Finland winter activity holidays

WINTER ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS IN FINLAND


MIX IT UP IN FINLAND’S FROZEN FORESTS

Finland could have been made for winter activities. Wonderful wilderness areas are bowed by snow beside frozen lake sides, while saunas sizzle with the sound of water on hot rocks and the chuckle of Glögi guzzling guests. Spending the night in a remote log cabin or traditional wooden kota will leave you glowing, no matter what the temperature is outside, and there’s nothing like the howl of a husky to really make neck hairs stand to attention as you peer through windows in search of stars.
Of course, stars aren’t the only natural phenomenon to keep your eyes out for on a winter holiday in Finland. The amazing Aurora Borealis is well worth wrapping up for too, with remote locations in Lapland sure to wield success as you explore close to the Arctic Circle.

Although the Northern Lights are on everyone’s watch list when the winter sun goes down, there are still several hours of daylight to get through before the Aurora appears. This is where multi activity holidays come in. Often taken as part of a small group, winter activity holidays allow you to try something new in snow covered surrounds. They’ll keep you active outdoors as you work up an appetite for mid-morning snacks and coffee around an open fire, or home cooked evening meals in the warmth of a cosy cabin. If you’re looking for a few itinerary ideas, here are five of our Finnish favourites to mull over by the fire.

NORTHERN LIGHTS


Although the Aurora Borealis have been known to turn up all over Finland, you're definitely better off heading north to get ringside seats for the greatest natural show on earth. The closer you get to the Arctic Circle, within Finland's northernmost region, Lapland, the more chance you'll have of seeing some colour with Pallas-Yllästunturi and Pyhä-Luosto National Parks, for example, exhibiting minimal artificial light to maximum affect. These sorts of locations, where the Northern Lights are prevalent, also have plenty of Aurora-friendly accommodation too, with wooden yurts and hotel rooms often coming complete with outstanding Arctic views. Match Northern Lights, lovely lodgings and a choice of outdoor activities and you’ve got the makings of an absolutely unforgettable winter experience.

HUSKY SAFARIS


Keen eyed, bushy tailed and raring to go just about sums up how you'll feel on a husky safari in northwestern Lapland with opportunities to learn how to drive your very own team of huskies on an experience that's as authentically Finnish as you could ever hope to imagine. Learn the ropes and take command of a group of four or six dogs as you travel distances of 25 – 40km per day and stay overnight in wilderness cabins within some of Finland's deepest, darkest forests. Husky safaris can be tailor made for couples or organised on a small group basis with a range of alternative activities over the course of the week ensuring you, and the dogs, don’t have to work too hard.

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING & SNOW SHOEING


Don't think that 15 feet of pure white snow is going to stop Finns getting out and about on two feet – far from it. Strapping on a pair of cross country skis or snow shoes is just what Finns do to get around and there's nowhere better than Hossa National Park, in northeastern Finland, to do just that. Legs will ache after a first day of shuffling for over 17km; however, there's nothing a sauna won't put right, and as you ease into a week of exploring over frozen pine heaths and snow covered ridges, close to Russia, you'll be surprised just how easy it is for your body, and your mind, to adapt.
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SNOWMOBILES & REINDEER SAFARIS


Combining the old ways with the new provides travellers with insight into a variety of landscapes with chances to cover up to 80km on the seat of a snowmobile or just 7km on a reindeer drawn sleigh both offering an authentic look at life in Lapland. Snowmobiles are the most efficient way to get around, with two person machines providing couples, after instructions, with an opportunity to grasp the full depth of a Finnish wilderness during the winter. Reindeer rides won't take you as far, but they are more peaceful and will help you learn more about rural traditions and the importance of reindeer within northern Finnish culture.

FAT BIKING


Huge, chunky bike tyres, made for maximum grip, have turned cycling in Finland into a year round activity with pre-prepared tracks around frozen lakes and through old growth forests allowing for a surreal, near silent, experience within white coated wilderness areas such as Oulanka National Park. Fat biking is a brilliant winter activity to enjoy as part of a small group with bike rental, local tour leaders and nights spent in cosy cabins adding to an active itinerary that will have you putting your pedals through their paces by day whilst easing any aches in the sauna and by the fire, at night.
Winter multi activity holidays in Finland are a fun way to get some exercise in some of the country's most pristine and remote environments with small group and tailor made tour options providing an excellent excuse to take off for a week, or more, and lose yourself on the other side of the wardrobe.
Photo credits: [Top box: Janne Aaltonen] [Northern lights: Niilo Isotalo] [Husky safaris: flightlog] [Snowshoeing: Guillaume Baviere] [Fat biking: Hagbard_]

Written by: Chris Owen
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