Three cross-country ski lessons, with excellent local instructors located just next door, are exclusive to Exodus and Headwater. The rest of the time is free for independent skiing or optional activities of your choice.
- Flight inclusive price from the UK includes return flights from Heathrow to Ivalo
- 7 nights at Hotel Riekonlinna
- All breakfasts and dinners
- 3 cross-country ski lessons (2hrs each)
- Loipe pass and map per couple
- Classic cross-country ski equipment hire
- Public bus transfers from Ivalo Airport €12 each way
- Tour leader
- Dog/reindeer sledding
- Downhill skiing
Hotel Riekonlinna 'Castle of the Snow Grouse', our hotel is perfectly located in the heart of Saariselka Village, where locals run errands on scarlet kick sleds in the snowy streets. The main reception houses the bar and restaurant as well as saunas, massage and fitness rooms. All guest rooms have a private balcony (good for spotting Northern Lights!) and there is an option to upgrade to a room with private sauna.
All breakfasts and dinners included.
This trip is operated by our sister company, Headwater, who offer more flexibility so you can ski as much or as little as you like. There is no minimum age on this tour; children are welcome to join as long as they are able to participate in the skiing. Please note that if you are travelling on your own or there is an odd number travelling in your party, a compulsory single supplement will be applied. Ski lessons are subject to at least 2 persons (in total) booked on a departure, otherwise a sole traveller supplement may apply. Insurance details are required at the time of booking.
Our independent style cross-country skiing trips allow people to get a taste of what cross-country skiing is like without the pressure of keeping up with a group. There is no leader for this trip but it is perfect if this is your first time in the tracks and want to gradually build confidence independently.
Cross-country skiing is an increasingly popular winter pastime. Compared to those used for downhill, the skis are longer, thinner and lighter with bindings that allow you to lift up your heel. Most cross-country skiing is undertaken on prepared tracks (loipe) covering flat and hillier terrain enabling you to explore the winter landscapes away from the confines of the alpine pistes.
Saariselka offers a range of skiing along easy and intermediate trails for all levels of skiing, however nervous beginners will find it difficult to make the most of the area. 3 ski lessons (2hrs each) are included in the mornings, arranged by our base and afternoons are free to explore one of Finland's most extensive ski networks independently. This wonderful base also offers a wide range of optional activities including dogsledding and snowmobiling (paid locally).
As we are travelling high above the Artic Circle, passengers should be prepared for cold temperatues that can reach minus 25 degrees (see what to take section).
All active winter holidays involve some element of risk, from a possible slip on an icy pavement to the possibility of sustaining an injury as a result of the winter activities. Exodus does everything it can to safeguard against any dangers, however, participants must be prepared to accept some level of risk as part of the holiday. Please refer to the 'risk of injury' section at the back of the Winter Activities Brochure, or in the online FAQs for this trip for further information.
Normal group size and age
Independent: Hotel staff and ski instructors can help organise optional activities and additional lessons. Minimum age 12.
- 3 cross-country ski lessons
- Easy and intermediate trails for independent exploration
- Exciting optional activities includes reindeer sledding
Self-Guided trips are only available to cycling enthusiasts in Europe. These holidays are the perfect choice for those who like to travel independently and at your own pace, yet still benefit from our quality research, back-up and support. We'll arrange your accommodation, provide you with detailed maps and route notes, and transport your bags from one hotel to the next.
Cross-country skiing: will involve intensive instruction, and our groups are carefully graded to ensure participants have similar levels of experience.
Cross-country ski grades: 1 Beginners | 2 Intermediates (suitable for confident beginners) | 2+ Intermediates (not suitable for beginners) | 3 Advanced | 4 Strenuous | and for Cross-country Skating levels: 1 Beginners | 2 Intermediates - For full explanations of Cross-Country Grading and Levels please see below or check here to view the full Winter Grades page.
Winter Activities: It's about seeking out alternative ways to have fun in unspoilt locations, you won't find standard skiing or snowboarding breaks here.
Grade 1 Beginners. Recommended for beginners, or those who feel the need to improve basic techniques. We teach you the essentials and explore gently undulating terrain. All or most skiing is on prepared tracks (loipe). More experienced skiers are welcome, but the pace will be set for the beginners. Towards the end of the holiday you might ski 10-15km or more a day, at a gentle pace. Throughout the week you will be taught how to snowplough and different techniques to have you gliding along the tracks in no time.
Grade 2 Intermediates and confident beginners. A mix of flat and hillier terrain. Grade 2 weeks are for people who have enjoyed a Grade 1 holiday, grasped the snowplough and now want to improve technique. We ski a little more quickly and over more challenging ground than on a grade 1 trip.
Acceptable for newcomers to cross-country skiing, but you should be very fit and have experience of ther sports that develop balance - ice-skating, roller-skating or downhill skiing. Most of the skiing will be on tracks but there may be some off-track skiing.