Finnish Family Getaway

Our carefully designed itinerary includes a bit of something for everyone - whether you prefer relaxing in saunas or hiking canyons this holiday has something for all the family. Highlights include an overnight canoeing expedition through the taiga and the chance to observe reindeer, moose and bears. Try your hand at Finnish bushcraft skills, learn traditional fishing techniques and uncover the fascinating history of the National Park- a real adventure designed to bring the whole family together.

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.

    Accommodation: hostel

  • Day 2 Hiking the Julma-Ölkky canyon

    Hiking the Julma-Ölkky canyon After a short transfer, today we will hike around Julmä-Ölkky canyon. This canyon is well known for its spectacular gorges and stunning views of the lakes and Taiga. For lunch we can enjoy a Finnish style picnic around a fire.

    Activities: Hiking
    Accommodation: hostel

  • Days 3 to 4 Canoeing Hossanjoki River

    Canoeing Hossanjoki River This morning, we leave for a 2-day wilderness adventure with our canoes and tents. We will go all the way to the famous colourful cliffs of Värikallio where we can observe well preserved cave paintings from 4000 BC. Then we will paddle with the river to the east of the National Park where reindeers and moose roam freely. We will search for these elegant animals, bathe in the waters and pick wild berries to go with our dinner. We will spend one night camping like Finnish trappers - a chance to learn ancient Finnish bushcraft skills and to enjoy some traditional campfire stories.

    Activities: Canoeing
    Accommodation: Day 3 - tents & day 4 - hostel

  • Day 5 Free day

    Free day After two days of canoeing, today is a chance 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 go mountain biking 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

    Activities: Various optional activities (recommended Yoga classes)
    Accommodation: hostel

  • Day 6 Dog walking in Lavajärvi

    Dog walking in Lavajärvi 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 7 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. We are spoilt for choice here in terms of activities, perhaps you want to go mountain biking, hiking or canoeing; wild swimming, fishing, or perhaps you want to spend the day relaxing by the edge of the Hossanjarvï Lake...

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

  • Day 8 Trappers day

    Trappers day Discover how to be a Finnish trapper for the day! Today we will learn different bushcraft skills including Finnish shelter buidling and fishing techniques. At lunch time we will build our own fires to cook our catches. This afternoon we will visit a local reindeer farm - an opportunity to learn more about these typical Finnish animals.

    Accommodation: hostel

  • Day 9 Flight back home

    Flight back home Transfer to Kuusamo airport and flights home.

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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Dates & prices

Departures for French-speaking groups:

No departure for now

Departures for English-speaking groups:

No departure for now

Trip code: A5

Included

  • Transfers from/to Kuusamo airport
  • All accommodation: hostel accommodation & 1 night camping
  • All technical equipment needed including camping and canoeing gear
  • Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 9
  • Hiking Julma-Ölkky canyon
  • Finnish dog walking in the National Park
  • A 2 day canoeing expedition
  • Two free days to choose a range of optional activities best suited to your family (bear-watching/yoga/mountain biking)
  • Hands-on Finnish trapper bushcraft survival skills lessons
  • Traditional fishing lessons and opportunities
  • Activities supervised by our expert guides (bear-watching/yoga are run by qualified English-speaking locals) 

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: 4/5 Comfortable

Well-equipped accommodation options like basic hotels or charming guesthouses are rated 4/5 for comfort. Please note that depending on the destination this does not necessarily guarantee private bathroom and kitchen facilities. This trip includes hostel accommodation and one night camping in the Finnish wilderness.

Level: 2/5 Moderate

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. You should have a sense of adventure and a positive attitude. Please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather.

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. 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 9. 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 Hostel: Generous buffet style breakfasts and dinners with hot drinks and lots of options are served at the hostel
  • 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 over the fire 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 hostel accommodation and 1 night in tents.

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 an extra towel for use in 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 extra drinks
  • Any additional activities/supplements
  • Deposits will be required for use of some of our technical equipment like sleeping bags

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
  • 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 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

My local agent
Adrien

  • - Passionné de la nature
  • - Apprécie les sports outdoor
  • - Aime parcourir de nouveaux espaces
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Region
Hossa
Activity
Canoeing Summer
Duration
9 days
Group
4 to 12 people
Code
A5
Price
From €1,020
Level
2/5
Comfort
4/5
Language(s)
French / English

Strengths

  • A carefully designed itinerary with lots of activities and options for all the family plus time to relax and enjoy the tranquility of Hossa National Park
  • Discover Nordic bushcraft skills, learn Finnish fishing techniques and uncover a fascinating history through cave paintings and campfire stories
  • Our experienced professional guides and high quality equipment will keep the whole family safe and smiling

Guide's advice

An unforgettable family holiday - the kids will be talking about their adventures for years to come!

Required level

This trip is for anyone in fair 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 we prefer that participants can swim at least 100m for our canoeing activities. Please note that your help with tasks like cooking is much appreciated and expected especially during our overnight adventures - this is a participative trip, we want you to be part of our team.
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