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Kalevala Ski Tour in Finland

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 12 people
Destination(s): Finland  
Specialty Categories: Skiing & Snowboarding  
Season: February - March
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1165 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1165 Euro (EUR)

This skiing tour takes you to the forests of northeastern Finland to the area of Kainuu situated right on the Russian border. This is the land where the poems for the Finnish national epic, Kalevala, where collected. The nature along the route is covered by white snow and it is very peaceful and beautiful everywhere. The route goes through an extensive complex of nature reserves called Kalevala Park. Area’s geography is dominated by hills, forests, mires, lakes and rivers. The lodges are cosy and rather small family-run places. Every night you get to enjoy Finnish sauna and delicious dinners as well as the hospitality of the local people.

Daily stages are average 40 km, totally 230 km in 6 days. A good physical condition and previous experience of cross-country skiing is required to participate in this tour.

Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrival.
Arrival at Kuusamo airport from where the group transfers to Hossa, approx 1hr. Check-in at Rajakartano guest house located close to Hossa national park. Dinner and briefing about the week’s programme.

Day 2: Hossa national park 15–40 km.
We start our skiing expedition straight from the accommodation. The circular route is along Hossa’s national park ski tracks. It is possible to choose between various routes of 15 to 40 km. Lunch will be served at Hossa Visitor Center, where you can also view an exhibition on the Hossa area. Accommodation for the second night will be in Rajakartano which was previously a border guard station but has since been renovated into a guest house. In the evening we will visit a local reindeer farm where we will enjoy a delicious dinner, and of course, see the reindeer and learn about reindeer herding today.

Day 3: Rajakartano–Arola 42 km.
Today we head south through forests and across frozen lakes. Lunch is enjoyed in a rustic old house on the top of Kovavaara hill. After lunch, the route follows the border zone and we finish our day at Arola farm. Our hostess prepares a delicious dinner, made from fresh, local ingredients. Dinner is served in a traditional log house.

Day 4: Day tour from Arola 25–35 km.
Today’s circular route passes through Martinselkonen nature reserve. We ski over open marsh and through spruce forests following the paths of the reindeer. Lunch will be enjoyed at the Teerilampi wilderness hut, which is operated by Finnish Forest and Park Service. We will prepare hot coffee and soup and a selection of sandwiches and enjoy them around an open fire. In the afternoon, we return to Arola for a second night to enjoy its cosy atmosphere and the warm hospitality of our hosts.

Day 5: Martinselkonen Wilderness Centre–Raate 47 km.
In the morning there is a 30-minute car transfer to Martinselkonen, from where we start the longest day of the tour following the Russian frontier zone line which we are not allowed to cross. The zone is well marked with yellow markers on the trees. The proximity of the Russian border adds something rather mysterious and exotic, creating a unique atmosphere. In the evening, it is possible to unwind in the traditional Finnish sauna.

Day 6: Raate–Kuivajärvi 40 km.
Today’s route takes us to the tiny village of Kuivajärvi, one of Finland´s last remaining Karelian villages. In the morning, we pass the frontier guard station in Raate. The area was the setting of some heavy battles during the Second World War. Malahvia nature protection area has some beautiful unspoilt swamps and some 15 km later Murhisalo offers old-growth forest and scenic waterways. Our accommodation is in the village of Kuivajärvi where orthodox and Kalevala culture are still practised.

Day 7: Kuivajärvi–Vartius 30 km.
From Kuivajärvi we head south and cross the road and railway leading to Kostamus at the international border crossing point of Vartius. Lunch will be served at the half way stage around an open fire. Today's wild landscape is home to the biggest wolf population in Finland. Although these secretive predators are seldom seen, we may come across their tracks. Our skiing expedition is completed on our arrival at Hotel Wildbrownbear in Vartius. In the evening, we will relax in the sauna and enjoy our well-earned dinner.

Day 8: Return.
Breakfast and transport to the Kajaani airport (approx. 2 h) for the flight to Helsinki

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation
- Full board
- Services of the English speaking skiing guide
- Services of the skidoo driver who transports the luggage and prepares the track
- Airport transfers
- Sauna daily

Note:
- Ski equipment hire at extra cost, 60 €.
- Price valid on guaranteed departures. Group prices on request.