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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 March 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

    A fantastic trip that did exactly what it said on the tin: wilderness, northern Finland a variety of outdoor activities in a setting that seemed more than just a couple of flights away from the big city.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all good - even building quinzhees in a wind chill of -25C.  Both times with the huskies were great, as was the ice climbing, the hot tub and the endless supply of rye bread at breakfast.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Olli was a friendly, sociable and knowledgeable leader who looked after us well. As we were a big group we were also looked after at times by Teemu, Hanna, Sara and pretty much anyone else who was around at Basecamp - all keen on making sure we had as much fun as possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Another review I read recommended budgeting around £500 additional expenses which I'd say is about right, particularly if you're planning on doing the full day of husky driving.  Booze from the bar wasn't bad value at €21 for a bottle of wine and €3.50 for a shot of whichever dodgy Finnish spirit takes your fancy. The cold weather kit provided at Basecamp is more than enough for what you need, good boots and endless layers of thermals and waterproofs, you don't need to take anything of your own. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I didn't go on the day out to Ruka as I wasn't ready for the 'bright lights and coffee bars', preferring to stay around camp and do my own bit of cross country. which was a good choice for me.Other than sitting around the table and chatting there is nothing to do in the evening - although we found the evenings quite short as we normally were too tired to stay up for long - but books and possibly games would be a good thing to take.A really excellent trip though, I'd thoroughly recommend it - and it was possible to do more or less if the level of activity didn't suit. 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

    Very enjoyable holiday playing around in the snow.  There were lots of activities to do and you could do as little or as much as you liked.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teemu was excellent.  From the very start he wanted us to have fun and not take things too seriously.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Honestly, don't take many clothes with you.  I know that the trip notes state this but we took our own cold weather gear anyway because we just didn't know how good the kit supplied would be.  But the kit supplied - 3 layers top and bottom plus two pairs of gloves, a hat and boots - were excellent.  I would still take your own base layer and socks although they do supply the latter if you don't have them.  You can even use the gear (apart from the cross country skis and snow shoes) on other trips too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The additional trips are pretty expensive so be prepared.  Everything in Finland (and the other Scandinavian countries) just seems to be a lot more expensive than they would be here.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

    Fantastic holiday - so unique and special. I will remember this holiday always as one of the finest I have ever taken! Beautiful location, everything perfectly organized, delicious food, lovely staff, and everyday an extremely fun activity. It was also a perfect balance between organized and free time, so I returend from the trip feeling relaxed yet energized - what I like to call "active rest". In the afternoons you are free to use any of the basecamp equipment and go cross-country skiing across a beautiful frozen lake, or snowshoeing through the snowy forest to a frozen waterfall. And did I mention, delicious food?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Aurora Borealis - how many people can see that in a lifetime? And the husky ride. It is a once in a lifetime experience! I highly recommend taking the additional day-long Husky trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lovely people. I really like how they encouraged us to try everything, but always allowed for people's different activity level. They were fun, extremely kind and knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    March is an excellent time to go. There is plenty of sunlight, so you can participate in all the activities, and it is already warm enough (hovering just below a balmy 0 Celsius), so you can enjoy the outside for hours at a time. I also recommend a "snow roll", which basically goes like this: Go in the sauna for 10-15 minutes, and when you are just hot enough, run outside, take a roll in the snow, and return to the sauna! It's a Finnish favorite, and a practice that I thoroughly enjoyed during my visit. I would also recommend  bringing 2 - 3 pairs of thermal underwear of your own. Although the basecamp provides everything, it's good to have spares, as you will be active.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I highly recommend this trip! If you need some fresh air, a beautiful landscape, to try unique, fun activities that you've never tried before, and to relax but also get your body moving, then I can think of nothing better than the Finnish Wilderness Week. It was truly a special holiday.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

    A wonderful holiday. Well set up in an excellent location. The equipment was top class, and it was particuarly refreshing to be able to decide when and how we used the equipment. Basecamp was comfortable and the staff well organised and lovely.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The husky ride was a great experieance but seeing the Northern lights was quite breathtaking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, Hanna, was both very well organised and personable.  She made everyone feel most welcome and capable even with the more difficult activities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a sense of fun and you won't be disappointed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Despite the low temperatures and the fact that it snowed none stop for two days, we never felt cold - even though we were outside for most of the day.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

    It was Winter Wonderland at the Wilderness week at Basecamp Oulanka in Finland.  The week was packed with winter activities, some of which I had never done in my life, filled with excitement and good feelings.  Everything from organization, to program, to equipment, to staff was perfect.  Highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many inspirational moments, but the Northern Lights topped them all.  We had two hours (2!!!) of Northern Lights on the second night at the camp.  Staff at Basecamp don't remember the last time that it lasted that long and were that bright, so I guess we have been incredibly lucky.  I will never forget 7 circles of Aurora Borealis shining and dancing in the sky with reflections of green, blue and white watched from the middle of the frozen lake.  Absolutely memorable and I am so thankful for Exodus and Basecamp Oulanka to facilitate this experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guides were fantastic and so the entire staff at Basecamp Oulanka.  Our guide Hanna was a natural Winter Elf, expert in anything from teaching you how to walk for the first time on snow shoes or cross country (and how to get up) to play snow frisbey in deep snow, funfilled with a very good sense of humour.  She knew everything of the area and going along her weekly plan was as easy as a breathe of fresh air.  However I have good words for the all staff at Basecamp: they are truly an amazing group of young men and women and I will always remember them for as long as I live.  Leaving Basecamp has been really hard and missing all of that.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!  What are you waiting for?!  This week is absolutely a must do, you will never forget it.  Just follow the instructions that come from Exodus, go with the flow, embrace the experiences and you will have the time of your life.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is my third holiday with Exodus: it was Morocco first, then Peru and now Winter Finland.  All three of them have been experiences that I will carry in my heart forever, some of those stories you can tell your nieces and nephews in the long winter days.  I know Exodus is a business and in the end they are here to stay in business, but I can't thank this company enough for bringing me to life experience with such natural approach and practicing responsible tourism.  On my last day of the Finnish holiday I have decided that next year it will be Kilimanjaro: if there is anybody that can make me get to the top of it, I am sure, Exodus is the right one.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

    I am still on a high 3 week afterwards - what an amazing holiday.  Everything was in the right balance, the slick organisation, the variety of activities, the freedom, the excitement, the quality equipment ... just everything.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My husband and me tunnelling into opposite ends of the quinsi and meeting in the middle both covered in snow but still grinning.  The Huskies on the dog sledding trip leaping up and down in their sheer enthusiasm.  Snow that stays glisteningly white and doesn’t fall off trees.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ollie was great.  Well organised, always willing to help and answer questions.  Always taking us into deep snow which is much more fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    They really do provide you with enough gear apart from a neck scarf.  Don't be lulled by the cosy dining room, always take warm stuff with you in case there is a Northern Lights call because once you go out and look you daren't go back for warm clothing in case you miss them.  Careful not to slip on the ice when climbing out of the hot tub (it was my only injury of the week).  The hot chocolate isn't free.  You don't need much cash at all - you can put everything on a tab at the basecamp and pay by card at the end of the week.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was initially concerned with the cost of the holiday but have no regrets now I'm back.  It was so refreshing, fun and exciting it was worth it.  I loved the fact there was so much trust.  After a morning of snow shoeing they just said keep the kit all week and go out whenever you fancy.  We used our free time exploring the area, tobogganing and kick sledding.  In the evenings it was nice to relax in the hot tub.  We took lots of games with us for the evening and enjoyed the drum making.
  • Reviewed February 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

    I didn't know what to expect when I booked this holiday with a friend ... but wow, I can honestly say this has been the best holiday of my entire life (and ive been on quite a few!).  This was an adventure of a lifetime, one that I loved from the moment I arrived.  Ive never had holiday blues so bad before - I want to go back, NOW!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many moments where I stood back and thought 'Wow, life can't get much better than this'.  But one of these moments that I will never forget was during the full day husky trip.  After a couple of kilometres my team of huskies settled into a steady pace (I didnt have to hold on so tight at this point!!), I took a look at the breath taking scenary, breathed in the fresh air (was minus 32 that day!) and thought 'I am truely the luckiest person alive!'.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader(s) I had (Hannah and Ollie) were AMAZING.  Absolutely second to none.  I cannot fault them in anyway.  They worked so incredibly hard, yet made it all look so easy - and constantly made me feel like I was part of their family!  I cannot credit them enough - if there were an award, it should, without a shadow of doubt be awarded to them.  They helped make my adventure truely amazing - I will never forget them or all the new skills they have taught me!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My advice would be to take plenty of layers.  The kit provided wasnt warm enough for me, but I took my own gear anyway - so was fine.  I advise 2 pairs of gloves at all times, wool socks (2 pairs at a time) and those hand warmers that you shake and keep your fingers warm for up to 10 hours.  They were worth their weight in gold, because it could get extremely chilly over there during some of the activities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I can't add anymore, other than this has been the best adventure of my life!  I would love to work there myself it was that much fun!  Thank you Hannah and Ollie, this was a special trip for me and it truely exceeded all of my expectations!
  • Reviewed February 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

    Although the weather was extremely cold we were always busy. The setting was beautiful: the activities varied with lots of choice. Food was excellent and plentiful. The staff were fantastic - hard working and helpful. A sauna and hot tub were always there at the end of the day before a delicious dinner. This trip at this time of year is a real boost.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

     I loved it all but personal thrills were ski-ing for the first time on fresh snow and spending a day on snowmobiles going up to a spectacular viewpoint and homely cafe enroute.After a day of wilderness skills and the creation of a cosy igloo we ate and cooked pancakes over a fire in the forest - perfect!  Not forgetting that roll in the snow after the sauna and hot tub....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    No Exodus leader for this trip. The local guides were exceptional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your own thermal underwear and socks and something to cover your face and neck. Also you might find a large towel useful. Games for the evenings are good too. The only seating is around tables on hard dining chairs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go for it. Try everything. The more you do the more you enjoy.
  • Reviewed January 2011
    Anonymous

    FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

    Exactly what it said on the tin - as ever. Beautiful and peaceful location, fabulous range of fun activties, greta accomodation and a fun group of people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The huskies, actually having a safe to sleep in igloo, the snowmobiles - everything!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teemu and Olli were great, as were all the others. Eki had the patience of a saint putting up with me for the climbing. They were all really knowledgable, helpful, fun and friendly, but left us to have whatever space we wanted

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You really don't need any snow gear, it's all provided. The lodges are vey warm, so you don't need endless thick jumpers etc there either. I managed to go with just hand luggage! If you are at all fussy about your food tell them in advance, and tlak to exodus staff about it. There was no choice at mealtimes, and we had fish and elk for most meals - not things you might think to mention as dieatary requirements! But that said the food is superb, including the elk, and there was plenty. Budget on an extra £500, as you do have a lot of spare time to fill, and won't always have a partner for just wandering off on your snow shoes, although the tobogans were a popular free pastime that filled many hours!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks for a great trip.
  • Reviewed January 2011
    Anonymous

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    An excellent trip.  With a variety of activities there was something for everyone and most things for everyone!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day long (optional) dog sledding was without a doubt the highlight of the trip for us although all the activities were excellent.  All the dog sledding is run by a small outfit (Kota Husky) that is a family firm.  The leader, Lauri clearly cares immensely for the dogs and his control of them is impressive to see.  The long trip takes in some wonderful sights and you really get a feel for the personalities of the dogs.Lunch is served outdoors, prepared for the boss of the outfit, and Lauri's wife Marijka.  Sitting on reindeers skins around a log fire, eating and drinking local fare is a great picnic, made all the better by the fact that you arrived driving your own team of husky!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eki, the group leader was outstanding. He has an excellent sense of humour and great communication skills both of which he puts to good use when instructing and guiding.As you would expect his local knowledge was excellent and he genuinely cares about the environment around him, something which rubs off on all those around him.Whilst Eki was an excellent group leader, a great team backs him up .  Nothing is too much trouble and they make excellent hosts in what feels a little like their home.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My advice to potential travellers is 'go for it'.  Do not be put off by the thought of the cold or anything like that.  My wife was really enthusiastic about the trip but was also apprehensive as she suffers with the cold when all others are walking round in shorts however she loved the trip.  The equipment they issue you is top quality and is perfect for the weather conditions.  If you want to take along your own cold weather clothing but everything they issue is sufficient.