Finnish Lapland activity holiday

Finnish Lapland activity holiday

A log cabin wilderness experience, Luosto, Finnish Lapland

From £1495 - £1875 8 days including UK flights

Convert currencies