September 10-20, 2018

Status OPEN
Cost $ 2,099.00 (per person, double/triple/group occupancy)
$255.00 (single supplement, nights 6-10 only)
Travel Dates September 10-20, 2018
Description Escape to the unspoiled nature of northeast Finland on this guided hiking tour. We’ll visit three National Parks: Hossa, Oulanka and Urho Kekkonen. We’ll savor pristine nature on every trail including roaring waterfalls, winding rivers, dense forests, rocky ridges, magnificent gorges and crystal clear lakes. These moderate to strenuous hikes wander through untouched wilderness areas and autumn is a time to hike in crisp air and colorful surroundings enjoying 12 to 14 hours of daylight. The leaf color (or “ruska” to locals) of deep tones should be spectacular in the northern landscapes. And we’ll hope to view the Aurora Borealis…a light show that can paint the night sky with unearthly and surreal colors. Although, as with many natural phenomena, the Northern Lights are unpredictable, we should have a very good chance to see them as we travel north towards the Arctic Circle. Our luggage will be transferred for us daily so we’ll travel light with just our day packs. On this trip we’ll enjoy evening sauna’s, lunch picnics, some around open fires, local traditional meals and accommodations ranging from rustic log cabins to local guest houses to modern hotels. Join us and experience the wonders of Finland’s National Parks!
Included Airport transfers per itinerary; English speaking guide; 10 nights lodging; ALL meals, (10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 Dinners); daily sauna facilities (except Day 1); daily luggage transfer; local transfers per itinerary; Canoe and equipment rental Day 5; all gratuities.

**Accommodations:  Day 1 to 5: rooms for 2–4 persons with no private en-suite facilities and showers and toilets located in the corridor. Note: Day 3: Outhouse and no showers. Day 6 to 10: hotels in twin or triple sharing basis with private en-suite facilities. Lodging websites are listed on itinerary.

**Meals/Water: A Finnish breakfast is versatile and consists of bread, butter, ham, cheese, porridge, cereal, yogurt, milk, juice, coffee, tea. We’ll either prepare our lunches from the breakfast table or one will be prepared for us. This will usually include a sandwich, juice, fruit and biscuit or chocolate bar. Lunch on Day 5  is provided at the Hossa Visitor Center. Dinner is typical Finnish food such as pork, beef, reindeer, fish, potatoes, rice, vegetables or salad, bread and dessert. In Finland the tap water is very good quality and drinkable everywhere.

Not Included  Airfare: Both international and domestic; drinks; trip insurance.
Payment Policy A Deposit of $ _800.00_ is due with the application forms to register for the trip.

Must have at least __14   registered and paid in full by March 1, 2018 for the trip to go.

The Balance of $ 1,299.00 is due no later than March 1st, 2018.

Cancellation Policy
  • If registrant cancels prior to March 1st, 2018 all payments received by ADK minus $100.00 will be refunded.
  • After March 1st, 2018, a refund will only be made if the vacancy can be filled from a waiting list maintained by the leader, if any, and then all but $100.00 will be refunded.
  • Note that there is a $100 registration fee included in the trip deposit which is not refundable if you have to cancel for any reason whatsoever.
  • If the leader decides that this trip is not for you, or the trip is canceled by ADK, all payments received by ADK will be refunded.
What to Bring Luggage to be transferred is limited to one piece weighing not more than 22 kg/50 pounds. You will be sent a suggested packing list six months prior to trip start date. For daily hikes, choose clothing that is light and comfortable and easy to dress in layers depending on the weather. A day pack that is large enough to hold extra clothes, hats (both sun and knit), light gloves, glasses, sunscreen, lunch, snacks (bring your own energy bars if you want them), water (at least 2 liters), fleece, rain gear and a waterproof pack cover. Wear comfortable waterproof hiking boots or shoes that are adjusted to your feet to avoid blisters and sore joints. Sandals or light running shoes are not suitable for this hiking, since they do not give any ankle support or protection from rocks, sand, vegetation or water. Hiking poles can also be useful, as they reduce the impact of the walk on the knees and joints and help with climbs and descents. For the sauna’s, Finnish people consider them to be a holy place and don’t go in mixed groups or wear swimming suits. You can bring a suit if you prefer. Also plan on bringing lightweight sandals and a microfiber quick dry towel.
Trip Insurance Trip insurance is not included in the trip price and is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list (if any) you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip.
Daily Itinerary This is a tentative itinerary. It could change due to weather or other considerations.

Day 1: Monday, September 10

Plan to arrive at the Kajaani, Finland airport by 2:00pm where we will meet our local guide at a place to be determined. NOTE: This time may change depending on flight and train schedules in September of 2018. Our private transfer will be waiting to drive us the hour and half to Martinselkonen Wilds Centre. In the evening, we will have an informational meeting and dinner. Overnight: Martinselkonen Wilds Centre. www.martinselkonen.fi

Day 2: Tuesday, September 11

Martinselkonen Wilds Centre to Arola: 16 km/10 miles – 5 to 6 hours.

We begin our tour by hiking through the Martinselkonen nature reserve. The reserve has been set up to protect the Finnish wilderness, especially the marsh areas with its many birds, from any encroachment of the forest industry. We will view watery mires, ponds, lakes, ancient forests and spruce trees draped in beard lichen. Once we arrive at Arola farm, we can enjoy a sauna and relax until we eat a special dinner made with the fruits of the forest and the freshest local ingredients. Overnight: Arola Farm. www.arolabear.fi

Day 3: Wednesday, September 12

Arola to Kovavaar: 19km/12miles – 6 to 7 hours.

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 of the wilderness huts operated by the Finnish Forest and Park Service. Our accommodation will be a simple house and cabins atop Kovavaara hill without modern comforts. You will experience 1940’s lifestyle in this “living” museum.The sauna is in a separate building, there is no shower, the bathroom is an outhouse and there is no central heating except for wood burning stoves. Despite lacking “conventional conveniences” other guests have called this lodging one of the highlights of the tour. Overnight: Kovavaara. (no website available)

Day 4: Thursday, September 13

Kovavaara-Hossa: 18km/11miles – 5 to 6 hours.

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 (easily crossed on sturdy wooden platforms) and the surrounding forest has an abundance of vegetation. Our evening will be a visit to Hossa Reindeer Park, where we’ll learn about reindeer husbandry today and enjoy a delicious dinner. Overnight: Rajakartano. www.loma-hossa.fi

Day 5: Friday, September 14

Hossa: Canoe: 3 – 4 hours; Hike: 13km/8miles – 3 – 4 hours.

For a change from walking, we begin our day right from our accommodation by canoeing along the crystal-clear lakes and rivers of Hossa. This route is suitable for beginners and we will be provided open Indian canoes, paddles and life jackets. By lunch time we’ll arrive at Hossa National Park’s Visitor Center where we’ll have a chance to view a new exhibit about nature and culture in the area. After lunch, we’ll begin our hike along the paths of the new Hossa National Park – the commemorative national park for Finland’s 100th year of independence in 2017. In addition to clear lakes, Hossa is known for handsome pine headlands and ridges. We will end up at our lodging for the night. Overnight: Jatkonsalmi Cabin.

Day 6: Saturday, September 15

Julma-Ölkky Canyon Lake: 19km/12 miles – 5 to 6 hours

Today we will visit Julma-Ölkky Canyon Lake, where we will take a half hour boat trip to look at the cliffs. We’ll hike to see the “Colour Rock” with ancient, shamanistic rock paintings dating back 4000 years. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch around an open fire and then continue our hiking through the beautiful pine and spruce forest back to Jatkonsalmi. After a shower and snack, it’s time to say good-bye to Hossa National Park. Our private transport will take use the hour and half to Ruka which is one of the most famous skiing resorts in Finland. Overnight: Hotel Rantasipi Rukahovi. www.ruka.fi/hotelli-rantasipi-rukahovi

Day 7: Sunday, September 16

Valtavaara Nature Reserve: 21km/13miles – 5 to 6 hours

Today’s hike will follow Finland’s most famous hiking route: The Bear’s Trail or Karhunkierros. This route is 80km/50miles long and runs through the Valtavaara Nature Reserve and Oulanka National Park. We will walk the first 20 km of this route from Porontimajoki to Ruka. The first half of the trail is pretty flat but then we go to the top of Konttainen. Then we hike to the top of the Valtavaara hill, which is the highest hill in the area (492 m) offering spectacular views over the surrounding hills and lakes. We then finish our hike by descending to Ruka.  Overnight: Hotel Rantasipi Rukahovi. www.ruka.fi/hotelli-rantasipi-rukahovi

Day 8: Monday, September 17

Oulanka National Park: 12km/7.5miles – 3 hours

After a short morning transfer, we set off on our hike in Oulanka National Park on The Small Bear’s Trail, or Pieni Karhunkierros, which takes us to the southernmost part of the park. On this scenic trail, we will admire the beautiful wilderness, the gushing rapids, the steep cliffs and the sheltered forests. The middle section of the trail is demanding – steep uphills and downhills and the path is rocky.  In the afternoon, our private transfer will take us the 5 hours to Saariselkä, a holiday resort just outside Urho Kekkonen National Park. Overnight: Santa’s Hotel Tunturi. www.santashotels.fi/fi/hoteltunturi.

Day 9: Tuesday, September 18

Urho Kekkonen National Park: 14km/8.5miles – 4 hours OR 17km/10.5miles – 5 hours

Today we’ll hike in the Park that is considered to be one of Lapland’s most pleasant and varied destinations for walking holidays. We’ll walk the Rumakuru trail which allows gorgeous views of the Rumakuru Gorge which, despite its Finnish name (literally, Ugly Gorge), is far from ugly. The highlight of this trail is the steep-walled gorge created by melt waters during the last Ice Age. The gorge is one of the must-see natural attractions of the Saariselkä area. We can extend our hike by another hour and walk through Iisakkipää fell. Overnight: Santa’s Hotel Tunturi.

Day 10: Wednesday, September 19

Urho Kekkonen National Park: 14km/8.5miles- 4 hours

A 15 minute’s transfer will take us to Kiilopää Fell Center where we will start the last walk of the tour. The Ahopää Trail is a truly scenic route and a journey into the origins of this scenic wilderness where the Ice Age had an enormous effect. As the immense masses of ice moved and shaped the scenery, what remained were the fells, which are actually mountain roots. Today, this rugged but beautiful natural landscape offers a glorious hiking environment. After our hike, we’ll transfer back to the hotel for a final group farewell dinner. Overnight; Santa’s Hotel Tunturi.

Day 11: Thursday, September 20

After breakfast, our tour ends and you are free to continue your travels. A morning transfer is included to Ivalo airport for those flying to other destinations.

Notes TIME DIFFERENCE: Finland is 7 hours ahead of ET or GMT +2.

PASSPORT: A valid passport that has at least 6 months validity remaining from the date of your return.

VISA’S: Not required.

IMMUNIZATIONS: Not required.

WEATHER: The weather can vary in September from 35 degrees F to 60 degrees F with moderate rainfall.

WI-FI AND CELL SERVICE: Wi-Fi should be available at most places Day 1 to 5 (except Day 3) and all places Day 6 to 11.Cell service should be available in most, not all, areas.  

CURRENCY: Euros

ATM’s: You will not find bank machines during the first six days of our trip. You may want to have some money with you in case you want to buy something (Day 4) at the Reindeer Park or (Day 5) at the Hossa  Visitor’s Center. Beginning the late afternoon of Day 6, you should find bank machines both Ruka and Saariselka and you may be able to use credit cards as well.

ELECTRICITY: The electric current in Finland is 220 V (230 V), 50 Hz. A two-pin plug system, familiar throughout Europe, is used.

FLIGHT RESERVATIONS: Do not make your flight arrangements until Trip Leader advises this trip has the minimum participants for the trip to proceed. For domestic flights in Finland, check: www.finnair.com.

ITINERARY CHANGES: Planned activities are subject to change due to weather, trail conditions or other unforeseen circumstances, at the sole discretion of the Leader. Also, accommodations may be changed by the tour operator if necessary.

TRIP PRICES/ARRANGEMENTS: Subject to change due to circumstances beyond ADK’s and Trip Leader’s control.

TOUR OPERATOR: Trip Leader is working with Upitrek, Ltd, a fully registered and licensed locally based small nature travel company. The company was founded in 2000, and our trip liaison, Niina Jamsen, has worked for the company for 15 years. Upitrek’s philosophy is based on economic, environmental and social responsibilities. Economically, all services are from local operators. Environmentally, they offer itineraries that are in concordance with Finnish nature. Socially, they cooperate with the Forest and Park service of Finland by following their thesis for “low impact” travel. The basic ideology of the company is to offer treks for small groups into the heart of the Finnish wilderness in complete and well balanced harmony with nature.

Registration Procedure Please carefully read the above detailed trip description and itinerary, and contact Trip Leader if you have any questions. Then, if you decide to join this adventure, please contact Trip Leader by email and the registration paperwork, consisting of the Registration form, the Health and Physical Condition Questionnaire and Release of Liability form will be sent. Complete these forms and send them to Trip Leader by U.S, Postal Service with the deposit (check payable to “ADK” or the Credit Card Authorization) to reserve a spot. Please note that original signatures are required on all forms. Spaces are reserved in the order that complete and acceptable registration forms and deposit payments are received, so don’t delay.
Trip Leader Mary Chayka-Crawford
P.O. Box 501 Lake Orion, MI 48361
248-496-2395