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Ski tour on the Russian border

Winter bestseller - 100 km in five skiing days. A guided hut-to-hut cross-country skiing tour along Finnish Eastern border through a wilderness of pristine untouched nature.  

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!   

Tour highlights:
* Pristine wilderness - a real escape to the nature
* Picnics around an open fire
* The snow-white landscape
* Evening saunas
* Hossa national park 

Ski tour on the Russian border

Price / person
starting from

1010 €

Season

Winter

Detailed programme

Day 1. Arrival

Arrival at Kuusamo airport where your guide will welcome you. Transfer (1 hour) to  Jatkonsalmi cabin located in the heart of the new Hossa national park.

Day 2. Jatkonsalmi–Rajakartano 17 km

After breakfast we start the weeks skiing on the well-prepared tracks of Hossa national park whose nature is dominated by handsome pine heathlands, ridge-lines, small lakes and streams. We eat lunch at the Hossa Visitor Centre, and it’s also possible to visit a small souvenir shop. In the afternoon, we relax in a traditional Finnish sauna and the more adventurous amongst us can try ice swimming! In the evening, we visit a local reindeer farm. Here we will enjoy a delicious dinner whilst learning about reindeer herding today.

Day 3. Rajakartano–Kovavaara 25 km

This is the longest skiing day of the week. We start on the Hossa tracks, then follow the border guard’s trail in a southerly direction. On our journey, we will cross many small mires and ski through ancient forests. We have a break at Vieremäjärvi, which is just before our midway point, and enjoy a picnic lunch in front of an open fire. We will prepare and serve coffee and soup and a selection of sandwiches. Your accommodation for the night is in a rustic cabin on top of Kovavaara hill. There are no modern day amenities, but instead, the history and lifestyle of this 1950’s living museum.

Day 4. Kovavaara–Arola 19 km

The third skiing day follows the Russian border zone which is clearly signed with yellow border markers on the trees. At certain points along the trail, you can view the Russian side. In the afternoon, we arrive at Arola which is situated just a stone’s throw from the Russian border. Arola is famous for its delicious food made from local ingredients and served by our hostess. Dinner is served in a traditional log house.

Day 5. Arola–Martinselkonen Wilderness Centre 22 km

Today´s route passes through the Martinselkonen nature reserve through open marsh and spruce forests and follows the paths of the reindeer. We will have a picnic lunch at one of the wilderness huts operated by Finnish Forest and Park Service. The accommodation for the last two nights will be at Martinselkonen Wilderness Centre, a former border guard station renovated into a modern guest house.

Day 6. Day tour at Martinselkonen 17 km

On this, our last day, we will take a day tour in Martinselkonen nature reserve. We will ski across the wintry landscape – over frozen lakes and swamps and through forests covered in a deep, white, snowy blanket. In the evening, there is a chance to have a final sauna, then after that, a well-deserved farewell dinner.

Day 7. Return

Breakfast and transport to the Kuusamo airport.

Included in this programme

• 6 nights accommodation in rooms for 2–4 persons with shared facilities (on days 5 and 6 some rooms with private facilities available)
• 6 x breakfast, 4 x outdoor lunch and 1 x lunch, 6 x dinner, 4 x afternoon coffee/tea with snack
• English speaking skiing guide
• Snowmobile guide who makes the track on days 3-6 (especially for this group) and prepares outdoor lunches
• Luggage transportation between accommodations
• Single-timed group airport transfers (See 'Good to know' for further details.)
• 5 x sauna, 1-2 x ice-swimming
• Bedlinen and bath towels
• Sleeping bag with mummy liner (one night)

You will need

- outdoor equipment
- leisure time clothing
- skis, boots 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

DURATION
7 days / 6 nights tour.

GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
10.02.-16.02.2019
24.02.-02.03.2019
03.03.-09.03.2019
10.03.-16.03.2019
17.03.-23.03.2019
18.03.-24.03.2019
24.03.-30.03.2019
26.03.-01.04.2019
Other departures for groups on request. Season 1 February - 5 April.

GROUP SIZE
The tour is guaranteed to run without minimum number of participants. Max.12 persons.

DIFFICULTY
To join this tour you should have some previous experience on cross-country skiing. You must master the basic skiing technique and have good enough balance to cope short downhills without problems. A moderate physical condition is required as daily legs may take up to 7 hours including a lunch break and several shorter breaks. Daily stages are from 17 to 25 km. 

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 and follows most of the time the border of Finland and Russia. 

SOME BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE TOUR
- Some previous experience on cross-country skiing and a moderate fitness is needed to participate in this tour.
- Daily skiing distances are 17–25 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.
- 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.

ACCOMMODATION
Accommodation is mostly on twin and triple sharing basis, quadruple rooms may be used in few cases. Shared facilities except on days 5 and 6 some rooms with private facilities available.Single rooms are not available.

TRAVEL
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 Finnair flights from Helsinki followingly:
10.02., 24.02., 03.03., 10.03., 17.03., 18.03., 24.03. and 26.03.: 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 Finnair flights to Helsinki followingly:
16.02., 02.03., 09.03., 16.03., 23.03., 30.03.: KAO-HEL AY486 14.05-15.15
24.03. KAO-HEL AY482 10.45-11.55
01.04.: KAO-HEL AY486 14.30-15.40
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.

PAYMENT
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. 

NOTES
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. 

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Ski tour on the Russian border

Price / person starting from

1010 €

Season

Winter

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