Practical Information

Arrival


By air

Transfers to and from the airport are included in most of the packages. Depending on the tour the meeting point is whether Kajaani, Kuusamo or Oulu airport, all operated from Helsinki by Finnair and Oulu also by Norwegian. Please check the joining point for the trip and transfer schedule in the tour description. Please notice that we organize only one airport transfer for each group on arrival and departure.





By Train

The main railway routes to Kajaani are: Oulu-Kajaani from the west, Helsinki-Kuopio-Kajaani from the south. Travelling time from Helsinki to Kajaani during the day is from 5,5-7,5 hours. More information about the train connections at VR. 
If the joining point for the tour is Kuusamo you should continue by bus from Kajaani or Oulu as there are no trains.



By Bus

The excellent network of long-distance express bus services between the larger towns in Finland offer the easy way to travel. More information about the bus connections at Matkahuolto.

See the map of our operation area here.

Time zone

Time in Finland is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Daylight saving time (DST) begins across the EU on last Sunday of March when clocks are moved forward an hour and it ends on last Sunday of October when clocks are put back an hour.

Electricity

The electric current in Finland is 220 V (230 V), 50 Hz. A two-pin plug system, familiar throughout Europe, is used. Adapters are available in airport shops.

Currency


Finland’s currency is euro (€). Credit cards are also widely accepted everywhere.
Please note that on most tours there’s no possibility for money change, not on arrival or during the week. However, most of our tours include all meals, activities etc. so you don’t necessarily need money during the tour. If you wish to buy some souvenirs, alcohol beverages etc. you’d better change money in advance in your home country or at the airport. During wilderness trekking tours the possibilities to spend money are few.

Food


Most of our tours include full board or half board. Vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free etc. meals can be served. In case of any dietary requirements please inform us in advance.

Tap water


In Finland the tap water is good quality and drinkable even from the tap in the hotel bathroom.

Health regulations


Finland is one of Europe's safest countries in terms of health and hygiene. No vaccinations or inoculations are required before arrival. Finnish pharmacies are well stocked with all the basic medicines, but note that some medicines that are available in stores and supermarkets in other countries - such as Aspirin and various ointments - are only available in pharmacies in Finland. 
Also please note that during our tours there’s no access to a pharmacy (in a case of emergency of course).

Travel insurance


Clients must take care of the travel insurance by themselves. We recommend applying for the European Health Insurance Card which is available free of charge for the citizens of EU/EEA and of Switzerland. The holders of the card are entitled to medical care while staying temporarily in an other EU/EEA country or in Switzerland (with same regulations and co-payments like the residents of the country). More information about the card is available here. 
Having this card helps a lot in the case of accident - without the card a client has to pay all the costs on spot and those can be from several hundred euros up to one thousand euros.

Visa

Tourists from most countries are not required an entry visa into Finland.



The website of Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers details of required travel documents by country, please see here.



As a rule, foreign nationals who require an entry visa are requested to apply for one from the diplomatic mission that represents Finland in their home country.  
Finnish missions abroad by country, please see here.

Further questions concerning travel documents accepted by Finland shall be addressed to the Finnish diplomatic or consular missions or the Passport and Visa Unit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Source: Formin

Weather and seasons


We have four distinctly different seasons that transform the white winter wonderland to a green summer in just a few months. Temperatures can vary from +30C to -30C and day light hours have just as great variations!



Spring Mid-April to May - brown bears wake up, rapid turn towards summer

Summer June to August - Midnight Sun in June

Autumn September to October - bright colours of the nature in September (ruska)

Winter November to Mid-April - Long Russian border safaris in Feb-March



The day temperatures in January–March vary normally between -5 and -20°C. However it is possible that the temperature rises until some plus degrees or falls to below -30°C. In April the temperatures are usually between + 5 and -10°C at daytime and between 0 and -15°C at night time. If a night is very cold, the temperature normally rises quite rapidly in March/April as the sun rises up.



In December and January the days are short but get longer as the winter goes on. In the beginning of January there is only 6,5 hours of daylight (9 am–3.30 pm), in the beginning of February about 9 hours (8 am to 5 pm) and in the beginning of March about 12 hours (6.30 am–6.30 pm). In April there are already about 15 hours of day light (6 am–20.30 pm). 
The weather in these months can be sunny or cloudy and snow showers can also appear.

The weather can be windy as well. So as you see the weather conditions can vary a lot, but usually in winter in Finland the weather don’t change very rapidly. The depth of snow is normally about 50–100 cm during these months.



An average day temperature in summer (Jun–Aug) is about +20°C but it can be anything from +10°C to + 30°C. At night and on rainy days the temperature can be even under +10°C. Rain showers are possible and sometimes it might even rain the whole day.
Summer days are long in Finland, in June there is about 20–21 hours of daylight per day and in August about 17–18 hours.



Read here more about seasons in Finland.

Weather forecast

Mosquitoes

During the summer, mosquitoes are a nuisance in the countryside, especially in the north of Finland. The worst mosquito period is usually from 20th June until end of July. However, the situation varies each year so it is hard to say how it will be. During our hiking tours we are mostly in dry pine forests where mosquitoes are not a big problem. You can protect yourself from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent (guide has repellent) and we recommend you to wear long sleeves and trousers and a hat or a scarf – this protects both from the mosquitoes and the sun.


In cities there are almost no mosquitoes and eg. on our cycling tours mosquitoes are not a problem.

Clothing

Winter

If you are planning a winter visit, it's good idea to be prepared for some cold weather. During the activities the body activity usually generates enough heat to keep your body warm but during the breaks you’ll get cold easily. Therefore it is very important to have a warm coat or a waistcoat to wear during the stops. The best way to protect oneself from the cold is to wear a number of thin layers rather than a few thick ones. The outer garment should be windproof. Special attention should be paid to the feet, fingers and face.



Here is an example what the clothing could include:

Underwear
– Synthetic underwear (polypropylene, polyester), wool or silk is better than cotton. Skin-tight underwear removes moisture from the skin.


Mid-layer clothing – Eg. fleece or woollen garments. Mid-layer clothing makes it possible to adjust thermal insulation according to the weather and rate of physical activity.


Outer garment – Windproof coat and trousers (it is not necessary to be waterproof like Gore-tex)


Head – Windproof hat which protects the ears as well. Remember to protect your face too, especially if it’s windy. A balaclava or a scarf may be useful.


Hands – Windproof mittens protect your fingers better than gloves. For the breaks you can have another pair of big mittens to be put over the others.


Feet – Socks made of wool mixtures are the best choice. Cotton sports socks are not good for the cold weather! Winter shoes should have thick soles and be a size larger than your summer ones. Ideal shoes have enough space also for knitted woollen socks to be put over the other socks.



Summer

For summer outdoor activity tours you should remember that the weather conditions can also be variable. Be prepared for cold weather and rain also! Gore-tex® clothes are not essential as it's not usually very cold during this time of the year. It is however necessary to bring some kind of waterproof jacket and trousers for possible rainy days. You can wear hiking boots or jogging/training shoes, which ever you prefer, but you must remember to dry them out during the night if they get wet. Take also plenty of spare socks and underwear as washing machines are not available. It is also important to have a small rucksack for carrying lunch, camera, rain clothes, water bottle, mosquito repellent etc.



Please check the detailed gear list for your tour in the trip dossier!


Sauna


The traditional Finnish sauna is available almost daily on our tours. 
Finnish people traditionally do not go in mixed groups or wearing swimming suits.
Sauna is thought to be a holy place where both body and soul are washed.

Internet


Wi-Fi is usually available in hotels but in wilderness cabins or lodges there’s no Wi-Fi or public internet available. You can check the trip dossier for further details regarding your tour.

Tipping

Tipping culture is almost non-existent in Finland, although it has become more common recently. Service charges are included in hotel room rates, restaurant and taxi prices, so tips are not expected, but can be given if you think the service has been especially good.

Links

Information on the area - Wild Taiga
Hossa National Hiking Area
Visit Finland