Dogsledding through snow-capped trees, Riisitunturi National Park, Finland (photo by Erkki Ollila)

Finnish Wilderness Week

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8 days
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£1,559
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 132 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
CFA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Winter
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–20

Relax in an unspoilt wilderness location

In the heart of Oulanka National Park sits Basecamp Oulanka, a self-sustained complex of wooden buildings in a truly stunning location. As the only accommodation for miles around, you are able to enjoy a variety of winter activities in this beautiful landscape and hardly ever see another soul. Dogsledding through the silent snow-caked forests of the nearby Riisitunturi National Park, you couldn’t feel more removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Get back to nature this winter and head to Basecamp. 

Highlights

  • Enjoy a host of winter activities in magical surroundings
  • Stay in fantastic lodge accommodation
  • Experience an evening Northern Lights snowshoe 

Key information

  • 7 nights Basecamp Oulanka: twin rooms with en suite bathrooms in two separate buildings
  • 5 days mixed activities
  • Group normally 4 to 20, plus leaders. Min age 16 years
  • All Arctic winter equipment and clothing provided

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 7 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Local tour leaders throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • All specialist equipment

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to Kuusamo; transfer to Basecamp Oulanka (approx. 45mins).

    Fly from Gatwick to Kuusamo, transfer to Basecamp Oulanka (approx 45 mins).

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Snowshoe hike in Oulanka National park walking through snow-caked trees and the Kitkajoki River

    In the morning we are provided with all of the equipment needed for a week of activities in arctic conditions. Strapping on a pair of snowshoes we head straight out into Oulanka National Park where we are taught the necessary skills for this activity. Our route today will take us through forests and along the Kitkajoki River, passing an old flour mill that sits adjacent to the dramatic Myllykoski rapids (approx 2½ hours). At the end of the walk, depending on timing, there will be the chance to do some further exploration of the surrounding area or relax in the sauna or hot tub.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Cross-country skiing in the morning heading down to the Juuma lake; free afternoon.

    Today we experience the Scandinavian-born sport of cross-country skiing. Heading down to the nearby JuumaLake, our instructor will literally walk us through the basics of how to cross-country ski. There may be a few tumbles to start with, but in the softsnow this is half the fun! After becoming more confident on the skis we then head out onto the lake, gliding through the virgin powder. In the afternoon, keep hold of your skis as there is the option of further unguided skiing in the area. Alternatively, you might wish to try kick sledging; a metal frame sled you can use on your own and venture out around Basecamp.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Half day dogsledding instruction and tour (about 10km) in Riisitunturi National Park; optional ice climbing.

    After breakfast we take a short transfer to the nearby Riisitunturi National Park where we meet up with our dogsledding guide. The day begins with tuition on how to ride on the sled and the importance of caring for the huskies correctly. We then head off into the woods where our teams of dogs eagerly await our arrival, ready to take us on our 10km mushing adventure. Our route takes us deep into the national park and up onto the surrounding fjell where we are rewarded with a fantastic view. Travelling on your own sled, you are able to really appreciate the serenity of this beautiful snow-laden landscape. The afternoon is free to experience some of the optional activities that Basecamp has to offer such as ice climbing (min 4 persons).

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day in Ruka; morning option of snowmobile safari; afternoon option of downhill skiing.

    We spend the day at the popular ski resort of Ruka. Your guide will take care of transfers and can book activities for you. Transfers are included only to the designated areas and are scheduled at specific times. It is advisable to check at reception before making your activities booking. Downhill skiing and snowmobile safaris are available – see the 'Optional excursions' section below. Please note that due to operational reasons, the bookings for activities in Ruka need to be made by Tuesday. Otherwise, there's the option to stay at Basecamp, having the equipment, snowshoes, cross-country skis etc. at your disposal, with accessible routes to explore.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Wilderness skills including quinzee building and fire-making; optional night in the quinzee.

    Today we are taught the ancient art of quinzee building. Issued with shovels and spades and in groups of four, we create a mound of snow, which is later hollowed out to make sleeping quarters (2-3 persons per quinzee). You have the option of sleeping in your construction, but the lodge is just a short walk away if you prefer the warmth of your room.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Optional activities including ice climbing and snowmobiling; dinner around a campfire.

    Today we have a free day with several options on offer to make the most of the magical Finland Wilderness. Some of the activities available include unguided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, dogsledding or snowmobile safaris. As a farewell celebration, we have the option of eating dinner around a campfire on the edge of the National Park.

  • Day 8

    Transfer to Kuusamo; fly to London.

    Lunch is included for clients booked on the group flights for departures from Dec. 24th to Feb. 11th (included) due to a later inbound flight time.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Finland

No visa required for UK passport holders visiting Finland.

Vaccinations

Finland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 7 evening meals are included. The food at Basecamp is a delicious range of local produce (Finnish food) that is all prepared on site by the in house chef.
Starters consist of a salad buffet with 3-4 different choices. The main courses consist of wild game such as elk, chicken and salmon. Vegetarian options are also available. Dessert consists of lingonberries, blueberries and cloudberries that have often been picked by the chef herself. These berries are served with a selection of quark kurd, cream, ice cream, cakes and pancakes. Lunch normally consists of a hot soup with elk, salmon or vegetarian option.

Weather

In the regions close to the Arctic Circle temperatures during the season range from -30ºC to +5ºC. Christmas will normally be the coldest (usually below -20ºC), but the temperatures rise as the days lengthen, and early April can see temperatures around -10ºC to +5ºC. Recent years have seen massive fluctuations in the space of a few weeks with lows of -40ºC and highs of +7ºC just a few days apart. If the thought of such temperatures scares you, then think again. When dressed in the Arctic clothing provided, with insulated boots, woolly hat and large mittens, -20ºC can actually feel very pleasant. The Arctic cold is a dry cold, there is usually no wind, and remember, we will keep you active.

Remember that at extreme latitudes, the days shorten and lengthen much faster. So while in mid-winter (December/January) the sun remains just below the horizon, by April there are more daylight hours than in the UK, and the midnight sun is only a matter of weeks away. Even in midwinter it is not dark, as the sun is just above the horizon and there is plenty of light reflected off the snow.

The breathtaking Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are visible from September to late April on most clear nights at latitudes close to, and above the Arctic Circle. They can be seen further south, but will be less spectacular and less frequent. Solar activity is greater around the equinoxes (September and March), and at lower latitudes this can be the best time to see them. At Basecamp you need to have a clear window of weather with no clouds, and then your chances of seeing them are quite good as there is hardly any light pollution. With most "Northern Lights tours" starting from Arctic cities like Tromso and Reykjavik, you have to drive a bit of a distance to go and see the lights. The benefit of Basecamp is that if the conditions are good, all you need to do is go outside and look up!

Is this trip for you?

Level 3 - Moderate

This is a mixed activity week for adults with a good selection of guided activities and free time for independent activities or relaxation. None of the activities require previous experience, however, a good level of fitness is needed to make the most of this holiday. Basecamp provides excellent kit for the conditions, with a layered system allowing you to keep warm and dry.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Basecamp Oulanka

Basecamp Oulanka is a superb self-sustaining wooden complex that takes immediate inspiration from its wilderness location. Twin rooms with en suite bathrooms are in two separate buildings. The third building is a cosy restaurant and bar, with a log fire, sauna and outdoor hot tub. The heating system used throughout the complex relies totally on nature using special wood pellets for fuel. Winners for outstanding accommodation in the VESTAS 2011 awards is proof of Basecamp's dedication towards quality.

Please be aware that multiple Exodus trips are running at Basecamp at the same time and you might share the room with a member of a different group.

Please note that there are Exodus family groups at Basecamp during school holidays.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

All too often the first couple of months of a year are scarred by broken resolutions and shattered fitness aspiration

  • Reviewed April 2018
    Michelle Craig

    Fabulous Trip

    Fabulous week in the snow in the Finland. The week exceeded all expectations - helped by the fact we saw the Northern Lights on night one on the way from the airport. Had a great mix of different activities and stunning scenery. Also food was really good. Lunch was always a filling soup and dinner great home cooked Finnish dishes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The morning dog sledding - a small company is used who take good care of the dogs and dogs seemed very happy to bring us out for exercise. Also the scenery in the area was like a Winter Wonderland

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti made the trip. It was clear that he loves the outdoor life in the snow and he was happy to share those experiences with the group. He also had a great sense of humour

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You don't really to bring much luggage. All the layers are provided from boots to hats and gloves.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Daphne Dorman-Smith

    Superb Week in Wintry Finland

    Brilliant week of deep snow, sunshine, stunning scenery, amazing activities, great food and comfortable accommodation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dog sledding and Northern Lights, followed closely by snow mobiling and walking in the forest.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marti was brilliant. Very well organised, clear in his instructions, and great fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The lodge really does provide all the equipment/outer clothes you might require. All you need to pack is your thermal under layers, a few things to wear in the evening, and you're done.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fabulous week in glorious scenery, the chance to try your hand at lots of different activities and a great switch off from reality. If you love the snow, winter scenery and outdoor activities, then get booking !
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Sarah Skinner

    Finland wilderness week

    A fantastic location, the hut was lovely cozy & warm. The staff, particularly the leader Ana were really friendly and helpful. The kit provided was of good quality with top name brands, and kept you very warm, even at -30 for the evening walk. Each day was different, so made it intresting and allowed you to try a range of activities. Would highly recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snow showing in the National Park on the last day, the scenery was amazing, but huskies were a close second.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was excellent, great local knowledge, friendly & nothing too much bother.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this holiday!
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Gillian Hart

    Spectacular trip!

    A great escape from everyday life with the opportunity to try out many different snow activities plus free time to relax or experience optional activities. We were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights on 4 of our 7 nights 18-25 February 2018. Very tasty food and plenty of it. Comfortable rooms with underfloor heating. Overall a wonderful holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The beauty of the landscape and the wonderful Finnish people. We really enjoyed the dogsledding and it was well worth booking the full-day dogsledding optional activity as the scenery was absolutely amazing. A must if you are a dog lover as the huskies are so friendly and love a fuss.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anna was superb and went the extra mile to ensure everyone was happy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light as you only need clothes for the evenings. The water is so soft that you don't need skincare products and oil based lotions are advised against due to the extreme cold. We took our own thermal base layers and all other outdoor gear provided is sufficient to keep you warm during the day. Don't miss out on the sauna and outside hot tub!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't think twice about booking this trip!
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Catherine Ellwood

    Like going on holiday to Narnia!

    An amazing holiday in a beautiful landscape. It was like being in a Christmas card.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. On our free day, I walked the Little Bear trail with another member of the group and it was a great day. The huskies are beautiful, and I enjoyed snowmobiling. The evening snowshoe across the silent, dark frozen lake was amazing. Building the quinzee was fun, although hard work! For me, there was just enough taster of all the activities, and the option to do more of them if you wanted to.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina was lovely. She explained everything to us really well, made sure we were OK and knew what we were doing. She is so enthusiastic about her job, nature and country and shared it all with us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I had been thinking of doing this holiday for a while and it was fab. So do it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I definitely overpacked! You get all the outdoor clothing and aren't cold at all, so you only need a couple of jumpers/jeans for the evenings. Maybe take a travel hairdryer if you really need one.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Andrew Bennett

    Outstanding trip in Finland

    Superb trip! loved every minute of it. The activities, accommadation, food and staff were all excellent. Cannot fault a single part of the trip and would really like to do the whole thing again!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Husky dog sledding. Amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, nothing was too much trouble at all. All staff were superb.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are in doubt about the coldness, all clothes were provided and they kept us warm all week. If you needed anything extra you just needed to ask. I am 6 foot 5 and everything fitted me fine.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Joti Dhami

    Finish Wilderness Week - Amazing adventure. Perfect.

    From start to finish this trip was a dream. If you are thinking about booking it - stop thinking and just do it. You will not regret it. The transfers, location, wilderness, activities, staff, comfort, rooms, food, activities, clothing - everything was perfect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Learning new skills and surviving -30! Sleeping in a Quinzee Body rafting Husky sleding!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The staff were wonderful. Really caring and informative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You really do not need to take any clothes with you other than base layers and a jumper or two jumpers. Something warm to wear in the evenings - pair of jeans. I took the smallest bag and still used very little from it. Good warm sock. I would take a few good jumpers and sturdy shoes for the snow when walking from room to dinner. Saying that my boyfriend took trainors and we still survived. You don't really need much.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was perfect!!
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Lisa Colton

    A fantastic trip!

    This review is for the week of 14th-21st January 2018 The whole week was truly amazing. Our hosts Martii and Tiia were fantastic and ensured we had the best holiday possible. Everyone's dietary requirements were taken care of and all of the activities were so much fun. For me the Husky dog sledding was a memory that will last me a lifetime. The Northern Lights made an appearance on the plane ride home which was the perfect end to a fabulous trip. If you want to know about it in more detail please feel free to click on the below link which is a my blog for the week! Enjoy! https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4016466253369531842#editor/target=post;postID=5310183189617508352;onPublishedMenu=publishedposts;onClosedMenu=publishedposts;postNum=0;src=link

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Husky Dogs!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martii and Tiia - the best!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't wear a ton of layers if you go Fat Biking! Even I sub zero temperatures you will be boiling!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book this trip!
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Irena Rattray

    A unique and fabulous experience

    We have done several Exodus trekking trips and this caught our eye as an opportunity for a completely new experience and we were not disappointed. I have been raving about this trip to all who will listen ever since I came back. The scenery was beautiful and the environment offered a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city working life. We got to try some new experiences in a relaxed way with Basecamp Oulanka staff who you could feel safe with and made some like-minded friends within the group. If you enjoy adventure and new experiences, I cannot recommend this trip enough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had so many new experiences that it is difficult to pick just one but snowshoeing was so enjoyable and took us to places I have never seen before and that you could not normally access. I have never hugged a tree in my life and would have been sceptical beforehand but snowshoeing deep into the trees and hugging a tree and the absolute complete silence this gave us was truly magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were looked after by the whole team at Basecamp to make our stay comfortable but Teddy was our primary contact and took such good care of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It may sound obvious but it really is so very cold there in winter. You are very well equipped when you get there but if you have bad circulation, I would recommend arthritis gloves and knee high woolen socks - the group were great and rallied around with these things for me when it became apparent that my digits were struggling with the cold and it sorted the issue out splendidly.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Barry Dawkins

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    An absolutely spectacular trip with some of the best scenery ever. Although we did not see the Northern Lights we were not disappointed, nobody can control Mother nature. The activity's, ( included and optional ) were all incredible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment had to be the scenery when we were out dog sledding, I am so glad I can close my eyes and go right back there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leaders were tops, they go out of their way to accommodate everyone's specific needs, they put in very long days and really enjoy what they do.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't forget to bring your sense of humor with you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Working together with other members of the group to build the Quinzze was a great team building exercise.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936