Winter dream cross-country skiing Finland 2024: 7 days through the vast wilderness of the East in Hossa National Park

7 Days

Your trip

Map FinlandThis guided cross-country ski tour runs along the eastern border of Finland and in Hossa National Park.

The daily stages lead through wild, untouched nature. They are on their feet for about 20 km a day.

At the end of eventful day tours you will stop in comfortable guest houses and log cabins. Experience Finnish hospitality and traditional food culture. Of course, a sauna is available every evening.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in our cross-country tour. Lunch is usually prepared by a snowmobiler on an outdoor fire pit.

The groups are internationally mixed. The tour guide speaks English.

Requirements

On the cross-country tour we cover approx. 17 – 23 km on cross-country skis every day and are thus on the move for approx. 5 – 7 hours per day including breaks. The tracks for the cross-country skiing tour are pulled by a snowmobile and it is only possible to ski in the classic cross-country technique.

The route is fairly easy; the terrain varies, but is mostly flat with some short climbs and descents.

The difficulty level of this tour is easy to moderate. You should be fit for long tours in the snow.
Everyone can run at their own speed. The guide runs with the slowest skiers.

Experience in cross-country skiing is useful, an introduction to the technique on site for (re-)beginners is possible. However, the tour does not include its own cross-country skiing course. Good physical condition is important.

The trip is not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for detailed information if needed.

Equipment

The classic cross-country skis (approx. 44 mm width) are suitable for cross-country skiing.

You can rent skis, poles and also boots. You will receive a list of what things you should bring with your travel documents.

Arrival

Meeting point of the trip

The meeting point of the trip is Kuusamo airport.
On request we can also arrange the bus station in Kuusamo as a meeting point.

Airport transfer

Transfer from Kuusamo airport to the first accommodation and return transfer from the last accommodation to Kussamo airport is included in the price. Flights are not included in the tour price. Please book your flight yourself e.g. with Finnair.

Please note that there is only one transfer per day. The times are each coordinated with a specific Finnair flight to and from Helsinki. If you miss the departure, any extra private transfer is payable locally. Please coordinate the specific transfer times with us when booking. Starting from the 2014 season, the following regular times are scheduled:

> Outbound flight: Following Finnair flight Helsinki -> Kuusamo, HEL-KAO AY497, arrival in Kuusamo around 17:00-18:00,

> Return flight: To Finnair flight Kuusamo -> Helsinki , KAO-HEL AY486, departure from Kuusamo around 13:30-14:300.

Please be sure to coordinate the times for the transfer with us before booking your flight. Between the bus transfer and the flight should not be less than 1 h. Please do not miss the transfer bus.

Accommodation

They are on the road in the wilderness. You will be accommodated in two-, three- or more-bed rooms in simple, but very cozy log cabins. The cabins each have cozy common areas. Wood stove and sauna await you in the evening.

The first nights you will be accommodated in the Rajakartano game lodge.

Rajakartano is a traditional, well-equipped log cabin on the shore of Lake Hossanjärvi. It has
2- and 4-bed rooms with bunk beds, shared toilets and showers for up to 14 people, a kitchen, dining room and central heating, fireplace and sauna in the house and another sauna on the lake. Possibility of ice swimming.

You will spend the next three nights at the Wild Centre Martinselkonen.

The two houses are located not far from each other in the forest. They have single rooms, double rooms and a four-person apartment. There are cozy lounges, kitchen, fireplace and sauna. Most of the rooms have private showers.

The last two nights you will be hosted by the Aarola Game Farm. Arola is a former dairy, which since 1995 has been developed into an agrotourism experience. The village is located near the Russian border, on the edge of the Martinselkonen nature reserve.

Let’s end the day with dinner in the historic Arola farmhouse and a sauna bath in the relaxing wood-heated (smoke) sauna.

Please note that all rooms on this trip are shared rooms with 2 to 4 beds. They are booked according to local availability and group composition.

Catering

Your trip includes full board.

Around 8 o’clock we have breakfast.
Breakfast is served in the cottage. It consists of plenty of bread, cheese, ham, porridge, cereal, yogurt, coffee, tea.

We usually break for lunch between 11 and 12.
Lunch is usually served at a fireplace in the forest. It consists of hot soup, sandwiches, sausages, coffee & tea with chocolate and cookies.

Around 3 to 4 p.m. we are usually at the destination accommodation. A small snack awaits you.

Dinner is usually a buffet. It includes typical Finnish dishes “homemade style”. Mostly it consists of a main course
with meat / fish, potatoes / rice, fresh salad / warm vegetables and a dessert.

We provide you first of all with genuine Finnish products. They are always our first choice. In winter, all fruit is imported, so there is little fresh fruit and only at base camp.

We are also happy to provide you with vegetarian food. For people with celiac disease we also prepare gluten-free meals. For people with lactose intolerance we also prepare lactose-free meals. Please let us know when booking if you would like to eat vegetarian or even gluten-free. Please take into account that your choice is valid for the entire tour. A change on the way is no longer possible.

Tap water is good to drink in Finland. Huts where tap water is not available are supplied with large jerry cans. You can always fill your own water bottle.

Please provide yourself with snacks for the walking times according to your comfort.

Country information

Please see our entry information for Finland on our Country Information page.

We recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance. you can find a quote on our travel insurance page.

The special experience...

  • Look forward to peace, space, light and air
  • Experience a piece of the untouched winter landscape of the Hossa National Park
  • Enjoy the freedom of the open space, the warmth of the campfires and the evening sauna
  • Experience a guided group tour in the whiteness of the winter wilderness that you will not soon forget

From day to day

Arrival :
Day 1: Sunday

Arrival

Your guide will welcome you warmly at Kuusamo airport. It will lead you directly to the inn“Rajakartano“. Here you spend – directly at the Hossanjärvi lake – the first two nights. The transfer from the airport in Kuusamo takes about 1 hour.

Dinner
Day tour in Hossa National Park, ~ 17 km :
Day 2: Monday

Day tour in Hossa National Park, ~ 17 km

The first day of our cross-country skiing tour will take you on the well-groomed trails of Hossa National Park. The nature in Hossa is breathtaking. They are surrounded by beautiful pine forests, lakes and rivers. Hossa is therefore also called “Fisherman’s Paradise”.

We will enjoy lunch at the Hossa Visitor Center, where there is also a small souvenir store.

Probably there is nothing more Finnish than the sauna. Therefore, after returning to the accommodation, you will have the opportunity to relax in the steaming hot traditional Finnish sauna. All adventurous people can also try ice swimming between sauna sessions!

5 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ski tour in Martinselkonen Nature Park, ~ 17 km :
Day 3: Tuesday

Ski tour in Martinselkonen Nature Park, ~ 17 km

After breakfast we drive to Martinselkonen Wilderness Center. There we spend the next two nights.

Our round trip to the north starts here in the Martinselkonen Nature Reserve. Located right on the outer border of “the West” with Russia, the vast Finnish wilderness with its deep wetlands and its countless insects and bird species is one of the most important bird areas in Finland. Everywhere here are wide swamps, small lakes, ancient forests and trees covered in lichen.

The route from today is mainly flat without major ascents and descents. For lunch we stop at a wilderness cabin maintained by the Finnish Forest and Park Service.

5 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Cross-country ski tour in Martinselkonen, ~ 23 km :
Day 4: Wednesday

Cross-country ski tour in Martinselkonen, ~ 23 km

Today we make another day trip, but this time in southern direction.

We cross frozen lakes and swamps and penetrate forests covered with a thick white layer of snow. The silence around us here is almost palpable – only the sound of skis and poles pierces the stillness of the primeval forests.

6 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Cross-country skiing tour Martinselkonen Wilderness Center - Arola, ~ 22km :
Day 5: Thursday

Cross-country skiing tour Martinselkonen Wilderness Center – Arola, ~ 22km

Today we say goodbye to our hosts and continue our tour north through the nature reserve. In these virgin forests live brown bears,. However, we will hardly meet colleague Grisly, they still sleep in their caves under the thick blanket of snow until April. Wolf, lynx and wolverine are also at home in these forests. Very rarely these shy animals show themselves. However, numerous tracks in snow betray their invisible presence.

Towards afternoon we reach our destination for today, the farm inn Arola. Our hosts prepare dinner in a traditional log cabin from local ingredients.

7 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day tour in Arola, ~ 20 km :
Day 6: Friday

Day tour in Arola, ~ 20 km

Today we will make another ski hike through spruce forests, following the tracks of reindeer.

For lunch we stop again in a wilderness hut. Coffee and hot soup is prepared over an open fire and served with sandwiches. In the afternoon we return to Arola for another night to continue enjoying the nice atmosphere and the warm hospitality of the hosts.

6 hours
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Other accommodation

Farewell day

After breakfast transfer back to Kuusamo airport.

Breakfast

Services

... included in your travel pact

  • Transfer to and from Kuusamo airport
  • 6 x accommodation in rooms for 2 - 4 persons, toilets and showers outside the rooms (on days 3 and 4 some rooms with own toilet and shower)
  • 6 x breakfast, 4 x lunch outside, 1 x lunch in the restaurant, 5 x dinner, snack on the first evening, 5 x afternoon coffee or tea with small snack
  • Accompaniment by certified wilderness guide (English speaking)
  • From day 3 to 6 the snowmobile driver makes his own trail for us alone and cooks lunch on the open fire
  • Transportation of luggage from accommodation to accommodation 1 piece of luggage / person)
  • Transportation to and from Kuusamo airport
  • 5 x sauna, 1 x ice swimming possible
  • Bed linen and bath towels
  • Ski wax

... and bookable:

  • Cross-country skiing equipment: skis, poles and boots

Dates and prices

Travel dates 2024

18.02.-24.02.2024
25.02.-02.03.2024
03.03.-09.03.2024
10.03.-16.03.2024
17.03.-23.03.2024
24.03.-30.03.2024
26.03.-01.04.2024

Other dates can be arranged – especially for groups – upon request.

There is no minimum number of participants for this trip. All dates are guaranteed. The maximum number of participants is 12.

Prices

Price per participant :: 1.150,- €

Additional services

complete equipment: skis, ski poles, boots :: 80,- €

Questions

Is there a minimum or maximum number of participants?

No. The trip is carried out in principle. However, if the group is only 3 people or less in total, there may be changes in the itinerary or planned accommodations. We will inform you before the start of the trip. The maximum number of participants is 12.

Can I book an extra night near the airport?

Yes. Please inquire if you would like an extra night in Kuusamo. Please note that the bus transfer to and from the tour is to the airport. An individual pick-up at individual hotels is unfortunately not possible for logistical reasons.

What do the accommodations offer?

They are on the road in the wilderness. You will be accommodated in rooms with two, three or more beds in simple but cozy log cabins in the forest. Single rooms are not available. The cabins each have cozy common areas. A wood-burning sauna awaits you in the evening.

What kind of weather can we expect?

We start the tours from the end of January, when the sun is already high enough for all-day hikes. At the beginning of February there are about 9 hours of daylight: from 8:00 to 17:00. At the beginning of March already about 12 hours from 6:30 to 18:30.
The daytime temperature usually varies between -5 and -20 C. However, higher temperatures are also reached – or falls to -35 C. Even if the nights are very cold, the temperature usually rises quite quickly during the day.
The weather during these months can be cloudy or sunny. In general, sunshine is more likely in March than in February. It can be very windy. Snowfalls may also occur.

What is the best thing to wear?

Your clothing is a personal choice, of course, but you should prepare for cold. During snowshoeing your body usually generates enough heat, but during breaks you will quickly get cold. Therefore, it is very important to wear a warm coat or vest during the stops. It is best to wear several thin layers than few thick ones. The outer skin should be windproof. Please pay special attention to warm feet, fingers and face.
We recommend the following equipment:
– Underwear – Synthetic underwear (polypropylene, polyester), wool or silk is better than cotton. Skin tight underwear removes moisture from the skin.
– Midlayer clothing – eg. Fleece or wool clothing. Mid-layer clothing allows thermal adjustment, insulation depending on the weather and physical activity.
– Outerwear – windproof coat and pants (it is not necessary to be waterproof like Gore-Tex).
– Head – Windproof hat that also protects the ears. Remember to protect your face as well. A balaclava or scarf can be useful.
– Hands – Windproof mittens protect your fingers better than gloves. For the breaks you have another pair with you. Large mittens that you put over the other.
– Feet – wool blend socks are the best choice. Cotton sports socks are not good for cold weather!
– Winter shoes should have thick soles and be one size larger than your summer shoes. Ideal shoes have enough space even for knitted wool socks, which can be pulled over the other socks.

What other equipment should I have with me?

– Backpack (15-20 l)
– Thermos bottle
– Water bottle
– Headlamp, flashlight
– Lunch box
– Toiletries
– Personal medical care, plaster
– antibacterial wrist
– Earplugs against the snorers
– Sunglasses & Glasses
– Snowshoes and poles
as well as
– Jacket and pants for snowshoe hikes
– warm jacket for breaks
– Thermal Long John pants and shirt, synthetic, wool or silk
– Midlayer clothing for cold weather like fleece or wool clothing
– Mittens or gloves and a pair of large mittens that can be pulled over the others
– Winter boots for snowshoeing
– Warm socks
– a hat, earmuffs can also be useful
– Scarf or balaclava
– Slippers or thick wool socks for the cabins
– Casual clothing
– Swimwear for ice swimming

What time zone is Finland in?

Finland is 1 h ahead of Berlin. So it’s 6:30 pm in Finland when it’s 5:30 pm in Berlin.

Sauna?

Sauna! The sauna is considered a sacred place. Body and soul are washed. A traditional Finnish sauna is available every evening during the tour, except on the evening of arrival. Traditionally, people do not go in mixed groups or in bathing suits. Your hosts usually organize sauna shifts – usually the ladies go first. After that it’s men’s shift.
Modern saunas have separate bathrooms with showers. In saunas without running water as in the cottages, you can wash in the sauna. There is hot water, buckets and shovels. Sauna in Jatkonsalmi is located on the lake shore. So there is a possibility of ice swimming.

Tip?

Tipping is generally not expected in Finland. But if you want to say thank you to your tour guide or for a good service, feel free to put something together….

Please note: Depending on the weather, the routes through Hossa National Park and Martinselkonen Nature Reserve vary.

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  • 28
  • 7 Days
  • medium
  • trip from place to place
  • Winter
  • Camp
  • Group tour

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