Oulanka is always a popular family destination: with rave reviews about charming accommodation and wonderful leaders, this is definitely a winter trip with a difference. The whole family can enjoy lots of new exciting activities and wholesome home-cooked food rustled up by our small team of expert staff. Our wilderness base is located at the edge of Oulanka National Park in a truly spectacular setting, perfect for this fun-filled winter holiday. Discover the beautiful wilderness of Finnish Lapland on snowshoes, cross-country skis, dogsled and snowmobiles. There is also a chance to visit a traditional reindeer farm and have a ride in a Lappish sleigh. A highlight of the week will certainly be time on the husky farm, before heading out on a dogsled ride through forests and across frozen lakes. If you’re lucky, and the night sky is clear, you might even catch a glimpse of the magical Northern Lights.
In the heart of Oulanka National Park sits Basecamp Oulanka. Surrounded by pristine wilderness and overlooking a lake, this self-sustained complex of wooden buildings provides a comfortable and cosy accommodation in a truely stunning location. During the stay we include a varied programme of activities such as dogsledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. After grasping the basics we will set off with our guides, exploring the beautiful Kitkajoki River and surrounding frozen waterfalls. We also enjoy a full day of wilderness skills with the opportunity to stay in your own quinzee (a Finnish igloo).
A highlight of the trip is dogsledding through the silent snow-caked forests of the nearby Riisitunturi National Park. Free time can be spent using the cross-country skis or snowshoe equipment available at the lodge, or in the sauna and hot tubThe ski resort of Ruka is a 20-minute taxi ride away – for a snowmobile safari or a day of downhill skiing.
Oulanka offers activities based on the concept that values the Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy of the national park. In the Basecamp Oulanka there is a wilderness hotel, a restaurant and a full range of outdoor activities like river rafting, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, skiing and climbing. Self-guided and guided programmes are organised in the areas surrounding Basecamp. During the winter, the Oulanka National Park is changes. Almost all the parts covered with ice and landscapes that still survive around the River Oulankajoki. Oulanka rocks capable of generating acids and nutrients to enhance plant growth.
Ruka’s ski season lasts from October to May. Over 200 skiing days per year make Ruka one of the most snow secure Ski Resorts in Europe! The secret to this accomplishment lies in the climate, as well as in the high-quality snowmaking machinery and the snow-how! Ruka has one of the longest ski seasons in Europe, starting usually in October and ending in June.
Dogsledding instruction and tour of 10km, Adults drive with children sitting in sleds
Half-day husky safari. After sorting out all of your equipment needed for a week in arctic conditions there is then a free morning to try sledging around the areas of Basecamp, or enjoy a game of football or hockey in the deep snow. All games equipment are available free of charge from the front desk. After lunch, we head off for the husky safari in the neighbouring Riisitunturi National Park. We start with a tuition on how to ride on the sled and the importance of caring for the huskies correctly. We then head off into the woods where our teams of dogs eagerly await our arrival, ready to take us on our 10km mushing adventure. Our route takes us deep into the National Park and up onto the surrounding fjell where we are rewarded with a fantastic view. With the adults driving and the children sitting in the sled, you are able to really appreciate the serenity of this beautiful snow-laden landscape.
Gentle half day snowshoe walk, exploring the park; free use of snowshoes in the afternoon
Gentle half-day snowshoe walk in the Oulanka National Park past frozen waterfalls and following the Kitkajoki River.There is a free afternoon for further snowshoeing, sauna or hot-tub.
Morning cross-country ski lesson, Free use of skis after lesson
Experience the Scandinavian-born sport of cross-country skiing. Heading down to the nearby Juuma lake, our instructor will literally walk us through the basics of how to cross-country ski. There may be a few tumbles to start with, but in the soft snow this is half the fun. After becoming more confident on the skis we then head out onto the lake, gliding through the virgin powder. In the afternoon, keep hold of your skis as there is the option of further unguided skiing in the area.
Morning free in Ruka for optional snowmobile safari or downhill skiing; Afternoon visit reindeer farm and museum with a ride on a reindeer sleigh, Enjoy hot drinks around open fire and eat reindeer sausages
Explore Ruka and optional activities. Spend the day at the popular ski resort of Ruka. Your guide will organise transfers (included) and book activities for you. Downhill skiing and snowmobile safaris are available. See ‘Extra Expenses’ section below. In the late afternoon we visit the reindeer farm and museum where everyone will have the chance to ride on a reindeer sleigh, and try lasso throwing. The evening then draws to a close with some hot drinks and some reindeer sausages round an open fire.
Free morning; afternoon children’s snow games: sledging, building snow forts and snowmen
Leisurely morning free to relax with afternoon children’s snow games. After lunch the afternoon is spent in the children’s snow park, which is supervised by the Basecamp guides. Amongst other activities, here children have the opportunity to learn how to build an igloo. Follow the ‘snow trail’, which leads to a teepee where hot drinks and pancakes are served. Families can also have a go at making a snow sculpture.
Free day, optional activities include ice-climbing, frisbee park, dogsledding or snowmobile tours
Free day. Options include unguided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing; downhill skiing at nearby Ruka (transport and skiing not included); or further dogsledding and snowmobile safaris. There is also a possibility for ice climbing for all ages. As a farewell celebration, we have the option of eating dinner around a campfire, or in a tepee (Kota) on the edge of the National Park.
End Basecamp Oulanka.