Guided nature walk
This excellent eight-day escorted walking tour along the Finnish–Russian border is a real back-to-nature experience through diverse forests and pristine watercourses. Setting off in groups no larger than 12, you’ll hike along wooded tracks or paddle in canoes as you make your way, getting a taste for the local fauna and flora as you go. The terrain is fairly easy for walking, so you don’t need to be an athlete to take part. When evening comes it’s time to check in to a snug cabin, comfortable accommodation or, on one night, pitch your tent and gather around a campfire
to enjoy some delicious and well-deserved local cuisine. Some nights there’s even a chance to relax in a Finnish sauna, surrounded by pristine wilderness.
PRICES & DATES
Price includes: return flights, accommodation: in 2-4 person rooms on days 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7. There are no private facilities – showers and toilets are located in the corridor. On day 3 accommodation is in tents and on day 4 in twin/double hotel rooms. Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner daily, airport transfers, luggage transportation during the tour, English-speaking guide throughout the tour, sauna every day, canoe rental on day 6, mattresses and sleeping bags on day 3 and bedlinen.
Operation: Sunday to Sunday during 20 May-30 Sep 2013.
11.08. – 18.08.2013
18.08. – 25.08.2013
25.08. – 01.09.2013
Day 1: Arrival
Fly to Kajaani via Helsinki. Meet the local guide at Kajaani airport and transfer (approx. 2 hours) to Martinselkonen Wilds Centre for dinner and 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 friendly hosts. The nature reserve has been set up to protect Finnish wilderness, especially swamp areas. This area is important for many birds and insects as the normal Finnish forest industry does not reach these nature reserve areas. Martinselkonen has watery mires and small lakes, old growth forests and spruce trees draped in beard lichen. A special dinner made of local ingredients will be enjoyed after sauna.
Day 3: Arola – Kovajärvi 19 km
Today we head northwards along the Russian border. The close proximity of the Russian border adds something rather mysterious and exotic to the atmosphere of the area. The border guard towers, the border zone, and the view over the Russian side are an experience in itself. We stop for a picnic at one of the wilderness huts operated by the Finnish Forest and Park Service. An open fire will be made, and hot coffee brewed. Accommodation is in tents on the shore of Lake Kovajärvi.
Day 4: Kovajärvi – Hossa 24 km
Today's 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 we pass by. There are many swamp areas, but they are easily crossed by using wooden planks. 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 fresh snacks for hikers. Accommodation in Hotel Hossan Lomakeskus in twin rooms.
Day 5: Hossa 13 km
After the longest hiking day we take it easy and have a wake-up call later than usual. The trek continues along the paths of the Hossa recreational area. Hossa is known for its crystal-clear lakes and handsome pine heathlands. It is also known locally as a "fisherman's paradise". We will stop for the lunch at the visitor centre and have a look at the exhibition which tells about the nature and history of the surrounding area. Accommodation for the remaining three nights is at Tolosenvirta cabin where the lakeside sauna will be heated every night.
Day 6: Canoeing
For a change we make a canoeing trip on the lakes and rivers near by our accommodation. We will use open Indian canoes and all necessary equipment, such as paddles and life vests will be provided. The tour will be on still water on a couple of lakes linked by small rivers. Reindeer are a common sight in Hossa and occasionally elks can also be seen. For those ones who prefer to stay on land there are plenty of well marked hiking trails to explore in the area.
Day 7: Julma-Ölkky canyon lake
On the last day of our tour we will visit Julma-Ölkky canyon lake, where we will do a half an hour boat trip to look at the cliffs. Then we will hike 4 km to see the “Colour Rock” with ancient rock paintings dating back to 4000 years. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed around an open fire and after that we will hike 4 - 14 km through the beautiful pine and spruce forest back to our accommodation. Sauna and farewell dinner at the Tolosenvirta cabin.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast transfer to Kuusamo airport and flights home via Helsinki.