Sat in dense taiga forest, close to the beautiful Urho Kekkonen National Park, the Muotka Wilderness Lodge embodies the Finnish spirit of living close to and connecting with the environment. Whether visitors are new to Finland’s outdoors or veterans of winter activity vacations, the very nature of the lodge provides a fine introduction to the sense of environmental concern and awareness which pervades this vacation.
This trip features a balance of theoretical and practical education about the environment surrounding Muotka. It begins with an Aurora workshop, to build understanding about the science of the Northern Lights, enabling clients to appreciate the Aurora Borealis as a phenomenon of nature. On all activities – be it the snowshoe trek or the Aurora snowmobiling – expert guides are on hand to share their knowledge about the areas encountered, as well as the fauna and flora. It should be added that all activities take place on trails which have been carefully selected to minimise damage to this exceptional natural space.
Snowmobiles feature regularly in this vacation. To those concerned about their polluting potential, it must be said that they are a highly efficient way of crossing the snow – far more so than wheeled vehicles that might attempt to take their place. Our guides use vehicles with four-stroke engines, which are proven to produce far less noise and burn fuel more cleanly. This makes snowmobiles the best vehicle choice for exploring this part of the world – indeed, it is the vehicle of choice for the locals themselves. Clients either travel two per vehicle or as a group in a snowmobile-pulled sled, minimising the number of vehicles used. In addition to that, this vacation features non-polluting forms of transport like husky sleds and cross-country skis.
This Muotka vacation employs local guides to share their knowledge of the area. This is of significant benefit to the area’s tourism industry and also ensures that clients are treated to a genuinely native experience.
Reindeer herding has long been central to the lifestyle of Finland’s native Sami people, and it is only right that vacationmakers learn about it on this vacation. The visit to reindeer farm performs exactly this role, taking clients up close to the animals and also allowing them to appreciate through a short sleigh ride how reindeer have been used as a form of transport in Finland and the Nordic Countries.
On the subject of local forms of transport, it should be pointed out that the husky safari, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing activities all introduce visitors to classic Nordic forms of transport. Humans and huskies have formed tight bonds in this part of the world, and it is heart-warming and exciting to get an experience of this relationship during the activity. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are both incredibly old ways of traveling around – the modern versions included on this vacation connect travelers to that history.
The Aurora workshop featured on this trip not only teaches vacationmakers about the science behind the Northern Lights, but also the myths and legends surrounding them. This ultimately provides education about Finland’s cultural heritage and the beliefs of its indigenous people. The whole vacation itself functions as a platform for a two-way cultural exchange because those from abroad also share their way of life with the locals.