Watch brown bears in Finland

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Date
Price
Basis
24 May 2019
£ 925
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 May 2019 departure
31 May 2019
£ 899
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 31 May 2019 departure
02 Aug 2019
£ 925
including UK flights
Available
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16 Aug 2019
£ 899
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
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06 Sep 2019
£ 899
including UK flights
Available
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13 Sep 2019
£ 899
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 13 Sep 2019 departure
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 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.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Watch brown bears in Finland

Environment

The aim of this tour is to witness the endangered Brown Bear in its natural environment without creating any impact. We travel to a remote wilderness area in Finland where local experts take us on guided nature walks so we can learn about the bears and their habitat.

All accommodation and transport is locally owned and run on this low impact, wildlife specific tour.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators. We acknowledge that air travel has a negative impact on our environment, so we work together with Cool Earth to offset carbon and protect our important rainforests.

Community

Many of wildlife guides working at the Brown Bear Centre have been there for more than 10 years, staying to continue research on the habits of the wildlife that they love. Their ability to spot even the smallest bird at a great distance is incredible.
Our local partners are passionate about preserving the wildlife in the region and a portion of the money we pay to stay in their hides goes towards the national park and is used for the protection of the bears and their habitat. With less than 2000 bears and less than 700 wolverines left in Finland the work to protect their habit is essential.
The wildlife hides vary in size and are surprisingly comfortable! Each hide has a compost toilet to allow for comfort breaks without damaging the surroundings. Looking for bears takes place from 5pm until 7am but during the daytime if you can manage to stay awake there are several hides for bird watching and enjoying the wildlife that comes to life during the daylight hours.
When not spotting bears time can be spent trying out a traditional Finnish smoke sauna, getting to understand this popular pastime and then jumping in the ice cold lake to complete the experience.

6 Reviews of Watch brown bears in Finland

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 31 Jul 2015 by

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


Seeing the bears from the hide so close to us.

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


Take plenty of mosquito repellent. The hides were more comfortable than we were expecting, be prepared to stint on sleep, it'll be worth it.

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


It's always good to give out the message that wildlife is worth more alive and is
precious. I felt this trip promoted this.

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


A great way to spend a weekend! The Lodge staff really looked after us as vegetarians. The guide went the extra mile to make our experience as interesting and varied as possible, with campfire lunch and evening soup plus other unexpected extras, she worked so hard and didn't seem to sleep.It was wonderful seeing the bears, but the whole Finland forest experience was also very special. We did so much it seemed longer than a weekend.

Reviewed on 05 Jun 2013 by

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


Being in a bear hide and seeing the Brown Bears

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


Good long weekend trip with our tour guide being excellent. Small group tour with seven in thegroup.

Make sure you take shorts and tee-shirt as very hot, even in May/ June. Mossi bite so need a good spray and sun cream in you go on the lake.

Tea and coffee on tap and food Is excellent but basic.

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


Small local hotel using local people.

Good awareness for care of the Bears and wolverines.

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


Excellent

Reviewed on 19 Jul 2013 by

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


As the trip was specifically to watch brown bears, the most exciting moment was when a brown bear came into view after a wait of 9.5 hours in the hide, when we were beginning to feel pessimistic about seeing one.

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


The accommodation is simple but comfortable and the food is good. Sabrina, our guide, was excellent and did her utmost to ensure we had an enjoyable time. Be prepared to spend 14.5 hours in the hide (from 5pm to 7am). We took the moose safari but saw no moose or reindeer but a lovely sunset.

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


The holiday obviously benefited the local people who got employment from it and I hope that the interest in wildlife supports conservation.

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


A very enjoyable holiday which would have been wonderful if we had seen more wildlife (eg moose, wolf) but obviously they don't appear to order and at least we saw a bear!

Reviewed on 02 Jul 2013 by

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


Spending the night in the hide. Great views of several bird species and then a sighting of a single female brown bear. The hide was well constructed, comfortable and better than others I have spent time in.

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


The hotel accommodation is very simple. The rooms were sparsely provisions and very hot with no fan. The curtains were very thin and did not block out the 24- hours a day bright skys making sleep difficult. There was no choice of food and it was adequate at best. I would rate the accommodation from poor to adequate

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


Not really.

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


OK, not as good as the Bear Watching Tour of Finland I did the previous year with another operator.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feedback regarding the above holiday, forwarded to us by responsibletravel.com.

We are pleased that you enjoyed spending the night in the hide and it’s great that you sighted a female bear, I hope you managed to get some good photos.

We are sorry you were disappointed with the hotel accommodation. We do warn of the very basic standards to be encountered on this trip in our Tour Notes. We describe our simple accommodation as a “no frills experience with adequate amenities and service standards”. Our aim is to stay at small, locally owned establishments, not only to allow greater contact and insight into the areas being visited, but also to try and be of greater assistance to the local economy.

I hope you’ve got some fond memories of your time in Finland, and that you might choose to travel with us again in the not too distant future.

Reviewed on 10 Jul 2012 by

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


It would have to be actually seeing the brown bears and wildlife - all as promised.

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


Be prepared for mosquitoes and fluctuating temperatures in this beautiful unspoilt landscape.

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


Certainly supporting conservation and to some extent benefitting local people through tourism.

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


Really great what you can do in a couple of days. Exciting and also very relaxing - you really do ' get away from it all'.

Reviewed on 10 Aug 2009 by

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


It is difficult to isolate one part as each bit was interesting. This was my first trip with this operator. The company, we were a group of 7. There was space to be alone and to be together. A good balance. Seeing the bears was breathtaking. 3 hours between sunset and sun rise. Walking through an area where very few people go. Stopping and making a fire for a brew. A wood sauna and swimming in the lake. Our guide was brilliant, answering our questions and asking us some too.

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


Check on the transfer times. We had a long wait on transfer.

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


I hope so. It was a very small community. We had local food, cooked fresh on site. We had a local driver

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


It was a fabulous experience. Despite being in a "wild" environment I felt safe, because of the company of the other travellers, the care our guide and the hotel staff.

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