A great way to enjoy a multi-day adventure in a beautiful winter landscape
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 is a wonderful way to discover the beauty and tranquility of the Finnish winter. Photo: Martinus van Herreveld.
Snowshoeing in the Hossa National Park is ideal for those who wish to enjoy the winter wilderness without needing to carry a heavy pack each day - no snowshoeing experience is necessary, only a good general level of fitness.
Hossa National Park is known for its ridge landscape, ideal for exploring on snowshoes. Photo: UT.
Combine the flexibility a fixed base with the adventure of snowshoeing between cabins
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.
Cabin life is an integral feature of the tour. Photo: UT.
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.
A display of the Northern Lights can be a wonderful end to the day. Photo: UT.
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.
Transfers will meet flights as follows:
- All tour dates: Finnair flight AY497 from Helsinki arriving Kuusamo 17.30 (departs Helsinki 15.50).
- Alternative option: For an additional transfer supplement of €30 Euros/person (payable locally in cash on arrival), it is also possible to arrive with the later Finnair flight AY487 arriving Kuusamo 21.40 (departs Helsinki 20.00).
Guests arriving by public transport from Helsinki to Kuusamo or overnighting locally in Kuusamo must travel to Kuusamo airport for pick-up in connection with times as above. Pick-up from the bus station or accommodation in Kuusamo is unfortunately not possible.
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 snowshoeing techniques and you are ready to start your first day, which takes you to Lounatkoski rapids, in the past used to provide hydro power. Here you visit a mill that was used for grinding grain and discover the history of timber-floating (transporting logs down river) in the area.
Lunch is taken around open fire by the rapids before snowshoeing back to the cabin over Jatkonvaara hill. A sauna awaits in the evening, with the option to try a dip in the icy water – exhale slowly and lower yourself into the hole in the ice - an exhilarating experience!
Distance: 7km, 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: 7km, approx. 6 hours
After breakfast, today's route is along a ridge between two frozen lakes through the majestic snow-covered forest. Lunch is at Hossa Visitor Centre, where there is also a small souvenir shop. You continue to arrive at your wilderness cabin accommodation by the river Iikoski, where you spend the night. Cabins are comfortable and simple with no electricity or running water but with sauna and wood stove heating.
Distance: 7km, approx. 6 hours
Today you will explore lakes and ridges where you are more likely to bump into reindeer than you are people! 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 the second of your wilderness cabin accommodation locations, on the northern shore of lake Iso-Valkeinen.
Distance: 8km, approx. 6.5 hours
Your final day of snowshoeing takes you back to your starting point, where it's time for a farewell dinner and a final sauna (now's the change to try that ice swim if you weren't brave enough earlier in the week) and to talk over your adventures.
Distance: 5km, approx. 4 hours
Breakfast and transfer to Kuusamo airport or bus station for departure.
Transfers will meet flights as follows:
- All tour dates: Finnair flight AY486 from Kuusamo arriving Helsinki 15.25 (departs Kuusamo 13.40).
Guests overnighting locally in Kuusamo after the tour can have transfer to one of the following hotels on departure (must be advised well in advance): Holiday Spa Hotel Kuusamon Tropiikki, Hotel Kuusanka, Hotel Goiglo.
Guests departing Kuusamo by public transport should plan for departure time earliest 1.5 hours before flight departure as above.
Dates & Prices»
Tours run weekly Sunday-Saturday between late January and mid-March.
- January: 28.01-03.02.24
- February: 04.02-10.02.24, 11.02-17.02.24, 18.02-24.02.24, 25.02-02.03.24
- March: 03.03-09.03.24, 10.03-16.03.24
Private tours for groups on other dates are also possible on request between 14th January and 31st March. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Additional cost of € Euros/person payable locally for hire of snowshoes and trekking poles.
If required, winter boots are also available to hire, price € Euros/person, payable locally. Must be booked in advance. Please advise shoe size.
What's Included »
Sleeping accommodation is in shared rooms on all nights. 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.
- Days 1, 2, 3 and 6: Traditionally built log cabin situated beside lake Jaktonjärvi in Hossa National Park. The cabin is 240m2 and has total 28 beds in 7 bedrooms. Shared WC/shower facilities. Electricity, electric sauna, running water, kitchen, dining room/classroom, central heating. Possibility for ice swimming on three nights.
- Day 4: Simple wilderness cabin(s) near Lake Housiusjärvi/Iikoski rapids. There are two cabins approx. 200m apart. One cabin has a central common area and total 8 dormitory beds, with sauna in separate building. The other cabin has 1 x 2-person and 1 x 4-person room with sauna in same building. Heated with wood-burning stove. No electricity or running water. Dry outside toilet.
- Day 5: There are two cabins on the short of Lake Iso-Valkeinen approx. 100m apart. Each has 1 x 2-person and 1 x 4-person room. Sauna in same building. Heated with wood-burning stove. No electricity or running water. Dry outside toilet.
- For days 4 and 5, one or both of the cabins at each location will be used depending on group size. Where two cabins are used, the group will have dinner and breakfast together.
- Return transfer between Kuusamo airport and start/end point on arrival/departure day at fixed times as per itinerary.
- Luggage transfers between cabin accommodation.
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 (or snack if late arrival) 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Good To Know »
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, making the going slow and strenuous. If the snow is harder-packed, it is possible to cover 3-4km/hour and in this case the daily route can be extended. The emphasis is on enjoying and experiencing the surroundings rather than distance covered.
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 "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.
No minimum. Tours are guaranteed to run from the first booking.
Max. group size 12 persons.
This provider has a written ecotourism policy and has achieved Travelife Partner certification.
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 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 (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.