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VISITING: Finland BROCHURE CODE: 5027
All prices include: flights, transfers, accommodation, guided activities, meals and cold weather clothing; all as listed.
Escape modern life with a week in the snowy Finnish wilderness in Saija. Staying in a cosy suite of an all-wooden lodge, you will have a private sauna to unwind in after enjoying the included Arctic experiences such as dog sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

What's included?

  • Flights: return flights are included from London to Oulu (via Helsinki). 
  • Transfers: return group airport transfers*
  • Accommodation: 7 nights' en-suite hotel room
  • Activities (order subject to change): cross-country skiing, introductory 2-hour husky safari, 5-hour snowmobile safari, snowshoeing, full-day husky safari (4-6 hours), visit a reindeer farm, visit to the smoke sauna and a Northern Lights information session (departure dates after 14/01/20 also include a night in a snow igloo)
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
  • Fully qualified wilderness guides and instructors during activities
  • *Arrivals which don't meet the group transfer times will be subject to a private transfer supplement. Please note that those departing on 6th April may have to wait for around an hour for their group transfer

The moment you arrive in Saija, you will feel at home. Saija Lodge exudes a rustic and traditional Finnish charm, as the crackling of an open fire and the smell of delicious home-cooked food greet you at the door. From then on, your experience will be one of trying fantastic activities, tasting exquisite local delicacies and feeling completely relaxed.

Our Saija Winter's Dream captures all that is magical about Northern Finland. As well as time to enjoy some of the region's most loved activities. You’ll try cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, you will drive a snowmobile and guide a husky sled through the snow-coated forests of this perfect snowy playground. Wherever you go, and however you get there, you will find delightful scenery, as well as friendly locals offering a warm welcome.

During your time here, you will stay in your own pretty log cabin with private sauna. Meals are served in the restaurant a short walk away, where you can sample traditional Finnish home-cooked specialities and locally sourced food such as reindeer and Arctic char.

By the end of your week, you will have tried the most beloved Scandinavian pastimes. This trip offers a great encounter with the landscape of Northern Finland and an insight into the lives of the people who call it their home.

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Key facts

Duration: 7 nights
Pace: Active
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. After you have settled into your accommodation, a welcome dinner will be served in the main building. This first night is always a good time to get to know your fellow guests over the homemade Finnish food.

    Whilst Saija is not set within the Aurora Zone it is possible to see the Northern Lights from the lodge when the sun's activity is extremely high. The complete lack of light pollution means that if there is strong Aurora activity then you have every chance of enjoying a wonderful Northern Lights display. One evening during your stay – decided when you arrive – the guide will speak to the group about the fascinating science behind the lights and also some of the wonderful myths and legends believed by the local people for many generations.

    Spending time in a sauna is a classic national pastime, so we have included one afternoon in a smoke sauna in your itinerary – this will be arranged on arrival. From 14th January, Saija builds a small snow igloo and the chance to spend a night in the igloo is included in the cost for all guests staying at the lodge. The night it is available to you will be confirmed when you reach. This truly unique experience really is yet another memorable highlight for many of our guests in Saija.

    Included Meals:  Dinner
  • Looking out on the stunning landscape this morning, you'll understand why this Saija trip is called 'Winter's Dream'. Set on the shores of Lake Jokijärvi, the views are exactly how you would imagine this location to be – a snowy landscape waiting to be explored. You have the chance to walk around these beautiful surroundings on this relaxing first day. It is also a good time to book any other activities that you would like to try during your stay. There is a great selection to choose from to round off your Arctic adventure, available from 07 January onwards – see the ‘Personalise’ tab for further details.

    Today your knowledgeable guide will present the upcoming schedule of activities. They are always happy to share their passion for the region, so this is a perfect chance to ask any questions. After you pick up the cold weather clothing – yours for the duration of your stay – you can venture out and take a walk around Saija.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • After breakfast, it is time to get to grips with the technique of cross-country skiing. This is a very popular Scandinavian pastime and you will see the locals out on trails around the region, going to and from work, taking exercise or just having fun.

    After your briefing and out on the trail, your guide will lead the way, pointing out areas of interest and any local wildlife. After around two hours with your guide, you will have the opportunity to make use of the skis independently. It is quite an addictive activity as you will soon find out!

    After lunch, there is an introduction to husky sledding in preparation for your full day husky safari later in the week. You will get to meet the eager huskies and enjoy a thrilling 13km run through the wilderness with these amazing dogs, travelling two people per sled.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Time to experience another highlight of this remote corner of the world: sensational snowmobiling. You will receive full instruction and a safety briefing from the experts before you set off travelling two people per snowmobile with a chance to swap drivers (you will both require a full driving licence). Snowmobiling is great fun and the fastest way to cover the most distance thus seeing more of the vast wilderness. This trail lasts around five hours with a traditional campfire lunch en route. An unforgettable day!

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Humble snowshoeing is an underrated activity that our guests instantly fall in love with once they try it out. Do not just go for the excitement and speed of snowmobiling and husky sledding, as an expedition on your snowshoes is a soothing, peaceful experience not to be missed in the remote wilderness around Saija.

    This slower way to get around may not seem the most essential but when you try walking in the deep powdery snow without snowshoes, you will soon appreciate their necessity! The shoes will help you cross deep snow with ease, allowing you to travel deeper into the forests and areas you cannot access any other way. Your guide will talk to you about the wildlife in the Finnish forests and teach you how to read the different animal tracks. A great day for nature lovers!

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Put your dog sledding skills to the test today on a tandem 30km husky safari. This is always a highlight with guests who feel a real connection to their environment, whilst travelling with the dogs on their home turf in this traditional way. The huskies love to run and their enthusiasm is contagious, making you as excited and eager as they are. Out on the snow, the dogs soon settle into a steady rhythm and the only sound you will hear is their soft paws and the swish of the sled's runners.

    The husky safari lasts around five hours including a campfire lunch.

    Included Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • You have experienced the other activities listed as "must-do" in this part of the world, so now it is time to meet the mascot: the beloved reindeer. Reindeer have been herded for centuries in Finland and are essential to the Sámi people and Northern Finland. Your last full day, therefore, includes a visit to the working reindeer farm, where you can see the gentle reindeer in their natural environment. It is an interesting insight into a significant part of the culture in this region.

    At the farm, you will be able to get up close and take photos to capture the memory. The herders will answer any questions you may have about life above the Arctic Circle and how they and their wonderful creatures live and work in this part of the world.

    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.


Special Nights

Sky Cabins

From: £146pp

Why not spend an evening gazing at the Arctic sky from the warmth of your bed, by staying overnight in one of Saija’s ‘Sky Cabins’.

Designed with a panoramic window that stretches to the roof, and with a double bed positioned beneath it, the cabins provide excellent views of the firmament above.  There is something wonderfully relaxing about watching snowflakes drift past the glass roof, or on a clear night, admiring the glittering stars from the warmth of your cabin. Add the excitement of watching out for the Northern Lights into the mix, and you have yourself a perfect evening.

Saija’s cabins are positioned on a lakeshore, offering a vast expanse of the non-light polluted sky to act as the perfect backdrop for a potential display. They are just as well-equipped as a hotel room would be, with a double bed, a sofa bed, an ensuite bathroom and a private sauna.

Please note: prices are based on you spending any night of your holiday in this unique accommodation and keeping your original accommodation.


Image credits: Saijia Lodge

Personalise this tour


Our pick

Sky Cabins

From £146pp

Why not spend an evening gazing at the Arctic sky from the warmth of your bed, by staying overnight in one of Saija’s ‘Sky Cabins’.

Designed with a panoramic window that stretches to the roof, and with a double bed positioned beneath it, the cabins provide excellent views of the firmament above.  There is something wonderfully relaxing about watching snowflakes drift past the glass roof, or on a clear night, admiring the glittering stars from the warmth of your cabin. Add the excitement of watching out for the Northern Lights into the mix, and you have yourself a perfect evening.

Read more

Saija’s cabins are positioned on a lakeshore, offering a vast expanse of the non-light polluted sky to act as the perfect backdrop for a potential display. They are just as well-equipped as a hotel room would be, with a double bed, a sofa bed, an ensuite bathroom and a private sauna.

Please note: prices are based on you spending any night of your holiday in this unique accommodation and keeping your original accommodation.


Image credits: Saijia Lodge

Other options

Activities

Snowshoe hike

From: £61pp

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

Visit to a reindeer farm

From: £100pp

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: £44pp

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.

Duration: Approx 2.5 hours

Guided Fat Biking

From: £67pp

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 birdlife and other natural wonders in this stunning winter wonderland.

Duration: Approx 3 hours

Cross-country ski tour

From: £46pp

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

Snowmobile safari (60km)

From: £224pp

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.

Please note: You must be 18 years old or over and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile.

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

Drive your own snowmobile: £58 per person supplement

 

Snowmobile safari (30km)

From: £145pp

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.

Please note: You must be 18 years old or over and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile.

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

Drive your own snowmobile: £39 per person supplement

Little Extras

Snowshoe and cross-country ski hire

From: £17pp

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: £17 per person per day

Weekly rental: £83 per person

Thank you for your interest in this Artisan Travel experience.

We have found that this holiday is better tailored exactly to your requirements, so please email our Travel Experts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us on 01670 785 085 to discuss the various options available to you.

Our Travel Experts have been to all the destinations we feature and love to share their experiences and insight. We want to match you with your perfect trip, so if you have any questions please get in touch; we will be happy to talk through the destinations and itineraries with you.

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Traveller Reviews

The most amazing holiday we have ever had, and we've been on a few! 05 January 2019 by Clare Simon & Clifford Dixon

There aren't many unspoilt places left in the world, but this is one. It was great to be part of it and understand the history and culture. We'd love to go back and do something similar, either there or elsewhere in Finland.

Absolutely loved it. 30 December 2018 by Stuart Scorer & Angela Brannan

The two day husky safari. It was the best thing I have ever done. Great instruction and guides.

Overall a fantastic holiday 05 February 2018 by Roger and Lindsay Winter

Overall a fantastic holiday. I would recommend it to anybody who likes outdoor activities.

The whole trip was memorable and enjoyable 30 January 2018 by Antonia and Graham Taylor-Howe

The whole experience from booking the holiday to returning home was very well organised. Communication was very good from the Artisan Travel to the staff at the hotel. The hotel was well maintained, activities were well organised, food was very good and the whole experience was second to none. I would definitely love to return to Finland and I would use Artisan Travel again. The staff at the Jeris
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hotel were wonderful. They made us feel very welcome and nothing was too much trouble for them. The hotel was well equipped and staying there was like being a part of a small, close knit community. We would love to go back. The whole experience was everything I dreamed it would be and so much more. For me the snowmobiles topped it. An incredible day and one that I will never forget.
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Excellent travel company - I was very impressed 20 December 2015 by Teresa Downing

Artisan travel is an excellent travel company - I was very impressed. Customer service is the best that I have experienced. All activities were enjoyable - terrifying but great! Least enjoyable: Cross-country skiing - I couldn't do it. Spent most of the time on my bum! Saija lodge is wonderful.



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