Lapland Wilderness Week
Discover Europe’s last remaining wilderness
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
This new winter adventure takes us to the heart of Lapland, some 200 km above the Arctic Circle, where nature is raw and powerful and deep endless forests and mighty rivers dominate the landscape. We base ourselves at Rajamaa, where the Malmström family have been welcoming guests since 1986. Situated on an island in the River Muonio between Sweden and Finland, the local village has only seven inhabitants two of which are our hosts for the week! Immersed in one of the most spectacular untamed wilderness areas Europe has to offer, we spend a week learning about the Sami culture and connecting with nature while trying a variety of activities including dogsledding, snowshoeing and forest skiing. Our trip culminates with a two-day expedition in the forest, where we stay overnight in a traditional log cabin and, with luck, enjoy the magical display of the Northern Lights.http://rajamaa.com/sites/rajamaa.com/files/page-images/%5B680%5DParadies…rel=”gallery-all”>”>http://rajamaa.com/sites/rajamaa.com/files/styles/page-images/public/pag…
* All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
* All accommodation (see accommodation section)
* All transport and listed activities
* Local tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
* All specialist equipment (see packing list in Trip Notes)
Start Rajamaa, Swedish Lapland.
This trip starts at Rajamaa, a complex of cozy wooden chalets located on a remote island in the river Muonio, looking out over two countries, Sweden and Finland. Upon check-in we will be welcomed by the friendly Malmström family, our hosts for the week, who have been running the accommodation since 1986. Depending on the arrival time of the group, the main briefing is usually done tonight or tomorrow morning.
Snowshoeing through wintry landscape; spot local fauna and enjoy lunch in the
forest; walk back to the chalets over frozen swamps and hills.
After a hearty breakfast we are provided with all of the equipment and information needed for a week of activities in arctic conditions. Setting off on our snowshoes, we venture into the fabled wintry landscape surrounding Rajamaa and learn more about the unique raw nature of Lapland. Our guide will help us spotting tracks of birds and other local fauna in the snow and explain how the local trees and bushes have managed to adapt to this harsh climate. We enjoy our lunch by a flaming log fire in the forest, before walking back over frozen swamps and hills to our chalets. In the afternoon we have some free time to enjoy a the sauna or a hot drink in the dining room. After dinner we enjoy an interesting presentation and slideshow about one the Scandinavian big predators, the Lynx.
Enjoy thrilling dogsledding tour through the forest; afternoon introduction
to forest skiing.
This morning we visit a local sleddog centre and meet a professional musher, who will tell us about the life of the firendly Siberian Husky dogs, their training and behaviour. He will also explain a few simple rules to safely ride and lead the dogs. Divided into pairs, we then enjoy the challenge and adventure of driving our own dogsled for approx. 17km through a magical winter landscape of snow-clad forests and frozen swamps. Taking turns during the tour gives you the chance to feel like a real musher and to enjoy the landscape and take pictures when sitting on the dog sled as a passenger. In the afternoon we return to our accommodation and familiarise ourselves with forest-skiing, in preparation for our two-day expedition later in the week. Forest skis originate traditionally from Scandinavia and Russia and have been used in Lapland as mean of transportation for thousands of years. They are usually wooden and differ from cross-country skis as they are much larger. You can easily glide down hill or go uphill (thanks to the skins located under the skis) but they can also be used in deep-snow and off-track. They come with universal bindings, meaning that you can clip on your regular winter boots. This evening, after a hearty dinner, we enjoy another wildlife presentation at the main lodge.
Free day; optional snowmobile safari.
Today is free for you to enjoy one of the optional activities available locally. You may decide to experience the thrill of driving a snowmobile through snowy forests, over frozen rivers, and hills or explore the surroundings on cross-country skis or snowshoes. Alternatively you may choose to relax at the lodge and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful setting.
Spend a morning with a local Sami family and learn of their culture, ancient
traditions and rein-deer herding; enjoy the sauna back at the lodge.
Today we have a wonderful insight to the life and work as a reindeer herder and the indigenous Sami lifestyle as we visit a local family. Between 75.000 to 100.000 Sami people live in the Arctic regions of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia, preserving their unique language and ancient traditions in today’s modern world. We spend a couple of relaxing hours, listening to their stories and to the sparkling fire while enjoying some traditional Sami food and hot steaming coffee. We will also be introduced to the reindeer and have the opportunity to get really close to them and perhaps feed them. We return to our lodge in the afternoon and enjoy some free time before dinner.
Set off on a two-day wilderness expedition on forest skis; stay overnight in
a log-cabin; chance to see the Northern Lights.
Today we start a two day tour on forest skis. On our adventure we carry only the necessary equipment for the day in a small rucksack whilst the rest will be transported for us to the cabin. We venture deep into the forest, crossing frozen lakes and swamps, pine clad hills and valleys, until reaching our special accommodation for the night, a cozy log-cabin, traditionally used for for forest workers, heated by fire and using water from melted snow. We will all participate in the preparation of tonight’s supper and will enjoy an optional sauna, before going to sleep in our dorm-style rooms. That is, if the impressive Aurora Borealis is not keeping us awake!
Ski back to Rajamaa; relax in the sauna and enjoy farewell dinner.
After breakfast we get on the skis and head back again to Rajamaa. We may be able spot some wild rendeer and moose in the area or even come across the tracks of Lynx or Wolverine. Back at the lodge, enjoy a final well-deserved sauna before our farwell dinner!
End Rajamaa, Swedish Lapland.
The trip ends in the morning of day 8.