Self drive family holiday in Finland

“A nine day self-drive family tour of Finland, taking in the west coast, the Wild Taiga region and the Arctic Circle”


Oulu | Rokua National Park | Rokua Geopark | Super Park Vuokatti | Drive a husky team | Bear safari | Hossa National Park | Rovaniemi | Santa Claus Village

Description of Self drive family holiday in Finland

This self drive holiday in Finland takes you on a relaxed, family-friendly itinerary to the country’s northwest, where you’ll explore the region on smooth, low-traffic roads, with activities and sights especially designed to please the kids. Taking a circular route, you’ll travel from Oulu on the west coast up to the Wild Taiga region, which borders the Arctic Circle, and back again.

Highlights include a visit to meet Santa, a tour of a husky farm and reindeer park, and a visit to Super Park Vuokatti - a massive indoor activity centre. You’ll also explore the forests of the Wild Taiga region, where there’s plenty of outdoorsy action to be had, including hiking, canoeing and fishing. There will also be a chance to sample delicious local food, ranging from fresh fish to elk to berries.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip is tailor made and can be arranged to depart anytime between 1 May – 30 September

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Our company was established in 2000 and since the beginning the basic business idea of our company is to offer the tourist a range of products which are in concordance with Finnish nature.

This trip provides the opportunity to explore the wild taiga forests of Finland, which is best done in the versatile national parks, nature reserves and other protected areas. These areas offer many services for hikers and at the same time ensure the sustainable usage of the land. We highly recommend clients to stay on marked hiking routes and nature trails also on areas where it is not prohibited to walk outside trails. Information on protected, routes and services is provided in visitor centers maintained by Finnish Forest and Park Service.

With the tour information package visitors also receive information on Finnish everyman's rights to understand, how to behave in the nature. People of all nationalities have the right to enjoy the Finnish countryside freely under the traditional Finnish legal concept known as everyman’s right which allow free right of access to the land and waterways, and eg. the right to collect natural products such as wild berries and mushrooms, no matter who owns the land.
But together with these wide-ranging rights comes the responsibility to respect nature, other people, and property. It is eg. forbidden to cut down or damage living trees, or collect wood, moss or lichen, disturb breeding birds, or their nests, reindeer or game animals. In National Parks there are some special regulations, eg. camping is permitted only at specified sites and all animals must be kept on leashes.

The Finnish Forest and Park Service encourages hikers to help keep the Finnish countryside free of litter, and to recycle wastes whenever possible. In National Parks visitors must abide by the rules of “hiking without littering”, in other words hikers are asked to look after their own wastes, according to the principle that if you can manage to bring something into the forest, you can also manage to take it out again. There are usually recycling points in the start points of routes where visitors can sort glass, metal, paper, hazardous waste and compost waste. Burnable litter can be burnt at campfire sites.

This tour requires a hire car. We recommend visitors to choose a low-emisssion car and as appropriate as possible of size, not too big one. We also encourage visitors to drive as smoothly and eco-friendly as possible, to avoid idle and unnecessary driving.

When selecting co-operation partners, preference is given to those having an environmental policy. In addition, subcontractors are informed of the firm's purchases policy. Hotels and other partners naturally recycle waste according to regulations.

The Impacts of this Trip

This tour take place in northern Finland from where many people, especially young, are forced to move out due to lack of work. By bringing visitors and organizing tours we are bringing more welfare for local people. The trip is contributing mainly in economical means to the local community as the accommodations are run by local businesses. Also most of the activity providers are small local companies.

For example on day 4 you visit Arola, near the border zone, where you will be welcomed by Helena's and Eero's family who is running this authentic place. You can hear stories from the war time and how they changed the farming into small tourism business. Helena is famous for delicious cooking, all made of local ingredients - fish from the nearby river, elk from the forest, vegetables from the garden, berries from the forest etc. Tourism gives Helena and Eero and their children and grandchildren the chance to keep on their lives in this remote area.

The traditional reindeer husbandry is supported by this trip as the arrangement of visiting reindeer farm offer a new source of income to the reindeer herders and prevent them from quitting this traditional work.


2 Reviews of Self drive family holiday in Finland

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 21 Jan 2020 by

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

Too many to mention! We loved visiting the husky farm and going on the Husky Mercedes! We also very much enjoyed the bear watching in the forest! We
were fortunate to see moose and elk on this excursion as well. It was amazing to be that close, yet tucked away in a safe location, to the bears. Vuokatti was
more fun than we expected and they had a wide array of outdoor activities including a challenging ropes course. We also had a great time in Rovaniemi and
had the full Santa experience.

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

Think about bringing enough clothing for your trip, or scope out where to do laundry ahead of time. Laundry services and/or machines are not easy to find in
Finland as a tourist. Bring food with you to Hossa because there are not many nearby food stores. There's a "corner shop" type place for essentials and snacks, but oyu pay a premium.

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

yes - and it made it all the more enjoyable because the local people were really experts and a valuable resource for the areas we visited

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

We wanted to be immersed in Finnish nature, have some family adventures and feel rested after the vacation. Sometimes it's challenging to explore a new
country and feel rested, but Finland really delivered. We accomplished all 3!

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2015 by

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

Far too many to mention personally - running the Helsinki Marathon (fantastic scenic route!) at the end of the trip was a personal highlight but aside from this I also enjoyed the beautiful scenery of northern Finland and great accommodation
throughout the trip. My 4 year old son enjoyed it all too but his favourites were the Angry Birds Kids Theme Park, Husky Sledding, meeting Santa Claus, feeding reindeers, running the Helsinki Mini Marathon for kids, riding the trams in Helsinki and wanting to go in the sauna every day having never experienced one before.

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

Fantastic holiday for active families with young kids. The weather was excellent for us in early August, low 20's ºC every day, hardly any rain but pack for all weathers just in case. Take plenty of insect repellent, there are millions of mosquitos about in the summer months in the pine forests of northern Finland.

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

All of the accommodation we used were locally-owned rather than big chain hotels. Many of the activities are in support of conservation (wildlife activities such as zoo visits and bear watching etc.) and staying in log cabins in the woods and small spa hotels brings the wonders and joys of nature to your kids.

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

We all loved our self-drive holiday to northern Finland. The driving parts were no more than 3 hours a day and mostly about 60-90 minutes so not many "Are we there yet?" comments from the back! Accommodation was of a very good standard throughout at all but one of the accommodations which despite being adequate was not as good as all of the others. Meals at every place we stayed were excellent. Activities and trips were all fantastic in the eyes of our 4 year old son. As adults we thought the price of admission to Angry Birds was steep considering adults and children all pay the same but everything inside is for kids only. That said, it was one of the highlights for our son but with hindsight we would have only paid for one adult to go in and the other of us would have either gone for a nice run in the forests (me) or gone shopping (my wife) for a couple of hours instead! Adding on a few days in Helsinki at the end of our trip to make it into a 2 week holiday and allow me to run the Helsinki Marathon was fantastic. There are hundreds of things for kids to do in Helsinki too and getting around on the excellent tram network is cheap and easy.

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