Lapland Wilderness Week Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Sweden
Programmes:
Winter
Trip Code:
CSW
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
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

This winter adventure takes us to the heart of Lapland, some 200 km above the Arctic Circle, where nature is raw and powerful and deep endless forests and mighty rivers dominate the landscape. We base ourselves at Rajamaa, where the Malmström family have been welcoming guests since 1986. Situated on an island in the River Muonio between Sweden and Finland, the local village has only seven inhabitants two of which are our hosts for the week! Immersed in one of the most spectacular untamed wilderness areas Europe has to offer, we spend a week learning about the Sami culture and connecting with nature while trying a variety of activities including dogsledding, snowshoeing and forest skiing. Our trip culminates with a two-day expedition in the forest, where we stay overnight in a traditional log cabin and, with luck, enjoy the magical display of the Northern Lights.

At a Glance

  • 6 nights fully equipped chalets with twin rooms and shared facilities; 1 night wilderness cabin (dormitory-style)
  • 5 days of mixed activities and 1 free day
  • Group normally 6 to 14, plus guides and instructors. Min age 16 years
  • Arctic clothing provided

Trip Highlights

  • Learn and experience the Sámi culture
  • Try dogsledding and snowshoeing in the Arctic
  • Two-day wilderness expedition on forest skis
  • Chance to see the Northern Lights

Is This Trip for You?

A mixed activity week for adults, with a good selection of guided activities and free time for independent excursions or relaxation. Although none of the activities require previous experience, a reasonable level of fitness and agility is required. 

Some forest ski training and tuition will be provided during the week. The distance covered on the two-day expedition will depend on the group's fitness and on the temperature and weather conditions. Usually you will cover approx. 7-12 km each day and the activity duration is around 4 hours plus lunch-stop by the fire.

Temperatures in this part of Sweden can drop as low as -30 degrees centigrade. You should come prepared for such extremes. With standard precautions and good clothing (please refer to our essential packing list) the cold weather won't be a problem but can in itself be tiring. 

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.

Group

During the week you will be well looked after by the owners and staff at Rajamaa. All activities will be guided by one of the owners and/or other local instructors.

 

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
14

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Muonionalusta (Rajamaa)
End City:
Muonionalusta (Rajamaa)

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
Kiruna
End City:
Kiruna

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Rajamaa, Swedish Lapland.

    This trip starts at Rajamaa, a complex of cozy wooden chalets located on a remote island in the river Muonio, looking out over two countries, Sweden and Finland. Upon check-in we will be welcomed by the friendly Malmström family, our hosts for the week, who have been running the accommodation since 1986. Depending on the arrival time of the group, the main briefing is usually done tonight or tomorrow morning.

  • Day 2

    Snowshoeing through wintry landscape; spot local fauna and enjoy lunch in the forest; walk back to the chalets over frozen swamps and hills.

    After a hearty breakfast we are provided with all of the equipment and information needed for a week of activities in arctic conditions. Setting off on our snowshoes, we venture into the fabled wintry landscape surrounding Rajamaa and learn more about the unique raw nature of Lapland. Our guide will help us spotting tracks of birds and other local fauna in the snow and explain how the local trees and bushes have managed to adapt to this harsh climate. We enjoy our lunch by a flaming log fire in the forest, before walking back over frozen swamps and hills to our chalets. In the afternoon we have some free time to enjoy a the sauna or a hot drink in the dining room. After dinner we enjoy an interesting presentation and slideshow about one the Scandinavian big predators, the Lynx.   

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Enjoy thrilling dogsledding tour through the forest; afternoon introduction to forest skiing.

    This morning we visit a local sleddog centre and meet a professional musher, who will tell us about the life of the firendly Siberian Husky dogs, their training and behaviour. He will also explain a few simple rules to safely ride and lead the dogs. Divided into pairs, we then enjoy the challenge and adventure of driving our own dogsled for approx. 17km through a magical winter landscape of snow-clad forests and frozen swamps. Taking turns during the tour gives you the chance to feel like a real musher and to enjoy the landscape and take pictures when sitting on the dog sled as a passenger. In the afternoon we return to our accommodation and familiarise ourselves with forest-skiing, in preparation for our two-day expedition later in the week. Forest skis originate traditionally from Scandinavia and Russia and have been used in Lapland as mean of transportation for thousands of years. They are usually wooden and differ from cross-country skis as they are much larger. You can easily glide down hill or go uphill (thanks to the skins located under the skis) but they can also be used in deep-snow and off-track. They come with universal bindings, meaning that you can clip on your regular winter boots. This evening, after a hearty dinner, we enjoy another wildlife presentation at the main lodge.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Free day; optional snowmobile safari.

    Today is free for you to enjoy one of the optional activities available locally. You may decide to experience the thrill of driving a snowmobile through snowy forests, over frozen rivers, and hills or explore the surroundings on cross-country skis or snowshoes. Alternatively you may choose to relax at the lodge and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful setting.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Spend a morning with a local Sami family and learn of their culture, ancient traditions and reindeer herding; enjoy the sauna back at the lodge.

    Today we have a wonderful insight to the life and work as a reindeer herder and the indigenous Sami lifestyle as we visit a local family. Between 75.000 to 100.000 Sami people live in the Arctic regions of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia, preserving their unique language and ancient traditions in today's modern world. We spend a couple of relaxing hours,  listening to their stories and to the sparkling fire while enjoying some traditional Sami food and hot steaming coffee. We will also be introduced to the reindeer and have the opportunity to get really close to them and perhaps feed them. We return to our lodge in the afternoon and enjoy some free time before dinner.

     
    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Set off on a two-day wilderness expedition on forest skis; cross frozen lakes and pine clad hills and stay overnight in a log-cabin; chance to see the Northern Lights.

    Today we start a two day tour on forest skis. On our adventure we carry only the necessary equipment for the day in a small rucksack whilst the rest will be transported for us to the cabin. We venture deep into the forest, crossing frozen lakes and swamps, pine clad hills and valleys, until reaching our special accommodation for the night, a cozy log-cabin, traditionally used for for forest workers, heated by fire and using water from melted snow. We will all participate in the preparation of tonight's supper and will enjoy an optional sauna, before going to sleep in our dorm-style rooms. That is, if the impressive Aurora Borealis is not keeping us awake!

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Ski back to Rajamaa; relax in the sauna and enjoy farewell dinner.

    After breakfast we get on the skis and head back again to Rajamaa. We may be able spot some wild rendeer and moose in the area or even come across the tracks of Lynx or Wolverine. Back at the lodge, enjoy a final well-deserved sauna before our farwell dinner!

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Rajamaa, Swedish Lapland.

    The trip ends in the morning of day 8.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Rajamaa

Our base for the week is Rajamaa, a complex of cosy wooden chalets run by the welcoming Malmström family since 1986. The accommodation lays on an island in the River Muonio which forms the physical border between Sweden with Finland in a remote and unspoilt area of Lapland.

Rajamaa consists of a main building with reception, dining-room, lounge and sauna. Free Wi-Fi is available at the property. Twin and double rooms will be allocated in the big 46 sqm 2-bedroom chalets, equipped with shower/WC, mini-kitchen and electrical drying closet. This means that a maximum of 4 people (2 couples or twin sharers) will stay in each chalet and will have their own twin/double bedroom but shared facilities.

Single rooms are limited and subject to availability. These will be offered for a supplement payable upon booking. Single rooms may be allocated in the big chalets (shared facilities) or in a small chalet with private facilities depending on availability.

1 night during the trip will be spent in a remote forest lodge where accommodation is dormitory style (usually 4 people per room, single-sex) and with shared facilities. No single rooms are available at this accommodation.

Subject to minimum group size, Rajamaa will be exclusively reserved for the Exodus group.

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.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All meals (except dinner on Day 1 and drinks) are included. The food at Rajamaa is a mix of Swedish food and sometimes international dishes that is all prepared on site. They only use regionally sourced meat and fish from the Arctic Sea. 

Breakfast will be a typical continental style, with fruit, cereals, eggs, cheese and cold meats. The lunches provided as part of the itinerary will be eaten outside or at the lodge and are usually a sandwich or soup. Dinner is included every night (except on Day 1) and consists of a main course and dessert. Vegetarian options are also available. 

Transportation

A minibus is used for transfers.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Temperatures should remain below 0°C for the whole season, however recent years have had some unexpected fluctuations, both warmer and colder. Generally, you should expect much colder temperatures in December and January, around -25°C to -10°C. As the days get longer the temperatures rise to around freezing point by March.

Daylight hours: As we are inside the Arctic Circle, from 01 December to 07 January the sun remains just below the horizon during the day. But it is not dark - there is plenty of reflection from the snow - expect 4-5 hours of daylight. At the end of January daylight hours increase to 6-7. In February there are 10 hours and in March 15 hours.

Northern Lights: The stunning Aurora Borealis are one of nature's most awe-inspiring sights, and seeing them hover above us on a cold winter's night is an experience never to be forgotten. Scientists will tell you the Northern Lights occur 'when solar wind particles collide with air molecules in the earth's atmosphere, transferring their energy into light. The 'season' runs from October to March. Within this window, the slightly better months are October, February and March. During periods of high solar activity (not forecastable) they can often be seen every night, but the sky has to be clear of cloud cover, and you need to be away from other light sources. Displays can vary in intensity - from a greenish-yellow glow moving gently around the sky, to a spectacular multi-coloured show dancing across the heavens. Sightings not only vary in intensity but in duration too, from just minutes to sometimes hours. 

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 Scandinavian Airlines (depending on availability) to Kiruna (Sweden). 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.

There are alternative flight options from regional airports (Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester…) Please ask our Sales team for more information. 

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending at Rajamaa in Muonionalusta (Sweden)

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation Rajamaa in the evening of 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.

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:
Muonionalusta
Location end:
Muonionalusta

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Equipment Provided

The following clothing is issued on arrival and are yours throughout the week:

Winter overall

Winter boots

Woollen socks

Woollen and leather mittens

Woollen hat

You will need the following:

Thermal underwear 

Tight fitting base layer

Warm daily o evening clothes (including fleece and jacket)

Thick socks

Tube scarf/Buff

From the last week of February onwards: sunglasses and sun-cream.

Thin gloves (to wear under provided mittens)

Torch (head-torch recommended, with spare batteries)

Sleeping bag (1 or 2 season as wilderness hut is heated)

Sandwich box

Water bottle (thermos flask optional)

Apart from your main luggage, you will need  a small daysack for the ski expedition. 

Note on temperatures below -30°C: Contact lenses can freeze, especially when snowmobiling - ski goggles may help. Water-based cream/moisturisers may freeze at very low temperatures. Camera batteries usually stop working at low temperatures, so take spares. 

Optional Equipment

Swimming costume and flip flops (for sauna)

Practical Information

Passport

Sweden

All nationalities 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 offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Sweden

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

Sweden

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.

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.

Local Time

Sweden's Timezone:
Europe/Stockholm CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Sweden's Electricity:

Standard 2 pin European plugs.

Standard European two pin plugs

Money

Sweden's Currency

The national currency of Sweden is the Swedish Krona (SEK), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 11.7 to the UK£ and 5.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

ATM Availability

ATM's can be found in Kiruna airport. Your bank may charge you for withdrawals. There are no ATMs available at the accommodation, however credit cards are accepted.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

This trip includes all meals except dinner on Day 1 due to the late arrival of the group flight. Drinks are not included but are sold at the bar (prices are usually €3-5 for soft drinks, €7-8 for a beer (50cl) and €25-40 for a bottle of wine).

Optional excursions - paid locally 

Snowmobile safari: €166 per person (max 2 pax per snowmobile)
Horse riding: price to be confirmed locally

Important note on snowmobiling: all drivers must be over 18 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.

Tipping

Staff in Sweden are paid well for their job but if you feel you have received good service we suggest leaving a discretionary tip of approx. €15-20 pp at the end of the trip which will be shared amongst the local staff.

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.

 

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.