Watch brown bears in Finland

“A 4 day, small group holiday watching bears in Finland, spending 1 or 2 nights in a bear hide. Guided nature walks and optional canoe trip.”

Highlights

Wild Brown Bear Centre | Wildlife watching | Guided nature walks | Optional canoe trip

Description of Watch brown bears in Finland

Take a long weekend break with a difference with this brown bear watching holiday in Finland. This small group tour takes us to the magnificently wild landscapes of the taiga forest in the northeast of the country. We’ll stay at the Wild Brown Bear Centre near Lentiira lake, where bears roam among the thick forests and bubbling streams. The centre has several specially prepared bear hides, located in an open wetland area where bears come to feed. The hides allow us to watch these endangered brown bears in their natural environment, without disturbing their activity.

Summer in northeast Finland only sees a few hours of twilight, so visitors can take advantage of the long evenings to stay up late and see what creatures come out. In addition to the bears, a whole host of wild animals can be spotted from your hideout, from wolverine and elk to foxes and owls.

During the day, you can enjoy a guided walk of the surrounding forests, learning more about the landscapes from a local wildlife guide and looking out for rare plants and other animals. There is also the option to take part in a canoe trip, or simply relax back at the lodge. You will have access to a traditional smoke sauna, a popular pastime in Finland – finish your session with a cold dip in the lake for the full experience!

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
22 May 2020
£899
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 May 2020 departure
29 May 2020
£1120
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 May 2020 departure
19 Jun 2020
£1025
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Jun 2020 departure
17 Jul 2020
£999
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 17 Jul 2020 departure
14 Aug 2020
£955
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Aug 2020 departure
04 Sep 2020
£930
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Sep 2020 departure
18 Sep 2020
£930
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Sep 2020 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

Watch brown bears 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

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.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. Cool Earth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

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
SHOW
1
3
1
1
0

Reviewed on 05 Jun 2019 by

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


Spending Saturday night in the hide, I would say, as a constructive comment, that perhaps a two person hide should be for a couple. Fortunately Sandra and I got on together, although of course we had never met until Friday night, but the use of the “potty” is an intimate experience and could have been quite awkward! (In a two person hide the "potty" was right beside us in the same area. Separate in larger hides). I would recommend this weekend but would make sure that people know bear sighting cannot be guaranteed - as happened two nights before I arrived.

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


For me there were no unexpected surprises - apart from the fact that there were no mosquitoes! Layering definitely way to dress. I only took one pair of shoes and this was fine - no need to take others as Sabrina provides crocs/slippers for the dining area.

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


Holiday gave employment to local people and everyone on the trip conscious and knowledgeable about environmental and conservation issues.

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


It was a lovely weekend which I really enjoyed. The air is wonderful - so clean and fresh. Seriously thinking about going back again next year and having a couple of nights in a hide – now I know what it is like staring at the forest in front of me for 15 hours!! Helsinki Airport having major building works, an earlier flight would have been better - we landed from Heathrow on time but we had to take a bus to get to the terminal. It was then such a long way to the next boarding gate, going via a very crowded Passport Control, that I almost missed the connection.

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'.

Popular similar holidays

Grizzly bear watching holidays in British Columbia, Canada

Grizzly bear watching holidays in British Columbia, Canada

Spectacular viewing of British Columbia's grizzly bears

From £3339 6 days including UK flights

Churchill polar bear tour in Canada

Churchill polar bear tour in Canada

A unique opportunity to encounter polar bears

From £6595 7 days excluding flights

Northern Greece bear conservation tour

Northern Greece bear conservation tour

Brown bear conservation in Pindos & birds of Prespa Lake

From €850 8 days excluding flights

Brown bear tracking in Northern Greece

Brown bear tracking in Northern Greece

Track wild bears & explore the wilderness with park rangers

From €615 5 days excluding flights

Convert currencies