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Finnish Winter Adventure Family Holiday

from $2,349.00

See the Northern Lights in Finland

  • Reviews 10 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 18
All about the Finnish Winter Adventure Family Holiday.

Oulanka is always a popular family destination, this is definitely a winter trip with a difference. The whole family can enjoy lots of exciting activities and wholesome home-cooked food rustled up by our small team of expert staff. Discover the beautiful wilderness of Finnish Lapland on snowshoes, cross-country skis, dogsled and snowmobiles. Our wilderness base is located at the edge of Oulanka National Park in a truly spectacular setting, perfect for this fun-filled winter holiday and with the very best conditions for seeing the Northern Lights, nature’s most spectacular light show!

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 at Basecamp Oulanka in comfortable and cozy accommodation in a stunning location
* All transport and listed mixed activities
* Tour leader throughout. Group normally 4 to 18, plus leaders. Min age 5 yrs.
* All Arctic winter equipment and clothing provided
* Arrival & departure Airport transfers (at designated times)

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

Highlights

• Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and dogsledding
• Beautifully remote wilderness location
• Chance to see the Northern Lights

  1. Day 1 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.

  2. Day 2 Dogsledding instruction and tour of approx 10km (approx.)

    After sorting out all of your equipment needed for a week in arctic conditions there is then a free morning to try sledding around the areas of Basecamp, or enjoy a game of football or hockey in the deep snow. All games equipment are available free of charge from the front desk. After lunch, we head off for a husky safari in the neighbouring Riisitunturi National Park. We start with tuition on how to ride and drive on the sled and the importance of caring for the huskies correctly. We then continue 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 fantastic views. With the adults driving and the children sitting in the sled, you are able to really appreciate the serenity of this beautiful snow-laden landscape.

  3. Day 3 Gentle half day snowshoe walk, exploring the park; free use of snowshoes in the afternoon

    Today we explore the Oulanka National Park with a gentle half day snowshoe walk past frozen waterfalls and following the Kitkajoki River. There is a free afternoon for further snowshoeing, sauna or hot-tub. Alternatively, you might wish to try kick sledging; a metal frame sled you can use on your own or with your children and venture out around Basecamp.

  4. Day 4 Morning cross-country ski lesson. Free use of skis after the lesson

    Experience the Scandinavian-born sport of cross-country skiing. Heading down to the nearby Juuma Lake, our instructor will walk us through the basics of how to cross-country ski. There may be a few tumbles to start with, but in the soft snow, 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 will be further opportunities to practise what you have learnt in the morning and have more fun.

  5. Day 5 Morning free in Ruka for optional activities; afternoon visit reindeer farm and museum with a ride on a reindeer sleigh

    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. In the late afternoon, we visit the reindeer farm and museum where everyone will have the chance to ride on a reindeer sleigh. The evening then draws to a close with some hot drinks and some reindeer sausages round an open fire.

  6. Day 6 Free morning; afternoon children's snow games: sledging, building snow forts and snowmen

    This morning we have the chance to sleep longer and start the day at a more relaxed pace. After lunch the afternoon is spent in the children’s snow park, which is supervised by the Basecamp guides. Amongst other activities, here children have the opportunity to learn how to build an igloo and follow the ’snow trail’, which leads to a teepee where hot drinks and pancakes are served. Families can also have a go at making a snow sculpture.

  7. Day 7 Free day. Optional activities include ice-climbing, dogsledding or snowmobile tours

    Today is left free to spend as you like. Options include unguided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing having all Basecamp facilities at your disposal and many accessible roads to explore. Otherwise, you can enrol in one of the several optional activities available; downhill skiing at nearby Ruka (transport and skiing not included); or further dogsledding and snowmobile safaris. There is also a possibility to take on the challenge and exhilaration of ice wall climbing, suitable for all ages. Alternatively, kick sledging can keep you entertained.For the farewell celebration, we will eat dinner around a campfire.

  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. 11th (included) due to a later inbound flight time. This extra time will give you the opportunity to venture on additional unguided snow shoeing walks, following one of the well marked trails around Basecamp.

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Where you stay

Basecamp

You will spend 7 nights at Basecamp Oulanka, this wilderness camp is a lovely complex of wooden buildings offering cozy accommodation overlooking a pristine lake and bordered by the Oulanka National Park. All rooms are moderately sized family rooms with a bathroom, twin beds for adults and a mezzanine floor for 2 children. Family of two – All family groupings of two will be put into either one or twin room. You will have to pay a supplement for twin occupancy of USD$171 per room. Family of three or four – Unless you request otherwise we will reserve a twin room (with a mezzanine – 4 beds in total). Family of five or more – For larger families, we will provide 2 twin rooms.

While we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together, we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 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 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. There is also the option of vegetarian food. Dessert consists of lingon berries, blueberries 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.

Level 2 – Leisurely/Moderate

This trip is graded leisurely/moderate, which means that no previous experience required.

A mixed activity week for families, with a good selection of guided activities and free time for independent activities or relaxation. None of the activities require previous experience but please note that the exposure to cold weather can be quite tiring. The free time will give the opportunity to tailor your pace according to your preferences.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Perfect winter trip for February half term.

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dog sledding through the most amazing forests in the wilderness. Beautiful pink sunsets. The hazy mists on the lake at sunset. And of course, seeing the northern lights swirling in the skies.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Solja was lovely and always at hand to help and advice. She was very patient. The other leader Anna was also brilliant even though our interaction was not as much.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The quality of equipment is top class and the Arctic boots and mittens are fab. Your own baselayers are a must. I would recommend snow/ ski goggles as the sun Was strong on the horizon and dog sledding can make your face very cold. Do consider a balaclava for children and if you want to go snowmobiling. A few hand warmers in my mittens while dog sledding kept thumbs warm. The prices on the exodus trip notes for the optional activities were very different to the base camp prices. The optional all day dog sledding was the most expensive at 270 euros per person. Snowmobiling was around 89 Euro’s and don’t forget to bring your driving licence.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enjoy the experience. You can do as much or as little as you want. We enjoyed the drum making activity as it’s not something you can buy in souvenir shops and its a reindeer skin drum with traditional Sami designs you can draw yourself or make your own designs based on your experience. Anna has a folder in her office with pages of information and designs you can use.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Winter Wonderland

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Out in -27 stood on the back of sledge being pulled by 6 dogs through such an amazing landscape, as the sun just managed to break the horizon.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent - the whole team at Basecamp were excellent
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No need to bring much at all - provided equipment was excellent and we only had to return it a few hours before we left. There was plenty of food at meal times - so no real need to take extra. On the free day we did the little bear walk - trail lunch was enough to get us round - no real need for extras. Kit dries out quickly on the heated floors. The walk from the airport gate to the plane was cold so don't forget to wrap up for that bit. Stop and listen often - and see how quiet things can be.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Brilliant

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The area is beautiful
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    She was lovely and so helpful
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a scarf, it does not say to but you will need one
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just that I would highly recommend this trip to people with families, especially with little boys of about 7

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Excellent introductory week to winter activities for a family.

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most of the activities.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Before: very good communication from Exodus. Queries answered promptly. I did need to prompt them to send my final joining instructions. Detailed trip information on their website, which gives an accurate idea of what to expect, though actual day to day programme is out of date and now in the wrong order (according to Basecamp Oulanka, Exodus has failed to update this for some time now). If you are nearer Manchester Airport (option not listed as standard; flies from terminal 2), it is worth knowing that this is a direct flight to Kuusamo, which gets you to the basecamp just after lunch on the Sunday (meaning an early start) and leaves 10.30 am at the end- whereas London flights were via Helsinki and got to the basecamp at around 10pm and they left 7.30 am- we ended up being charged no more for this (initially there was £75 extra for each taxi transfer). Also there was another adult Exodus group there at the same time. Night before: we booked a room in the nice Manchester Airport Marriott Hotel via Holiday Extras (large, comfortable room) with a lovely swimming pool; food expensive though; and left our car there. Taxi’s arrived on time for our departure (5-10 mins) and came quickly when called on our return (pick up at Departures in Airport). No issues with car on our return. Flight/ transfer: everything went very smoothly for us. Flight was a charter with Thomsons Airways (3hrs 20mins flight; nb- seats not bookable in advance, no actual tickets). Pick up taxi there waiting in arrivals- one family who had booked within previous week were not picked up at Kuusamo by the transfer as they should have been. Takes around 3/4 to 1hr. Basecamp Oulanka: warm welcome from Miriam, our leader for the week, who was excellent all week, very helpful and approachable, good with the kids. All staff were friendly/ helpful. Nice main block for meals and socialising- log fire and board games (only had time/ energy to play on our first night), and wi-fi (worked fast enough for me). Equipment store below, hot tub (temperature ok but quickly drops when in use- I enjoyed this every evening), and sauna/ changing room (sauna also ok for my 11 year old). We had use of plastic sledges for self-directed fun on the slopes around the basecamp on the day of our arrival. Accommodation: We stayed in a wooden chalet near the main building- terraces of 4-5 at same height and below (2 storeys on a slope). Comfortable, met all our needs. Temperature is adjustable. We were always warm, despite the nights being - 10 to -25; it was nice having warm floors. 2 beds downstairs and wooden steep steps to another bed upstairs with low ceiling/ internal balcony/ no window. Nice view of the frozen woodland outside to the frozen lake near/ below the basecamp. External balcony. Desk, enough cupboards for us, bathroom/ shower room. Some had a problem with their locks- ours was fine. Nb- no wi-fi in rooms (not a problem for us). Food: Lunches are not included for some reason, no viable alternative- they do also sell snacks and drinks- lunch was self-service pots of soup and bread (cost 11euros per person)- they assume you want it the first day if arriving around lunchtime- there is a list to tell them if not wanted. Tea/ coffee/ hot water out throughout the day in the main communal room- no extra cost for this. All breakfasts and dinner are included. 2 of us liked all the food; most dinners (usually 6pm) featured fish or elk; 1 of us doesn’t like fish (they will offer alternative/ vegetarian if you ask); breakfasts (usually 9 am) include a local version of porridge and cereals, bread, cheese/ meat/ jam/ honey, yougart. Equipment: they do provide everything you will need to stay warm and we found everything we needed in comfortable sizes (nb- we all needed much larger sizing than we have in UK; bring own thermal underwear, we used Helly hensen lifa ones which were very comfortable)- to keep with you, they give 2 baselayers top and bottom, waterproof layer on top, merino wool socks, boots (also you can borrow ski boots for the skiing), hat, 3 types of glove, small rucksack, headtorch (ok, not very bright), flask for juice or hot water (leave at reception the night before to refill). When the kids became damp, they were allowed to get dry extra ones. The only issue is that they need this all back the night before you leave- so if you want to go down to the lake to watch the northern lights on the last night or have final goes on the Kick sleds on your morning of leaving or one last look in your Quinzee, you will need your own warm clothing, waterproof layer, waterproof footwear, and torch. I suggest bringing waterproof walking socks as well and a Go-pro type camera/ harness. Day 1: meeting and Kick sleds- fun, use on the road coming into basecamp, kept on rack outside main building, varying heights (the larger ones even usable by myself at 6ft4)- can use throughout week after that, which we did every day at some point. Snowshoeing in the afternoon (2-3hrs; you get to keep snowshoes and walking/ skiing poles for the rest of the week after this and use for self-directed trips)- guided walk around the locality from the large frozen lake just below basecamp to the Old Mill (beautiful location). Suitable for all ages there- from 6 to 14 on our trip- though the smaller ones did become tired. We really enjoyed all of the included activities. We also enjoyed a self-directed wonderful winter wonderland woodland/ river walk on our free day (day 6)- around the Little Bear Trail- highly recommended, easy to follow/ marks on the trees, Basecamp gives an overview map and their are display boards around the trail and shelters/ firepits- took us 4-5hrs/ 7-8miles- frozen waterfall, rope bridges, one short very steep icy climb up to a viewpoint/ rocky bluffs and a series of frozen tarns. Day 2: Free morning. We went snowing shoeing on the local trails. Cross country skiing in the afternoon (2-3hrs)- on lake and through local woods to a short slope. After which you could borrow the ski’s and boots in your free time, which we did most days after. Optional: local woods nighttime story/ information hike (approx 2hrs- much colder, it was the one time that I felt I was at risk of getting cold- I had put 2 extra layers on (5 in total on my top), but really should have put more on). Day 3: Husky Sledding. 3/4hr drive away. Adult driving with 1 child sitting in front in warm blankets- I had 2 children with me, therefore the older child was driven by one of the guides. Lots of fun, my favourite activity, though too short (around 1 hr- you can pay extra for a full day on the free day- the kids decided they would get too cold sitting for so long). Kids loved petting husky’s after, which were well behaved/ friendly, after howling on our arrival. Day 4: Ruka Day. Transport included. Reindeer Farm in the morning- short Reindeer round a circuit track; feed the Reindeer in a pen; Sausage, biscuit, and hot drink in a shelter with central firepit while being told about life as Reindeer Herder; old house gift shop- this would probably have been better later in the afternoon. It meant we were too late in Ruka for the earlier free ski bus to our optional activity- Downhill ski lessons (we had been told lessons would be on the other side of the hill- 15mins away)- we had to get the equipment, then take the bus (we could have got this the other side if we were on time- nb it took 1/2- 3/4hr to get all our equipment sorted out)- not ideal wearing heavy ski boots and having ski’s/ poles with us and our children’s ones. It was too much of a rush and we therefore didn’t get as much time on the slopes to learn very much (around 1 3/4hrs), and didn’t get lunch. Kids and adults are in separate groups near each other- kids learnt faster than us adults did; they both really enjoyed it, probably my kids favourite activity of the week. Day 5: Free morning. More cross country skiing for us. Quinzee building in the afternoon (hallowed out frozen snow pile)- enjoyable team activity; looked great once done- there are lots on the lake from previous weeks. After dinner story on the ice. Day 6: Free day. Snowshoeing and skiing for us. Evening (5pm) outdoor dinner and walk to the old mill. Don't expect Northern Lights- our nights were mostly cloudy, only the last night had stars for long enough and we did get a short display of white pillars/ shapes (hardly any colours)- I had been down by the lake luckily to look at the stars anyway. You can tick a box to be woken if staff see them starting and there are apps which try to predict likelihood (didn't predict the one we did see). We could have easily done with another week there.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

A wonderful winter adventure...!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We walked the Little Bear trial which was stunning as the season was on the turn between winter and spring gave a beautiful insight into both. And, of course, the Husky day was simply awesome.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was friendly, funny, knowledgeable and went above and beyond to cater for all of us. He made our trip even more enjoyable.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Visit :)

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
December 22, 2019
Available
$2,799.00
N/A
December 29, 2019
Available
$2,799.00
N/A
February 16, 2020
Available
$2,479.00
N/A
April 5, 2020
Available
$2,349.00
N/A