1. Experience the Finnish ancient wild ‘Taiga’ forest in Kainuu, north east Finland 2. See the unique Finnish wildlife up close 3. Enter an untouched wilderness with pristine nature and crystal clear lakes in the new Hossa National Park 4. Enjoy eating al fresco around an open fire and unwind in lake-side saunas 5. Relax whilst we take care of you and your luggage with guided hut-to-hut hiking
The unspoilt nature of the ancient Finnish ‘Taiga’ forest in north east Kainuu awaits you on this guided, hut-to-hut, hiking tour. Kainuu is a region steeped in culture, wildlife and wilderness experiences, many of which you will enjoy on this trip. The route passes through; untouched wilderness and pristine nature, primordial forests and mires, along ridges and to the shores of crystal clear lakes. Apart from hiking, you can canoe on the lakes and nearby rivers. Accommodation varies from log cabins to guest houses. The trail is mostly flat and easy to walk and suitable for anybody of average fitness level.
Day 1: Arrival Arrival at Kajaani/Kuusamo airport where you’ll meet your local guide. Transfer (approx. 2 hours) to Martinselkonen Wilds Centre for dinner and overnight accommodation.
Day 2: Martinselkonen Wilds Centre – Arola 16 km After a hearty breakfast we begin the tour by hiking through the Martinselkonen nature reserve towards Arola farm where we will be welcomed by our friendly hosts. 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. In the afternoon it is possible to join a 6 hour bear watching excursion which gives you the possibility to observe and photograph these majestic animals from the purpose-built log cabins. At the end of the day you will enjoy a special dinner made with the fruits of the forest and freshest local ingredients.
Day 3: Arola – Kovavaara 19 km Today we head north along the Russian border. We follow the yellow pointers and there are several viewing points across to the other side. There is a picnic stop, (in front of an open fire with freshly brewed coffee) at one wilderness huts operated by the Finnish Forest and Park Service. Overnight accommodation will be in a rural cabin on the top of Kovavaara hill. Although there are none of the modern comforts, you get to experience 1950’s lifestyle in this living “museum”.
Day 4: Kovavaara–Hossa 18 km After a short car transfer we set off on today’s hike. This wild landscape is home to a healthy wolverine population, and although these secretive predators are seldom seen, we may come across their tracks. Swans and cranes can be spotted on the lakes and mires. There are many swamp areas, but they are easily crossed on sturdy wooden platforms. The surrounding forest has an abundance of vegetation such as blueberries, lingonberries and mushrooms. The blueberry season is at its best in August and can provide ready made snacks for hikers.
Day 5: Hossa National Park 13 km The trek continues along the paths of the new Hossa National Park - the commemorative national park for Finland's 100th year of independence in 2017. 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 eat lunch at the Hossa Visitor Centre, and it’s also possible to visit a small souvenir shop. Accommodation for the remaining three nights is at Jatkonsalmi cabin, where the lakeside sauna will be heated every night.
Day 6: Canoeing For a change from walking, we take canoes onto the lakes and rivers close to our accommodation. We use open Indian canoes. All necessary equipment, such as paddles and life vests are provided. The waters are very still and calm. Reindeer are a common sight in Hossa as well as the occasional elk, so you may chance a sighting of these majestic creatures. For those ones who prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of well-marked hiking trails for you explore.
Day 7: Värikallio rock paintings 16 km Today 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 will be enjoyed around an open fire and after that we will hike through the beautiful pine and spruce forest back to our accommodation. Sauna and farewell dinner at the Jatkonsalmi cabin.
Day 8: Departure After breakfast transfer to Kajaani airport (approx. 2,5 hour).
Your accommodation: Accommodation is in rooms for 2-4 people sharing. There are no ensuite facilities. Shared showers and toilets are located in the corridor. On day 3 there is just sauna with washing facilities and outhouse.
Food: Enjoy plenty of picnic lunches by open fires, taste the fruits of the forest including blueberries, lingonberries and mushrooms and appreciate artisan food using the freshest local ingredients.
Duration: 8 days/7 nights
Group size: Guaranteed departures without minimum number of participants / max. 13 persons
Accommodation in rooms for 2-4 people sharing. (There are no ensuite facilities. Shared showers and toilets are located in the corridor. On day 3 there is just sauna with washing facilities and outhouse.)
Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner is provided daily
Luggage transportation during the tour
English-speaking guide throughout the tour
Daily Sauna, (except on arrival night)
Canoe rental on day 6
Contact details: Mr Urpo Heikkinen Upitrek Kiviniementie 59 87850 Paltaniemi, FINLAND Tel +358 40 733 9262 firstname.lastname@example.org Homepage: www.upitrek.com
We hold the right to make adjustments to the tour. Please confirm the specific itinerary and pricing directly with the tour provider.