Multi-activities in the heart of the Taïga

Discover a world of calm blue lakes, towering trees and impressive Arctic landscapes - If you love nature and outdoor activities, this Finnish adventure, in the heart of the taiga, is for you. This trip features a range of outdoor activities which have been practiced in this region for centuries and includes a 4 day canoeing expedition through the untamed wilderness of Hossa National Park... An innovative itinerary and a unique chance to fully explore this beautiful region through a range of invigorating activities.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Welcome to Finland

    Welcome to Finland Arrival at Kuusamo airport and coach transfer to Hossa village located at the entrance to Hossa National Park (about 1 hour) - we will escort you to your accommodation where you can enjoy dinner together with your guide.

    Dinner at the hostel
    Accommodation: hostel or cottage

  • Day 2 Hiking

    Hiking Today we will hike around the stunning Canyon Lake of Julma Olkky. The lake has fantastic views of the gigantic Russian Taiga and this hike is ideal for a first day immersion in this unique location.

    Activities: 4 - 5 hours of hiking
    Accommodation: hostel or cottage

  • Days 3 to 6 Canoeing Expedition

    Canoeing Expedition Today, we leave for a 4-day canoeing expedition. We will spend each night sleeping in tents next to the water, by the fire enjoying total wilderness immersion in one of the last unspoiled natural areas in Europe... Our journey begins in the North of the park with a visit to the impressive stone age cave paintings of Värikallio; we will paddle southwards, across the lakes, to Laukkujärvi cabin and Lake Hossanjärvi. A real adventure in a stunning area with a range of flora and fauna and a particularly rich variety of birds. We will explore Karelian forests where brown bears and moose roam, forage for arctic berries and mushrooms and fish for trout to fill our plates.

    Accommodation: 3 nights in tents - night of day 6 back in the hostel

  • Day 7 Free day

    Free day After four days of canoeing, today is a day to relax. We have lots of optional activities available for your free day... you can go fishing and swimming in the lake, enjoy the sauna and go hiking or discover our kennels with our 164 lovely dogs...

    Optional yoga courses:
    - Forestyoga: the perfect way to connect with the Finnish nature, breath in the pure refreshing air and calm your body and mind. The beautiful ridges and pine forests of Hossa offer a spacious and luminous yoga hall, where the nature traveller can find a tranquil spot for a moment to enjoy yoga exercises for all abilities.
    Duration: 1hour
    - Saunayoga: Together the slow rhythm of movements, the silence and dimness of sauna and the gentle warmth create a sensation of deep relaxation. Saunayoga increases circulation and enhances metabolism, which contributes to detoxification and purification of the body.
    Duration: 1hour (30 minutes yoga)
    - Finnish Wilderness bath: This interesting excursion is a lovely dive into Hossas own 'Green Spa' with magnificent views of the lakes and ridges. You can experience the invigorating health effects of the natural environment and the sauna whilst doing easy yoga and concentrating on mindfulness.
    Duration: 2,5hours

    Accommodation: hostel

  • Day 8 Dog walking

    Dog walking Today we will go hiking with the dogs in the beautifully preserved National Park. Try Inuit dog walking techniques, harness up to one of our energetic huskies and feel their energy as together you explore this stunning wilderness area - an intimate and unforgettable experience. Today is a real opportunity to learn more about these typical animals from the Far North and this evening we will enjoy a dinner cooked on a wood fire at the edge of the lake.

    Activities: 4 - 5 hours of walking
    Accommodation: hostel

  • Day 9 Optional bear-watching

    Optional bear-watching Today is a free day with the opportunity to join a bear watching tour in the South of the boreal forest, close to Russia. This area has more brown bears that anywhere else in Europe and the bear watching conditions are second to none. For those who do not want to take part to this activity we have lots of other recommendations including a visit to a nearby museum about predators.

    NB: Bear-watching is only available until mid-august
    Replacement recommended activity: Museum visit
    Accommodation: hostel

  • Day 10 Mountain biking through the Taiga

    Mountain biking through the Taiga Today is a chance to go mountain biking in the National Park... cycle along bright blue lakes and across rocky ridges - there are lots of varied and accessible routes here and it is a fantastic way to explore the taiga! We will have lunch on a fireplace and continue our way through the boreal forest.

    Activities: mountain biking
    Accommodation: hostel

  • Day 11 Flight back home

    Flight back home Transfer to Kuusamo airport and flights back.

Please note that this itinerary, including walking distances and times, is indicative. Our guides aim to provide the adventure that is best suited to the weather, your interests and the demands of the group. Please be aware that in order to achieve this, changes to the programme may be made.

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canoeing a lake in Finland

Multi-activities under the midnight sun: Go canoeing, mountain biking and hiking; observe reindeer, moose and bears -this multi-activity summer trip is one to remember and includes overnight mountain biking and canoeing trips in the heart of Hossa National Park...


Dates & prices

Departures for French-speaking groups:

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Departures for English-speaking groups:

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Trip code: A4

Included

  • Transfers from/to Kuusamo airport 
  • Hiking in the National Park & hiking with dogs
  • A 4 day canoe expedition
  • All accommodation: 3 nights camping plus hostel/cottage accommodation
  • All technical equipment needed including camping gear
  • A bear-watching opportunity
  • Mountain biking in the taiga
  • Full board from D1 dinner to D8 breakfast
  • Activities supervised by our expert guides (bear-watching is run by an English-speaking local)

Not included

  • Flights

Additional Options

Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities/supplements:
  • Accommodation upgrade - hotel/cottage options possible depending on availabilities: prices vary
  • Reindeer farm visit: €10 or farm visit with dinner €40
  • Bear-watching: prices vary
  • Museum visit: payable locally
  • Yoga lessons: prices vary

Notes

Comfort: 3/5 Various

Some of our trips involve a mixture of accommodation options. These trips often include several nights of camping interspaced by guesthouse stays and often with hotel accommodation for the first and last nights. This trip includes 3 nights in tents, hostel and optional cottage accommodation.

Level: 2/5 Moderate ; 3/5 Challenging

In general no previous experience in the specific activity is required but you should be in good physical shape and prepared to participate in 4-6 hours of activity per day. This trip includes a 4 day canoeing expedition which may include 6+ hours of activity per day. You should have a sense of adventure and a positive attitude to join this trip. Please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather.

Canoeing: No previous canoeing experience is necessary but we ask that you can swim at least 100m
Mountain biking: To join our mountain biking day you should be able to ride a bike
Minimum age: 8 (please contact us for more information)

International flights

Flights are not included but this trip includes airport transfers to/from Kuusamo airport - please contact us if you require transfers to/from somewhere different.

Insurance

Practical info

Staff

You will be welcomed at the airport by a representative from our friendly team and accompanied for the duration of your holiday. Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of knowledge our professional Finland team know the country inside out. All activities are lead by our qualified guides who are English speaking outdoor practitioners with a passion for everything Finnish. Please note that our optional activities like yoga classes and bear-watching may not be run by Norwide guides but will be run by qualified English speaking professionals. It is possible that your group could be international, therefore several languages might be spoken by your guide.

Food

This trip includes full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8. You will have the chance to try some traditional Finnish meals like smoked fish, salmon soup, reindeer stew and traditional cakes - please be aware that fresh fruit and vegetables are rare in our isolated northern location.
  • At the Hotel: A generous buffet breakfast is served at the hotel restaurant each morning and three course dinners are provided in the evenings.
  • Lunches: Picnic lunches are provided on our activity days including hot food cooked on wood fires
  • On expedition: We like when the whole group work as a team to cook a traditional style dinner with their guide during our nights in tents - it creates a pleasant atmosphere as we reflect on the days adventures together. We will have the chance to forage for berries and mushrooms and to go fishing to add to our meals.
Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs.

Accommodation

Our basecamp is located in the heart of Hossa National Park, more than 60 miles (+100kms) away from a village or shop - no mass tourism hubs or Santa Claus Village here with us! There are 23 inhabitants in and around Hossa, most of them are reindeer farmers and yes, there are more bears here than people! We live here peacefully and we work closely with authorities to protect and preserve this stunning National Park. During your stay, you will not have many opportunities to meet local people since there are very few of them but you may cross paths with ice fishers or Nordic skiers and visit local reindeer farms.

This trip includes 7 nights in hostel accommodation and 3 nights in tents. Cottage options available.

Our cottages:
  • The Classic Cottage option has a living room/kitchen area with twin or bunk beds plus a private bathroom and sauna
  • The Premium Cottage has a separate bedroom with a double bed, a living room, kitchen, a private bathroom and sauna

Hostel accommodation: shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, sauna access

Camping: we provide tents, mattresses and sleeping bags. We always set up camp near a fire - an ideal way to get closer to nature and to enjoy this beautiful wilderness environment

Bedding and towels are provided by Norwide but we recommend that you bring another towel for the saunas.

Transportation

This trip includes transfer by coach and 4x4

Budget & exchange

The currency in Finland is the euro. Please budget for the following:
  • Personal expenses and drinks
  • Any additional activities/supplements

Supplied equipment

We will provide you with all technical equipment needed. We will supply you with the following for the duration of your trip:
  • Bedding and towels
    • linen for hotel/cottage accommodation and warm sleeping bags & sleeping mats for camping
  • Tents and group camping equipment
  • Bike helmets for mountain biking
  • Canoeing gear including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Protective waterproof bags for your belongings during our canoeing expedition

Vital equipment

You must bring with you:
  • A sleeping bag liner
  • Sturdy walking boots
  • Sunglasses (minimum UV 400)
  • Sun cream
  • Any personal medication
  • A headtorch with spare batteries (from August)
  • A suitable water bottle/flask (min 1L) 

Material

We prefer that you do not wear any cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool. The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax.

Our advice for keeping warm

Winter in Finland can be very cold, please think carefully about what clothes you bring, although we will provide warm outer layers, the layers you wear next to your skin make the biggest difference. We recommend:
  • No cotton
  • Bring dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves
  • Wear multiple layers including:
    1. A warm breathable base layer
    2. A second thermal layer
    3. Wind and waterproof protective out layer (we provide a quality jacket and over trousers for activities)

Helpful equipment

We recommend packing:
  • A pair of rubber boots or water shoes for canoeing and to cross rivers
  • Wool socks
  • A wind and waterproof jacket with a hood
  • A warm jacket
  • Warm fleece/jumper
  • Suitable underwear and thermals
  • Waterproof trousers
  • A swimsuit
  • Suitable t-shirts, trousers & shorts
  • A hat or cap
  • A towel for the sauna
  • Appropriate pyjamas
  • A pair of gloves
  • Slippers or comfortable shoes for in the cottage/hostel
  • Bug spray/mosquito net

You may also consider packing:
  • Wetwipes
  • Blister plasters
  • A camera (and suitable protective case)
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
  • A knife
  • Toilet paper + lighter 
  • A Notepad and pencil

Luggage

You may bring a hold bag (up to 20kg) as well as a cabin bag.

For you hold luggage please bring a soft bag like a ruckack rather than a hard cased suitcase because it is more practical. We also recommend that you pack your clothes in plastic bags inside your rucksack so that they stay dry in the event of bad weather.

Do not forget to bring a small rucksack to use as a day bag (25/30L). You can bring this as hand luggage on the plane. You will carry your lunch, water, spare layers and any personal medication with you each day in this bag.

Medicine

Your guide is trained first aider and will carry a full appropriate first aid kit. We recommend that you bring with you a small first aid kit as well as any medication you may need with you such as inhalers, plasters and painkillers.

A vaild European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will insure that you can access state-provided healthcare for free or at a reduced cost.

Passport

You will need a passport that is valid for at least three months after your return date.

Visa

UK passport holders do not require a VISA to visit Finland which part of the Schengen cooperation.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland lists the accepted travel documents and visa requirements for every country.

Mandatory vaccines

There are no specific health risks

Weather

Between early June and early August, temperatures reach +20°C (+68°F) in the day and sometimes even +30°C (+86°F) (37°C (98.6°F) in Joensuu in July 2010!).

The summer is relatively warm but also very bright - Finland enjoys long sunny days. In the far north, the sun does not set from mid-May to the end of July. In the center and the south, the summer sun shines for 18 to 20 hours.

The temperature of the lake water is between 18 - 24°C, the waters are shallow and warm up quickly with the long sunny days and the good Finnish summer temperatures. The midnight sun is visible in summer in Lapland and in the regions above the Arctic Circle.

Electricity

Finland uses the standard Europlug socket with two round prongs (50Hz/230 volts)

Local time

Finland uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)+2 and observes Daylight Saving Time making it GMT+3 during the summer months

Topography

Area:+130502 square miles (+338,000 km2) which consists of around 10% water, 69% forest and only 8% cultivated land
Size: It is the seventh largest country in Europe,+720 miles (1160km) North to South and +335 miles (540km) East to West
Borders: Sweden, Norway, Russia and the coast
There are said to be 187888 lakes here in Finland and 179584 islands including a concentration of islands off the South West coast which forms the largest archipelago in Europe.

Sustainable tourism

As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously.

Here in Finland we work in partnership with Metsähallitus to protect Finnish waters and forests - an exclusive agreement which enables us to use the roads of Hossa National Park. Our kennel is cleaned daily and subject to regular veterinary and we work with MyClimate to offset all carbon emissions produced by snowmobiling activities and transfers.

We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during ourtrip...
  1. Be prepared
  2. Stick to trails and camp overnight right
  3. Stash your trash and pick up waste
  4. Leave it as you find it
  5. Be careful with fire
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates. Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.

We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.

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Adrien

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Adrien

  • - Passionné de la nature
  • - Apprécie les sports outdoor
  • - Aime parcourir de nouveaux espaces
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Region
Hossa
Activity
Canoeing Summer
Duration
11 days
Group
2 to 12 people
Code
A4
Price
From €1,315
Level
3/5
Comfort
3/5
Language(s)
French / English

Strengths

  • Wilderness immersion in one of the most beautiful, unspoilt places in Europe
  • A 4 day canoeing expedition, mountain biking and hiking in the National Park
  • Our experienced professional guides and high quality equipment

Required level

This trip is for anyone in good health with a sense of adventure and a positive attitude. We will do 4-6 hours of activity per day, no previous experience of the various activities is necessary but you should be able to swim at least 100m. To join our mountain biking day we ask that you can ride a bike. Please note that your help with tasks like cooking is much appreciated and expected on our overnight adventures - this is a participative trip, we want you to be part of our team.
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