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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed March 2019
    Mark Green

    Fantastic fun in the snow

    I was looking for a trip that I could go on with my wife who is not happy with camping and wishes to have some degree of comfort. This trip seemed to tick all the boxes with a great balance of activity, plenty downtime and a relative degree of comfort compared to a freezing tent and basic toilet facilities at over 5000 metres up a mountain. The area of Oulanka National Park is one of outstanding beauty, peace and cleanliness with zero pollution. The easy snowshoe walks mainly in pristine forests were enchanting and did not require much in terms of effort or bravery. All instruction and a safety briefing was given and we all felt very secure. Our group of 12 mixed well staying in the comfortable and well heated logging cabin after Exodus changed the accommodation due to an issue at Basecamp Oulanka. Our guides Ismo and Mary Louise were absolutely fantastic. They conveyed their enthusiasm for the beautiful environment and we learnt so much from them in such a short space of time. There was much raucous laughter as our group got to know each other all encouraged by Ismo’s gentle humour. Everything to make us comfortable in the cold in the way of clothing and hot food and drink was provided and the food was tasty, plentiful and varied during the week. The cabin was really warm even when the outdoor temeperature dropped to -26C, hot water for showers was unending, the sauna and an outside roll in the snow was invigorating and the WiFi was good enough to catch up with the news back home and watch content on Netflix when relaxing in the room. Snowshoeing requires no special skills and is a wonderful way to spend a fun week in this enchanting place. We also experienced other optional activities on the 2 free days, including a visit to a reindeer farm, snowmobiling and husky riding, however these are an expensive add on but worth trying. Everything was so well organised that we found our week both relaxing and refreshing. We even ventured out to walk at night on a number of occasions under the light of the moon, hearing the amazing forest sounds and saw the Northern Lights. I can not recommend this trip highly enough.... really great fun!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking in such beautiful surroundings surrounded by nature.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ismo was funny, helpful and worked tirelessly to ensure that we all had a great time. He was funny and interesting with a great sense of humour and it was such a pleasure to have spent a few days with him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes.... just go without any preconceptions, appreciate the amazing environment and enjoy every minute. Oh, and be prepared to spend some more money on the optional activities.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Eric Fleming

    Snowshoeing from Basecamp in Oulanka National Park

    5 days very easy snowshoeing over well walked trails. The optional trips were good in particular the hire of a snowmobile in Ruka plus the short dog sledding experience at the Arctic Circle. Accommodation was basic but found that the underfloor heating in the bedroom section was not up to it as the room temperature dropped to +10 with warmest being +14. Would have rated it as Excellent if there had been more chance to walk in virgin snow instead of keeping to previously walked trails. Also lack of fresh fruit at Basecamp.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing local men using fishing nets below ice on frozen lake...a rare chance to see them. The heavily snowed forests and the peace and quiet. Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the frozen lake a few minutes walk down from Basecamp locale

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Else our Finnish guide was excellent throughout, friendly, informative, caring and thoughtful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you hydrate sufficiently with warm drinks during outings. Basecamp food was good but is completely lacking in supply of fruit such as apples, oranges or bananas. I’d advise people to take dried fruit with them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Snowshoeing follows well walked trails and does not deviate much in unwalked snow. If you like walking in new snow then you may be disappointed?
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Nicholas Hooke

    Delightful trip to a peaceful place

    The remote forests of Finland are a very peaceful place, and tramping through them in snowshoes is an ideal way to immerse yourself in their tranquillity. The trees are laden with snow and you cannot hear a thing. It feels like a scene from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - you half expect to come across a lamppost and a fawn. The centre is well run, and the guides are absolute enthusiasts and keen to pass one their passion for the trees and the wildlife. At night the stars are bright, and the Northern Lights make an eerie appearance. All in all, a magical place. The UK seems very busy when you get home.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The completely monochromatic appearance of the trees, lakes and snow on cloudy days. Rolling in the snow after the sauna

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Heli was lovely - she had real enthusiasm for the environment. I have never before hugged a tree, but now know we need to say thank you to them! She was also very organised and kept a subtle eye on all the party, to make sure no one got left behind or had difficulty.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Trust the gear provided - we did take our own base layers, socks and buff - but that was all you needed. Their gear was all fine - 3 layers for top and bottom / gloves and mitts / hat / backpack / torch etc.
  • Reviewed April 2016

    Snowshoeing in Finland

    This was an excellent holiday at the cosy and warm Oulanka Basecamp. We were provided with clothing that kept us toasty and boots that were very comfortable. The food was locally sourced as much as possible, tasty and filling. Overall, I cannot fault this holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are many - lunch at a camp fire, the peace out on the fjell, dog sledding, and meeting a friendly group of people. All wonderful!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tessa Kokkonen was a brilliant leader. She gave us info about Finland, it's history, and about the wildlife. Tessa was full of enthusiasm, helpful and had a great sense of humour. Nothing was too much trouble for her. Excellent!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The outdoor clothing provided is very good so save the space in your cases.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    First winter activity holiday I have been on and it has given me the bug to do another.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Paul Zealand

    Snow Shoeing and Much More

    Finland is beautiful and Oulanka Basecamp a superb place to spend an active week. The facilities, equipment, food, activities and above all the staff - for whom nothing was too much trouble and who all clearly loved their work - were first-rate. The room accommodation was comfortable and the communal lounge, bar, sauna, hot tub and dining area in a separate building a few seconds walk away. We wanted and expected cold weather - which we got - but were never cold because everywhere was well heated and the winter clothing and boots provided were of the best quality (and all in with the price). The Basecamp is in the middle of nowhere - again, wanted and expected - in an area of forest, lakes, rivers (aka Finland!) but also unexpected hills and, at times, steep climbs. What I liked best? Pretty much everything and there were not enough hours in a day to do all I wanted. Also being wonderfully tired every evening after a hard day of snow shoe walking, cross-country skiing, snowmobile and/or dog sledding were a great aid to a good night/s sleep. Highlights major and minor - in no particular order - were: 1. The food. Loads of it and delicious, including the packed lunches and special energy bars. (We burned a lot of calories). 2. Eating lunch around camp fires at wilderness shelters in a gentle snowfall. 3. My first time on skis. (We haven't laughed so much in ages). 4. Falling a lot. (Yes, I'm serious. I fell off everything - snow shoes, skis - level and downhill - snowmobile and dog sled), and once nearly ended up in a river, but only hurt myself a bit a couple of times.) 5. Dog sled day. A marvellous experience and enough to turn this dog-phobe into a husky fan. 6.The company of like-minded strangers to add to wife and two good friends. Lowlights: Not a thing, other than we didn't get the Northern Lights, but that's beyond the Basecamp's control, and I couldn't do everything. We'll have to go back! The rooms are of two types. The upper rooms are a bit bigger, have a small mezzanine for storage or to sleep in and a balcony. All heating and hot water comes from a wood pellet-burning boiler and a wood-burning fire in the lounge. All clothing and gear is provided to reduce luggage weight - a small detail ,but a nice idea - and almost all food provided sustainable and locally sourced.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many. Probably the dog sled day, but sitting round a crackling fire outdoor in an light snowfall whilst toasting packed lunch sandwiches and drinking hot chocolate (laced with a shot of whisky) was hard to beat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Tessa Kokkonen, led us with confident knowledge and expertise, breaking up the long walks with frequent halts to talk about Finland and its wildlife, forest, history and folklore. She included traditional stories and identified the animal tracks we found in the snow.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Save your luggage space by not taking outdoor clothing, skis, boots, etc that you think you will need as everything is provided. On the other hand, if you think you might need to replace something you run out of or break, require medicines, another book, etc. take these as there is not much in the way of shops outside the airports.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Base Camp Oulanka was a superb experience and one to repeat. I am now a fan of winter holidays.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Sally Ann Nortcliffe

    snow shoeing in finland

    this was a great week in the finnish wilderness at a very comfortable lodge with great food, the clothing we got was great quality and kept us warm. there was a huge range of things to do dog sleding , night snow shoeing which was quite an experience and sauna yoga to mention a few.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    going to the fairy land like riisitunturin kansallispuisto national park with the most amazing snowy trees and great lake views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    one of the best i have had - effiencent , polite ,nothing was too much trouble and he was very enthusisatic

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    do go , it was a lovely trip
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Caroline Simmonds

    Snowshoeing in Finland

    A fabulous week in a wonderful place. We were lucky enough to have sunshine and clear skies, so good views of the Northern Lights several nights running. The accommodation is warm and cosy and the food almost too good!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two things stick in my mind - the realisation on the first evening that we were actually going to get to see the Northern Lights. That had almost everyone jumping up and down with excitement. And the optional husky sledding on the last day - swooshing along through the beautiful landscape with a team of enthusiastic and friendly dogs. Wonderful!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti is a great guy with an endearing sense of humour. He spent 15 minutes on the first day earnestly describing how we should behave if we came across a hibernating bear in the forest, only then to confess that he had never actually seen one himself. He also managed to get the whole group hugging trees...! I also felt by the end of the week that I had learned a lot about Finland.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As previous reviewers have mentioned, the physical activity side of this holiday was a little less intensive than we have previously experienced on snowshoeing holidays, so go prepared either to strike out on your own or just chill at Base Camp. Having said that, the walks undertaken were varied and very scenic, so well worthwhile. There are also a number of optional activities (see above re Husky Sledding) that can really be recommended, even though they are on the expensive side!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't worry about changing too much money in advance - you can pay for pretty much everything on a credit card at the end of the holiday.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Deborah French

    Snowshoeing in Finland

    A relaxing week spent in glorious Finland. If you like snow to feature in a holiday then you cannot beat Finland. The people are lovely, the venues calm and relaxing and the activities can be as full on as you want them to be. This trip can be very relaxing and had less guided walks than I had anticipated but you can participate in many optional extras or take as many unguided walks as you like. If that doesn't appeal then sit and relax by the fire and eat plentiful and delicious food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the northern lights four times in one week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martti was a charming host and a great advert for Finland. He clearly shares the ecological ethos of Basecamp Oulanka.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want a very active week be prepared to take unguided walks or optional extras. Don't forget your driving licence if you want to snowmobile.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't stress about buying special cold weather kit. They will provide everything and it is well laundered. If you realy want to take your own stuff, base layers are all you need.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Shirley Lockhart

    Fabulous Finland

    Where in the world can you snowshoe in a forest looking like it is peopled by snow trolls,eat by an open fire by a frozen lake or learn to distinguish otter tracks from elk.Our guide Marti showed us how to tell from strange indentations in the snow which direction an artic hare was hopping.We were in the most magical and remote wilderness I had ever seen.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The unexpected moments can be the best.Lunch stop on the little bear trail proved a treat.We had some leftover porridge bread from lunch and stood with our hands open as we heard some bird calls above us.Our guide said they were SIberian jays and a curious bird.They swooped down and took the food from our outstretched hands again and again,an unscripted moment and quite wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cheery,unflappable,knowledgable and full of stories.He was willing to flex and work with our questions and concerns.Unfortunatly he was unable to supply a view of the aurora borealis as parting the clouds was not covered in his Wilderness training so we did not see the skies light up!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My one piece of advice would be to budget well you may have more free time then you expect. I had expected to be outdoors for lunch as we were snowshoeing but that was not the case always and as a result the afternoons were free.There is lots to do from the reindeer farm visit to huskies to cross country sking but come expecting to pay extra and budget accordingly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have the time and money I really recommend the full day with the huskies!To mush across 30 km with these dogs was fun so long as you used the break!
  • Reviewed February 2015
    David Newman

    Snowshoeing in Finland

    Wonderful base in beautiful part of the world. Excellent facilities and equipment provided. Superb guides. Delicious locally sourced and home-cooked food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My wife nearly stepping on a huge male capercaillie sheltering in the deep snow - flew off with loud wing beats - not sure who was more startled!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent; wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and gentle encouragement

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like the big outdoors, want a change from the standard ski-type winter holiday, why not try this.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would be interested in a visit at other times of the year; such an idyllic place.
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