Norwide Finland is part of Altai Travel: the community of travellers, local experts & populations that promotes positive and sustainable tourism where each actor is enriched by contact with others.
In more than 25 destinations, our local experts build experiences with our travellers where freedom, nature, encounters and pleasure are the key words.
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.
Day 1Welcome 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
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 6Canoeing 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 7Free 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.
- 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.
Day 8Dog 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
Day 9Optional 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
Day 10Mountain 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
Day 11Flight 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.
Other trips you may like
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:
No departure for now
No departure for now
Trip code: A4
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)
Please let us
know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional
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
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)
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.
Terms and conditions
Booking a trip with Norwide implies acceptance of the terms and conditions of sale. Each customer is required to complete a registration form and, subject to availability at the time of registration, travellers are expected to pay a deposit of 30% of the total price to complete their booking. Payments can be made online or by bank transfer. You will receive an e-mail with your booking confirmation.
Once your booking is confirmed you will receive an invoice by e-mail. The full balance of the trip must be received at least 30 days before your departure date. Norwide reserve the right to cancel your booking, free of charge, if this deadline is not respected.
If for any reason you have to cancel your trip, Norwide require written confirmation of your decision. The money you have paid will then be refunded according to the following deductions:
Cancellation received more than 30 days prior to the departure date: a sum of €50 per person will be retained
Cancellation received 30 to 21 days before the departure date: your deposit, 30% of the total trip price will be retained
Cancellation received 20 to 14 days before the departure date: 50% of the total trip price will be retained
Cancellation received 13 to 7 days before the departure date: 75% of the total trip price will be retained
Cancellation received less than 7 days before the departure date: 100% of the total trip price will be retained
Please note that, regardless of the date of cancellation or modification if you have agreed to pay for services such as hotel reservations, flights or additional activities, these services are usually non-refundable so additional fees may apply.
Fixed airfares: if your airline ticket was issued in advance, often done to avoid significant surcharges, you will be charged 100% of any non-refundable fees if you wish to change or cancel your flight plan.
Fixed in-country costs: early charges for firm bookings will be charged if you cancel or modify your trip.
Insurance costs: if you have taken out comprehensive or cancellation insurance, the cost of insurance is due and cannot be refunded.
Please note that fees apply according to the date we receive your cancellation or modification request in writing.
If we have to cancel a departure due to an insufficient number of participants, you will be informed no later than 21 days before departure and a full refund will be issued, you will not be entitled to further compensation. We reserve the rights to cancel departures due to exceptional circumstances which may impact the safety of participants. Such circumstances include those amounting to 'force majeure' in which case participants will receive a full refund but they will not be entitled to any compensation.
Modification du contrat
If you wish to make a change to your booking please contact us in writing; you will be expected to pay any fee which might arise from this change. In the event of unforeseen external events, Norwide may change some aspects of the travel contract. If any changes are necessary you will be informed as quickly as possible.
Prix et révision des prix
The prices on our website are updated regularly and all of the prices we advertise are accurate when published. We reserve the rights to make changes to any of these prices. Before you make a booking we will give you the up-to-date price of your chosen holiday including any supplements, upgrades or additional activities you may have requested. If the number of travellers is fewer than the indicated number of participants on the website, a small group surcharge may be applied. For all of our trips we include details of services, prices and what is/is not included but please be aware that changes to the prices may be necessary in accordance with exchange rates or price changes of various components of the journey.
Cession du contrat
If you are unable to travel for any reason, you can transfer your booking to another person in which case our modification conditions apply. Both the transferor and transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the total holiday price and other associated expenses. Some airline carriers treat name changes as cancellations and you may be required to pay for the cost of a new ticket.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
Bedding and towels are provided by Norwide but we recommend that you bring another towel for the saunas.
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
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
You must bring with you:
A sleeping bag liner
Sturdy walking boots
Sunglasses (minimum UV 400)
A headtorch with
spare batteries (from August)
A suitable water
bottle/flask (min 1L)
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:
Bring dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves
Wear multiple layers including:
A warm breathable base layer
A second thermal layer
Wind and waterproof protective out layer (we provide a quality jacket and over trousers for activities)
We recommend packing:
A pair of rubber boots or water shoes for canoeing and to cross rivers
A wind and waterproof jacket with a hood
A warm jacket
Suitable underwear and thermals
Suitable t-shirts, trousers & shorts
A hat or cap
A towel for the sauna
A pair of gloves
Slippers or comfortable shoes for in the cottage/hostel
Bug spray/mosquito net
You may also consider packing:
A camera (and suitable protective case)
Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
Toilet paper + lighter
A Notepad and pencil
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.
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.
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.
Finland uses the standard Europlug socket with two round prongs (50Hz/230 volts)
Finland uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)+2 and observes Daylight Saving Time making it GMT+3 during the summer months
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
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.
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...
Stick to trails and camp overnight right
Stash your trash and pick up waste
Leave it as you find it
Be careful with fire
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.
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.