Start and end in Oulanka National Park! With the Adventure tour Wild Finland, you have a 6 days tour package taking you through Oulanka National Park, Finland and Pieni Karhunkierros lahtopiste,.
As if impatient from the tortuously cold winter months, far Eastern Finland emerges from hibernation in full bloom, its fauna keen to redress the balance. Delve into the wilderness to unravel and illuminate its remarkable wildlife, watching eagerly from a hide for the arrival of Brown bears. Bears aren’t the only highlight as we get to experience the Finnish wilderness of Oulanka National Park, with its whitewater rivers, spruce forest and scotch pine. Nature rafting and a husky walk are also part of the adventure.
Day 01: Start Basecamp Oulanka
Land only clients should make their own way to Basecamp Oulanka this afternoon/evening. Set on the edge of the spectacular Oulanka National Park, Basecamp Oulanka is a complex of wooden buildings providing cosy accommodation in a stunning wilderness setting overlooking Juuma Lake – surround yourself completely in nature for the next five nights! After a warming dinner you’ll have the chance to settle into your wilderness home in the forest. Take a late evening walk down to the lake and marvel at the stillness. During the summer months there can be between 18 – 22 hours of daylight which ensures a colourful sky with drawn out sunsets and sunrises merging together. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Wilderness skills walk in Oulanka N.P.; visit Brown bear hide.
After a hearty breakfast in the main building, we leave for a short walk in Oulanka National Park. We’ll likely visit the Old Mill which overlooks the Myllykoski rapids, where White throated dippers are often seen. Our guide will introduce us to some simple wilderness skills, such as how to make a fire, orienteer and basic first aid. Around 4pm, after we’ve had lunch at Basecamp, we set off towards the Russian border zone for a short walk to a comfortable bear hide, where we will spend the evening anticipating the arrival of Brown bears and hopefully watching lots of bear interaction! Brown bears are very active in this area and there are thought to be some 1,500 Brown bears in Finland’s vast forests. After a long period of hibernation over winter, the bears emerge from their dens in spring, sometimes with cubs in tow. During the months of July and August the bears are very hungry and so typically become nightly visitors to the area where the hide is located as they are fed with carrion. As well as Brown bears (and hopefully cubs) there is a good possibility to see White-tailed eagle in this area. The hide is warm and comfortable, with large windows for excellent views and plenty of openings for camera lenses (ideal if you are a keen photographer). There is a kettle, compost toilet and around 10 beds with sleeping bags which you’re welcome to use if you feel tired at any point. Depending on our sightings and the amount of daylight left we will leave the hide around 11pm or 12am, walking the short distance back to our vehicle. It is important when in the hide and walking to/from the hide to keep voices to a minimum and follow instructions from the guide – we always walk in a group to minimise the likelihood of encountering a bear. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03: Husky walk through Riisitunturi National Park
Today we visit Riisitunturi National Park, home to those iconic snow covered trees in winter. In summer the fells provide the groundwater to feed Lake Kitka and offer the perfect home for a variety of wildlife. On today’s walk, we are joined by husky dogs. For this activity, you’ll be harnessed in pairs to one husky who will ‘lead’ the walk at a reasonable pace (huskies are powerful dogs, hence why one dog is harnessed to two people). This wonderful dog breed makes an excellent companion for a hike through the wilderness! Huskies accompany us for the easiest part of the canyon trail, and after this, we complete some steeper sections of the walk by ourselves. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Nature rafting on River Kitka near the Russian Border zone; guided walk through taiga forest to learn about the habitat of Brown bears; evening visit Brown bear hide.
After getting fitted out with rafting gear at Basecamp Oulanka (available free of charge) we have a short walk to Jyrävä waterfall to begin our nature rafting excursion on River Kitka. Running through Oulanka National Park to the Russian Border zone, the river winds its way through taiga forest, with dramatic cliffs and wonderful views of scotch pine and spruce forest. Traveling by raft is the perfect way to soak up the tranquillity of nature and experience the best of Finland’s wilderness. We pass over some gentle class I to II rapids as we float down the river, enjoying the sound of silence in the vast forest. At the Russian End we take a short walk to Vihvilänlamminkangas, the biggest elk destruction area in Europe which looks like a huge bonsai garden! Here we will learn about the importance of nature conservation, the old forest and its ecosystem, before a short transfer by road back to Basecamp Oulanka. This evening we have an early dinner and a second visit to the bear hide. Before entering the hide we meet a Brown bear expert who will guide a short walk through the habitat of Brown bear. On this walk we’ll be looking for and interpreting signs of activity such as marks and scratchings on the trees, as well as any visible tracks on the ground. Following this we spend the evening in the hide to watch the forests come alive once more. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05: Walk the famous Pieni Karhunkierros (Little Bear) Trail in Oulanka N.P.; optional evening visit to Brown bear hide
Oulanka National Park is a vast boreal forest and one of its most scenic walking trails is the Pieni Kahrunkierros – the Little Bear Trail – a 12km loop through some of the most picturesque areas of the park. Setting off on foot from Basecamp we hike on good trails, crossing suspension bridges and passing some of the larger rapids and waterfalls, including the class VI Jyrävä waterfall. Between Oulanka in Finland and neighbouring Paanajärvi in Russia, some 136,000 hectares of taiga forest, lakes and rushing whitewater rivers are protected – one of the world’s largest biomes. The flora in this area is very interesting with lichens, heather, wild cloudberries, blueberries and lingonberry bushes. This is a moderate grade walk and there are some steep sections in order to experience the best views. Back at Basecamp, it’s possible to rest and enjoy a traditional sauna this evening or you may decide to join an optional excursion to return to the bear hide once more (at an additional cost of 170 EUR). For this excursion it is possible to use an alternative hide in the same area (perhaps if you are a photographer interested in getting a different angle for your photos). Overnight at hotel.
Day 06: End Basecamp Oulanka
This morning our adventure in the Finnish wilderness comes to an end.
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– Meeting and assistance by our representative.
– 05 nights accommodation as per program
– Meals: Breakfasts, Lunch & Dinners
– All activities as per mentioned in the program
– All transfers, sightseeing by private vehicle.
– English speaking guide.
– All present government taxes.
• International Flights.
• Personal Expenses.
• Camera / Video Camera Fees.
• Medical Aid.
• Travel Insurance.
• Accommodation in good hotels.
• Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.
• Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost. – Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.
• A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.
• If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.
• Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.
• In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.
• In Asia, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.
• While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.
• Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.
• In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.