The Taïga dream

A truly exceptional Finnish dog-sledding expedition across the beautiful frozen Taïga in the heart of Hossa National Park. About as far off the beaten track as you can get, this adventure has a relaxed pace so you can watch, admire and photograph the wild North. Master Finnish dog-sledding techniques and discover the secret lives of our Huskies as you learn to feed, lead and take care of them. This trip is full of hidden delights.

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 hours drive) - we will escort you to your accommodation where you can enjoy dinner together with your guide.

    Accommodation: Cottage or lodge

  • Day 2 Dog-sledding Introduction

    Dog-sledding Introduction Today we will learn Finnish dog-sledding techniques and practice our skills. In the morning we will meet the dogs, each sled is lead by a team of 4 to 5 dogs (2 to 3 dogs for children) We will start out on frozen lakes and before we know it we will be exploring the forest with ease, enjoying this magical method of transport.

    Activities: Dog-sledding (around 15 miles/ 25km)
    Accommodation: Cottage or lodge

  • Day 3 Dogsledding Safari

    Dogsledding Safari The adventure begins - the start of our expedition! We head south, our dogs running through the taiga, flying through the stunning scenery, crossing frozen lakes, swamps and forests. We will journey along the Russian border to our first camp, a wooden trappers cabin where we will prepare and enjoy a meal together over the fire and relax as the wood stove crackles, the camp settles and our dogs finally doze off...

    Activities: 4 to 5 hours of dog-sledding
    Accommodation: log cabin

  • Day 4 Dogsledding Safari

    Dogsledding Safari Today we head Northwards away from our Russian friends. We will pass through various reserves where migratory birds flock during the summer months. We will return to Hossa National Park and its network of frozen lakes to our cabin where we will once again spend the night by the fire sharing tales of our adventures.

    Accommodation: log cabin

  • Day 5 Dogsledding Safari

    Dogsledding Safari Today our dogs continue deep into the National Park away from civilization. It is truly beautiful dog-sledding through the park as the sun lights up the snowy spruces around us. Tonight we can enjoy contrasts between the warmth of a traditional Finnish wood-fired sauna and the freshness of frozen lake water.

    Accommodation: log cabin

  • Day 6 Dogsledding Safari

    Dogsledding Safari Northwards! Our journey today begins through thick forests where we can spot traces of the animals who sleep in this dense wooded refuge. We will explore the famous canyon lake, Julma Ölkky. This remote area, surrounded by cliffs, is simply beautiful and here we will experience, without a doubt, one of the most magical moments of this canine adventure...

    Accommodation: Trapper cabin

  • Day 7 Dogsledding Safari

    Dogsledding Safari For the fifth and final day of our expedition, we will travel the long diagonal of the National Park and rediscover all of Hossas magical landscapes. Lakes, snow-covered hills, swamps and of course the frozen forest. After all that time spent at their side, today we take the opportunity to spend some special moments with our faithful companions. For dinner tonight we can enjoy a traditional Lappish meal: Käristus, or reindeer stew with cranberries.

    Accommodation: Cottage or hotel

  • Day 8 Transfer

    Transfer Transfer to Kuusamo airport

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:

From To Price per person Guaranteed Booking
€1,910 No Book now!
€1,910 No Book now!
€1,910 No Book now!
€1,910 No Book now!
€1,910 Yes Fully booked
€2,130 No Book now!
€2,130 No Book now!
€2,130 Yes Fully booked
€2,130 No Book now!
€1,960 Yes Book now!
€1,960 No Book now!
€1,960 No Book now!
€1,960 No Book now!

Departures for English-speaking groups:

From To Price per person Guaranteed Booking
€1,910 No Book now!
€1,910 No Book now!
€1,910 No Book now!
€1,910 No Book now!
€2,130 No Book now!
€2,130 No Book now!
€2,130 No Book now!
€1,960 No Book now!
€1,960 No Book now!
€1,960 No Book now!

Trip code: C1

Included

  • Airport transfers to/from Kuusamo airport
  • 3 nights in cottage/lodge/hotel accommodation
  • 4 nights in trapper hut/log cabin accommodation
  • Full board from day 1 dinner to breakfast day 8
  • Luggage transport
  • Activities supervised by professional guides
  • All technical equipment needed including cold weather clothing (see 'practical info' / 'equipment' for details)

Not included

  • Flights

Additional Options

Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities/supplements:
  • Single room at the hotel: 190 pp.

Notes

Comfort: 2/5 Basic

We love our back to basics no frills accommodation options which enable us to get close to nature. Examples of 2/5 comfort accommodation include mountain huts and refuges with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. This trip includes 3 nights in more luxurious lodge, cottage or hotel accommodation.

Level: 4/5 Demanding

You should be in very good physical shape and prepared for adventure; a positive attitude and love of the outdoors is essential. Please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather and snow conditions.

Minimum age: 14

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. 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/cottages/lodges: Generous buffet style breakfasts and dinners are served with hot drinks and lots of options
  • Lunches: Picnic lunches are provided on our activity days including hot food cooked on wood fires
  • In the trappers huts & log cabins: We like when the whole group work as a team to cook a traditional style dinner with their guide during our nights in the cabins - it creates a pleasant atmosphere as we reflect on the days adventures together.
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 3 nights in our cottage and 4 nights in trappers huts/cabin accommodation. Bed linens, sleeping bags and towels are provided by Norwide. During your safari in the Taiga, it will be ask of you to clean your cottage as your luggages will be stored in a special cabin.

  • The Classic Cottage has a living room/kitchen area with twin or bunk beds plus a private bathroom and sauna

Trapper huts & log cabins: We love our back to basics no frills accommodation options which enable us to get close to nature - these traditional log cabins are just like mountain refuges, they are all equipped sometimes even with Finnish saunas and they are full of charm! They normally have a single dormitory for 4 to 6 people with one main living room. Generally there is no running water or electricity; dry toilets are found outside. Wood-stove heating warms the cabins quickly and efficiently even when it is cold outside.

Budget & exchange

The currency in Finland is the euro. Please budget for the following:
  • Personal expenses and drinks
  • Any additional activities/supplements
  • Deposit for equipment provided: €50 for the boots, €50 euros for the overall & €50 euros for the sleeping bag

Supplied equipment

We will provide you with the following equipment for the duration of your trip:
  • Warm snow boots (Sorel)
  • Bedding - linen for hotel/cottage accommodation and warm sleeping bags for the trappers huts/log cabins
  • A warm jacket for the cold
  • A warm protective oversuit
  • Waterproof over mittens
  • A balaclava
  • A durable waterproof bag
Please be aware that upon booking you may be asked your size, height and weight in order to reserve the appropriate equipment in advance.

Vital equipment

You must bring with you:
  • A sleeping bag liner
  • Sunglasses (minimum UV 400)
  • A ski mask
  • Any personal medication
  • Good thermals - top & long johns
  • Sun-cream (not water based)
  • A head torch and spare batteries
  • A thermos flask

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:
  • Warm (wool) socks
  • A warm wind and waterproof jacket
  • Suitable warm  trousers - windproof ski style, soft shell or fleece lined mountaineering trousers are ideal
  • Warm jumper(s) and jacket(s)
  • Warm baselayer thermals - very important! (Thin technical fibers as Carline or Polartec are extremely efficient)
  • Gloves - multiple pairs for under and over
  • A warm hat
  • Appropriate neck wear like a warm buff
  • Swim suit (sauna)
  • Travel towel (sauna)
  • Shoes for wearing in the evenings in your various accommodation options

You may also consider packing:
  • Wetwipes
  • Blister plasters
  • A camera (and suitable protective case)
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing

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

Winter in Finland is cold and dry, temperatures in Hossa can drop as low as -25°C (-13°F) but warm clothing, good food and an active lifestyle will keep you warm.

A thick layer of snow covers Finland from December, when it settles, to the end of April, when it melts. The dry cold preserves the snow and makes temperatures feel warmer than you might imagine.

During the winter months daytime is relatively short in Finland but thanks to the snow and the occassional displays of the dancing Northern Lights it is never completely black even in the regions where the sun does not rise at all - winter brings a beautiful blue light with a feeling of permanent dusk. In mid-April, the sun stays above the horizon for 14-16 hours so during March and April you can enjoy long glorious days of winter sports under a bright sun. Other winter days include 4 to 5 hours of a light called gray light, usually 10am to 2pm, with local variations.

The Northern Lights

The beautiful dancing lights are most likely to appear on black nights in February-March and September-October in the North of Finland. Statistics show that most are observed in Lapland, in the region of Kilpisjärvi. When the night skies are clear, the Northern Lights can be observed three nights out of four in Kilpisjärvi, every other night in the Sodankylä region and one out of four nights near Oulu-Kuusamo.

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
Dog sledding Winter
Duration
8 days
Group
3 to 5 people
Code
C1
Price
From €1,910
Level
4/5
Comfort
2/5
Language(s)
French / English

Strengths

  • Master Finnish dog-sledding techniques and discover the secret lives of our huskies
  • Enjoy 5 days completely off the beaten trek in the heart of the most magical northern wilderness 
  • Our experienced staff, dogs and state of the art equipment will keep you warm and smiling

Guide's advice

This truly is an exceptional adventure - a must-join for adventurous animal lovers!

Required level

This trip is for anyone in good health with a sense of adventure, a love of animals and a positive attitude. We will do 4-6 hours of activity per day, no previous dog-sledding experience is necessary but it is preferred. Please note that your help with tasks like cooking is much appreciated and expected during our adventure - this is a participative trip, we want you to be part of our team.
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