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Price from £1,275pp
VISITING: Finland BROCHURE CODE: 5064
All prices include: transfers, accommodation, guided activities and meals; all as listed.
The ultimate in European wildlife watching; spend two of your four nights in a wildlife hide in Finland's Wild Taiga, a remote and beautiful wilderness in Eastern Finland. Situated on the Russian border, this is a place where wildlife roams freely in seemingly unending forests. Brown bear, wolves, wolverine, lynx, beaver and elk all inhabit the area and the expert local team will do all they can to show these exceptional animals in their natural habitat.

What's included?

  • Transfers: Return airport transfers from Kajaani
  • Accommodation: 2 nights' accommodation at Hotel Kalevala in an en-suite standard classic double/twin room, 2 nights' accommodation in shared animal hide
  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • The following activities are included in the holiday: Visit to Petola Nature Centre, 2 nights in hide on wildlife safaris with expert guide, beaver safari by rowing boat (order subject to change)
  • English speaking wilderness guides
  • Free use of bicycles and rowing boats during your stay

Image credits: Hotel Kalevala & Visit Finland


This is an exceptional wildlife holiday which allows you to spend time in a wilderness region that few people are lucky enough to visit. You will spend two of your four nights in a wildlife hide in 'no man's land' between Finland and Russia, in the company of an expert wildlife guide and photographer. 

Situated in the middle of the Finnish Wild Taiga, your holiday will be spent in a vast expanse of stunning wilderness filled with flora and fauna. Wildlife encounters here can include sightings of brown bear, wolverine, lynx, beavers and wolves to name but a few.

This wildlife trip will take you to the secret spots and hidden locations of the Taiga, a huge forest that spreads throughout Sweden, Finland, Russia and North America. This coniferous woodland is mainly made up of pine, spruce and larch trees and it forms the largest land habitat in the world. It is this huge, untouched wilderness that allows nature to flourish and provides you with the opportunity to view magical wildlife in its natural habitat.

Read more

From your hide, you will hopefully take photos of the local wildlife as the forests come to life. Brown bear often graze just outside the hide and other animals such as wolverine and lynx have been known to make an appearance, so cameras should be at the ready. 

In addition, you'll enjoy a leisurely rowing boat trip searching for wild beaver and there will also be plenty of free time for you to take part in a variety of additional activities, such as cycling, hiking and additional wildlife viewing.

Either side of your wilderness camp, you will be able to enjoy the comfort of Hotel Kalevala for two nights and the informative Petola Nature Centre which is situated next door. 


Image credits: Hotel Kalevala & Konsta Punkka and Matthieu Ever Visit Finland
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Key facts

Duration:4 nights
Pace:Balanced
Suitable for: Ages 18+ with a reasonable level of physical fitness. See our terms for further information
Make an enquiry
  • Upon arrival at Kajaani Airport, you will be greeted and transferred toHotel Kalevala in Kuhmo, your initial base.

    After checking into this charming, lakeside hotel, why not get familiar with the surroundings and stroll along the lake shore, or relax on the terrace. Dinner in the hotel is included tonight.

  • Following breakfast in the hotel you can visit the Petola Nature Centre, which will provide the ideal introduction to the local flora and fauna. You can learn about the indigenous bears, wolves, lynx and wolverines and discover how they survive in this untamed habitat. 

    In the afternoon, you will be driven to the eastern border of Finland, roughly 40 minutes away, where you will arrive at the Wilderness Base Kuikka. A former forest worker's residence, situated on a headland and surrounded by Lake Kuikka and taiga forest.

    The wilderness camp is run by the award-winning wildlife photographer, Lassi Rautiainen and here you will have a chance to relax, enjoy a coffee and ask questions about the wildlife experiences you will be enjoying over the coming days.

    Those who wish can enjoy a dip in the refreshing lake followed by a warming sauna. An early dinner will be served at around 4pm today, in preparation for your overnight trip out to the animal hide.

    In the early evening you will make your way out to the hide by car and then on foot. The hide's location is actually within the 'no man's land' which between Russia and Finland and so this really is the domain of the animals that live here. The hide can accommodate a maximum of 12 people in its bunk beds and sleeping bags are of course provided. There is a dry toilet within the hide so you can all remain inside, ensuring any wildlife is not disturbed. Sandwiches, biscuits, tea, coffee and water are all on hand for you as you play the waiting game with the wildlife. 

    Each member of the group is allocated their own seat in the hide, directly by the window, and there is also a photography hole in order to capture animals on camera. 

    This remote and wild area is untouched by humans and the untamed forest is home to an abundance of wildlife. Whilst sightings can never be guaranteed, you may be lucky enough to spot the likes of brown bear, wolverine, wolves and eagles. 

     

  • After what will hopefully have been a night of wildlife encounters you will return to the Base Camp for breakfast and some free time to rest and relax. You can enjoy a sauna and a hot shower to refresh yourself. 

    The day's focus is on catching a glimpse of one of the other local resident species, the beaver. The best way to look for beavers is by boat and so you will take to a rowing boat for a tour across the lake towards their dam. 

    As you go you can look out for gnawed trees and bark shavings that the animals may have been feeding on. With a little luck you may see the animals themselves as they go about their business. 

    Snacks, tea, coffee and cakes will be served for you before a second early evening meal. 

    Tonight you will head back out to the hide for a second night of wildlife watching. Regardless of the animals that you witness, it is a real privilege to spend the night in such a wild environment in the company of your expert guide. 

  • After your final night in the hide you will return to the wilderness camp for breakfast before heading back to the comforts of Hotel Kalevala.

    Your day is free to spend as you choose. You may want to relax by the lake or in the hotel's spa. There are guided hikes and bike rides available and if you want to add in an additional species to your wildlife portfolio then there is also the option of an elk safari in the evening. All of these options are detailed in the 'personalise' section of the holiday page. 

    The hotel also offers bikes and rowing boats for guests to use for independent exploration. 

    Dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant this evening. 

  • Following breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flights. Hopefully you will be flying back with amazing memories and beautiful pictures of the stunning wildlife and landscapes of this unique area of Finland. 

Included in price

Hotel Kalevala

Nights: 1,4

Located in Kuhmo, close to the Russian border in Eastern Finland, the Hotel Kalevala is surrounded by stunning scenery and beautiful wilderness.

It is just steps away from the shores of the beautiful Lake Lammasjärvi and the hotel building is in a unique setting which mirrors the nature that surrounds it, offering breathtaking views out over the lake. With 47 rooms, the hotel provides a quiet, relatively intimate atmosphere that compliments its surroundings.

Facilities:

  • A restaurant that offers traditional and international specialities, with stunning views out to the lake
  • Lounge area with fireplace
  • A summer terrace
  • Two traditional saunas: Peat sauna & Infra-red sauna (supplement payable locally)
  • Jacuzzi for up to 7 people
  • A variety of massage treatments are available from the on-site spa area
  • Free Wi-Fi

Classic room
The Classic room has either a double or twin beds and the size is approximately 21m². The facilities include shower and WC, hairdryer, flat TV, radio, minibar and Wi-Fi.

Family room
These are two standard rooms with interconnecting doors and each room has a size of 19m². The facilities in each room include a shower and WC, hairdryer, flat TV, radio, minibar and Wi-Fi.

Superior room
The superior room offers an amazing lake view and is 21m² in size. The facilities include shower and WC, hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers, flat TV, radio, minibar, coffee/tea making facilities and Wi-Fi.

Bear Hide In Finland

Nights: 2-3

The hide is located in no-man's land, close to the Russian border. Fitted with bunk beds, there is room for 12 people, with mattresses and sleeping bags provided.

Equipped with comfortable viewing chairs, each with their own window and photography hole, the hide offers panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness. A dry toilet is located within the hide.

The hide is situated in prime bear viewing country, deep in the wilderness, surrounded by towering trees and shrubs and dotted with small, glistening lakes, all of which make it the perfect place for wildlife to thrive. The Finnish Wild Taiga forest is home to a variety of animals, including brown bear, wolverine, lynx, beavers and wolves.

Personalise this tour


Our pick

Elk Safari

From £100pp

Join the famous Elk Safari on day 4. Look out into the beautiful surroundings of the evergreen forest and keep your eyes peeled for the largest member of the deer family, the European Elk.

Read more

On this guided tour you might even see the rare Wild Forest Reindeer, as well as eagles and wolverines. Transfers and coffee are included and the tour lasts between three and four hours.

A minimum of two people are required for this tour to operate.


Other options

Activities

Hiking tour on brown bear's tracks

From: £60pp

If you can't get enough of learning about bears, then this is the perfect tour for you.

Read more about this activity

Available during your free time on day 4 you can join this two to three hour nature walk in the Finnish Taiga. Listen to stories about the Finnish bear, whilst discovering the secrets and tracks of this fascinating predator. Your guide will share all of his knowledge and will teach you how to read their tracks and traces, such as marks on the trees.

A minimum of two people are required for this tour to operate.

Bicycling and hiking tour

From: £44pp

If you would like to do something active and exciting, why not join this tour during your free time on day 4.

Read more about this activity

During this three hour guided tour, you will enjoy a mix of 10km of biking and 3km of hiking through beautiful woodland scenery. You will hike along the Kämärä forest path, which winds along the wooded hill of Pönkävaara. A coffee break is included.

A minimum of two people are required for this tour to operate.

We include more, no hidden costs

On each of our holidays you will see a clear outline of exactly what's included in the price of your holiday. We never use 'headline' or 'lead-in' prices like so many tour operators, as we prefer to include as much as we can, rather than see our clients incur considerable additional costs in our destinations.
Price guarantee
Dates
Sun 15 Apr 2018
to Wed 11 Jul 2018
Enquire
Adults£ 1,275 Single Adult£ 1,365
Sun 29 Jul 2018
to Thu 13 Sep 2018
Book
Adults£ 1,275 Single Adult£ 1,365

Next season's provisional dates and prices

You can make a pre-reservation to secure your holiday at this stage by paying a deposit but, the provisional departure dates, prices and itineraries remain subject to change. We will contact you when the final dates, prices and itineraries are confirmed and you will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. If you decide not to travel we will refund your deposit. Our Travel Experts will happily provide you with full terms and a complete quotation.

 

Dates
Sun 14 Apr 2019
to Wed 10 Jul 2019
Enquire
Adults£ 1,430 Single Adult£ 1,530
Sun 28 Jul 2019
to Thu 12 Sep 2019
Enquire
Adults£ 1,430 Single Adult£ 1,530

For our full booking terms and conditions please click here

Holiday group size (approximate)

A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 30 people

Group sizes
Most of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate. Minimum numbers are detailed on each holiday page and are always approximate. Group sizes for tailor made holidays will vary for each of the activities. For private departures you may also be joined by other guests during the activities unless you have discussed specific private activities with us.

If your selected date has not yet reached minimum numbers you will be informed at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date has not reached the required minimum numbers nine weeks before your scheduled departure date we will contact you and discuss the various options available to you. We will always do all we can to operate a holiday and in some cases we may be able to operate the holiday by combining your itinerary with that of other guests for some activities (this may mean that the maximum group size is increased but this will be discussed in full with you).

If we are unable to operate the holiday then you will be offered the chance to transfer to an alternative holiday or date (subject to availability). If the alternative is more expensive you will be asked to pay the difference, if it is cheaper then you will be reimbursed. You will also be offered the option to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid.

Minimum age

Whilst Artisan Travel only sells holidays to those aged 18 years and over on a small selection of holidays there may be those under the age of 18 who have booked with other companies and where our local supplier also allow those under 18 to participate (additional activities during tailor made holidays for example). Our travel experts will answer any concerns you may have in this regard.

Medical History and advice

You must inform us at the time of booking if any of your party has a disability, medical or behavioural conditions which could affect their own participation in the holiday or indeed that of the other people on the holiday.

We cannot be held responsible for any incident or event arising from your failure to do so.

Experience and fitness

Any activities included in your itinerary are all designed for beginners. Full instruction and tuition is provided for all activities and you do not need to have any previous experience. For example you need never have set foot on a pair of skis of any kind before a cross-country ski tour. We have adults of all ages and fitness levels taking part in our holidays.

We do highlight certain itineraries where an increased level of fitness is required.If you have any questions at all with regards to fitness levels please get in touch and talk to one of our experts. You can find further details in our trip preparation section online. You must inform us at the time of booking if any of your party has a disability, medical or behavioural conditions which could affect their own participation in the holiday or indeed that of the other people on the holiday.

Guides and safety
It is absolutely essential when partaking in any activity that you listen very closely to, and abide by, the instructions provided. Nobody knows the environment better than our activity providers who work here almost everyday.

Consequently, their knowledge and experience is unsurpassed. If there is anything that you are unsure of during a safety briefing or that you would like to clarify with the guides please make this clear to them immediately before starting the activity.

There may be rare occasions when our guides consider local conditions unsuitable for a certain activity. Hence, your itinerary may be subject to change at short notice but we will always endeavour to firstly find a replacement on the day and secondly, to provide the cancelled activity later in your stay whenever possible. Very occasionally it proves impossible to provide the activity in which case you will be refunded when you return home.

Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times, please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.

You must inform us of any medical conditions that may affect your participation in an activity at the time of booking.

Booking activities locally
In almost all of our destinations you can book and pay for additional activities locally. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss that occurs through any activities that are booked in your destination (see our terms and conditions for further details).

Please always ensure that your safety is your primary concern when arranging any such activity.

Car Hire

If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card.  Please see your trip dossier for full details.



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