Wonderful cross country skiing with traditional Karelian hospitality
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 two traditional Karelian guesthouses as well as the tranquility of Eastern Finland in wintertime.
The region of North Karelia, in the east of Finland, offers a winter landscape of frozen lakes, rural tracks and forests perfect for cross country ski tours.
The tour makes an ideal cross country skiing holiday for solo travellers, couples or groups of friends, and also for families with older children (min. age 16) with suitable experience/ability.
Graded itineraries make this tour suitable for both more and less experienced skiers. Photo: AKA.
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 will ski each day 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.
Locally sourced, home-made Karelian cuisine is also a real feature of the tour. Photo: AKA.
During the tour you will be skiing a combination of day tours returning to the same accommodation and one point-to-point day moving to a new guesthouse, 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.
For guests arriving by flight, there will be a transfer from Kuopio airport at 18.00 (meeting flights arriving 17.50 or earlier), from where it is 150km (approx. 1.5 hours) to your guest house accommodation for the night.
Guests arriving by train to Nurmes will be collected from train arriving 20.06 (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.
NB: The tracks on which you will be skiing are nature tracks prepared in advance by snowmobile. During windy conditions, track quality may vary. On days where distances are shorter, in some cases these distances can be extended if you wish with extra loops.
Issuing of equipment and a chance to become accustomed to your gear on a skiing tour in the afternoon, distance around 16km, before returning to the guest house for dinner and overnight accommodation.
This day features a 15km tour on the Lomat ski track starting from the guest house, returning to your accommodation for overnight.
Today's skiing offers varying terrain as you cover 25km towards new accommodation at Pihlajapuu, where you will stay for the rest of the tour.
A day's cross country skiing tour (distance variable 12-20km) from Pihlajapuu.
Transfer by taxi to Nurmes (approx. 30 mins) for a day's ski tour in the Bomba region, distance variable up to 22km. Return to Pihlajapuu for overnight.
A short 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.
Breakfast and transfer at 11.00 to Kuopio airport for flight departure 14.15.
Guests departing by train will be transferred to Nurmes (for train departing 15.40 - depending on arrangements, guests may be transferred to Nurmes earlier to spend time there before train departure).
Dates & Prices»
- February: 03.02-10.02.24
- March: 02.03-0.03.24, 09.03-16.03.24, 16.03-23.03.24
Private tours for groups are also possible on other dates by arrangement. Standard per person prices apply for groups of min. 6 persons. Smaller groups are also possible. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
|Per person (based on two persons sharing)||GBP|
|Single occupancy supplement for solo travellers||GBP|
Hire of ski equipment is not included.
|Optional extras (see description below)|
|Extra night in guest house/person||GBP|
|Airport transfer (if staying extra night(s))||GBP|
- Ski equipment: Skis, boots and poles. Please advise height, weight and shoe size in advance. Skis provided are normally from 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.
What's Included »
Double/twin rooms in two guest houses during the week (one for nights 1-3 and one for nights 4-7). Single occupancy supplement applies for solo travellers. 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
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.
Experienced and knowledgeable local guide.
Group transfer from Kuopio airport or Nurmes train station at fixed times in connection with the start/end of the tour as per itinerary. Please note that airport transfer for guests adding extra days is not included (see under "Optional extras").
- 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 "Getting There" for general travel information.
- Ski equipment (available to hire as optional extra).
- Alcoholic drinks
Good To Know »
Tours are suitable for adults (or families with older children aged 15+) with good level of fitness and suitable previous cross country ski experience.
Participants should have an intermediate or higher level of previous cross country skiing experience. You will be skiing around 10-25km (max. 30km) per day with light pack. The skiing on this tour can be physically challenging.
What makes this "Medium"?
Accommodation is in comfortable guesthouses and, as luggage transfer is included when changing overnight accommodation, 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.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's 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.
Preparing for your trip:
For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.
Tours have no minimum and are guaranteed to run from the first booking.
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. Standard per person prices apply for private groups of min. 6 persons. Smaller groups are also possible. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
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.
Getting There »
See below for a summary of travel options. To learn more about how to travel to this experience, please get in touch!
Detailed information on travel 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.
NB: 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 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.
Train from UK to Stockholm (Sweden) for ferry to Helsinki and onward train to Nurmes.