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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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150 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2016
    Elizabeth Walsh

    Adventure

    What a wonderful adventure. We really enjoyed all of the activities: snow shoe walking, cross country sking, igloo building, husky rides. There are optional things to do also such as reindeer farm, ice wall and abseiling. Although it was - 17 on the coldest day the clothing provided keeps you warm and toasty. I have never been on a group holiday before and a little apprehensive but don't be, met some wonderful spirited adventures. Base camp is great, staff very friendly and helpful, food lovely and filling. Only down side: we had to come home

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Husky ride through the winter wonderland Rolling in the snow after a sauna and then into the hot tub

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was fantastic, very patient with a sense of humour ( he needed it)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Rachel Jones

    Finnish Wilderness Week - just book it!

    This was our first Exodus adventure, and our first guided holiday, but right now we are booking our second! Basecamp Oulanka is a friendly safe & cosy retreat with an excellent team of knowledgeable and welcoming staff. The holiday is a mixture of activity, learning new skills, seeing stunning scenery, relaxing with new found friends and eating home cooked hearty food - what more can you want?! If you are thinking about booking it, JUST DO IT! We are a 36 year old couple who enjoy the outdoors and enjoy being active, and I have recently become interested in photography, so this holiday ticked all the boxes!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dog-sledding was an amazing experience, like floating on top of a Christmas cake, the scenery is like Narnia untouched & spectacular with only the tracks from the sledges before you & the people on your group. The dogs howl & bark & pull until the off then they are silent through the beautiful white forest! Dinner outside making pancakes on a fire also a highlight on our last night. Ice climbing at the base itself - challenging but fantastic to learn a new skill. Snow-shoeing with a few of the group on the Little Bear Trail through forests, passing roaring rivers & sliding down embankments on our bums! Building a quinzee on a lake as a group - scary for the claustrophobic but a fantastic experience. All rewarded with a soak in the hot tub or a relax & chat in the sauna! There were so many inspirational moments, but also down-time where you could pick up a pair of snow shoes or cross-country skis, or sledges & head out on your own. The staff asked that you write down where you were going, times etc & a mobile number so we always felt safe & looked after, perfect as there were many solo travellers within the group. The chefs prepare the meals & then announce what they have made & it was always wonderful! I am a vegetarian and was happier than when at home in England! Lots of hearty stews with fresh vegetables & divine puddings such as almond & berry tart, scandanavian pancakes, cakes, crumbles - yum yum!! There is one meal choice plus lovely salad to choose from, but if you don't like fish, I would tell them you are vegetarian, as some of the soups had whole (but small) fish in them which put some people off. Vegetarians have first dabs at the vege food so the staff say to check they have had enough before the meat-eaters eat the vege dishes which I thought was lovely!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti was with us for most of the time but also Jukka & Juuri. All were fantastic, knowledgeable, friendly, and really enthusiastic to ensure we enjoyed ourselves, but they also took our safety very seriously. Martti & one of the lovely chefs showed us to the coach at the end of the trip & hugged each one of us good bye - I really did not want to leave as they are all so wonderful & the place stunning!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You really only need to bring your own thermal underwear and probably woollen socks, as everything for the days is provided. In the evenings it is very casual so jogging bottoms & jumpers are perfect - I lived in leg gins & hoodies at night. They advise the women to wear no make up as if it is water-based it can freeze, so once I got my head around it is was so lovely to not wear it for the rest of the trip even in the evenings! Expect to spend a fair bit of extra money as lunches are 11 Euros each & there is no where else to eat (but they are worth usually creamy fish or veg soups...ask if they will make the Beetroot & Blue Cheese Soup one day - it is soooo good!) There are many optional activities and they are a little pricey (290 Euros each for an extra full-day of dog-sledding), but you don't have to do them. Squash, water, tea & coffee always available to help yourself in the main building (not in rooms) but other soft drinks & alcohol is extra. Not a massive choice but we found most people were chilled out with the drinks available or had the occasional beer so it worked perfectly. I made a bottle of wine (21 Euros) last a week which was fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is the best holiday we've been on and we felt it was really well balanced in terms of activity, down-time, food, scenery etc. Even at -39 degrees celcius we can still say it was amazing & we would advise anyone to do it. The age range was 20 -60 I would say with a mix of people but we all got on fantastic although you could just sit in the main building & read a book whilst people were playing poker, or other sat by the fire having a drink & a laugh - it was great to have this variety so no-one felt they had to go back to their rooms. Definitely try the hot tub & sauna as after a day out on the snow, this is very much appreciated! But take a glove or towel outside with you as the handle back in freezes & sticks to your hand!! Overall we felt very looked after & safe & felt like we got to see how stunning the Oulanka National Park was, how lovely the people were & had a fab time trying out new activities which were sometimes tricky & hard-work but well worth it! Stop thinking & just book it!
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Jane Rodgman

    A good mix of activities and time to relax

    It is really like the pictures in the brochure! So beautiful and peaceful but with lots of activities to try out along with time to relax in comfortable accommodation and excellent quality local food. As daylight hours at short this encourages you to spend a few hours relaxing in front of the open fire in the late afternoon before dinner.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed the mix of activities but the husky dog sledging and the optional snow shoe to Castle Rocks were particularly memorable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was an excellent leader. He was well organised, very knowledgeable about the area, activities and wilderness skills and communicated this with good humour. All the staff at the Basecamp were lovely and nothing was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Whilst all the clothing (which is of a high standard) is provided I was glad I had a few extra base layers but I do tend to feel the cold more than others.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Unfortunately the northern lights can't be guaranteed, we saw faint green lights although nothing really spectacular. Better luck next time - a good excuse to go on this holiday again!
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Leanne Malcolmson

    Finnish wilderness week

    A wonderful week of winter activities (all of them a new experience for me from snow shoeing to husky dog sleds) and fun in the snow. The evenings were spent in the community building/hub eating great food and enjoying the company of the rest of the group round the fire with a few drinks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    so many to choose from: - Cross country skiing across the frozen lake, - Attempting the ice wall, - Husky Dog sleds in -39, - Building and spending a night in a Quinzee,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti was great, he went above and beyond making sure everyone was happy and well informed, Loved his stories too even if my toes nearly fell off during one on the night snow shoe walk. All the other staff were great too and the food cooked was amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although all clothing needed is provided I found that several thin base layers underneath were needed, also a thinner pair of gloves were good under the gloves/mittens provided. There is only a few hair dryers for everyone to share so a travel one is a good idea. If you like a cuppa in the morning then take a travel kettle as Breakfast wasn't til 9am. You get a towel provided but I'm glad I took an extra thin one which was useful to take to the sauna/hot tub

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This has been one of my favourite holidays to date, I enjoyed every second of it.
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Lauren Hogarth

    I had an excellent time during the Finnish Wilderness Week

    I had an awesome time from start to finish. The clothing provided was excellent and protected me well against the temperatures which did sink into the minus 30s. The room was comfortable although i didn't spend too much time in it. Food was great and filling after busy days (there is a lot of fish which I am not usually a big fan of but I loved the fish soups). Activities were well run and the instructors were patient and well skilled in cross country skiing and snowshoeing as well as various winter wilderness skills.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being outside in such a stunning location! Husky sledding was particularly memorable though as was the optional long snowshoe offered on the Saturday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Henri Suopanki who was brilliant. He is a great tour leader who is a good instructor across all activities. He is patient and helpful when instructing and with any other queries. He also mixes a good cocktail! All the staff at Basecamp Oulanka were great and this is one of the best places I've ever stayed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a book or small board game for the evening. When I went the days started getting dark at 3pm so a lot of time was spent in front of the open fire in the main lodge. There are a couple of board games available but I'd advise bringing a little entertainment of your own.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a great week and a good starting point for someone who would like to try a rage of winter activities to see if they would like to develop any particular sports further or go on any other winter holidays.
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Helen Shair

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    This is an amazing trip based at a wonderful centre called Basecamp Oulanka. The staff are fantastic, always available to assist and advise you. Mornings are spent trying out different activities and then in the afternoon you can try something different, relax or consolidate your snowshoeing or cross country skiing skills in the national park. Once you have tried these activities the equipment is available free to use during the week, as are the sledges on site. The food is tasty and plentiful, and the accommodation warm and functional. Trying lots of new activities really made this trip unique and now I feel I'm ready for a more specialized trip in the future.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My daughter and I fell in love with the dogsledding. Everyone experienced the half day session and many of us scrambled to sign up for the full day which is something that we will never forget. The huskies are incredible, keen to be off, howling and jumping with excitement which contrasts with the silence when you are speeding along. The scenery is breathtakingly serene and beautiful. Lauri, the owner of the huskies, is caring and very knowledgeable and the dogs aim to please him and it is great to see their kennels and hear about how they live throughout the year.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Martti was always available at the camp to answer queries or to suggest a route for an extra walk. He was very knowledgeable about survival skills in the cold and we had great fun building a quinzee. He is passionate about the Finnish wilderness and his enthusiasm is infectious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All of the camp clothing is very good quality so do believe the trip guide, you really do only need to take thermals and good wool socks and liner socks, the fleeces and outer clothes are there for you. When it dropped to minus 27 it was useful to have a balaclava and woollen hats with the flaps to cover ears were a bonus. Do take Vaseline and lip salve, and use oil based moisturisers. Also shoes/trainers to wear in the main lodge when going for meals are useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was pleasantly surprised by how much light there was. It started to get light at about 9.30am and stayed light until about 2.30pm in December when we were there. However even before and after there was plenty of light reflected by the snow and it was possible to walk in the forest without a torch when your eyes adjusted.
  • Reviewed January 2016
    Linda Pearson

    Finnish Wilderness week

    overall not great inadequate staffing levels for group size. Health and safety really not up to scratch - I have been to Iceland and Himalayas x3 this is, in my opinion, no where like as well run in terms of safety.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    free day skiing was good

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Did not mix with group much.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    consider very carefully before going

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Kit was good brand but was showing its age - obviously lots of use. I found stuff in pockets of fleeces I was issued so I doubt they had been washed after last person used them.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Linda for her review, whilst we have not received feedback of this nature in the past Linda’s comments have been passed to our local operator for consideration as health and safety is of the upmost importance to Exodus and our local partners.

    Paolo Bonato - Product Manager for Finnish Wilderness week

  • Reviewed December 2015
    Erica Tucker

    Magical

    This trip was one of my favourites ever... breathtaking scenery, yummy food, lovely Oulanka Base Camp staff, and great activities. I would really recommend this trip as there is a different activity each day which makes it so memorable and rewarding especially if like me you haven't done any of these activities before.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights on our second night which will always be a wonderful memory. What does inspire me is the friendliness and positivity of the Finnish people living in such cold conditions with few hours of daylight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide Martti was fantastic throughout. He was very organised, helpful and interesting. What really made it for me was his extreme passion for nature and the preservation of his environment.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    One thing that isn't on the pre-trip details is that you have to be careful what you put on your face and lips (i.e. no make up or other water based products) as in such cold conditions certain products can freeze on your face. I would recommend taking VASELINE for the lips (and even your skin if really dry) as you can use this safely in such conditions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just to say thank you to all the Oulanka Base Camp staff who were wonderful throughout our week.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Audrey Stewart

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    This was one of the most exhilarating holidays I've been on for a long time. I only booked at the last minute which was fine because everything you need is supplied and it just means packing a few changes of clothes for the evening. Oulanka Base Camp is very cosy with really lovely staff who looked after us well - the food was exceptional and all made from fresh. The itinerary lets you try all the activities and then do them with more challenge if you want to. I opted for the additional day-long husky driving and it was wonderful to be travelling through spectacular scenery pulled by these extraordinary dogs - absolutely wonderful!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the long husky driving trip. My team was raring to go all the time and sweeping down the tracks at speed was so exciting - a real adrenalin rush! I would definitely do this again.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Everyone was just so helpful and kind - a really lovely group of people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! Trust the leaders and try everything because you do get better at the activities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fabulous week with a great bunch of people.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Paola Cassotti

    Amazing experience

    Great week with an excellent combo of activities in a fantastic location. Peaceful and relaxing, great food and friendly service.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the snow walking and cross country skiing in the peace of the forest and the lake. Stunning winter scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henry was great. Fantastic knowledge of the area and local stories, made me the greatest fan of Finland. Good training session before activities and patient, genuine passion for his job. Thank you!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Additional activities are well worth the extra expenditure.