Finland’s Eastern Wilderness
Winter bestseller - 100 km in five skiing days. This guided cross-country skiing tour takes you to the beautiful Hossa national park and to the remote eastern area of Finland. You will ski through a wilderness of pristine untouched nature with very few other skiers. To give you the best experience, the maximum group size is 12 skiers, plus an expert tour leader. If you are lucky, and conditions are right, you might witness the Northern Lights’ dancing in the night sky to top off your skiing week!
• Pristine wilderness - a real escape to the nature
• Picnics around an open fire
• The snow-white landscape
• Evening saunas
• Hossa national park
- 6 nights accommodation in rooms for 2–4 persons with shared facilities (on days 3 and 4 some rooms with private facilities available)
- 6 x breakfast, 4 x outdoor lunch and 1 x lunch, 6 x dinner (on arrival night evening snack on late arrivals), 5 x afternoon coffee/tea with snack
- English speaking skiing guide
- Snowmobile guide who makes the track on days 3-6 (exclusively for this group) and prepares outdoor lunches
- Luggage transportation between accommodations
- Single-timed group airport transfers
- 5 x sauna, 1 x possibility for ice-swimming
- Bedlinen and bath towels
- Ski waxes
Day 1 Arrival
Arrival at Kuusamo airport where your guide will welcome you. Transfer (1 hour) to Rajakartano guesthouse located in close proximity to Hossa national park.
Day 2 Day tour in Hossa 17 km
After breakfast we start our skiing week along well-prepared tracks of Hossa national park whose nature is dominated by handsome pine heathlands, ridge-lines, small lakes and streams. The terrain is variable with a few steep but mainly short up hills. We eat lunch at the Hossa Visitor Centre, which also has a small souvenir shop. It is said that there’s nothing more Finnish than sauna and on return to the accommodation you can relax in the steaming hot, traditional Finnish sauna. The more adventurous amongst us can even try ice swimming!
Day 3 Day tour at Martinselkonen 17 km
This morning we will take a short car transfer (45 min) to Martinselkonen wilderness centre where we will stay for the next two nights. Our circular tour takes us north through Martinselkonen nature reserve which has been set up to protect the Finnish wilderness, especially the swamp areas with its many birds and insects. Martinselkonen has mires, ponds and lakes, ancient forests and spruce trees draped in beard lichen. The terrain today is mainly flat, like it will be for the rest of the week. There is a picnic stop at one of the wilderness huts operated by the Finnish Forest and Park Service.
Day 4 Day tour at Martinselkonen 23 km
Today we take another tour in Martinselkonen area, this time heading south. We will ski over frozen lakes and swamps and through forests covered in a deep, white, snowy blanket. The silence is almost tangible, the only the sound is that of skis and poles touching the snow.
Day 5 Martinselkonen–Arola 22 km
It’s time to say goodbye to our hosts at Martinselkonen and head north through the nature reserve. These ancient forests are home to a brown bear population, however in winter they are hibernating. Also, other Finnish large carnivores - wolves, lynxes and wolverines - inhabit the area but they are extremely elusive, and we may only spot their tracks in the snow. In the afternoon we will arrive at Arola guest house, famous for delicious local food.
Day 6 Day tour at Arola 20 km
For our last day, we will take a day tour around Arola. At the half-way point, we will once more enjoy hot soup and a selection of sandwiches around an open fire. In the afternoon we return to Arola to enjoy its cosy atmosphere and the warm hospitality of our hosts. There is a chance to have a final sauna, then after that, a well-deserved farewell dinner made from local ingredients will be served in the traditional log house.
Day 7 Return
Breakfast and transport to the Kuusamo airport.
Good to know
7 days / 6 nights
Other departures for groups on request. Season 1 February - 5 April.
1140 € p/p
Optional ski equipment hire (skis, boots, poles) 60 €
The tour is guaranteed to run without minimum number of participants. Max. 12 persons.
SOME BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE TOUR
- This is a cross-country skiing tour on tracks (not "off the trails")
- Some previous experience on cross-country skiing and a moderate fitness is needed to participate in this tour.
- Daily skiing distances are 17–23 km. Approx. skiing time is 5–7 hours daily including breaks.
- The track is made by snowmobile especially for the group, it’s not a maintained track.
- The terrain is fairly easy and there are no big hills on route, however there are some ups and downs especially during the first skiing day. The route goes in forests, crosses lakes and swamps
- Only classical technique can be used on this tour.
- Nordic skis (width approx. 44 mm) are the best choice for this tour. Skis can be waxable or non-waxable.
- See a rough route map here.
Accommodation is mostly on twin and triple sharing basis, quadruple rooms may be used in few cases. Solo travellers will be placed with 1-2 fellow travellers of the same gender. For couples a private twin room will be booked. Single rooms are not available. Toilets and showers are located on the corridor except on days 3 and 4 some rooms with private facilities available.
Flights are not included in the tour price. If you have anything unclear regarding flights or transfers, please do check with us before booking flights!
Important notes for arrival
The joining point for this trip is Kuusamo airport.
Single-timed group transfers from Kuusamo airport to the first accommodation are organized to coincide with this Finnair flight from Helsinki:
HEL-KAO AY497 (arrival at 17.00-18.00)
Transfer from the flight AY487 (arrival at 21.00-22.00) available with supplement of 30 €/person.
Note: On 19.03. and 26.03 only one transfer from the flight AY487 (no supplement).
Note: If you miss the scheduled group transfer on arrival and an extra transfer must be arranged to the starting point of the trip, the costs must be covered by you. To avoid this unpleasant situation it’s not recommended to book flights with short connection time (less than 1 hour).
Important notes for return
Single-timed group transfers from the last accommodation to Kuusamo airport are organized to coincide with this Finnair flight to Helsinki:
KAO-HEL AY486 (departure at 13.30-14.30)
Note: On 25.03. transfer to the flight AY482 at 09.30.
If you take a later flight or stay extra nights in Kuusamo, the drop off at Kuusamo town centre is available on prior request.
Travel by bus/train
It is possible take a train from Helsinki to Oulu and then a bus from Oulu to Kuusamo. The schedule must coincide with above mentioned transfer schedule. Note: No pick up available from the bus station.
Deposit: 15 % of total amount will be charged at the time of booking.
Full payment: Due 14 days before the departure. The invoice for full payment will be sent by email.
It is essential that a passenger is covered by adequate travel insurance.
The tour is not suitable for persons with reduced mobility.
We reserve all the rights to change the itinerary (route, accommodation) if necessary due to snow or weather conditions and in case the group size is max. 3 persons.
What do I need to bring?
- outdoor equipment
- leisure time clothing
- rucksack (15-20 l)
- thermos flask
- head lamp / torch
- ski equipment (can be hired for 60 €, including skis, boots and poles)
The full gear list will be sent after booking.
The skiing was unrivaled. I have skied for many years in many places and this experience of skiing through Finland’s eastern wilderness has risen to the very top of all those experiences… Just incredible! While not fancy or upscale, all 3 of the guesthouses we stayed in were clean and comfortable and were surrounded by a beautiful natural environment. And they all had excellent saunas, which were enjoyed by all of us each day.
Lunches on the trail around an open fire were a special treat.
A highly recommendable experience, beautiful landscape and people, fell in love with Finland there.
Warm recomendations for Upitrek and our guide Maarit. I enjoyed skiing even though I’m not a great skier. 🙂 Well planned, safe, fun and beautiful trip in clean nature. Quietness. Sauna. Local food. Good company. Stories from the past. Perfect. Irene, Finland
A must do if you like cross-country skiing, enjoying the snow and the forest and relaxing in a sauna before refreshing the body in an ice hole. Very nice vacation. I feel very happy! Pierre, France
A well considered itinerary with interesting skiing in an unusual environment. A warm welcome to everywhere and friendly and attentive guide. Tim, UK
Wonderful hosts, superb hospitality, delicious food and great company. This trip exceeded my expectations in all ways. I feel like I’ve been on a great adventure plus a much-needed break from everyday life. I’m now ready to go back home energized. Can’t wait for another trip with Upitrek in the future! Heather, England
We had an excellent trip with Upitrek. Everything was well catered for Â– like e.g. extra boots in many sizes. Upitrek made us feel comfortable and safe in the beautiful but demanding Finnish north. Hilde, Netherlands
Wonderful, funny, knowledgeable guides, great skiing. Beautiful landscape, delicious food, awesome saunas and Northern Lights! A fantastic trip. Thanks! Corita, USA
Every muscle in my body hurts, but what a week! Almost a 100 km cross-country through amazing landscape. Lovely weather, lovely meals and always a warm sauna to soothe my soaring muscles! Elise, Netherlands
Ein fazinierendes Naturerlebnis, Entspannung nur trotz körperlicher Anstrengung.
A fantastic way to feel the wilderness and the life of the Finns. Great guiding, but it felt like my own adventure. Paul, England
A mini adventure! Well organized tour through a remote corner of Finland. Good accommodation, plenty of food (even for vegetarians) and lots of opportunities to learn about the history, culture and wildlife of this country. Skiing route was all on tracks, either through pine forests or crossing frozen lakes. Distances very manageable for an intermediate skier (not really suitable for beginners). Saunas in the evening help to relieve any aches and pains. Overall, a very enjoyable trip. Karen, UK
I had the most wonderful experience in Finland. The skiing was nice (and demanding) but the accommodation made it even more worthwhile. And especially caring staff, guide and scooter rider. What a wonderful experience once again. Veronique, Holland
The best of this tour is to stay at families like the family of Seppänen. This gave us a better understanding of life in Finland. Thank you! Female, Holland
Une formule bien equibrée entre l’effort, le reconfort et les rencontres. Vincent, France
Wunderbare Skiwoche mit vielen neuen Erlebnissen, das Eisloch nach der Sauna, entspannende Sauna nach jeden Skitag, Nordlichte und nach vieles mehr… Doreen, Deutschland
Für sportlich ambitionierte Läuferinnen und Läufer eine wunderbare, passgerechte Tour. Es stimmt das gesamt Paket aus Sport, Erholung in der Sauna und kulinarischen Geniessen. Angela, Deutschland
After years of cross-country skiing in crowded Austria it was a real experience for us to ski in this beautiful part of Finland. We liked it so much that we decided to come back soon. Perfect conditions, friendly people, nice landscapes and very good food made this holiday perfect. Thank you so much for that! Marion & Andreas, Germany
Landscapes were wonderful, ski sessions excellent, food delicious but what we will most remember are exceptional skills and kindness of our guide! Philippe, France
I would highly recommend this trip to all my cross-country skiing friends – great landscape, great guides and service, wonderful hospitality and just the right length days that most can handle while enough to satisfy the more accomplished skiers. Connie, USA
The tour we took was flawless. Airport transfers went off without a hitch – the weather in late March was perfect; we had a mixture of clouds, snow + sun. The snow conditions were excellent and the guides & service exceeded our expectations. Go if you can! Lori, USA
Everything is well organized to make the stay nice and warm, even if the temperatures are below zero in March (- 15 C) we never suffered of the cold during skiing. The evenings were very pleasant. The food excellent. And the saunas always very warm. Male, France
Un viaje precioso, azul y blanco. La sensación de paz y tranquilidad es espectacular aquí. Una cosa especial para mi y que no esperaba: el especial sentido del humor de los fineses. Risas y chistes también. Pilar, Catalonia
The scenery was in its best winter looks; the sunny weather, the friendly accommodations, good food and fine travel companions made this an enjoyable skiing week. But the ideal guiding and the chance to stay overnight unexpectedly at the Teerilampi wilderness log cabin made it a very special event. Thanks for taking care of such a wonderful ski tour! Keep Finland natural and keep Finland original. Edvard, Amsterdam
Daily distances were just right, one felt that had done some skiing, but not to the point of exhaustion! The scenery was awesome and the fact that we met so few people was a bonus too. Cooking in Domnan Pirtti and Arola was excellent. Petri’s knowledge was admirable, particularly about birds, animals, fish etc. Petri and Tommi both had a marvelous attitude, always calm and patient with my terrible skiing. Karen, Wales
Even better than last year – wonderful skiing, beautiful scenery, excellent food & accommodation and professional, friendly guides. Well done Upitrek! David, UK
Interessante Skilanglauftour der russischen Grenze entlang durch unberÃ¼hrte + ursprÃ¼ngliche Landschaft + die gastfreundschaft des Einheimischen haben mich beeindruckt. Erwin, Schweiz
Wir haben besonders Glück mit unserer kleinen ausgenehmen Gruppe von 4 Personen. Alle waren freundlich und haben auf einander mitmachen konnten. Unsere beiden leiter/innen waren sehr hilfsbereit und kompetent. Die Kenntnisse von Jarno über die Natur waren besonders interessant, wir haben viel gelernt. In Arola haben wir uns besonders wohl gefühlt bei den freundlichen Wirtsleuten, die uns über die finnische Geschichte erzählt haben. Margie, Deutschland
Five days in wilderness, lunches around a fire place every day. Away from snowmobile and tourist places. Nice welcoming on evenings where we discovered the history of this land, and the love of its inhabitants for their country. Food is always good and more than enough. Florence, France
I have been on many tours around the world and would have to say that this was one of the best, made possible by an excellent partnership of the tour leaders (Pertti & Sabrina). – They worked well together and made a great tour for us all. Ian, Scotland
It is a fantastic experience with a guided tour in beautiful surroundings. The landscape surprises me every day. The lunch with the fire to keep us warm is a part of a naturally way of exploring the forest and the frozen lakes. After the tour in the afternoon waited the tea, coffee and some cakes for us and last but not least: the sauna. Wilma, The Netherlands