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Cross Country Skiing in Eastern Finland (Finland)

A guided ski tour with luggage transfers through a tranquil winter landscape staying at traditional guest houses

  • Guided
  • Medium
  • From £958/person
  • Feb-Mar, 8 days/7 nights
  • Adults, Families (min age 15), Groups, Solo

New for 2018, in addition to Standard tour dates, there are two special Discover (beginner level) dates, combining day tours from fixed location with point-to-point component. See below for details.

  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Good to Know
  • Gallery & Comments
  • Description
  • Arrival
  • Following Days
  • Departure

Description

The region of North Karelia, which borders Russia in the east of Finland, offers a winter landscape of frozen lakes, rural tracks and forests ideal for cross country ski tours. Cross Country Skiing in Eastern Finland is a multi-day ski tour led by local guide, giving you the chance to experience the warm hospitality and good food of traditional Karelian guest houses along the route as well as the tranquility of the winter world in between.

Cross Country Skiing in Eastern Finland is ideal for solo travellers, couples or groups of friends, and also for families with older children (min. age 16) with suitable experience/ability.

Standard Tours

Each day you will cover 15km-30km, with a day's skiing taking 6-8 hours (including breaks). This experience is ideal for those with some experience of cross country skiing and in good physical condition, but who appreciate the little luxuries at the end of a day on the trail and who prefer to ski without a full pack. You main luggage is transferred for you each day and you will ski with only a day pack, though note that the skiing on the tour can be physically challenging.

Along the way, you will stop for packed lunch, hot drinks and berry juice - the forests are rich in wildlife and you may see tracks of hare or moose crossing your path.

During the tour you will be skiing a combination of point-to-point days to reach new guest houses and day tours returning to the accommodation, giving you the chance to really explore the area and get to know your hosts and the local culture. At each guest house, you have the chance to relax with a traditional Finnish sauna (the Finns love their sauna!) and, for a brave, perhaps a roll in the snow afterwards! Your hosts will serve typical Karelian cuisine, with a strong focus on locally-produced and wild ingredients including fish and game, berries and foraged plants from the forest, before you retire to recharge your batteries for the coming day.

Discover Tours - special beginner-level tour dates for 2018

Standard tour dates are complemented by two beginner-level dates, making the tour accessible to participants without previous cross country skiing experience.

These tours begin with day tours from fixed guest house base, giving you the chance to gain confidence and improve your fitness and technique, and culminating with a 3-day/2-night tour staying at two additional overnight locations - by the end of the week, you should be able to ski up to around 30km!

The Discover tours also gives you the chance to try different types of sauna during the tour, as well as having strong focus on local food traditions as for standard tours. For Discover tours, ski equipment is included as standard.

Arrival

For guests arriving by flight, there will be a transfer from Kuopio airport at 18.00, from where it is approx. 150km to your guest house accommodation for the night. Guests arriving by train will be collected from train arriving 20.00 (transfer time approx. 30 mins). Check-in and dinner at the guest house and a chance to get to know the other participants in your group.

Following Days - Standard Tours

NB: The tracks on which you will be skiing are nature tracks prepared in advance by snowmobile. During windy conditions, track quality may vary.

Day 2:

Issuing of equipment and a chance to become accustomed to your gear on a day skiing tour around Paalajanvaara in the afternoon, distance approx. 6km, before returning to the guest house for dinner and overnight accommodation.

Day 3:

The main tour begins! Today takes you 24km through snow-covered forests, over fields and across frozen lakes. You stop to grill sausages by the campfire before reaching Laitalan Lomat guest house for the evening.

Day 4:

This day features a 15-16km tour on the Lomat ski track, returning to your accommodation for overnight.

Day 5:

Today's skiing offers varying terrain as you cover 27km towards Pihlajapuu, your goal for the day, pausing along the way at a farmhouse to meet some real locals! You reach Pihlajapuu later in the day, where you will stay for the rest of the tour.

Day 6:

A day's cross country skiing tour (distance variable 15-25km) from Pihlajapuu. If you wish, it is possible to arrange a massage to soothe tired muscles (additional payment made locally)!

Day 7:

A day tour to Nälkömäki, distance approx. 10km. In the evening, you can experience a "smoke sauna" at Minna's followed by a dinner of glow-fried salmon.

Following Days - Discover Tours (beginner level)

NB: The tracks on which you will be skiing are nature tracks prepared in advance by snowmobile. During windy conditions, track quality may vary.

Days 2-4:

Over three days, you will begin to develop your cross country skiing technique and fitness with lessons and day tours in the surrounding forest. Day 2 covers approx. 5-8km followed by a honey sauna and herbal foot bath in the evening to soothe tired muscles! Day 3 increases the level of challenge a little, covering approx. 10-12km and ending with a peat sauna in the evening, while Day 4 brings the distance up to around 10-15km, rounding off the day with a smoke sauna!

Accommodation for the first four nights of the tour is at Pihlajappu, the location of the guesthouse normally used for Day 5 and Day 6 of standard tours.

Day 5:

You should by now feel more confident and capable of covering longer distances. Today you leave for the first point-to-point component of the trip, skiing approx. 27km towards Laitalan Lomat (the accommodation normally used for Day 3 of standard tours), where you overnight.

Day 6:

As Day 4 for standard tours, this day features a 15-16km tour on the Lomat ski track, returning to your accommodation for overnight.

Day 7:

Your last day of skiing, changing location to cover approx. 24km to end your tour at Puukarin Pysäkki, the location normally used for Day 1 and Day 2 of standard tours. Your experience ends with a special Karelian buffet in the evening to congratulate each other on your new skills!

Departure

Breakfast and transfer at 12.00 to Kuopio airport for flight departure 14.30. Guests departing by train will be transferred to Nurmes (for train departing 15.30 - depending on arrangements, guests may be transferred to Nurmes earlier to spend time there before train departure).

  • Dates
  • Prices
  • Included
  • Not Included

Dates 2018

  • Standard tours: 10.02-17.02.18, 17.02-24.02.18, 10.03-17.03.18, 17.03-24.03.18
  • Discover tours (beginner level): 17.02-24.02.18, 10.03-17.03.18

Prices 2018

Standard Prices (per person)  
Standard ToursGBP 1,091EUR 1,150
Discover ToursGBP 963EUR 1,015
Single occupancy supplementGBP 133EUR 140

NB: Prices based on two persons sharing. Supplement applies for single occupancy.

Hire of ski equipment is not included for Standard tours. For Discover tours, ski equipment is included.

Optional extras (see description below)  
Ski equipment/personGBP 76EUR 80
Extra night in guest house/personGBP 68EUR 72
Airport transfer (if staying extra night(s))GBP 170EUR 180
  • Ski equipment: NB: For Discover tours, ski equipment is included as standard. Skis, boots and poles. Please advise height, weight and shoe size in advance. Ski equipment provided are normally waxed Madshus skis. Depending on requirements/sizes, skis may also be Finnish designs such as Karhu or Peltonen. If you wish to bring your own boots but hire skis and poles (this does not affect the price), please let us know what type of boots you have and whether you require Salomon SNS or Rottefella NNN fittings. Guests bringing own skis should ensure that ski width does not exceed 45mm, which is the width of the prepared track.
  • Extra night in guest house/Airport transfer: You are welcome to add additional days before and/or after your tour if you wish, for example if you would like to do some self-guided skiing in the area before the tour begins. However, please note that airport transfer is not included in connection with these extra days (guests arriving/departing by train can be transferred at no additional charge). Includes accommodation, full board and ski equipment hire. Airport transfer price applies per group for up to 8 persons.

Included

Accommodation:

Double/twin rooms in guest houses along the route. Single occupancy supplement applies for solo travellers. All guest houses have shared WC/shower facilities. Wood-fired sauna is available each night. Bedding and towels are provided. To reduce environmental impact, bed linen is transported between overnight locations with the luggage transfer. Fresh towels are provided at each new overnight location.

Guest House Accommodation

Guest House Accommodation

Meals:

All meals from dinner Day 1 to breakfast Day 8. There is a particular focus on local produce. Please let us know any dietary requirements on booking.

Equipment (Discover tours only):

Ski equipment (skis, boots and poles) is included. Pleaes provide height, weight and shoe size in advance. NB: For standard tours, ski equipment is available to hire as an optional extra.

Guide:

Experienced and knowledgeable local guide.

Transfers:

Group transfer from Kuopio airport at 18.00 and Nurmes train station at 20.00 on Day 1. Transfer to Kuopio airport for flight departure 12.00 and to Nurmes train station for train departure 15.30 on Day 8. Please note that airport transfer for guests adding extra days is not included (see under "Optional extras").

Not Included

  • Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Good to Know > Getting There" for general travel information.
  • Ski equipment (Standard tours only - available to hire as optional extra). NB: For Discover tours, ski equipment is included.
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Required
  • Getting There
  • Groups
  • Eco Info

Required

Health requirements/experience:

Standard tours are suitable for adults (or families with older children aged 15+) with good level of fitness and previous cross country skiing experience and who are comfortable skiing distances of 15-30km per day with light pack. The skiing on this tour can be physically challenging.

Standard tour dates are suitable for participants with an intermediate or higher level of previous cross country skiing experience, while Discover tours are ideal for those new to cross country skiing or with limited experience.

What makes this "Medium"?

Accommodation is in comfortable guesthouses and, as luggage transfer is included, you will need to ski only with a daypack during the day. However, trail/snow/weather conditions as well as the efficiency of your skiing technique can significantly affect the actual level of challenge.

NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.

Equipment/clothes needed:

For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "Dates and Prices > Included".

A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.

NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.

Minimum number:

The Standard tour has no minimum and is guaranteed to run from the first booking. The Discover tour has a minimum number of total 4 persons to be guaranteed to run. Should the minimum number for the Discover tour not be reached, then those booked will join the Standard tour and extra resources will be provided for beginners to improve their skiing skills.

Getting There

Detailed information on travel options to this experience will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.

Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.

By Air:

Fly to Helsinki for onward travel to Kuopio by domestic flight (1 hour) or day train to Nurmes (just under 7 hours). Transfers at fixed times between Kuopio airport (2 hours) and Nurmes train station (30 mins) and the start/end guest houses are included.

Without Flying:

Train from UK to Stockholm (Sweden) for ferry to Helsinki and onward train to Nurmes.

Groups

Maximum 12 participants. Groups may be made up of participants from a number of countries - English and German are the languages used for guiding.

Private groups can book this experience on other dates by arrangement - please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Eco Info

All accommodation for this tour is small-scale and locally-owned. The great majority of food served on the tour is home-made using locally-sourced ingredients.

This provider has a written ecotourism policy.

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