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Price from £1,895pp
VISITING: Finland BROCHURE CODE: 5028
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Situated in snowy, pristine wilderness with an all-wooden lodge as your base, Saija is the perfect location for a winter retreat over Christmas or New Year. This tailor-made option gives you the flexibility to choose the Arctic activities that suit you, to really make the most out of your festive holiday.

What's included?

  • Flights: return flights are included from London to Oulu (via Helsinki). Regional departures may be available on request
  • Transfers: return group airport transfers*
  • Accommodation: 7 nights' en-suite apartment
  • Meals: full board
  • Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
  • Festive celebrations
  • Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during activities

*Included transfers are based on a set arrival time of 18:05 and departure time of 14:25. Private transfers outside of these times will require a supplement.


Saija is a simple place that perfectly encapsulates the Finnish wilderness and is a wonderful location for your Christmas or New Year break. Situated on the shores of Lake Jokijärvi, you will be surrounded by unspoiled nature and welcomed into Saija Lodge with home cooked food in a charming rustic Finnish setting.

The natural surroundings also become a wonderful playground for some brilliant experiences. During this tailor-made trip, you’re in charge of how you spend your time. Simply choose the activities that suit you from our list in the ‘personalise’ section and then enjoy your seven-night winter getaway. You could try popular pastimes such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing or enjoy an adventurous snowmobile safari to explore more of the wilderness. We offer a range of activities to suit all tastes.

What’s more, this wild location also means you’re in with a chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Every night, simply step outside and keep an eye on the skies, what a way to celebrate Christmas or ring in the New Year!

During your time here, your home will be a cosy apartment with a private sauna – perfect for unwinding in after you have spent the day exploring the Arctic. All meals are served in the main building’s restaurant, just a short walk away.

Whether you choose to spend Christmas or New Year here, this is sure to be an unforgettable festive break. On Christmas Eve, there will be celebrations in the main hotel building (as the Finns traditionally celebrate Christmas on the 24th) and New Year’s Eve will also be celebrated – the Northern Lights may even make an appearance to really mark the occasion.

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Key facts

Duration:7 nights
Pace:Set your own
Suitable for: Anybody over the age of 12. See our terms for further information.
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  • Welcome to Oulu Airport where you are collected for your direct transfer to Saija Lodge. On the way, you can admire the incredible scenery of this wilderness that will be your playground for the next week.

    The beauty of our tailor-made option is that you can set the pace of your trip.

    The base price includes your flights, transfers, full-board accommodation for seven nights, cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay, festive celebrations, as well as fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during your chosen activities. You select the activities you would like to do from the list shown in the 'Personalise' section, ensuring your holiday can be as active or gentle as you wish.

    Our Artisan Travel Experts are on hand to help you craft the ideal itinerary.

    Included Meals:  Dinner
  • Fill your days with as many or as few activities as you wish, selecting from the options listed in the 'Personalise' section.

    There's a wealth of Aurora hunting and Arctic experiences to choose from and should you need advice on the best options for you please speak to one of our Artisan Travel Experts. They will be able to help prepare the perfect itinerary for you.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Today you bid a fond farewell to Saija and transfer back to Oulu Airport for your return flights home.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast

Included in price

Saija Lodge

Nights: 1-7

Delightfully located on the shores of Lake Jokijarvi, Saija Lodge offers the much-welcomed guest a genuine sense of peace and quiet in the remote wilderness of North East Finland. The lakeside location also offers astounding views of snow-covered fells.

Crafted completely from wood, Saija Lodge has a cosy, homely and comforting feel. A roaring fire and candlelight really set the tone. This ambience is accompanied by welcoming staff, wonderful home cooked food and plentiful space for unwinding after activities.

All in all, it is the ideal location to really escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and serves as an excellent base for either a multi-activity adventure or a specialist husky safari into the surrounding wilderness.

Hotel facilities

  • With traditional Finnish style, the main building of the lodge and its cabins are constructed entirely from wood, offering guests a rustic and warm charm.
  • The restaurant is located in the main building, where your meals will be served. Here you can enjoy a variety of dishes including local produce such as reindeer and fish, in addition to delicious homemade pastries and bread.
  • The lodge also boasts an on-site husky farm.
  • With over 25km of managed cross-country ski trails close by, you can hire skis for a small fee from reception if you have some experience.
  • There is also a traditional smoke sauna on-site, which can be heated on request for guests to enjoy.

Guest bedroom types

Lodge accommodation

The accommodation at Saija consists of 19 suites, which are located in several winter cottages, separate to the main building. Each suite consists of a living area, shower room, toilet and private sauna. The sleeping area is situated on a separate mezzanine level.

Wilderness cabins

For trips including an overnight husky safari, one night will be spent at Harjajarvi wilderness cabin. This is a very remote site with no electricity or running water, however, you will experience instant warmth from a log burning fire and the sauna. Experience a wonderful sense of escapism. All meals will be prepared by your guide over the open fire.

During your time in the wilderness, you will also be responsible for your own team of dogs and will prepare their food.

Personalise this tour


Our pick

Snowshoe hike

From £55pp

Snowshoeing offers the chance to get up close to nature and experience it at a slower pace. On this trip, your guide will lead the way on snowshoes and you will be out in the wilderness for around three hours. Your guide will highlight any animal tracks and provide you with information about the region as you walk amongst the snow-covered trees. En-route you will break for warm drinks around the campfire.

Duration: approx 3 hours

 


Other options

Activities

Dog Sledding Introduction

From: £162pp

Complete your winter holiday by driving a team of huskies across the frozen landscape.

This introduction to dog sledding starts with a full safety briefing and instructions on how to mush your team of dogs. The huskies may be barking and howling at this time as they are extremely eager to get going but rest assured, once you’re out on the trail they fall silent so you can appreciate the serenity of the surrounding nature.

You will then set off on a 13km ride into the wilderness where you will gain a real insight into life as a musher. Each person will drive their own team of 4-6 dogs.

Duration: 2-3 hours.

Visit to a reindeer farm

From: £94pp

Reindeers are synonymous with Lapland and have been herded for centuries, forming an intrinsic link with both the Sámi people and North Finland. This insightful activity will allow you to experience a working reindeer farm.

At the farm, you will be able to get up close with these gentle creatures and there will be opportunities to take photographs. You can also ask the herder any questions you may have about his reindeer and life up here above the Arctic Circle. This is sure to be an interesting experience for the entire group.

Ice fishing

From: £38pp

Venturing to the frozen lake you will be given an introduction to the classic Nordic pastime of Ice Fishing. Your guide will explain the techniques which include drilling a hole through the ice and setting up a line. Hot Drinks will be served around a campfire as you wait patiently for a fish to bite. It is incredibly rewarding to make a catch, but the surrounding scenery and stunning snow-covered horizon add to this unique experience.

Guided Fat Biking

From: £55pp

For those who desire a more unconventional method of exploring the snowy wilderness then why not enjoy a unique tour by Fat Bike.

This relatively new activity has grown in popularity over the last few years and allows for cycling through deep snow, on frozen lakes and through forested tracks. The chunky tyres have extra grip and allow you to cut through the snow with relative ease. This unique activity will allow you to cycle towards spectacular snow-covered horizons with incredible views of Finnish Lapland.

The tour will include a stop for a coffee break near the rapids where you can spot various bird life and other natural wonders in this stunning winter wonderland.

Extra husky safari

From: £162pp

The thrill of husky safaris is almost impossible to resist, and it is quite likely that you may wish to add another to your itinerary.

Full instruction is provided for each activity and guests will travel one person per team of dogs.

There are three options to choose from:

13km safari - £162

20km safari - £195

30km safari - £240

 

Cross-country ski tour

From: £40pp

Cross-country skiing is nothing short of an obsession for many Finns and it is only when you experience the joy of gliding through the silent forests and fells that you really begin to understand why it is such an addictive pastime. Your guide will provide you with complete instruction so no experience of any kind of skiing is required. You will head out onto the trail for around two hours and explore the stunning scenery around Saija Lodge.

Duration: approx 2 hours

Snowshoe and cross-country ski hire

From: £16pp

Saija has a range of snowshoe and cross-country ski tracks on the doorstep with various lengths from 4km to 25km. The incredible landscape of frozen lakes and forest-covered fells provide a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a scenic route across the snow. The snowshoes or cross-country skis will be yours for the day. You must speak with the staff about the local conditions, inform them of your plans and take a mobile phone with you on any trip that you take independently. You should have completed a guided snowshoe or cross-country ski trip previously if you would like to hire the equipment.

Hire for the day: £16 per person 

Snowmobile safari (60km)

From: £198pp

If you are keen to keep the adventure going following your husky safari then why not try a thrilling snowmobile safari on your free day – a completely different way to experience this landscape. Following a full safety briefing, you'll depart on a safari covering around 60km with two people travelling per snowmobile. There will be spectacular views as you travel across frozen lakes and over the tops of fells. You will enjoy lunch around an open fire in a traditional wooden kota before returning to Saija lodge.

Duration: 60km (the time on trail depends on conditions)

Drive your own snowmobile: £58 per person supplement

Snowmobile safari (30km)

From: £132pp

If on your free day you would like to try something completely different to dog sledding, then a snowmobile is not only an efficient way to make the most of the vast scenery here but also exceptionally good fun. Following a full safety briefing, you will set off on one of the many trails that criss-cross the forests and fells, travelling two people per snowmobile. This 30km safari is a great introductory snowmobile tour and there will be a break for coffee around a campfire.

Duration: 30km (the time on trail depends on conditions)

Drive your own snowmobile: £40 per person supplement

Hunting Northern Lights on a Snowmobile

From: £150pp

Searching for the Northern Lights is an exciting experience in itself but pair this with a snowmobile ride into the Arctic night and you’re in for a truly memorable adventure.

After a full safety briefing and instructions, you will be ready to start the hunt. As you ride along the trails with just your headlights lighting the way, your guide will stop if there are any signs of the Aurora. Along the way, you will enjoy warm drinks around the campfire as you stop for a photo break.

Please note, you must be 18 years or over and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile.

Duration: 2-3 hours (approx. 30km)

Little Extras

Fat Biking - Rental

From: £20pp

Saija’s wilderness is a wonderful place to explore and fat biking is a unique way to do it. The wide tyres help grip the snow as you cycle through wintery forests and on frozen lakes.

You must speak with the staff about the local conditions, inform them of your plans and take a mobile phone with you on any trip that you take independently. You should have completed a guided fat biking previously if you would like to hire the equipment.

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
Sat 21 Dec 2019
to Sat 28 Dec 2019
Book
Adults£ 1,895
Sat 28 Dec 2019
to Sat 04 Jan 2020
Book
Adults£ 1,975

Please note: Our holiday prices are based on the lowest available airline fares. These fares can sell out quickly and, as a result, prices may increase and supplements may be applicable. We recommend booking at the earliest opportunity in order to secure the best possible fares and flight times.

Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices

To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-sale booking and fix the price of your trip at the pre-sale price displayed below. Simply by paying a initial deposit of £400pp, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain preliminary and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed, you will then have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. We reserve the right to charge supplements where there are significant changes to an itinerary or increases in flight costs. Any non-package rates remain subject to change.

Dates
Sat 19 Dec 2020
to Sat 26 Dec 2020
Enquire
Adults£ 2,030
Sat 26 Dec 2020
to Sat 02 Jan 2021
Enquire
Adults£ 2,115

For our full booking terms and conditions please click here

Holiday group size (approximate)

Minimum of 2 persons, maximum of 25

Group size

We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.

Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.

Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate

Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.

Minimum age

If a specific minimum age applies to this holiday, it can be found in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page.

Unless otherwise stated in the in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Artisan holiday is typically 8 years old (there may be younger children in some destinations who have booked with other companies). If an adult-only environment is important to you, then please contact our Travel Experts and they will advise on the best dates and destinations for you. If you are looking for a holiday designed specifically for families then please see our sister company www.activitiesabroad.com

Single supplements

Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation. 

Medical history and advice

We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.

In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.

In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.

Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.

Pregnancy

If you are pregnant at the time of booking your holiday or you discover you are pregnant prior to your departure, firstly – congratulations! Secondly – please tell us as soon as possible. This situation does arise, and we are able to advise you both from our own first-hand experience and from discussing this at length with our expert local partners who have experience in this area. The more notice you can give us the better, in order to suggest any adaptions to the itinerary you have booked which will reduce the risk to both mother and baby. Please contact our customer service team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Insurance

Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.

It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.

If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.

Reduced mobility

If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our Travel Experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.

Experience and fitness
Any activities included in your itinerary are all designed for beginners. Full instruction and tuition are 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 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 every day.

Consequently, their knowledge and experience are 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 and equipment hire

Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).

When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.

In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.

Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.

Itinerary amendments

The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival.

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.

Travel Safety and Foreign Office Advice

Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice

We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.

The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/ Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/ The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html

If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.

If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.

If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.

If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.

Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation

On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.

Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.

Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer

If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.

If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.

Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.



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