Finnish Dogsledding Adventure Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Destinations:
Finland
Programmes:
Winter
Trip Code:
CFD
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Moderate / Challenging

You are moderately fit and have an interest in remote or challenging environments. Some previous experience is required for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
18 Min age

Trip Overview

This tour takes us to 68° North, into the stunning wilderness of Lapland. Boasting the cleanest air in Europe, this region is awash with mile after mile of frozen lakes and pine forests that stretch out to the dramatic Pallastunturi Fells. To truly appreciate such a beautiful and remote part of the world, we load up our sleds and head off on a hut to hut dog sledding tour of the area; following the dogs in the day and stopping at secluded wilderness cabins under the northern lights at night.

At a Glance

  • 3 nights shared accommodation, 4 nights wilderness cabins
  • 5 days guided dogsledding
  • Group normally 5 to 7, plus leaders. Min age 18 years
  • No previous experience necessary
  • Reasonable level of fitness required

Trip Highlights

  • 5-day expedition above the Arctic Circle
  • Drive your own dog team
  • Chance to see the spectacular Northern Lights
  • Cosy wilderness cabins

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is classed as a level 4 - Moderate/Challenging

This reflects the levels of fitness and physical coordination required to fully take part in the dogsledding. The average daily distances range between 30 and 40km and you can expect to ride for about 4-7 hours per day including breaks.

This tour requires all participants to help out with daily tasks in order for the trip to work. These tasks include feeding and watering the dogs, harnessing and unharnessing the dogs, packing the sleds and housekeeping duties like chopping wood and lighting the sauna. Full instruction will be given to all guests on how to complete these tasks but please note that these activities do add to the overall challenge of the tour.

Please Note: This trip is based well above the Arctic Circle and the cold weather is very unpredictable. Safety for the clients and for the dogs is always paramount so please be aware that the order of the itinerary and the exact route taken is subject to change with little notice. For this reason we cannot outline an exact itinerary as the route followed from week to week is likely to differ.

Please note: 7 is the minimum number required by our local partner to run this tour. This number is based on the logistics and optimum numbers required to run small dog sled trips. If your departure falls below seven participants our local partner will combine the Exodus clients with other guests sharing the same attitude and spirit of adventure.

Mushers are given 4-6 dogs, depending on the snow conditions and weight of the driver. The dogs are normally Alaskan huskies - recognisable by their bushy coats, they are an energetic and active breed. Traditionally they have served as companions or sled dogs and have a strong sense of gentleness and devotion. 

Each morning, before the start, the dogs are wild with excitement as they look forward to the day's running. As soon as we release the brakes the dogs go silent, happy to be on the move. To start there is no need to yell 'mush' (from the French word marche), just release the foot-brake and you're off. To stop, use the foot-brake on the sled, and then fix your sled to a tree or the ground with the supplied rope and hook device.

The first day is long but you will soon get your balance and the hang of the sleds. Travelling speeds can vary greatly, depending on the snow conditions and the temperature (dogs run better in the cold). In the deep snow, or hilly terrain you will travel slower and may need to help push or walk beside the sled. When the trail goes downhill you will have to slow down the sled, so as not to catch-up with the dogs.

The number one rule is 'never let go' - the dogs will just keep running. It is important to have a good sense of balance, to be in good physical condition to keep the sled under control at high speeds, to react quickly enough in every situation, and to help the dogs whenever necessary. Steering is done by the dogs, who will be following the guide on a well-known trail, the driver just needs to keep the sled upright and learn the cornering technique. 

Adult min age:
18
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
7

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Muonio/Harriniva; overnight in log cabins.

    Our trip starts at our accommodation either in and around Harriniva, Jeris or Torassieppi, located in the beautiful rolling fells of western Lapland, near the border with Sweden. The first night is spent in shared accommodation.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Days 2-5

    Morning instruction; head out on a 4 day dog sledding trip through the Finnish wilderness.

    After breakfast you will meet your guide and be given all the winter equipment for the trip and a tour briefing to explain the exact route that you will take over the next four days. You will meet your dog team and be shown how to pack and un-pack the sleds before being taught how to handle the sleds and control the dogs. After some practice you will head out into the wilderness for the hut to hut tour.

    The dog sledding route will take you through stunning dense forest scenery, over frozen lakes and rivers and into uninhabited parts of the Finnish wilderness. Each day you will travel between cosy wilderness cabins as your dog cuts fresh tracks through the snow. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Final day of dogsledding; ride back to civilization at the Harriniva cabins.

    Today you have the final stretch of the dogsledding adventure as you make your way back to civilization, having our lunch in the forest for the last time. Once back you will unleash the dogs for the final time and bid a final farewell to your four-legged companions.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Free day optional activities from Harriniva.

    Free day to enjoy a variety of optional activities on offer today including unguided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing or snowmobile safaris.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Harriniva.

    Our trip ends in Harriniva.

Accommodation

Log & Wilderness Cabins

For the first and last nights, we stay in 2-3 person rooms in comfortable log cabins or hotel rooms situated either in and around Harriniva, Jeris or Torassieppi.

During the expedition, we stay in simple mix gender dormitory style accommodation with a maximum of 8 people per room. Each cabin also features a sauna to relax in after a long day of mushing. Facilities are simple but the cabins are cosy, heated by a wood-burning stove and illuminated by candlelight.

Please note there is no running water and electricity in any of the wilderness cabins, compostable toilet facilities are located outdoors. Single rooms are not available.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners are included.

The food provided covers a variety of traditional Finnish dishes and is prepared at a high standard. Vegetarians are catered for on request. As the wilderness huts are remote, you will be required to help gather wood and help light the fires to cook over and speed up the process of relaxing in the evenings.

Transportation

A minibus or a coach is used for transfers.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

In the regions close to the Arctic Circle temperatures during the season range from -30ºC to +5ºC. Mid-December/January will normally be the coldest (usually below -20 C), 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 -45ºC and highs of +10ºC just a few days apart.
Daylight hours


In mid-winter (December/January) the sun remains just above the horizon from 10am to about 4pm. But the days lengthen quickly, and by end of March there are more daylight hours than in the UK. For many people, the most exciting time to travel is in January, the low temperatures and shorter days add a sense of adventure. Often the trees are covered in heavy snow at this time of year, and the low-angled light is excellent for photography.


Northern Lights
There is a chance of seeing the breathtaking Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) from September to late April (on clear nights) at latitudes close to, and above the Arctic Circle. They are also often seen further south, but are less spectacular and less frequent. Solar activity is greater around the equinoxes (September and April), and at lower latitudes this can be the best time to see them. Inside the Arctic Circle, they tend to be just as good in any winter month, and on a seven-night trip you would be unlucky not to see the Northern Lights at all. Nevertheless the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and as such cannot be guaranteed.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Thomson Airways or Finnair (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings.
Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending at Harriniva Cabins, Muonio 

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Harriniva on Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights.
Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Muonio
Location end:
Muonio

What to Take

Essential Equipment

The following winter equipment and clothing is supplied:

Thermal-overalls

A thick arctic jacket

Insulated boots and socks

One pair of gloves

Fur hat and balaclava

Sleeping bag

You will need to bring:

Tight fitting base layer

Normal daily clothes

Padded cycling shorts

Several pairs of thick socks

Tube scarf/Buff

Ski googles or large sunglasses / clear glasses

Swimming costume, travel towel and flip flops (for sauna) 

Please note: Temperatures vary from month to month and are not always predictable, you need to pack to allow for cold (-20ºC or lower) temperatures. Hand/feet warmers are recommended when visiting in December/January. 

Apart from your main luggage, you will need to bring a smaller bag (40 litres) for the 5-day expedition. You can leave your suitcase at Harrivina (which will be safely locked) for the duration of the dogsledding trip and pack your personal belongings, evening and winter clothing into your smaller bag. This will be transported on the sled each day.

Practical Information

Passport

Finland

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Finland

No visa required for UK passport holders visiting Finland.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Finland

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Finland's Timezone:
Europe/Helsinki EET (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Finland's Electricity:

220-240V. European adapter required. 

Money

Finland's Currency

The national currency of Finland is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

ATM Availability

Credit cards are accepted at the hotel.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.