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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 April 2015
    Helen Stockham

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    It was a really enjoyable week with an opportunity to try many new things in a fantastic setting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's difficult to pick a single moment, we enjoyed the whole week, especially seeing the Northern Lights (which is not guaranteed) whilst cross country skiing by moonlight across the frozen lake. The full day dog-sledding with Lauri and learning to cross country ski were also great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was fantastic and he made the week for the group: he is charismatic, personable, friendly, organised, very knowledgeable and patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you use a hairdryer, then pack your own as there isn't one provided in the rooms (apparently basecamp has two that can be borrowed). If you are vegetarian and aren't very fond of soya meat, then note this in the dietary requirements as it was a feature of many of the veggie meals at basecamp during the week.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want to see the snow on the trees as per the pictures the period for this is typically mid-December to mid-February. As the weather warms the snow melts from the trees before it does from the snow pack on the ground.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Kate Kidd

    One of the best

    You may be in the wilderness, but if you like adventure you will run out of time before things to do. I loved the dog sledging (you can have your own sledge and dog team), the snow shoeing, the cross country skiing, the sledging etc. There is also the option for extra's and I'd recommend the skiing in Rukha and full day dog sledging. There is plenty of option for free extra's too as you can use the equipment to walk the bear route with snow shoes and do local cross skiing. You can get away with taking little cash and paying for most things by card at the end of the week. For a remote base camp the food is good, the room clean and warm with underfloor heating and the equipment good quality. The only down side is the taster sessions could have covered more ground e.g. the snow shoe taster guide session had a bit too much talking and not enough walking, but a few of us made up for it with a walk to village after. This was a small issue for an otherwise incredible trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1) A couple of us walked the bear route and the pure magical beauty of snow, river and trees was uplifting. 2) The dog sledging also gave a sense of companionship and adventure. 3) The night walk was hilarious as we kept disappearing up to our waists in snow. ... 3 rather than 1 inspirational moment, but thats representative of how good the week was.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teddy was very good. Entertaining, informative and attentive. He engaged the group well and was very clear with instructions. He has a very relaxed manner and got the best out of the group. He also worked very hard to ensure all 20 people got an opportunity to do everything they wanted to despite high demand for some activities, which meant he had to split optional activities over a couple of days.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You can pack light as they do provide all the gear. Suggest you take a couple of base layers, trainers and casual clothes for the evening. You don't need a lot of cash as the activities, your bar bill etc can be paid by card at the end of the week. You may want some cash if you eat out at Rukha or take a taxi back seperately to the organised bus.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Jillian Mcinerney

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    The 10km Husky Ride was definitely the highlight . Lauri and his dogs from Kota huskies were absolutely amazing, Lauri's professionalism, the condition of his dogs and his love for his dogs was absolutely amazing! His professionalism enabled us to have the most spectacular day of the whole holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    learning how to snowshoe and cross country ski with our guide Henri Suopanki were also fantastic. The optional snowmobile safari was absolutely incredible also. their professionalism and safety for us all was incredible and enabled us to have a fantastic time on the snowmobile!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Henri Suopanki was absolutely incredible all week and we as a group were very fortunate to have such a fantastic person as our guide. he really enabled me to have one of the best holidays of my life. His professionalism, enthusiasm for the job, patience, sociability with the group, and sense of humour were amazing. He is definately one of the best guides I have ever been fortunate to have. He is a credit to his profession.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definatly take the option of a full day husky safari, it is an incredible experience that should not be missed! A once in a lifetime opportunity. The snowmobile safari is also fantastic and definately worth trying.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Lynne Foster

    Finnish Wilderness week

    Great week with congenial company, brilliant guide and instructor and excellent range of activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The range of available activities, driving my own snowmobile and being in charge of a dog sledding team.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was amazing, so patient, cheerful and encouraging at all times. He was knowledgeable and fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a hairdryer, and don't expect luxurious surroundings. Basecamp is great, but it could be felt to be a bit spartan.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had a great time and I would recommend this trip to all ages. Who would have thought that I could snowshoe, drive a dogsledding team, drive a snowmobile, feed reindeers, try cross country sk-ing, go tobogganing, build a quinzee and leap out of the sauna and roll in the snow. Go and enjoy
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Susan Bain

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    This was an absolutely fantastic holiday and a true 'week of firsts'. We got to try lots of winter activities that we'd never done before, all in stunning surroundings. The basecamp was excellent and the food was amazing. All of the included and optional activities were excellent, as was sitting in the hot tub and sauna at the end of the day!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are so many! Building and sleeping in our quinzee was a great experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the night-time snowshoe walk (walking through the forests with only the light of the moon), the ice climbing and husky dog sledding as well.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was a really great guide, he was really encouraging in all the activities and really knowledgeable about the local environment. He was also great fun and we all had a lot of laughs as a group!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this trip! You don't need any experience of any of the activities, just a willingness to give it a go. You also don't need to bring any specialist gear as everything really is included. You'll just need your own base layers to go under the kit they provide. Also some warm socks would be useful, although they do also provide these at basecamp. And finally, a Finnish sauna is a must, complete with rolling in the snow!
  • Reviewed March 2015

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    Fantastic holiday with great guides and stunning scenery. This is the first time at -18C and its surprising how warm you get when you are taking part in the winter activities. We were worried about being cold in the rooms but there was no need, all have under floor heating and we were always cosy and warm. The main building has the same heating and also an open fire to sit around at night.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving by dog sleigh to a wonderland of snow clad trees, an absolutely stunning vista, the sun just above the horizon with lakes in the distance. A photographers paradise!! The snow mobile trip was excellent and extra clothing was provided, we had a full two hours so well worth experiencing, but don't forget your driving licence.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was very approachable from the start and had a fantastic knowledge of Finland, its winter sports and wildlife. Nothing was too much trouble, his English was impeccable and his stories kept us waiting for more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Like all the other reviews you really do not need to bring many outdoor clothes but you would find it useful to bring a thermal buff and hand warmers especially for the evening outside meal where even our wine froze. A kettle for tea in the morning, although there was plenty at breakfast. A tripod is essential if you are lucky enough to see the northern lights like we were, there are also some aps which help predict an appearance. We found the lake an excellent vantage point, less light pollution away from the lodge.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The homemade food was excellent and plentiful along with tea, coffee and juices. Plenty of salad starters, bread and wholesome stews along with vegetarian options. The lunchtime soup was always welcome after a mornings activities in the cold. Fruit was a bit limited but there was always a desert of some sort, usually cake or ice cream with berries. Beers and wine are available albeit a bit pricey but you can put a bottle behind the bar ready for the next night, if you don't finish it! The main lodge would benefit from a few comfy chairs around the log fire but apparently this is on the cards.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Carla Mcinerney

    Fantastic Wilderness Week

    The Finnish Wilderness holiday is up there with one of my best holidays. Oulanka base-camp was fantastic, the accommodation excellent and the food home made and wonderful. Definitely an experience not to be missed. The optional activities a must. The Arctic gear provided is fabulous. You can really travel very very lightly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt the full day husky sledding with Lauri and the snowmobile safari. But we thoroughly enjoyed the other activities also like the reindeer farm, the night walk, the barbecues and the wilderness training.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Henri was outstanding. His patience, his commitment and his enthusiasm were second to none. His English was also first class.He mixed with every member in the group, and couldn't do enough for you.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes and the reviews. They cover everything. There REALLY is no need to bring your own equipment, as the equipment provided at Oulanka is of excellent quality., and comes in all sizes. From snow boots, to suits, thermals, gloves, mittens rucksacks etc etc I read the trip notes, but still brought some of my own stuff ,just in case I would need them, and .... I didn't need any! The only thing I would bring is your own base layers, and a hat. A hair-dryer is also handy to bring, as is a small travel kettle if you like a hot drink in your room in the evening or early in the morning.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Simply a wonderful holiday and a great introduction to different winter activities. You can be a total novice and have a fabulous time. It is so well organized and the food is just great. No negatives to report. It is the type of holiday that I would like to do again.
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Nathan Moss

    Great Week

    Great introduction to various winter sports on offer, made really enjoyable by expert, patient and friendly staff

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many enjoyable moments, with best fun when whole group struggled with cross country ski downhill. Snow shoeing the 10k bear trail with great vistas and tough climbs on last day was very memorable end to the holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henry was passionate, very professional and extremely helpful. A very good communicator, expert at coaching all the sports and great fun!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a travel kettle! The clothing provided meets the needs of the week but a good quality snood, lip balm and sunglasses ( useful in early Feb despite advice otherwise) are all useful!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food is plentiful, nourishing but very limited selection of veg and no fresh fruit unless you go Ruka to buy some!
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Seema Quasim

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    I really enjoyed this week so much more than I thought. I had never done any winter sports or activities before, but the team at Basecamp were great at leading us through everything, from walking on snow, to staying warm, from cross country-skiing to ice wall climbing. The food was excellent - warming for the soul and very tasty. No meal was repeated and even my sweet tooth was catered for! The hot tub and sauna area were very clean and the rooms were just as described, with a floor that could dry all your gear overnight.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Building a quinzee and crawling inside it with my co-builders, realising I had not forgotten how to ski (after 26 years) and driving the huskies.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti was superb - very supportive and I always felt safe in his hands

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm woolly socks and I preferred my hat which covered my ears more effectively.
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Caroline Maffia

    Powder, powder everywhere

    This is a truly stunning part of Finland, with a landscape of snow; snow on trees, snow on roofs, snow on lakes, snow on roads. The muffling effect of the snow makes the silence truly unique and special (for when we weren't laughing and chatting as a group). The optional activities meant the trip was as laid back or as full on as you liked and the hot tub and sauna helped recouperate for the next day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stomping thigh deep through the pristine snow

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti really knows and respects his 'office', the wilderness of the national park. He was considerate, easy to talk with and would try and fix problems if they arose. The whole team at Basecamp work hard to make the trip as enjoyable as possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book it! Then buy some thermal underwear as that's not available on site. Even if it was, would you really want to wear second hand long johns?!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't expect to see the northern lights but they're an added treat on top of everything else. Go with an open mind, try things you never thought you were capable of and if you fall over in the deep snow enjoy it.... And try not to get too stuck!