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Finnish Wilderness Week

from $2,579.00

Mixed activity week in a remote part of Finland

  • Reviews 66 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    6
All about the Finnish Wilderness Week.

In the heart of Oulanka National Park sits Basecamp Oulanka, a self-sustained complex of wooden buildings in a truly stunning location. As the only accommodation for miles around, you are able to enjoy a variety of winter activities in this beautiful landscape and hardly ever see another soul. Dogsledding through the silent snow-caked forests of the nearby Riisitunturi National Park, you couldn’t feel more removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Get back to nature this winter and head to Basecamp.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 7 dinners
* 7 nights Basecamp Oulanka; twin rooms with ensuite bathrooms in two separate buildings (see accommodation section)
* All transport and listed activities
* 5 days mixed activities. Local tour leaders throughout. Group normally starting from 6, plus leaders. Min age 16 yrs.
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
* All Arctic winter equipment and clothing provided

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Enjoy a host of winter activities in magical surroundings
  • Stay in fantastic lodge accommodation
  • Experience an evening Northern Lights snowshoe
  • 7 nights Basecamp Oulanka: twin rooms with en suite bathrooms in two separate buildings
  • 5 days mixed activities
  • Group normally starting from 6, plus leaders. Min age 16 years
  • All Arctic winter equipment and clothing provided
  1. Day 1 Start Basecamp Oulanka.

    Our trip starts at Basecamp Oulanka, a complex of cozy wooden buildings located in a remote, unspoiled location overlooking the Juuma lake and backing into Oulanka National Park.

  2. Day 2 Snowshoe hike in Oulanka National park walking through snow-caked trees and along the Kitka River

    In the morning we are provided with all of the equipment needed for a week of activities in arctic conditions. Strapping on a pair of snowshoes we head straight out into Oulanka National Park where we are taught the necessary skills for this activity. Our route today will take us through forests and along the Kitka River, passing an old flour mill that sits adjacent to the dramatic Myllykoski rapids (approx 2½ hours). At the end of the walk, depending on timing, there will be the chance to do some further exploration of the surrounding area or relax in the sauna or hot tub.

  3. Day 3 Cross-country skiing in the morning heading down to the Juuma lake; free afternoon.

    Today we experience the Scandinavian-born sport of cross-country skiing. Heading down to the nearby JuumaLake, our instructor will literally walk us through the basics of how to cross-country ski. There may be a few tumbles to start with, but in the softsnow this is half the fun! After becoming more confident on the skis we then head out onto the lake, gliding through the virgin powder. In the afternoon, keep hold of your skis as there is the option of further unguided skiing in the area. Alternatively, you might wish to try kick sledging; a metal frame sled you can use on your own and venture out around Basecamp.

  4. Day 4 Half day dogsledding instruction and tour (about 10km) in Riisitunturi National Park; optional ice climbing.

    After breakfast we take a short transfer to the nearby Riisitunturi National Park where we meet up with our dogsledding guide. The day begins with tuition on how to ride on the sled and the importance of caring for the huskies correctly. We then head off into the woods where our teams of dogs eagerly await our arrival, ready to take us on our 10km mushing adventure. Our route takes us deep into the national park and up onto the surrounding fjell where we are rewarded with a fantastic view. Travelling on your own sled, you are able to really appreciate the serenity of this beautiful snow-laden landscape. The afternoon is free to experience some of the optional activities that Basecamp has to offer such as ice climbing (min 4 persons). This evening we head out for nighttime snowshoeing, in search for the Northern Lights.

  5. Day 5 Free day in Ruka; morning option of snowmobile safari; afternoon option of downhill skiing.

    We spend the day at the popular ski resort of Ruka. Your guide will take care of transfers and can book activities for you. Transfers are included only to the designated areas and are scheduled at specific times. It is advisable to check at reception before making your activities booking. Downhill skiing and snowmobile safaris are available – see the ’Optional excursions’ section below. Please note that due to operational reasons, the bookings for activities in Ruka need to be made by Tuesday. Otherwise, there’s the option to stay at Basecamp, having the equipment, snowshoes, cross-country skis etc. at your disposal, with accessible routes to explore.

  6. Day 6 Wilderness skills including quinzee building and fire-making; optional night in the quinzee.

    Today we are taught the ancient art of quinzee building. Issued with shovels and spades and in groups of four, we create a mound of snow, which is later hollowed out to make sleeping quarters (2-3 persons per quinzee). You have the option of sleeping in your construction, but the lodge is just a short walk away if you prefer the warmth of your room.

  7. Day 7 Optional activities including ice climbing, dogsledding or unguided cross-country skiing; dinner around a campfire.

    Today we have a free day with several options on offer to make the most of the magical Finland Wilderness. Some of the activities available include unguided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, dogsledding or snowmobile safaris. As a farewell celebration, we have the option of eating dinner around a campfire on the edge of the National Park.

  8. Day 8 End Basecamp Oulanka.

    End Basecamp Oulanka. Lunch is included for clients booked on the group flights for departures from Dec. 24th to Feb. 17th (inclusive) due to a later flight time.

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Where you stay

Basecamp Oulanka

Basecamp Oulanka is a superb self-sustaining wooden complex that takes immediate inspiration from its wilderness location. Twin rooms with en suite bathrooms are in two separate buildings. The third building is a cosy restaurant and bar, with a log fire, sauna and outdoor hot tub. The heating system used throughout the complex relies totally on nature using special wood pellets for fuel. Winners for outstanding accommodation in the VESTAS 2011 awards is proof of Basecamp’s dedication towards quality.

Please be aware that multiple Breakaway trips are running at Basecamp at the same time and you might share the room with a member of a different group.

Please note that there are family groups at Basecamp during European school holidays.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 7 evening meals are included. The food at Basecamp is a delicious range of local produce (Finnish food) that is all prepared on site by the in house 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. Vegetarian options are also available. Dessert consists of lingonberries, blueberries and cloudberries that have often been picked by the chef herself. These berries are served with a selection of quark kurd, cream, ice cream, cakes and pancakes. Lunch normally consists of a hot soup with elk, salmon or vegetarian option.

This is a mixed activity week for adults with a good selection of guided activities and free time for independent activities or relaxation. None of the activities require previous experience, however, a good level of fitness is needed to make the most of this holiday. Basecamp provides excellent kit for the conditions, with a layered system allowing you to keep warm and dry.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

FINNISH WILDERNESS WEEK

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sleeping all night in the snow quinzee we had built
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Teddy/Bjorn was wonderful, as were the other members of his team
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy and do make sure you do the husky safari. It was brilliant!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Northern exposure

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dog-sledding was, undoubtedly, a highlight. The choral howling of the Husky teams augured the delights to come: crisp, cold air; views of white expanses and distant hills; and, best of all, the responsiveness of these powerful, beautiful beasts, with their dense fur, icy eyes and impressive abilities to poo while in full flight. There’s also perverse enjoyment, not to mention satisfaction, to be had from building your own quinzee, and – if you must – sleeping in it. We didn’t bother with the latter, having sent our respective Tyler Durdens on vacation elsewhere; but construction was made easier by the ‘can-do’ attitude of Rebecca and Andrew, our partners in architectural crime. The wind whistling through our snow-sodden clothes seemed a little less harsh, thanks to both of you. The propulsive powers of the f-word proved remarkable on a steep incline. Indeed, as most of our remaining time was spent falling over or crashing into things, we swore the air into a deep, deep shade of blue. It matched the bruises.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    A passionate ambassador for the outdoor life, Noora was also a knowledgeable and approachable leader who acted promptly on requests. Indeed, all of the staff were very friendly and helpful, and the chef had made an evident effort to accommodate our dietary needs.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was a little cheeky of Exodus to describe the trip as an 8-day holiday, when two of the days consisted entirely of travelling to and from our destination. The lengthy transfer from Rovaniemi to the lodge was especially unwelcome at the end of a 15-hour journey, much of which was spent loitering around airports, waiting for flights. If sentenced to spend an age in Helsinki airport, break up the time, as we did, by taking a Finnair bus into the city centre – a journey of 30 minutes, at the most - and seeing the sights on foot. We found the food at Basecamp Oulanka to be suitably hearty fuel for an active(ish) break, but to other group members it seemed stodgy and over-fried. Stock up on extra fruit, perhaps, if travelling outside berry-picking time: the seasonal menu meant that it was noticeable by its relative absence. Finally, be prepared to NOT see the Aurora Borealis. We didn't. However, if you stare at a lightbulb and then rub you eyelids vigorously, you can achieve a pretty convincing approximation.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In contrast to the experiences of other travellers, we really cannot say that we were misinformed by Exodus. The costs of optional activities were described accurately, give or take a few Euros, as were the facilities provided by the lodge. We re-checked the trip notes on the way home, and found that some of the complaints we'd heard were about matters pre-emptively addressed in the literature. Make the effort to read all of the available information before booking. One last point: Teddy’s energy bars, which are only available at the lodge, are things of wonder and joy. If you need to feel virtuous about partaking, a couple are just the ticket on a long walk. If you simply like feeling happy, sod the exercise, eat them anyway and imagine – as we did – that they contain a secret ingredient. Something did.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

A wonderful week far from the madding crowd at Base Camp OulankaY

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the most awe inspiring moment was driving a team of huskies up through the snowy forest and reaching the highest point and seeing the sun glinting on the tree tops, it was magical.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    We were absolutely delighted with our team leader, Martti. He is extremely knowledgeable and such a caring person who always had a smile on his face and was more than willing to go that extra mile to ensure that everybody in our group had a great holiday. When my wife fell and hurt herself he went out of his way to visit us in our accommodation, later the same day to ensure that she was OK. All the base camp team were friendly and a credit to their organisation.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No need to take too much with you as three layers of protective clothing was supplied together with three pairs of gloves/mittens, socks, belt, a beanie hat and a head torch. We stayed overnight in a hotel at Gatwick and used the Thomson day before check-in service, which closes at 2200 hrs. Glad we did as we found out that my wife and I were allocated separate seats, disappointingly, however, the Thomson team kindly changed our seats for us -something for Exodus to consider for the future as were unable to book in online due to the block booking.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this trip to those who want something a little different. It is aimed at adults, however Exodus run a similar holiday aimed at families and we are seriously thinking about taking our children and grandchildren on that one later this, or next, year. All the Staff at Base Camp Oulanka were brilliant: so welcoming, cheerful and welcoming - and we even got to take some pictures of the Northern Lights

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Fantastic

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the ice wall.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Teddy was fun and informative
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The clothes provided mean you don't have to bring lots of winter gear. No cash needed for basecamp

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Fantastic Finland Wilderness Week

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    First snowshoe trip was great as was the first husky trip. Wilderness skills including igloo building was a fun day.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Maart was a great group leader. Unassuming, helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When they say all the clothing is provided, it really is. I took way too much cold-weather gear. You only really need to take a thermal layer. I'd take hand/feet warmers and a balaclava though.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'd go back tomorrow if I could.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
January 3, 2021
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$2,579.00
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January 10, 2021
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January 17, 2021
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January 24, 2021
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January 31, 2021
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February 7, 2021
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February 14, 2021
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February 21, 2021
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February 28, 2021
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March 7, 2021
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March 14, 2021
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March 21, 2021
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March 28, 2021
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April 4, 2021
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$2,799.00
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April 11, 2021
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April 18, 2021
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December 6, 2020
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December 13, 2020
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December 27, 2020
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