Cross-Country Skiing Guided Holidays
Kalevala Ski Tour, 150 km | 2022
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at Kajaani airport and approximately two hours transfer to Martinselkonen Wilds Centre, which is a former border guard station renovated into a modern guests house. Check-in, dinner and briefing about the week’s programme.
Day 2: Day tour from Martinselkonen, 25 km
After breakfast we will start right away! Today the route takes us so far south that we reach the edge of the border zone at the Finnish-Russian border. We follow the yellow border markings for a few kilometres - always aware that entering the border zone itself is strictly forbidden. Lunch will be served at a wilderness cabin maintained by the Finnish Forest and Park Service on an open fire and at the destination a traditional wood-heated Finnish sauna awaits us, whose heat feel simply good after skiing several hours in the cold.
Day 3: Martinselkonen-Arola, 30 km
On the second skiing day we will walk through the pathless Martinselkonen nature reserve, which is dominated by numerous swamps and ancient spruce forests. In these primeval forests live e.g. brown bears, which sleep in their dens under the thick snow cover until April. Wolf, lynx and wolverine are also at home in these forests. Very rarely you can see these shy animals yourself, but numerous tracks in snow reveal their invisible presence almost every day. In the afternoon we reach our destination for today, the Arola Guest House, which is not far from the Russian border. Our hosts prepare dinner in a traditional log cabin using local ingredients.
© UpitrekLunch around the campfire
© UpitrekThe reindeer: national animal of Lapland
© Nellim Wilderness Hotels & Safaris
Day 4: Day tour from Arola, 27 km
Today, a circular hike through the Martinselkonen nature reserve awaits you, over swamps and through spruce forests, always following the tracks of reindeer. At noon we stop for lunch in the Teerilampi Wilderness Hut. Coffee and hot soup are prepared over an open fire and served with a selection of sandwiches. In the afternoon we return to Arola for another night to continue enjoying the nice atmosphere and the warm hospitality of the hosts.
Day 5: Arola-Rajakartano, 42 km
Today is the longest cross-country skiing day of all: we are now heading far north. On the way we will experience different types of forests, lakes and numerous swamps, which are very typical for the Finnish landscape. Lunch will be served in a rustic, traditional farmhouse on top of Kovavaara Hill. After lunch the route follows the Russian border northwards until we turn west to reach our next accommodation, the former border point Rajakartano. Now we are already on the shore of Lake Hossanjärvi and almost inside the Hossa National Park. In the evening we will visit a reindeer farm to admire the semi-wild animals and get first-hand information about reindeer herding. We will also enjoy a delicious dinner in the small restaurant there.
Day 6: Rajakartano-Jatkonsalmi, 30 km
We spend the last day of cross-country skiing on the trails of Hossa National Park, which was declared a national park in 2017 for the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence. The nature here is characterised by ice age ridge formations, narrow and long lakes and beautiful pine forests. For lunch we will visit the Hossa Visitor Centre - there is also a small souvenir shop. Afterwards we will continue to the Jatkonsalmi hut, which is located at a very remote place in the heart of the national park. There we can enjoy the Finnish sauna again - this time even with the possibility to swim in the ice hole!
Day 7: Return
Breakfast and transfer to Kuusamo airport (around one hour drive).