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Two hikers crossing a swamp along duckboards.
A woman canoeing on a calm lake
A path on the lake shore in Hossa national park

Finnish Border Hiking Tour


Hut-to-hut hiking tour through Finnish eastern wilderness and in Hossa national park.

Escape to the unspoilt nature of the Finnish “Taiga” forest and join our guided hut-to-hut hiking tour. This ancient forest is in Kainuu, north east Finland. Kainuu is a region steeped in culture, wildlife and wilderness experiences, many of which you will enjoy on this tour. The route we will take passes through the untouched wilderness and pristine nature, through primordial forests and mires, along ridges and shores of crystal clear lakes. You even get the chance to canoe on the same lakes and nearby rivers. Accommodation varies from log cabins to guest houses. The trail is mostly flat and easy to walk, therefore suitable for anyone of average fitness level.

Tour highlights:

  • Pristine wilderness
  • Glistening clear lakes
  • Picnics around an open fire
  • Lake-side saunas
  • Hossa National Park


Season May 20-Sep 30

Departures For groups on request

Duration 8 days/7 nights

Persons Min. 8 persons, max. 13 persons

Place Suomussalmi

Joining point Kuusamo airport, see “more info” for further information.

Difficulty Medium

Price Depending on the group size, please ask for a quotation (Estimated price for a group of 10 persons 1150-1250 €/person)

Included in the price

  • 7 nights accommodation in rooms for 2-4 persons. Mostly with shared facilities, on day 7 some rooms with private facilities available.
  • 7 x breakfast, 4 x picnic lunch, 2 x lunch, 7 x dinner (snack on arrival night on late arrivals), 6 x afternoon coffee / tea with snack
  • Single-timed group airport transfers
  • Local transfers according to the program
  • Luggage transportation between accommodations
  • English-speaking guide
  • 6 x evening sauna
  • Canoe rental with safety equipment (day 4)

Detailed program

Day 1: Arrival

Arrival at Kuusamo airport and one hour transfer to Jatkonsalmi cabin located on the shore of Lake Jatkonjärvi in Hossa National Park. Check-in and dinner.

Day 2: Värikallio rock paintings, 16 km

To start the week we set on a mystical trip back in time! We will hike to see the Värikallio Cliffs with ancient, shamanistic rock paintings dating back 4000 years. The rock paintings are the largest prehistoric paintings in Finland and portray the life of people at a time when spirits and natural forces were present everywhere. A picnic lunch with fresh brewed coffee and sandwiches will be enjoyed around an open fire and after that we will hike through the beautiful pine and spruce forest back to our accommodation. Lake-side sauna will be heated and you have a possibility for a refreshing swim in the lake.

Day 3: Jatkonsalmi-Rajakartano, 13 km

Another hiking day in Hossa National Park. Hossa is known for its crystal-clear lakes and pine heathlands. Trails, most of them easy to walk on, run through the handsome esker and lake scenery. We take lunch at the Hossa Visitor Centre, and it is also possible to visit a small souvenir shop. Accommodation will be at a former border patrol station renovated into a guesthouse.

Day 4: Canoeing 

For a change from walking, we take canoes onto the lakes and rivers close to our accommodation. We will use open Indian canoes. All necessary equipment, such as paddles and life vests will be provided. The tour will be on still calm waters. Reindeer are a common sight in Hossa as well as the occasional elk. For those ones who prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of well-marked hiking trails for you explore. (Duration of canoeing excursion approx. 6 hours.)

Day 5: Julma-Ölkky canyon lake, 10 km

After breakfast we take a 30-minute car transfer to Julma-Ölkky canyon which is a several kilometers long fracture valley. Julma-Ölkky canyon lake was formed in the valley and today´s 10 km trail takes us around the lake. The rock wall rises to the heights of 50 meters and there are nice views to the lake from the trail. A suspension bridge over the lake is also a nice photo spot during the walk. After completing the hike, there will be a 1 hour transfer to our overnight accommodation Arola, where we will be warmly welcomed by our hosts.

Day 6: Day tour from Arola, 19 km

Today we start walking straight from the accommodation towards south along the eastern border. The surrounding forest has an abundance of vegetation such as blueberries, lingonberries and mushrooms. The blueberry season is at its best in August-September and can provide ready snacks for hikers. In the afternoon we return to Arola for the second night.

Day 7: Arola-Martinselkonen Wilds Centre, 16 km

After a hearty breakfast we begin our last excursion through the Martinselkonen nature reserve. The reserve has been set up to protect the Finnish wilderness, especially the swamp areas with its many birds and insects, from any encroachment of forest industry. Martinselkonen has watery mires, ponds and lakes, ancient forests and spruce trees draped in beard lichen. Our hiking tour will be completed on arrival at Martinselkonen Wilds Center which is another guest house housing a former border patrol station. There is a chance to have a final sauna, then after that, a well-deserved farewell dinner will be served.

Day 8: Return

After breakfast transfer to Kuusamo airport.

More info


Joining point for the tour will be Kuusamo airport. The departure transfer will be to Kuusamo or Kajaani airport. Transfers from/to Oulu airport are available with supplement. 


The path goes mostly in the forests and through the swamps. The terrain is fairly easy to walk and there are no big climbs on the route. The path is mostly quite narrow and there are roots and stones on the path so one must be careful and concentrate to not stumble.

We walk up to 19 kilometres daily, 3-4 km per hour. The longest days take about 6-7 hours including a lunch break and other shorter breaks. To participate in this tour a fair physical condition is required and participants shouldn’t have any illnesses or injuries that affect walking. During the walking day you will only need to carry your usual daypack as your main baggage is transported by vehicle.


It was a great experience: hiking, bear watching, sauna in Finnish style, swimming in the lake, inspiring guide! Every day I’ve discovered new things. I loved it. Mia, Belgium

Great experience in the wilderness. Clean air, clean waters, pure nature. Male, Italy

In one week I have experienced the culture of Finland, beautiful scenery and done all the things I enjoyed as a child, campfires, sleeping outdoors, wild swimming and hiking. Guided by our excellent guide this has been an experience I shall never forget and probably the best holiday I have ever been on. Meryl, UK

I don’t know how to encompass my view of this trek in a short piece. Scenery – stunningly beautiful. Trekking – a variety of challenges and some easier sections. Food – plentiful and tasty. Most days we saw only each other and reindeer – truly a wilderness adventure. Marcel, UK

Hiking in the Hossa national park is such a quiet experience. You understand how beautiful and impressive nature is. Paolo, Italy

Lontano dal rumore e nella tranquilitá delle foreste, una vacanza per chi ama la natura e le cose semplici. Basta un po di legna, tanta acqua e un fuoco per essere felici! Female, Italy

I truly enjoyed every aspect of this tour! Imagined that I would get bored with forests and lakes but the unique landscape, vegetation and ambiance kept me enthralled for the week. Our guide was super. We met some very interesting people along the way and every day ended in the sauna followed by a swim in the lake. Mona, Ireland

Our trek through the bogs and birch/spruce forests of eastern Finland seeing reindeer, bears (from a hide), birds and all kinds of berries, flowers and plants was a once in a lifetime experience. We experienced Finnish life in a very close-up way: taking saunas the traditional way and then jumping into cold lakes, canoeing along shores whose splendid trees were reflected perfectly in the water, viewing Stone Age rock painting and eating delicious Finnish food for every meal. Our guides Antti and Sari couldn’t have made the trip better with their knowledge of the woods, Finnish history and even ancient stories. This is the tour to take if you want to remember what untouched nature still looks like. Beth, USA

I enjoyed the tour very much. The landscape is stunning. The accommodation very nice and typical and the guide very helpful. I also enjoyed being part of an international group. Chiara, Italy

This was my best group trip so far. The combination of participant nationalities and extremely competent and friendly tour guidance have resulted in a great overall experience. I’m looking forward to the next trip with Upitrek. Volker, Austria

It was my first walking holiday and I was travelling own my own – but it has been a most wonderful experience – great guide and great company. I will definitely be booking another holiday of this sort. Female, UK

Bella prova con se stessi. 100 km di impegno e piacere. Non sempre, ma ci sono panorami magnifici. Bell’esperienza se si ama la natura e non si cerca la comoditá e l’ozio. E bello arrivare stanchi alla sera e provarne il piacere per poi rinascere con la sauna che sono qui si pu scoprire cos’e davvero. Si deve sapersi adattare, ma e ben organizatto. Angelica, Italia

Die Woche in Finnland war sehr erholsam, die Natur wunderschön und die beiden Guides Petri und Jeremy sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit. Female, Italy

A must do -walking trip with excellent guide, amazing food and great walking trails. The bear watching trip is also a really good added extra that is definitely worth doing. Male, UK

The hiking tour was amazing. I was hoping to see different forest types and this tour did not disappoint. From bogs, to spruce forests, to fern covered deep woods, to tall pine hilltops this tour gives so much to nature lovers and photographers like myself. And I loved the saunas every night. Dave, USA

Buona esperienza! Tutto è stato spontaneo: l’atmosfera e il rapporto che si è creato con la guida ei compagni di viaggio, lo stupore per la bellezza della natura, l’ospitalità della gente del posto. Sarebbe bello tornare in autunno e in inverno. Grazie. Laura, Italia

I missed the Midnight Sun but managed to see roaming reindeer, bountiful bears, many mosquitoes, sweaty saunas and had lashings of “lakka”. Deborah, Hong Kong

This tour exceeded our expectations. Beautiful scenery, great accommodation, excellent guide and good company. We would recommend it to anyone! Marc & Loli, Catalonia

I can’t remember having a better holiday. Certainly lucky with the weather & my fellow trekkers but Kimmo’s professionalism, engaging personality & organization really made it special. Enormous thanks! Mike, UK

-> 2014
A truly memorable holiday with fantastic scenery and expert guide to point out the flora and fauna. 20 K a day was made easier by good food, chatting around the fire and Finnish sauna. It has been a wonderful week and I would recommend to anyone who loves outdoors. Victoria, UK

This trip lived up to all my expectations and more. The challenge of activities was perfect along with stunning scenery, great guide and a good understanding of Finnish culture. I would recommend this as a trip to people travelling alone or as a part of a group. Male, Ireland

Je recommande vivement ce séjour car vous y trouverez les trésors de la Finlande, à savoir : des forêts immenses et majestueuses et des rennes, symbole de la Finlande. Male, France

Second time with Upitrek, very nice experience again. Very well organized (but not over organized). Good company, charming accommodations, excellent food, very knowledgeable guide with nice sense of humour. Male, Belgium

I can not praise this trip highly enough. From the genuine friendliness of everyone we have met to the thoughtful and well-organized programme, to the wonderful group leader for whom nothing was too much trouble. He has given us a wonderful insight into Finland and into the wonders of the wilderness. He has responded to the individual needs of the group members while balancing the need for safety as well as fun (lots of it).

The highlights have been beyond all my expectance – 4 hours of pure joy at the bear hide, sauna and lake, the beauty of the swamps, forests, lakes and sky in sunshine and in rain. A special thank you to Helena at Arola farm. What a wonderful mother! Irresistible home cooked food and a warm welcome! Charlotte, UK

Eine wunderbare meditative Wanderung durch die finnische Taiga. Endlose Wälder, unzählige tiefblaue Seen. Saubere Picknickplätze. Freundliche Menschen. Cornelia, Schweiz

El viaje perfecto si buscas paz, rejuvenecimiento de cuerpo y mente y un poco de aventura. Los paisajes son increíbles, los lagos son increíbles (especialmente para refrescarse entre saunas) y en el bosque parece que aparece un duende debajo de cada hongo entre los arándanos. ¡Gracias Tumpi y Laura! Jara, Spain

Un super voyage, une merveilleuse expérience de plonger dans un lac (froid) après un sauna en pleine nature… Merci. Bernadette, Belgium

An excellent trip in every sense – well-planned, excellent walking, beautiful scenery, knowledgeable and friendly guides. Juditt, UK

This tour was beautifully put together. The guides were knowledgeable, friendly and fun. The party was about the right size that we could get to know each other. The countryside is beautiful, the air is clean, the water is fresh and the environment is peaceful. Altogether a great experience. Fiona, UK

Un paese fantastico, un organizzazone perfetta. Grazie! Fransesco, Italia

I have never done a trip like this before, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. Our guide was very re-assuring though and seemed to work non-stop to make everything run smoothly. The different nationalities of the other travellers made it more interesting and being in their company was for me the best part of it. Male, UK

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