Finland winter activity vacation & Northern Lights

“What sets this vacation apart from the Finnish pack is that spotting the elusive Aurora is as much a part of the plan as trying your hand at a new winter activity.”

Highlights

Oulanka National Park | Snowshoeing | Cross-country skiing | Riisitunturi National Park | Husky sledding | Ice climbing | Ruka | Snowmobile safari | Wilderness skills day | Dinner in a traditional tipi | Northern Lights

Travel Team

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15 Dec 2019
US $2579
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29 Dec 2019
US $2749
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US $2349
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12 Jan 2020
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Our top tip:
Temperatures can hit -20°C, so pack light layers. Full outer clothing - including hats and gloves - provided.
Trip type:
Small group tour. 4-16 adults (min. age 16) with a tour leader.
Activity level:
Moderate. You need to be reasonably fit with a spirit of adventure.
Accomm:
Cosy, self-sustaining wooden complex in remote area.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Included:
Accommodation, tour leader, flights and transfers (if booked with flights), all arctic equipment.
Meals:
All breakfasts and dinners.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Finland winter activity vacation & Northern Lights

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

Accommodation and Meals:
You will spend 7 nights at Basecamp Oulanka. This wilderness camp is a lovely complex of wooden buildings on the edge of Oulanka National Park and is renowned for its environmental and sustainability practices. They have won several awards including the VESTAS award as an ‘Outstanding Example of Accommodation’ and TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Gold Award. All energy used is renewable and all waste and water is recycled. The heating system used throughout the complex relies totally from nature using special wood pellets for fuel. Even the hot tub is run from an ingenious system that uses the excess heat generated from the sauna. Ingredients are sourced locally or at the very least produced in Finland, so guests can expect fresh elk, reindeer, salmon, vegetables and berries.

Activity:
This trip offers a number of environmentally friendly winter activities, including: dogsledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, igloo building etc. If possible, man-power is used over motors to minimise carbon emissions and there is constant attention to a strong ‘leave no trace’ policy. We also visit a reindeer farm and museum where everyone will have the opportunity to ride a reindeer and try some lasso throwing. The farm is part of a co-operative and is dependent on tourist visits like this as it is in such a remote place. Optional activities like snowmobile tours are also run through local people, who really benefit from our business.

Conservation:
Part of the trip cost is a contribution which goes towards wilderness protection and conservation of Oulanka National Park. This donation is used partially for the restoration of Kärpäskelhä- which is an old meadow area used for cows, sheep and reindeer to graze in. The meadow has been out of use since the mid 50’s and has since been growing freely, slowly losing its usual customers and instead becoming overrun with plants and insects. Now, with Basecamp Oulanka, clients can volunteer in Kärpäskelhä if they like and participate in conservation activities. Together with our local operators we have donated more than 60,000 Euros over the past 6 years to wilderness protection work.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Local Craft and Culture:
Along with spending time with local people and visiting businesses (including the reindeer farm), we intend to share local culture by introducing clients to the varieties of handcrafts and local produce on offer here. Smoked elk is a traditional delicacy in these parts and can be purchased in the area, as well as traditional Lappish socks, hats, drums and Karhunkynsi tableware. By buying local crafts, we are contributing to the community and often encouraging customary craftsmanship which has lasted centuries. However, guides will remind clients not to purchase any products made with parts of endangered species whilst they are on the trip.

A Fair Deal:
All of our guides are local and live close to the camp, which has a positive effect on the very high unemployment levels in these rural areas. This also ensures that all generated income stays within the community and helps the village to function properly. Our staff work all year round and receive wages every month- despite our working season not covering the whole year. All staff is educated on responsible tourism issues and this should come across to clients in frequent briefings on current environmental and community issues. Their training extends to topics like flora and fauna, socioeconomic systems and sustainable tourism.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

9 Reviews of Finland winter activity vacation & Northern Lights

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 12 Feb 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Husky sledding and the snow shoeing

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Just book and go...don’t pack too much all the essential gear is provided and you will have a fabulous time. Take a camera rather than trying to rely on your iPhone which didn’t cope at all with the cold weather. Samsung’s were much better. The staff were friendly and helpful.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The Finns are very keen on living healthy green lives and it was a efficiently run lodge complex. Left over food from the evening meal was always turned into soup or another wholesome meal for the next day. It is a long way from anywhere and the guides were locals

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Amazing. I would recommend it to anyone keen to get away from it all and be outdoors. More snow than you will ever have seen and you won’t get cold - 4 layers of clothes 4 pairs of socks and gloves and two hats toasty warm

Reviewed on 09 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The full day (optional) snowshoe walk.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take a warm hat! All other kit is provided and is of very good quality and more than up to the task.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. The local providers of optional and included activities seemed to be chosen for their overall ethos, rather than just picking those closest geographically. Food was sourced as locally as possible. There appeared to be a definite effort to be responsible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent range of activities, and good value when you look at what was included. The local guides were excellent. Would give more than 5 stars if allowed.

Reviewed on 01 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The husky dog and the snow-mobile trips were the most exciting.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


You only need to take a base-layer (top and bottom) and long sleeve T-shirts and jumpers. Everything else is provided by the tour operator.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. There was very little environmental impact and the husky trip and reindeer trip were to local places.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic. Would recommend it to anyone who wants a bit of a winter adventure.

Reviewed on 26 Dec 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Variety of activities and new experiences. Most memorable and exciting activity was the 10k Husky ride!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take personal toiletries, you don’t need to pack much as all outdoor kit is provided.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Magical adventure that is for anyone wanting a re-boot from city life.

Reviewed on 18 Dec 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Everything was a lot of fun but if I had to chose one thing, it would be the dogsleds.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If this is all you will be doing in Finland then you don't need to take too many clothes. Everything for your winter activities is supplied.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The wilderness lodge was eco friendly and run by locals. No disposable dished etc were used. We were encouraged to re-use towels etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic. The crew were excellent, very knowledgeable and caring whilst still treating us as adults. They were truly team leaders. The company from the
other guests was great with a large age range, couples singles and family members, all mixing together.

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Everything was memorable. My favourites were the Riisitunturi National Park snowshoe, cross-country skiing by the lake, and husky sledding.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Going at the start of January (one of the darkest times of the year for this region) means that one gets only about 2.5 hours of "daylight". This is something to bear in mind as even 1-2 months will make a difference if you are someone who likes things light when doing activities. A number of afternoon activities took place in the dark. But if you don't mind, or are open to doing some things "at night", then I would say to just go for it. In the end, it didn't bother me and made for some good long nights of sleep! Perfect if you need to catch up on rest (as I did).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I hope and think so. I enjoyed eating local produce such as salmon, elk, reindeer and all sorts of red berries - the chefs know what they are doing!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Waking up everyday to a landscape of white, black and blue (has to be lived to be believed), and having something active (but not overly so) to look forward to was a great way to end a tough year, and to start a fresh new good one!

Reviewed on 06 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The all day Husky safari came top very closely followed by the rest of the weeks activities.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Bring your own base layer, but vacation notes are correct in that all the other clothing is provided.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The week is designed to work with the local environment in all aspects.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent vacation in an idyllic location providing, fun and adventure.

Reviewed on 26 Jan 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Huskies. Location. Snowshoeing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take disposable hand and feet warmers.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed on 30 Jan 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The scenery was just fantastic, and I really enjoyed being with the huskies. The
whole experience was like nothing I've ever done before.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be reasonably fit and you will enjoy the trip more, and don't go directly from a
warm climate without acclimatising somewhere for the cold beforehand.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The vacation provided jobs for the locals, and the opportunity for other foreign
staff to work in and experience/understand the Arctic region.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic experience - the most enjoyable activity vacation I have ever done.

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