Off the trails -snowshoeing
This guided snowshoeing tour takes you to explore the taiga forests of Hossa national park in eastern Finland. The remote area is absolutely a perfect place to enjoy the peace of nature. Our route goes mostly in the national park through snow white forests, along ridges and over frozen lakes. Each night you will accommodate in a wilderness cabin, some of them without modern facilities but however with cosy atmosphere.
The daily treks of approx. 6 hours will most probably be walked in deep soft snow in varied terrain with many short up- and down hills. The difficulty of the tour is easy to moderate. No previous experience on snowshoeing is needed but a moderate physical condition is required.
* Beautiful winter landscapes
* Overnights in wilderness huts
* Picnics around an open fire
* Evening saunas
* Pristine wilderness and remoteness
Day 1. Arrival
Arrival at Kuusamo airport where you will meet your local guide. Transfer (approx. 1 hour) to Hossa where we will accommodate in Jatkonsalmi cabin for first three nights. The cabin is situated on the shore of Lake Jatkonjärvi in an isolated spot in the heart of Hossa national park.
Day 2. Russian border
After a brief introductory session on snowshoeing technique it is time to set off for the first day trip which takes us to explore the Russian border area. We go the first kilometers in the narrow gorge and then mostly on the lakes until the Russian border zone. It is strictly prohibited to step on the border zone but we follow it for a couple of kilometers southwards. In the evening, after snowshoeing for hours in the cold, it is nice to relax and warm oneself in the lakeside sauna.
Snowshoeing 7 km, 6 hours
Day 3. Rock paintings
Today it is time to take a glance at the history. We will first take a short car transfer and then snowshoe to the Colour Rock to see its rock paintings dating back to 4000 years. The picnic lunch will be taken in a kota in the mid-way (Lappish tepee). Coffee will be brewed on an open fire and it will be taken with sandwiches. In the afternoon we will return to the cabin to spend one more night there.
Snowshoeing 7 km, 6 hours
Day 4. Snow white forests, Jatkonsalmi – Peurapirtti/Hirvastupa
Today’s route goes along the top of a ridge between two frozen lakes through the beautiful snow covered pine, spruce and birch forests. It is more probable that we will meet some reindeer than human beings. After 7 km on snow shoes we will reach the northern shore of the lake Iso-Valkeinen and the cabins where we will accommodate for one night. Snowshoeing 7 km, 6 hours
Day 5. Ridges and lakes, Peurapirtti/Hirvastupa – Huosiusjärvi/Iikoski
After breakfast we will go on snowshoeing along the ridges and on the lakes. The surrounding forests are home for many animals like elks, wolfs, lynxes and hares but unfortunately they are seldom seen. Also bears inhabit the area but in winter they hibernate. Halfway we will take the picnic lunch around an open fire at a lean-to-shelter situated near a rapid. In the afternoon we will arrive at the last cabins where we will stay in, called Huosiusjärvi and Iikoski situated 200 metres apart from each other. Snowshoeing 8 km, 6,5 hours
Day 6. End of snowshoeing and reindeer farm Huosiusjärvi/Iikoski – Jatkonsalmi
The last day of snowshoeing takes us back to the start point. Following ridges we will reach the Hossa Visitor Centre where we will have lunch and it’s also possible to visit a small souvenir shop. Our snowshoeing tour will be completed on arrival at the cabin. At night we will visit a local reindeer farm where we learn about reindeer herding today and enjoy a delicious farewell dinner.
Snowshoeing 5 km, 4 hours
Day 7. Return
Breakfast and transfer to Kuusamo airport.
Included in this programme
- accommodation: on days 1, 2, 3 and 6 in rooms for 2–4 persons in log cabin, on days 4 and 5 in log cabins (mostly dormitory type)
- 6 x breakfast, 4 x outdoor lunch, 1 x lunch, 6 x dinner
- English speaking guiding
- single-timed airport transfers from/to Kuusamo airport (See 'Good to know' for further information.)
- luggage transportation between the accommodations
- 5 x evening sauna, 3 x ice-swimming
- bed linen and bath towels
- sleeping bags and mummy liners (2 nights)
You will need
- outdoor equipment
- leisure time clothing
- warm winter boots (possible to hire)
- snowshoes and poles (possible to hire)
- rucksack (15-20 l)
- thermos flask
- head lamp / torch
The full gear list will be sent after booking.
Good to know
7 days / 6 nights tour. Arrival on Sunday, return on Saturday.
Other departures for groups on request. Season 20 January - 31 March.
Guaranteed departures without minimum number of participants. Max.13 persons.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
On this tour the daily treks take approx. 5–6 hours and the average speed is about one km per hour. In late January– early March the depth of the snow is normally 60–70 cm and you will usually walk in soft snow which makes the walking slow and strenuous. If the track is harder it is possible to walk 3–4 km in an hour, in that case extra kilometers can be walked to make the duration longer. The duration includes also a lunch break which is about 1,5 hours.
The terrain is quite variable with many short up- and down hills. The route goes in the forests, along the ridges and on the lakes. The difficulty of the tour is easy – moderate, depending greatly on the snow conditions. No previous experience on snowshoeing is needed but a moderate physical condition is required.
On days 1–3 and 6 accommodation is mostly on twin and triple sharing basis. On days 4 and 5 at wilderness cabins mostly dormitory type accommodation is available. Shared facilities each night. Single rooms are not available.
Flights are not included in the tour price.
Important notes for arrival
The joining point for this trip is Kuusamo airport. Single-timed groups transfers from Kuusamo airport to the first accommodation are organized to coincide with this Finnair flight from Helsinki: HEL-KAO AY497 20.15–21.30.
If you arrive on an earlier flight you should wait at the airport or in the town. In case you arrive on previous day the pick-up from hotels located in Kuusamo town centre is available on prior request.
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 14.05-15.15. Note: On 16.03. there's an extra transfer for the morning flight KAO-HEL AY484 07.50-08.30.
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.
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 the group size is 3 persons or less or if necessary due to weather/snow conditions.
Ask for more information