The trail is mostly flat and easy to walk, therefore suitable for anyone of average fitness level.
Tour highlights: pristine wilderness, glistening clear lakes, picnics around an open fire, lake-side saunas, Hossa National Park – the 40th national park in Finland. Guaranteed departures without minimum number of participants. Group departures on request.
Day 1: Arrival. Arrival at Kajaani airport where you’ll meet your local guide. Transfer (approx. 2 hours) to Martinselkonen Wilds Centre for dinner and overnight 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 our friendly hosts. The reserve has been set up to protect the Finnish wilderness, especially the swamp areas with its many birds and insects, from any encroachment of forest industry. Martinselkonen has watery mires, ponds and lakes, ancient forests and spruce trees draped in beard lichen. After a sauna, you can enjoy a special dinner made with the fruits of the forest and freshest local ingredients.
Day 3: Arola–Kovavaara, 19 km. Today we head north along the Russian border. We follow the yellow pointers and there are several viewing points across to the other side. There is a picnic stop, (in front of an open fire with freshly brewed coffee) at one wilderness huts operated by the Finnish Forest and Park Service. Overnight accommodation will be in a rural cabin on the top of Kovavaara hill. Although there are none of the modern comforts, you get to experience 1950’s lifestyle in this living “museum”.
Day 4: Kovavaara–Hossa, 18 km. After a short car transfer we set off on today’s hike. This 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 as we pass by. There are many swamp areas, but they are easily crossed on sturdy wooden platforms. 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 ready snacks for hikers.
Day 5: Hossa, 13 km. The trek continues along the paths of the new Hossa National Park - the commemorative national park for Finland's 100th year of independence in 2017. 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 lunch at the visitor centre and view a new exhibition about nature and culture in the area. Accommodation for the remaining three nights is at Jatkonsalmi cabin, where the lakeside sauna will be heated every night.
Day 6: Canoeing. For a change from walking, we take canoes onto the lakes and rivers close to our accommodation. We will use open Indian canoes. All necessary equipment, such as paddles and life vests will be provided. The tour will be on still calm waters. Reindeer are a common sight in Hossa as well as the occasional elk. For those ones who prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of well-marked hiking trails for you explore.
Day 7: Julma-Ölkky canyon lake, 19 km. On the last day of our trip we will visit Julma-Ölkky canyon lake, where we will take a half hour boat trip to look at the cliffs. Then we hike 4 km to see the “Colour Rock” with ancient, shamanistic rock paintings dating back 4000 years. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed around an open fire and after that we will hike through the beautiful pine and spruce forest back to our accommodation. Sauna and farewell dinner at the Jatkonsalmi cabin.
Day 8: Return. After breakfast transfer (approx. 2,5 hours) to Kajaani airport.
Note: Price valid on guaranteed departures. Group prices on request.
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Europe Finland Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Walking Tours
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