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Enjoy hiking in summertime? You'll love snowshoeing in wintertime! Hossa National Park is a winter hiker's paradise set in the wild taiga forest of north-eastern Finland. Explore the majestic winter scenery snowshoeing through forests, along ridges and over frozen lakes.
With a combination of day snowshoeing tours from fixed base and a point-to-point component, you can enjoy the tranquility of nature in this remote location far from light pollution, which also gives good chances to see a display of the Northern Lights.
Snowshoeing in Hossa National Park is a multi-day winter walking tour led by a local guide, staying at a comfortable cabin with modern facilities for the first few nights and then at wilderness cabins along a circular route, before returning to the comfort of your first cabin for your final night and delicious farewell dinner.
Each day you will cover 5-8 km through deep soft snow through varied terrain and the occasional short up and downhill, with a day's snowshoeing taking 4-6.5 hours. During your winter hiking tour, your main luggage is transferred between your accommodation and you only need carry a daypack. Snowshoeing in the Hossa National Park is ideal for those who wish to enjoy the wintry wilderness - no snowshoeing experience is necesary, only a good general level of fitness.
Your snowshoe adventure starts with day tours exploring the local area before you head out for a point-to-point circular tour staying at wilderness cabins along the route and ending back at your starting point. The tour includes a hearty breakfast each day, lunches prepared over open fire along the route and dinners in the evening during your stay.
Sauna is available each night for the perfect end to a day in the winter wilderness. Will you be brave enough for a roll in the snow?
NB: The itinerary below can be subject to change depending on weather conditions and cabin availability. For example, the order of accommodation used during the tour may change.
Arrival at Kuusamo airport or bus station. Transfer meets Finnair flight AY487 from Helsinki arriving 20.25. Guests arriving by bus should arrive no later than 20.45 (though available bus connections will probably arrive earlier, around 18.00). You will be met for transfer to Hossa (approx 1 hour). Here you will stay for the first three nights at a comfortable cabin situated next to a lake in a popular hiking area.
You local guide will give you a brief introduction to snoeshowing techniques and you are ready to start your first day exploring the border with Russia. The first few kilometres take you to a narrow gorge and then over lakes until you reach the edge of Finland and follow the border for a couple of kilometres south. After a day's snowshoeing you can spend the evening relaxing and a lakeside sauna is available.
Distance: 7 km, approx. 6 hours
Today you will step back in history. After a short car transfer you will snowshoe to Colour Rock to view rock paintings that date back 4000 years. A picnic lunch of sandwiches and a hot drink will be provided in a kota (Lappish tipi) before returning to the cabin for dinner and relaxing in the sauna.
Distance: 7 km, approx. 6 hours
After breakfast, today's route is along a ridge between two frozen lakes through the majestic snow-covered forest where you are more likely to bump into reindeer than you are people! After 7km you will reach a wilderness cabin for the night on the northern shore of lake Iso-Valkeinen. Cabins are comfortable and simple with no electricity or running water but with sauna and wood stove heating.
Distance: 7 km, approx. 6 hours
Today you will explore lakes and ridges. The forest in the surrounding area is home to wildlife including moose, wolves, lynx and hares. These animals are very shy and are seldom seen, though you may spot tracks and signs. Bears are also found in this area, who will be hibernating for the winter at this time. Lunch will be taken around an open fire at a lean-to shelter near some rapids about halfway along your route. In the afternoon, you will reach a new wilderness cabin for the night.
Distance: 8 km, approx. 6.5 hours
Your final day of snowshoeing takes you back to your starting point. Today's route will take you along ridges to the Hossa Visitor Centre, where you are able to take a look at the exhibition about the area's past and present. After the exhibition, you will complete you snowshoe tour back at the cabin where you spent the first night*, and in the evening you will visit a local reindeer farm to learn about reindeer herding today. Then it's time for a farewell dinner and perhaps a final sauna to talk over your adventures!
Distance: 5 km, approx. 4 hours
Breakfast and transfer to Kuusamo airport or train station for departure. Transfers will meet Finnair flight AY396 to Helsinki departing 13.35. Guests departing by bus should plan departure no earlier than 12.30.
- Not Included
Tours run weekly Saturday-Friday between late January and early March.
20.01-26.01.18, 27.01-02.02.18, 03.02-09.02.18, 10.02-16.02.18, 17.02-23.02.18, 24.02-02.03.18, 03.03-09.03.18, 10.03-16.03.18
|Per person||GBP 887||EUR 900|
Additional cost of €40 Euros/person payable locally for hire of snowshoes and trekking poles.
If required, winter boots are also available to hire, price €15 Euros/person, payable locally. Must be booked in advance. Please advise shoe size.
Sleeping accommodation is in shared dormitory-style rooms on all nights. Shared WC/shower facilties. Bed linen and towels included. Sleeping bag and sleeping sheet is provided for use in the cabins on Day 4 and Day 5.
Note that due to factors such as weather conditions and cabin availability, the exact cabin accommodation used on particular days or the order of cabins may be subject to change.
Day 1, 2, 3 and 6: You will stay in a traditionally-built log cabin with electric sauna, situated beside a lake in the Hossa Nature Park. The cabin has totally 28 beds with 8-bed dormitory-style rooms. Shared WC/shower facilities. Electricity, running water, kitchen, dining room/classroom, central heating.
Cabin Base for Days 1, 2, 3 and 6
Day 4 and 5:
Wilderness Cabin Day 4
Whilst exploring the forest on a point-to-point tour you will be staying in wilderness cabins. The accommodation is simple, with no electricity or running water. The cabins are warmed with wood stove heating and sauna is available every evening.
Wilderness Cabin Day 5
All meals are included during your stay (breakfast, lunch, dinner, hot drinks) from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day. Please let us know any dietary requirements on booking.
Breakfast will typically be around 08.00 and include, for example, bread, cheese, ham, muesli, porridge, yoghurt and coffee/tea. Lunch stop is normally made at a fireplace with hot soup, sausages, bread and hot drinks/biscuits/chocolate. Dinner will normally be meat or fish with vegetables/salad/bread and dessert. You may wish to bring own energy bars, etc for additional snacks during the day.
Experienced and knowledgeable local guide.
- Return transfer between Kuusamo airport or bus station to cabin on arrival and departure day at fixed times.
- Luggage transfers between cabin accommodation.
- 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.
- Snowshoes and hiking poles (additional hire charge paid locally). Guests should normally bring own winter boots, but these are also available to hire on request if required.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Getting There
- Eco Info
Suitable for adults or older children (min. age 15) who enjoy the outdoors with general good level of fitness. You will typically be out for around 5-6 hours per day, incl. approx. 1.5 hours for lunch, with average speed approx. 1km/hour (depending on snow depth/consistency). In February/March, typical snow depth is around 60-70cm and quite soft. If the snow is harder-packed, it is possible to cover 3-4km/hour and in this case the daily route can be extended. You will be snowshoeing in varied terrain with a number of short uphill/downhill sections but no extended climbs. No previous snowshoeing experience is required.
What makes this "Medium"?
Accommodation is simple but comfortable. The tour is supported with luggage transfers, so you carry only a daypack during the day. As with any winter tour, snow and weather conditions can considerably influence the level of challenge experienced.
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.
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.
No minimum. Tours are guaranteed to run from the first booking.
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.
Fly to Helsinki for onward travel to Kuusamo by domestic flight (1 hour 15 mins) or night train to Oulu (9-10 hours) + bus to Kuusamo (3 hours). Transfers between Kuusamo airport or bus station (1 hour) and the start/end point are included at fixed times.
Train from UK to Stockholm (Sweden) for ferry to Helsinki and onward train + bus to Kuusamo.
Max. group size 13 persons.
This provider has a written ecotourism policy.
"On Saturday I came back from a week of snowshoeing in the Hossa National Park and it was the most amazing holiday. The snowshoeing was fantastic, it was very much like walking through winter wonderland. The daily saunas and open fires for lunch breaks were highlights of the trip. Rolling in the snow or cooling down in an ice hole after the sauna is quite a, surprisingly pleasant and exhilarating, experience. Our "regular" guide Petri as well as the "trainee" guide Tabitha were very professional, knowledgeable, passionate about the trip and had a great sense of humour - true ambassadors of Finland, which made the trip even more enjoyable. All the huts were cosy and very warm. The vegetarian food was good, varied and more than enough. Thank you for this wonderful trip - I will be back to Hossa." Heike, February 2017
"Enjoyed the whole experience, being part of a lovely group, the walk, 'the blanket of snow' lunch over an open fire, saunas in the evening and sharing an evening meal with the group. The guide was also excellent. I liked the Nature Travels profile and the fact that your focus is on the Scandinavian countries only." Ann, January 2017
"Simply thank you for your great organization of your great team, from the 1st second of my click for getting in connection with Nature Travels. Thank you for your quick answers to my simple questions. Now returned in my tiny rainy country I'm in a whirlpool of emotions, colour, quietness.thanks to this harmonious trip. During 1 week I've left my soft cosy day to day life to find another way of life emanating determination to live in connection with nature. Excellent authenticity/tempo of snowshoeing off the beaten tracks. Visit to the reindeer farm: nice experience allowing us to get involved in Finnish activity. Food: varied and rich in curiosity. I wanted to try snowshoeing and I'm delighted. Our guide was a great ambassador of his beloved country." Claire, January 2016