Finland summer family activity vacation

“One week small group activity vacation in Finland's Oulanka National Park. Ideal for families who love camping, wildlife spotting and messing about on the water.”

Highlights

Oulanka National Park | introduction to wilderness skills | Juuma village | lake canoes and kayaks | 10km Little Bear Trail | class I to class III white water rafting | Juuma lake | Jyrävä waterfall | Optional activities include: Lappish drum making, evening in a bear hide, high ropes course and climbing tower |

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Date
Price
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26 May 2019
US $ 1425
excluding flights
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21 Jul 2019
US $ 1425
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28 Jul 2019
US $ 1425
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04 Aug 2019
US $ 1425
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11 Aug 2019
US $ 1425
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25 Aug 2019
US $ 1425
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Vouchers
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Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Finland summer family activity vacation

Waste
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.

Activities and Wildlife:
On arrival clients learn wilderness skills and this will guide their experience in the territory teaching them how to harmoniously integrate themselves with the surroundings. This trip offers a number of summer activities, including: canoeing, rafting, paddling and swimming. All activities have a minimum impact on the environment. We also have the chance to build a design a traditional Lappish drum. These drums have been used by local communities in the old times to interconnect with spiritual life. There will be also the possibility to visit bear watching huts to spot bears in their natural environment and along the Little Bear Trail we can come across a great Wildlife variety. It includes red fox, hare, elk and reindeer.

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.

Local Craft and Culture:
Along with spending time with local people 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.

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, 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.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.


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