HighlightsMartinselkonen Wilds Centre | Arola farm | Kovavaara | Hossa National Park | Full day canoeing | Julma-Olkky canyon lake | 'Colour Rock' ancient rock paintings
Description of Finland hiking holidayThis eight day guided summer Finland hiking holiday takes you into the far north eastern Kaiuuu region, famous for its stunning taiga forest terrain and superbly managed hiking trails in Hossa National park. Walking from one accommodation to the next with our expert local guides, you will experience Finnish wilderness at its finest, in a region that is not only renowned for its unique natural heritage but for culture too.
Walking between 13-19km every day, we enjoy most of the day out in the wilds hiking through ancient spruce forests of the Martinselkonen nature reserve, the pine covered heathlands of Hossa National Park, and across bird rich wetlands which we traverse on hiking friendly boardwalks. We swap boots for boats on one day, taking a boat trip across Julma-Ölkky Canyon Lake which is also home to the ancient Värikallio rock paintings and another day is dedicated for canoeing on beautiful waterways of Hossa. On one of the days, we offer an opportunity to go bear watching, as an optional extra, as this region is habitat for European brown bears which we can observe from wildlife watching hides.
Walking in groups of maximum thirteen people, we offer this hiking holiday during the months of July and August. Our accommodation will be in a mixture of hiking trail huts and locally owned guesthouses.
Our top tip: Good walking boots are essential. Trip type: Small group, 2-12 people. Activity level: Moderate. 6-7 hours hiking daily. Accomm: 7 nights cosy log cabins and local guesthouses. Solos: Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms unavailable. Meals: Full board. All meals included. Included: Accommodation with shared facilities, transfers, English-speaking guide, daily sauna, canoe rental on day 6.
|Day 1:||Arrival. Arrival at Oulu / Kuusamo airport where you’ll meet your local guide. Transfer (approx. 3,5 / 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 national park 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 pine heathlands. Trails, most of them easy to walk on, run through the handsome esker and lake scenery. 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:||Värikallio rock paintings 16 km. Today we set on a mystical trip back in time! We will hike to see the Värikallio Cliffs with ancient, shamanistic rock paintings dating back 4000 years. The rock paintings are the largest prehistoric paintings in Finland and portray the life of people at a time when spirits and natural forces were present everywhere. 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 to Oulu / Kajaani airport (approx. 3,5 hours / 2,5 hours)|
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Responsible Travel