- Real Arctic experience: igloo villages, reindeer corrals, Sami people and genuine smoke saunas!
- One of Finland's most extensive ski networks: over 220kms of trails, free ski bus to explore at leisure
- Good chance of seeing the Northern Lights
- Cross-country ski lessons with expert instructor and equipment hrie included
The picturesque village of Saariselka is our base for the week. Low timber buildings huddle below the snowy fells and more than 220kms of groomed trails (34km of which are illuminated) radiate in all directions, including into one of Finland’s loveliest National Parks: Urho Kekkonen. Snow-thick pine forests are home to reindeer and moose, while Arctic hare and willow grouse flit between pines in snowy winter camouflage.
Once you’ve found your ski legs, you’ll soon be sweeping past reindeer corrals, husky farms and ghost huts of prospectors long departed. To get you started, we’ve included 3 lessons with an expert cross-country ski guide who will also provide lots of suggestions for independent exploring. A regular and complimentary ski bus departs from outside the hotel and covers the entire trail network and links the local villages.
In partnership with Headwater
Our Cross-Country Skiing Taster 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. This trip is run in partnership with our sister company, Headwater, who offer more flexibility so you can ski as much or as little as you like. Children may join these holidays as long as they can participate in the activities and please note if travelling on your own, a single supplement will be applied. Insurance details are required at the time of booking.
What makes this trip responsible?
We avoid crowded downhill resorts, seeking out instead incredibly pretty, off-the-beaten-track mountain villages where life continues as it has for centuries. When hand-picking where to stay, we choose small, family-run hotels, offering great regional cuisine, run by owners who take a genuine interest in their guests.
This holiday is based in the far north of Finland, well above the Arctic Circle, in the province of Ivalo, deep in traditional Sami reindeer herding country. It is a true wilderness and a genuine winter wonderland. The sense of space and natural beauty will blow your mind - right next to the village of Saariselka (where you'll be staying) is the Urho Kekkonen National Park, where wild reindeer roam. The Hotel Riekonlinna (which translates as "Castle of the Snow Grouse"!) is in the heart of the village, where locals run errands on scarlet kicksleds in the snowy streets!
NB: Please note the 2014 itinerary starts with the December 2013 departures.
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Snow-caked trees in the Finnish Wilderness