Day 1: Arrival. Arrival to Kuusamo airport and transfer (approx. 1 hour) to Tolosenvirta cottage in Hossa for accommodation and dinner.
Day 2: Canyon lake and rock paintings
The week starts with a visit to Julma-Olkky canyon lake where we will do a half an hour boat trip to look at the cliffs. Then we will hike 4 km to see the “Color Rock” with ancient rock paintings dating back to 4000 years. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed by the fire and after that we will hike 8 or 14 km through the beautiful pine and spruce forest back to our accommodation at Tolosenvirta. Hiking 12 km or 18 km.
Day 3: Canoeing
Today we take the paddles and make a canoeing trip on the lakes and rivers nearby our accommodation. We will use open Indian canoes and all the necessary equipment, such as paddles and life vests will be provided. The tour will take place on still water on a couple of lakes linked by small rivers. Reindeer are a common sight in Hossa and occasionally elks can also be seen. For those who prefer to stay on dry land there are plenty of well marked hiking trails to explore in the area. Accommodation, sauna and dinner at the Tolosenvirta cottage.
Day 4: Canoeing
The second day of canoeing. Starting from the cottage it is a couple of hour’s paddling to the Hossa Visitor Centre where we enjoy lunch and have a look at the exhibition on the area’s history and present day. After the lunch break we will paddle the last five kilometers to the Hotel Hossan Lomakeskus where we will accommodate. Canoeing 12 km, walking 2 km.
Day 5: Cycling, fishing and elks
After two canoeing days it is time to leap in to the saddle and cycle from Hossa to Kovavaara. The route goes mostly on an asphalt road through the forests “in the middle of nowhere”. By lunch time we will reach our next accommodation, a rustic old house situated on the top of the hill Kovavaara. There are no modern comforts in Kovavaara but instead the history and lifestyle of 1950's are untouched. After lunch we will go to check some fish traps on a lake nearby and if we get fishes we can grill them over the open fire. Hook and lines are also available for fishing. Hills and forests near Kovavaara are inhabited by many animals like reindeer, bears, wolverines and elks. During the summer the elks use to come to eat and drink to a spring near the house in evenings. We can do ”an elk safari” and go to see if the elks come also tonight. Cycling 18 km.
Day 6: Hiking or cycling and smoke sauna
Today we head hiking or cycling towards Arola farm.The hiking route (20 km) goes along the Eastern border hiking trail near the Russian border. The close proximity of the Russian border adds something rather mysterious and exotic to the atmosphere of the area. The cycling route (27 km) goes again along quiet roads through the typical Finnish forest scenery. Our accommodation Arola is a former dairy farm, located in close proximity to the Russian border. In the evening we will enjoy the intense heat of the traditional Finnish smoke sauna and after that a tasty dinner made of local ingredients by our hearty hostess. Hiking 20 km or cycling 32 km.
Day 7: Brown bears
After breakfast we have some free time for a hiking or bird watching excursion. It may be also possible to visit a frontier guard station or a water mill situated a few kilometers from Arola. In the afternoon we have the highlight of the week – bearwatching! The remote woodland surrounding Arola is in the home for European brown bears. We can take part in a bear safari (extra charge) and observe and photograph safely these majestic animals from the purpose-built log cabins until the night or through the night until early morning.
Day 8: Return. Breakfast and transfer to Kuusamo airport.
Price depending on the group size.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Finland Outdoor: Land Rambler Multi-activity