Finnish Summer Adventure Family Holiday
Learn wilderness skills along with canoeing and rafting on Finland’s vast Arctic tundra in summer
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
Finland’s vast tracts of Arctic tundra, lake and forest are cloaked beneath an all-enveloping layer of snow and ice for seven months of the year but, with the first spring thaws, they’re relieved of their white shroud and the landscape positively springs back to life. Wildflowers carpet the meadows, salmon leap up the river and – in mid-summer – the sun simply refuses to set. You’ll enjoy paddling on the sparkling lakes, rafting on the waters of the River Oulanka, swimming in the clear spring water and even an optional brown bear watching trip. Oulanka is always a popular winter family destination, now we are offering the chance to experience it during summer!Our wilderness base is located at the edge of Oulanka National Park in a truly spectacular setting, perfect for outdoor adventures and enjoy exciting activities together, throw in a daily sauna and…this is the life!
* All breakfast, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
* 7 nights comfortable wilderness lodge accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout. Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 8 years
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Canoeing on Lake Juuma
- Learn wilderness skills in the Oulanka National Park
- Rafting on River Oulanka
- Daily Saunas
Start Basecamp Oulanka
Depending on the arrival time, during dinner, we have our welcome briefing where we discuss the week ahead and get an introduction to Basecamp and the local area. There is also the opportunity to swim in the spring water lake and to use the sauna and enjoy the long, light summer night.
Introduction to paddling towards the village of Juuma.
We start our adventure by learning wilderness skills that will come in use in the wilds of Oulanka National Park including making a fire, how to orienteer and basic first aid skills. After lunch we have an introduction to paddling. In this introduction our goal is to learn the basic skills for kayaking and/or canoeing. The introduction takes place near the shore in shallow waters. Once we have learned the basics we will paddle towards the Juuma village.We will have free time to use the kayaks/canoes after the trip.
Check point canoeing, swimming in spring water
Today our task is to travel from one check point on the lake to another following a map taking a picture at each location as proof.Once we have found all check points we will show the pictures to our guide to receive a prize. Canoeing is a great way to take in Finland’s picturesque scenery and it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the shoreline as you may spot some of the incredible wildlife of the area. The afternoon is free to further explore or swim in spring waters of lake Ala-Juumajarvi.**
The Little Bear Trail
The Little Bear Trail starts from our doorstep. It is a 10-km-long trail leading to the southernmost part of the national park. This scenic route is perfect for a day trip and offers a possibility to see the grand natural features of the Oulanka National Park: roaring rapids, sheer cliffs and dense forests. The wildlife along the trails is unique and versatile partially for the reason that there are northern and southern slopes to grow on. It includes red fox, hare, elk and reindeer. It’s also possible to spot wolverine and wolves tracks.
Day rafting to Juuma Lake, experience 7 rapids
During today’s exhilarating rafting trip we get to experience 7 different rapids, from class I to class III. Before heading into the first rapid we’ll practise our rafting skills and how to work as a team on a lake. At first we get to explore class I rapids – this is a good warm up! In class II rapids we can test our teamwork skills and have fun. The final rapid – Harjakoski – is a class III and will give us good challenge and a nice refreshing splash of water. In the afternoon there is an option to try our climbing skills on adventure courses, to experience the excitement of high ropes and enjoy the scenery over Juuma Lake from the top of the climbing tower at Basecamp.
Free day optional activities Lappish drum, bear hide, paddling along River Oulanka
This day is free to enjoy a variety of optional activities on offer today including taking part in building and designing a traditional Lappish drum. These drums have been used by local communities in the old times to interconnect with spiritual life. In the evening there is an option to visit bear watching huts. This magical experience is located in the heart of Siberian taiga forest where you have the opportunity to see the king of forest from the safety of a comfortable ”hide”. Along with the activities, there will be the possibility to relax or pick one of the many self guided walks available around Basecamp. The leader will present all options for you to decide according to your preferences.
Rafting to Russian border
We start our day with a short hike to Jyrävä waterfall along the famous Little Bear Trail. In calm waters, we practise safety procedures and our guide will give us a brief introduction including the instructions needed for the tour. On this route we get to experience the tranquillity of this remote part of Northern Europe, all the way down to the Russian border zone. Along the scenic route we will encounter some gentler rapids and swift running waters while we will have the chance to explore the beautiful landscape of Oulanka National Park. Cameras can be stored into a dry bag and brought with you. In the afternoon we transfer back to Basecamp in time to enjoy a delicious farewell dinner and a final chance to relax in the sauna and hot tub.
Our trip ends at Basecamp Oulanka.
Our ‘wilderness lodge’ at Basecamp Oulanka is a lovely complex of wooden buildings providing comfortable and cosy accommodation in a stunning location overlooking a lake and backing on to the Oulanka National Park. All rooms are moderately-sized family rooms comprising a bathroom, twin beds for the adults and a mezzanine floor for up to two children.
All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 evening meals are included.
The food at Basecamp is a delicious range of local produce that is prepared on site by the inhouse chef. Starters consist of a salad buffet with 3-4 different choices. The main courses consist of wild game such as elk, chicken and salmon. There is also the option of vegetarian food. Dessert consists of lingon berries, blue berries and cloud berries that have often been picked by the chef herself. It is refreshing to know that what is viewed as superfoods in our supermarkets, grows locally to Basecamp. These berries are served with a selection of quark curd, cream, ice cream, cakes and pan cakes. Lunch normally consists of hot soup with elk, salmon or a vegetarian option.
Activity Level: 3 – Moderate
This trip gives you the chance to go paddling, rafting and the option of navigating a high ropes course.
As with all our mixed-activity trips, no experience of the activities is required for this holiday. However, to enjoy this trip to the full, a fair level of fitness, and physique are required.
The itinerary is active with periods of time spent outdoors or in water. There is a good balance between scheduled activities and free time to allow you to organize the trip at your pace, according to your fitness level and preferences.