For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
- Wildlife & Polar
Wildlife & Polar highlights
- Types of Holiday
Popular Cultural Holiday
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
The remote forests of Finland are a very peaceful place, and tramping through them in snowshoes is an ideal way to immerse yourself in their tranquillity. The trees are laden with snow and you cannot hear a thing. It feels like a scene from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - you half expect to come across a lamppost and a fawn.
The centre is well run, and the guides are absolute enthusiasts and keen to pass one their passion for the trees and the wildlife. At night the stars are bright, and the Northern Lights make an eerie appearance.
All in all, a magical place. The UK seems very busy when you get home.
The completely monochromatic appearance of the trees, lakes and snow on cloudy days.
Rolling in the snow after the sauna
Heli was lovely - she had real enthusiasm for the environment. I have never before hugged a tree, but now know we need to say thank you to them!
She was also very organised and kept a subtle eye on all the party, to make sure no one got left behind or had difficulty.
Trust the gear provided - we did take our own base layers, socks and buff - but that was all you needed. Their gear was all fine - 3 layers for top and bottom / gloves and mitts / hat / backpack / torch etc.
This was an excellent holiday at the cosy and warm Oulanka Basecamp. We were provided with clothing that kept us toasty and boots that were very comfortable. The food was locally sourced as much as possible, tasty and filling.
Overall, I cannot fault this holiday.
There are many - lunch at a camp fire, the peace out on the fjell, dog sledding, and meeting a friendly group of people. All wonderful!
Tessa Kokkonen was a brilliant leader. She gave us info about Finland, it's history, and about the wildlife. Tessa was full of enthusiasm, helpful and had a great sense of humour. Nothing was too much trouble for her. Excellent!
The outdoor clothing provided is very good so save the space in your cases.
First winter activity holiday I have been on and it has given me the bug to do another.
Finland is beautiful and Oulanka Basecamp a superb place to spend an active week. The facilities, equipment, food, activities and above all the staff - for whom nothing was too much trouble and who all clearly loved their work - were first-rate. The room accommodation was comfortable and the communal lounge, bar, sauna, hot tub and dining area in a separate building a few seconds walk away. We wanted and expected cold weather - which we got - but were never cold because everywhere was well heated and the winter clothing and boots provided were of the best quality (and all in with the price). The Basecamp is in the middle of nowhere - again, wanted and expected - in an area of forest, lakes, rivers (aka Finland!) but also unexpected hills and, at times, steep climbs.
What I liked best? Pretty much everything and there were not enough hours in a day to do all I wanted. Also being wonderfully tired every evening after a hard day of snow shoe walking, cross-country skiing, snowmobile and/or dog sledding were a great aid to a good night/s sleep.
Highlights major and minor - in no particular order - were:
1. The food. Loads of it and delicious, including the packed lunches and special energy bars. (We burned a lot of calories).
2. Eating lunch around camp fires at wilderness shelters in a gentle snowfall.
3. My first time on skis. (We haven't laughed so much in ages).
4. Falling a lot. (Yes, I'm serious. I fell off everything - snow shoes, skis - level and downhill - snowmobile and dog sled), and once nearly ended up in a river, but only hurt myself a bit a couple of times.)
5. Dog sled day. A marvellous experience and enough to turn this dog-phobe into a husky fan.
6.The company of like-minded strangers to add to wife and two good friends.
Not a thing, other than we didn't get the Northern Lights, but that's beyond the Basecamp's control, and I couldn't do everything. We'll have to go back!
The rooms are of two types. The upper rooms are a bit bigger, have a small mezzanine for storage or to sleep in and a balcony.
All heating and hot water comes from a wood pellet-burning boiler and a wood-burning fire in the lounge. All clothing and gear is provided to reduce luggage weight - a small detail ,but a nice idea - and almost all food provided sustainable and locally sourced.
There were so many. Probably the dog sled day, but sitting round a crackling fire outdoor in an light snowfall whilst toasting packed lunch sandwiches and drinking hot chocolate (laced with a shot of whisky) was hard to beat.
Our guide, Tessa Kokkonen, led us with confident knowledge and expertise, breaking up the long walks with frequent halts to talk about Finland and its wildlife, forest, history and folklore. She included traditional stories and identified the animal tracks we found in the snow.
Save your luggage space by not taking outdoor clothing, skis, boots, etc that you think you will need as everything is provided. On the other hand, if you think you might need to replace something you run out of or break, require medicines, another book, etc. take these as there is not much in the way of shops outside the airports.
Base Camp Oulanka was a superb experience and one to repeat. I am now a fan of winter holidays.
It's a superb base in a wilderness location, with excellent facilities. Twin rooms (including a mezzanine accommodate up to 4 people) with ensuite bathrooms, are in two separate buildings. Double rooms are usually available on request. The third building is a cosy restaurant and bar, with a log fire, sauna and outdoor hot-tub (available at specific times every day)!
Stefania Aniello - Finland Operations
It is very difficult to make your own way and we strongly recommend that you make arrangements to meet the Exodus group transfer. If you are unsure, or would like to arrange to be added to this, please contact Exodus for more information.
Rachel George - Customer Operations
Even well established ski resorts have trouble guaranteeing good snow conditions throughout the season, but we have the great advantage that we can operate in a variety of snow conditions which skiers might find difficult. There is generally good snow cover throughout our snowshoeing season, but at times we may have days when we will be walking below the snowline. In light snow conditions you might expect to begin walking with your snowshoes strapped to your pack, then stop to put them on as we reach more consistent snow-cover. Usually April departures may be spring-like, with snow on the top, and wild flowers appearing at lower levels, although recent years have had late heavy snowfalls.
Danuta Janik - Customer Operations
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