Group snowshoeing in Oulanka NP, Finland

Snowshoeing in Finland Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Finland
Programmes:
Winter
Trip Code:
CFO
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

Nestled in the heart of the Finnish wilderness lies the beautiful Oulanka National Park, a vast expanse of snow-laden pine trees, frozen lakes and waterfalls. There is no better way to explore this stunning setting than by strapping on a pair of snowshoes and heading out to break new trails. In the company of our expert leader, we take varied day tours in the surrounding area, including a visit to the spectacular Riisitunturi National Park.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights Basecamp Oulanka: rooms with en suite bathrooms in two separate buildings
  • 5 walks snowshoeing
  • No previous experience necessary
  • Reasonable level of fitness is required

Trip Highlights

  • Break in new trails in an idyllic winter landscape
  • Explore 2 national parks
  • Stay in cosy accommodation in beautiful wilderness location with sauna and outdoor hot tub
  • Try downhill skiing and snowmobile safaris

Is This Trip for You?

Level 3 - Moderate

This trip involves snowshoeing over flat or undulating terrain. There are no big-drops and very steep terrain is rare. No snowshoeing experience is necessary however a good level of fitness is required as we do climb to viewpoints and you can expect to be snowshoeing between 3 and 6 hours a day at a moderate pace. Variables such as depth of snow can and do affect this. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
12

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Basecamp Oulanka.

    Our trip starts at Basecamp Oulanka, a complex of cozy wooden buldings located in a remote, unspoiled location overlooking the Juuma lake and backing into Oulanka National Park.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Introduction to snowshoeing with an easy hike in the national park; Oulanka by night.

    In the morning we are provided with all of the equipment needed for a week of snowshoeing in arctic conditions, before heading straight out onto the frozen Juuma Lake for an easy walk as an introduction to snowshoeing. Our route will lead us through snow-caked trees and along the river Kitka, passing an old flour mill by the Myllykoski rapids. The afternoon is free for a self-guided snowshoeing trip or just to relax at Basecamp with the sauna or hot-tub. This evening we head out for nighttime snowshoeing, in search for the Northern Lights.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Activity (hours):
    2,5
  • Day 3

    Snowshoe walk over suspension bridge around Lake Jyravajarvi and Castle Rocks.

    Today's walk begins over a long suspension bridge that hangs across the Niskakoski rapids. We then head to the pristine frozen lake of Jyravajarvi where we can have the real snow showing experience in an atmosphere of total silence. This brings us to Pyöreälampi where we will stop for a snack. After the rest we walk across the secluded area to Linnakallio Castle Rocks, a beautiful wall of rock standing isolated on the banks of the river. Then we will be passing by Jyrävä, the biggest waterfall of the national park and the Aallokko rapids. Along the path you can also admire beautiful lichens hanging from the trees when we snowshoe across the powder snow.

     On our return to Basecamp we cross a second suspension bridge over the Myllykoski rapids.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Activity (hours):
    3.5-4
  • Day 4

    Transfer to Riisitunturi National Park; walk through a unique landscape to viewpoint.

    We transfer to the neighbouring Riisitunturi National Park. Although geographically they are not far apart, the differences between the two national parks are highly noticeable. What makes this area so special is the incredible effect that the heavy snow has on the trees as you climb higher into the clearings of the fjell. Twisted, bent and covered in thick white powder, it is almost as if you are passing by hundreds of snow creatures. This memorable walk then culminates in a hike to the top of the fjell for a fantastic view of this wonderful alien landscape.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Activity (hours):
    3
  • Day 5

    Morning visit reindeer farm and museum with a ride on a reindeer sleigh; free afternoon in Ruka for optional activities.

    In the morning, we visit the reindeer farm and museum where everyone will have the chance to ride on a reindeer sleigh. The visit then draws to a close with some hot drinks and some reindeer sausages round an open fire. We spend the rest of the day at the popular ski resort of Ruka. Your guide will take care of transfers and can book activities for you. Group 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. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Long snowshoe tour in Oulanka National Park following the 'Little Bear Trail'.

    Today is the longest day of snowshoeing as we head deep into Oulanka National Park. Our guide takes us on what is known in the area as the 'Little Bear Trail', which encompasses some of the most spectacular scenery in the park. The trail takes us to the south side of the River Kitka and then up to the Kallioportti viewpoint, where we survey the vast snow-covered surroundings. On the return to Basecamp we head over another suspension bridge in Harrisuvanto before taking a well-earned rest in the sauna or the outdoor hot tub. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 7

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

    Today we have several options to make the most of the magical Finland wilderness. Some of the activities available are: an introduction to cross-country skiing and un-guided snowshoeing and dogsledding. As a farewell celebration, we have the option of eating dinner around a campfire on the edge of the National Park.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Basecamp Oulanka.

    Trip ends at Basecamp Oulanka. Those on the group flight transfer to Kuusamo and fly to London. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Please note: it is possible that the order of the itinerary listed above will be changed to ensure the best possible conditions for each activity during the trip. All listed activities and services will be included. Your leader will inform you of any changes locally after assessing conditions.

Accommodation

Basecamp Oulanka

Basecamp Oulanka is a superb self-sustaining wooden complex that takes immediate inspiration from its wilderness location. Twin rooms 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 the school holidays.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £305.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

 All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 7 dinners 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 chicken, salmon and wild game such as elk. 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.

Transportation

Transfer to and from the airport is by heated minibus or taxi. All other transport is as per the itinerary.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.


Daylight hours
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.


Northern Lights
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 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.

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 in Kuusamo or Rovaniemi

Your trip normally starts at Kuusamo Airport 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.

Check-in: 4pm

Check-out: 10am

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:
Kuusamo
Location end:
Kuusamo

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Equipment Provided:

Full winter outfit including jacket and trousers

Fleece jacket and trousers x2 (one thin, one thick)

Woollen hat and mittens

Gloves

Boots

Thermos flask

A backpack and head torch are provided for your use during the week at Basecamp. You do not need to bring any winter clothing with you as it is all supplied locally but we recommend you bring enough clothes for evening wear.

For the optional snowmobile excursion, a more insulated snowmobiling overall and helmet will be provided.

You will need the following:

Tight-fitting base layer

Normal daily clothes

Several pairs of thick socks

Tube scarf/Buff

Swimming costume and Flip flops (for sauna)

From the beginning of February sunglasses and sun cream are advisable. Earlier than this, sunglasses may be needed for those with a sensitivity to bright light due to the reflection of light off the snow.

Reading List

www.outdoors.fi - official website for national parks in Finland.
www.thelongrun.com and www.basecampoulanka.fi

Practical Information

Passport

1

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

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.

Please note that European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will only be valid for most UK citizens up to 31st December 2020.  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. After 1st January EHIC cards will no longer be valid for most UK citizens.

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

There are no ATMs available, however credit card are accepted at our accommodation.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You should allow some Euros for drinks with meals and at the bar, however it is also possible to have a tab (associated to your room) and pay for your purchases at the end of the week using your credit card or cash. Please note they accept Visa, Eurocard and Mastercard locally.

Optional Excursions

There are a number of extra excursions available in the area: exact prices and details will be confirmed locally, but the following provides a guide to what is normally available. As some of the excursions can be very popular we strongly suggest you pre-book them with the staff at Basecamp at your earliest convenience.
Ice climbing tower at Basecamp: allow €59 per person for 2½ hours basic course. (typically available between Christmas and March)

Full day husky safari: for 6-9 hour trip (the duration depends upon the weather conditions), includes a hot snack by an open fire. Allow €345 per person for a single or € 285 per person if sharing a sledge.

Downhill skiing: starting from €80 (equipment and ski pass).

Snowmobile safari: allow €89 per person (2 per machine) or €129 (solo use) for a 1½ hour scenic safari around Ruka using eco-friendly 4-stroke snowmobiles. Important note on snowmobiling: all drivers must be over 17 and have a valid (car) driving licence and carry this with you whilst driving. You will be liable to pay for any damage to snowmobiles up to the excess on the insurance policy, which is approx. €1000 per machine. You will be asked to sign a form agreeing to the above. This means, that in the unlikely event that you damage a snowmobile in a major way, you will only be charged the excess and not the full cost of repair. Snowmobiles are not for everyone and can be difficult to master, however damage is very rare if the drivers are alert and considerate.

On Saturdays if you wish to snowmobile or downhill ski, a return transfer to Ruka is €120.

Heading up to the viewpoint. Riisitunturi National Park, Finland (photo by Erkki Ollila)

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… 

For every guest, travelling with Exodus Travels, who stays at Basecamp Oulanka, Exodus donates money to the WildOulanka Foundation towards the preservation of the local Taiga (forest). In 2018 this protected some 87 hectares of forest, contributing to the creation of a wildlife corridor across the Russian-Finnish border between two national parks. Careful management of the protected area has led to the reappearance of a number of species, including bears, which had not been seen here for some years. This amount of forest also equates to a carbon sink of 23,480 tons. 

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 14 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 & Development 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 our website for online bookings, 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.