Sledding-on-tracks-through-the-taiga-forest
8-day adventure

Finland Dogsledding Expedition

Finland
  • Kandoo Winter
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Code: FIDS

8 days
Challenging

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our UK team

Kandoo's view

About as far off the beaten track as you can get, this adventure pushes the realms of teamwork between man and his four legged friend. Mastering the Finnish art of dog-sledding we forge out into the wilderness on a 5 day expedition, lead by our furry companions. An exceptional and unique experience, sledding across the beautiful, frozen Taiga landscape in the heart of the Hossa National Park. Build up a close bond with the huskies as you feed, lead and care for them each morning and evening before settling into truly off-grid cabins and toasting your day to the flicker of the fire. A journey into a wild, and wintry wonderland, getting lost between the blanketed pines and stepping out beneath vast, dark skies as the Northern Lights dance above.

Trip highlights

  • Discover the art of traditional Finnish dogsledding
  • Build up a close bond with your team of huskies as they carry you through the Taiga
  • Watch the Northern Lights paint the sky as night falls
  • Cook your food over the dancing flames of the fire

Experiences

Gallery

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Welcome to Finland

    A member of our team will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation in Hossa National Park. This evening, the guides and team will meet you at the restaurant for a welcome dinner and briefing.

    • Transport: Private transfer (1 hour)
    • Accomodation: Lodge, Cottage
    • Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Intro to Dogsledding

    Today our guides will walk us through the art of dogsledding; teaching us basic techniques and giving us time to practice our skills. After breakfast, we will say hello to the dogs that will be pulling our sleds over the next 5 days, learn how to set up their harnesses and get them ready to go. We will then head out onto the frozen lakes that surround our basecamp, practising our mushing skills until before we know it, we are exploring the forests with ease, enjoying the freedom of the sled. This evening we return to our lodges and pack our bags ready to set off on our expedition the following morning.

    • Transport: Dog sled (25 km)
    • Accomodation: Lodge, Cottage
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Day 3

    Dogsledding Expedition

    The adventure begins! Heading south, our four legged friends find their feet and fly smoothly along tracks into the Taiga. Soaring through the stunning scenery of a frozen existence, we journey along the border to our first cabin which oozes rustic charm. Once the dogs are fed and watered, we prepare and enjoy a meal together over the fire and relax as the wood burning stove crackles, heating up the cabin to a cosy temperature.

    • Transport: Dog sled
    • Activity time: 4 - 5 hours
    • Accomodation: Cabin
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
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Please note

Please note that this itinerary, including sledding distances and times, is indicative. Our guides aim to provide the adventure that is best suited to the weather, your interests and the demands of the group. Please be aware that in order to achieve this, changes to the programme may be made. 

Trip information

Difficulty

This Finnish adventure is rated as challenging due to the non-stop nature of the expedition. You can expect to sled up to 5 hours per day. In good conditions, the sledding can feel easy but if you encounter strong winds or icy conditions, it could feel very difficult indeed. As well as sledding, you will also be feeding and caring for your canine team, assisting with cooking, heating the cabins and fetching snow for water. There are no porters, cooks or waiters on this trip, you are part of the expedition and must do your share of the work. Although this makes the adventure more demanding, it also adds to the enormous sense of satisfaction and achievement at the end of your journey.

Managing a sled for several hours across the snow can be very tiring and the cold weather conditions can make it feel much more challenging.  The weather in Finland can be extremely cold in winter with temperatures in Hossa rarely exceeding 0°C and dropping to as low as -30°C.  Having a more continental climate than the rest of Scandinavia, means that there is less chance of rain, hard wind and unstable weather so generally expect cold but calm conditions. We provide outer clothing for arctic conditions to help keep you warm but with the right layers and proper equipment this trip is achievable for most people with a good level of fitness.  We would recommend heading out into your local hills in the months leading up to your trip to get used to being out and active for 4-5 hours per day.

If you are unsure about your suitability for this adventure, please feel free to contact us. 

Food & drink

This trip is full board from your dinner on Day 1 to your breakfast on Day 8. 

 

You will have the opportunity to try traditional Finnish meals like smoked fish, salmon soup, reindeer stew and traditional cakes. Please be aware that due to the isolated nature of our accommodation, fresh fruit and vegetables aren't always available. 

Breakfasts and dinners at the lodge accommodation will be in a buffet style and provide a range of options for you to choose from. A picnic lunch will be provided each day including hot food that will be cooked over a fire. In the cabins whilst out on the expedition we like the whole group to work as a team to cook dinner. This creates a pleasant atmosphere as we reflect on the days adventures together.
 

Please inform us of any dietary requirements when you book so that we can cater to your needs. 

Accommodation

Our accommodation is located on our Basecamp in the heart of the Hossa National Park, more than 60 miles from the nearest village or shops. There are 23 inhabitants in and around Hossa, most of whom are reindeer farmers. Here we work closely with the authorities to protect and preserve the stunning beauty of this National Park. During your stay you may cross pass with local ice fishers or Nordic skiers. 

The lodges and cottages we stay in consist of a double or twin room with lake views, private bathrooms and sauna access. Sheets, blankets and bath towels are all provided although we recommend you bring a second towel to use in the sauna. Single supplement is available upon request.


The traditional log cabins we stay in whilst on our expedition are a truly off-grid experience; that said, they are all well-equipped and many even have Finnish saunas attached! They usually contain a single, shared dormitory for 4 to 6 people and a communal living area. There is often no running water or electricity in the cabins and compost toilets will be found outside. Heating is provided by wood burning stoves which warm the cabins quickly and efficiently. Single supplement cannot be accommodated in the cabins.

Luggage

You will need two bags for this trip. One main luggage bag (70-90L) for your clothes, toiletries and other personal items which will be transported between the cabins each day.  Please do not bring a rigid suitcase - a flexible duffel bag / holdall is easier to transport. You will also need a 30-40L daysack that you will carry during the day.  You will carry your own personal equipment (spare warm clothes, waterproofs, water bottle, camera and sun screen) as well as your packed lunch in this bag.

How do I get there?

You will need to arrive into Kuusamo airport on Day 1 of your itinerary. 

From the UK, there are direct flights to Kuusamo from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham with TUI or Finnair and Air France offer flights with a layover in Helsinki. Flights from Scotland and London Heathrow all go via Helsinki. 
If you're coming from the US, Finnair offer flights with a stopover in Helsinki from New York, Los Angeles and Dallas . From Atlanta and Miami you will need to fly via one of the other US airports or have a stopover in Europe and Helsinki. 

Travelling Responsibly
Alternatively if you wish to travel more responsibly, then there are other ways to reach Kuusamo. The journey from London to Kuusamo takes around 3 days by train and bus. Taking the Eurostar to Brussels, stay the night in Brussels then get on the InterCity Express or ICE train to Hamburg where you change to a sleeper train to Stockholm. From Stockholm a very luxurious overnight ferry called the Silja Line will take you direct to Helsinki. From here, the Onni  M5-SKI bus leaves late night on a Friday, arriving into Kuusamo mid morning the next day.   This option isn't cheap or fast, expect to pay somewhere in the range of £500 for your journey. However, it is great value for money, a greener alternative to flying and means you can start your adventure early!  

Pre-trek briefing

Your pre-trip briefing will be held in the restaurant on the evening of Day 1. 

Budget & change

The currency in Finland is the Euro (EUR).  For the latest exchange rates please see www.xe.com

 

Foreign money can be exchanged at the Forex in Kuusamo airport on arrival or you can bring money already exchanged with you, as the Euro is an open currency.  We would recommend the latter as we will be heading to a remote area of Finland, so you may find it difficult to exchange your money after leaving the airport.

 

The simplest way to pay for things in Hossa and Kuusamo is to use an international credit card or debit card. Visa and Mastercard are accepted everywhere alongside standard travel cards such as Monzo and Revolut. You may wish to have some Euros to hand, to pay for drinks or personal expenses from our basecamp. As with most of Scandinavia, Finland is not a cheap place to be, although it is cheaper than it's Scandinavian neighbours. In Kuusamo, a meal for 2 in a mid range restaurant will cost around 80 Euros ($86/ £68) and a taxi starting price will be around 7 Euros ($7.50/£6). As this trip is Full Board from dinner on the first night to breakfast on the last day, you only need spending money for souvenirs and drinks.

 

Tips

Tipping customs vary all over the world and can be very confusing when travelling to a new country. There is not a strong culture for tipping in Finland, tips are not a substitute for good wages: our guides are all well paid and well looked after. Tipping is completely voluntary, and at your discretion. If you are unsure of how much to tip, a general guide of €10 per person for the entire trip should suffice. On the other hand, if you receive bad service or have not been treated well, you would not be expected to tip at all.

Formalities & health

Passport

Most travellers will require a passport valid for at least 3 months after your return date. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific requirements and please be aware that proof of onward travel may be required.

Visa

Travelling to Finland is visa free for up to 90 days, for UK and US citizens.

Vaccinations

The following vaccination guide is an information resource only. You should not rely on it for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. You should always speak with your GP or other health care professional about any vaccinations or other medicines you are considering taking. They will have more information about your specific health needs, and can make much more specific, reliable recommendations for you. In general, we recommend the following vaccinations

- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) - We recommend a double dose for anyone born after 1956, unless they have already been given this vaccination
- Tetanus & Diphtheria - This vaccination should be renewed every 10 years

Insurance

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your trip. Please ensure that all activities, excursions and destinations in your itinerary are included in your travel insurance policy, in addition to your regular cover for cancellation and medical expenses.

We ask that you keep a copy of your policy summary (containing policy number and the emergency contact number for your insurer) in your day sack at all times, so that we can access this information should we need to contact the insurer on your behalf.

Equipment & clothing

Equipment supplied by Kandoo Adventures

  • Sleeping bag
  • Warm snow boots (please let us know if your shoe size is below 34 or above 50 in European sizing)
  • Warm jacket for extreme temperatures
  • Warm protective overalls for activities
  • Waterproof over mittens
  • A balaclava

Please be aware that upon booking you will be asked your size, height and weight in order to reserve the appropriate equipment in advance. 

Clothing to bring

HEADGEAR
  • Warm beanie style hat – knitted or fleece
  • Neck gaiter or scarf - a warm layer for your neck / face!
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses – high UV protection


UPPER BODY

  • Thermal or fleece base layer
  • Long sleeve shirt/t-shirts
  • Short sleeved shirt/t-shirts
  • Fleece or soft shell jacket 
  • Warm jumpers
  • Insulated jacket – down or primaloft
  • Water/windproof hard shell outer jacket
  • Gloves – lightweight, fleece or quick drying fabric
  • Gloves or mittens – heavyweight, insulated, preferably water resistant
  • Swimwear


LEGS
  • Leggings – thermal or fleece base layer
  • Warm trekking trousers
  • Waterproof hard shell trousers – ski pants work fine
  • Gaiters – optional but they can be useful for keeping snow out of your boots

FEET

  • Trekking boots – mid weight with good ankle support
  • Training shoe or similar – to wear in the evenings
  • Thick, warm trekking socks

Equipment to bring

  • Small Rucksack or Daypack (30-40 litres) to carry water and personal items
  • Waterproof duffle bag (approx 70-90 litres)
  • Water bottle or hydration bag – wide-mouthed bottle (minimum 1.0L) is preferable in freezing temperatures
  • Headlamp (plus extra batteries)

OTHER ACCESSORIES
  • Sunscreen and lip balm - high SPF
  • Toiletries
  • Extra towel for sauna
  • Camera and spare batteries
  • Personal medication and first aid kit
  • Personal snacks and energy bars – dried fruit and nuts are also a good source of energy
  • Ear plugs, if you are a light sleeper
  • Dry bag (to keep items in your daysack dry)

Dates & prices

From To Price Availability Book Enquire
19/01/2025 26/01/2025 $2,535 £1,949
Available
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02/02/2025 09/02/2025 $2,595 £1,999
Available
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16/02/2025 23/02/2025 $2,925 £2,249
Available
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02/03/2025 09/03/2025 $2,925 £2,249
Available
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16/03/2025 23/03/2025 $2,595 £1,999
Available
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Want to ask us a question or book a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

Contact us

Price includes

  • Airport transfers
  • 3 nights accommodation in comfortable, heated woodland lodge
  • 4 nights accommodation in off grid log cabins
  • All meals for duration of trip
  • Full supervision by our professional, English speaking guides 
  • Equipment including: dog sleds, snow boots, snowmobiles, cold weather clothing
  • Sleeping bags 

Price does not include

  • Flights to Kuusamo (KAO)
  • Visas (if necessary)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Personal expenses

Options

Single supplement is available upon request.