Saija is one of those locations which serves to highlight all that is wonderful about Finnish Lapland. On this trip not only will you be able to witness unending snow-covered vistas, and the vast arctic sky, but you will also get the chance to try out some of the region’s most loved activities, whilst also having plenty of time to relax.
You accommodation at Saija Lodge is also the ideal retreat as the Lodge is constructed completely of wood and exudes a rustic and traditional Finnish charm. Your accommodation for the week will be in delightful log cabins, each with their own sauna and meals will be served in the Lodge restaurant. The food here is plentiful and delicious and you will be able to sample some Finnish specialities and locally sourced food such as Reindeer and Arctic Char. The lodge has a multitude of cross-country ski tracks in the surrounding area which makes for an enjoyable pursuit in your free time.
The included activities on this trip are varied and exciting, offering a taste of some beloved Scandinavian pastimes. By the end of your time here you will have travelled across this beautiful landscape via snowshoes, cross-country ski and snowmobiles, wonderful ways to make the most of your spectacular location. You will also meet the animals of Lapland, enjoying a thrilling husky safari and a morning with a working reindeer herder.
This trip allows you to enjoy and understand the true landscape of Lapland and the people who call it their home.
Anybody aged 18 years or over.
“Saija has been one of our most popular destinations for years for husky sledding due to its blissfully peaceful location, welcoming hosts and quaint lodge location, so we are thrilled to be able to offer another trip here for the 2014/2015 season. This is a great all-round trip, letting you have a go at a bit of everything whilst also enjoying the quiet solitude of your unique surroundings. This is Finnish Lapland at its absolute and most beautiful best.” Barry Nolan
Day 1: Flight and arrivals
After arriving into Oulu you will be welcomed before being transferred directly to your accommodation at Saija Lodge, travelling through breathtaking wilderness and fell landscape. Here there will be a chance to settle in before a welcome dinner is served in the main building. You will have the chance to get to know your fellow guests whilst enjoying some delicious homemade Finnish food.
Day 2: Introduction to Saija
Today you will wake up to the beautiful winter scenery of Saija and will understand why this trip is called ‘A Winter’s Dream’ as the scenery here is really quite stunning with the fell scenery and remarkable views across Lake Jokijarvi.
Today you will be introduced to the hotel and the area and your guide will talk through the upcoming schedule of activities and answer any questions you may have. The local guides are hugely knowledge about the region and will always be happy to share their knowledge and passion for the Arctic with you. You will also be supplied with your cold weather clothing that will be yours for the duration of your stay.
Day 3: Cross-country skiing and introduction to husky safari
After breakfast you will be introduced to the techniques of cross-country skiing. This is an overwhelmingly popular Scandinavian pastime and you will see trails across the landscape which locals frequent.
After you have mastered the basics, your guide will lead the way into the nearby snow-laden surroundings, pointing out areas of interest and hopefully some local wildlife. You will be out for around two hours in total and afterwards you will have the opportunity to make use of the skis independently.
After lunch you will get an introduction to husky sledding in preparation for your full day husky safari later in the week. You will meet the eager huskies and enjoy a 13km trip through the wilderness, travelling two people per sled.
Day 4: Snowmobile Safari
Today you will try a much enjoyed activity in this remote corner of the world when the group set out on the trail on snowmobiles. You will receive full instruction and a safety briefing before you set off and will travel two people per snowmobile (there will be the chance to swap drivers providing you both have a full driving licence). As well as being remarkably good fun, snowmobiling also allows you to cover a large amount of the vast arctic wilderness and see the scale of the incredible scenery here.
You will be out for around five hours in total, enjoying a camp fire lunch en-route.
Days 5: Snowshoeing
Today is a relaxed morning in the beautiful wilderness of Saija on a gentle snowshoe walk.
Snowshoes may not seem like they are particularly necessary, but if you try walking in deep powdery snow without them you will soon see their use! With them you can navigate across deep snow with ease, allowing you to travel further into the wilderness and enjoy the wonderful scenery.
It is often one of the most underrated activities with our guests as it seems to lack the excitement of activities such as snowmobiling and husky sledding, yet it tends to be very much enjoyed for its peacefulness. Your guide will talk to you about the wildlife in the Finnish forests and you can try to read the animal tracks.
Day 6: Full day husky safari
Today you will put the dog sledding skills you learnt earlier in the week to good use when you head out on a 30km safari. This is always a trip highlight as guests tend to feel a real connection to their arctic environment when travelling in such a traditional manner.
The dogs love nothing more than to run and their enthusiasm is always a delight to see. Travelling across the snow they will soon steel into a steady rhythm and all you will hear is their soft paws on the snow and the swish of the sled’s runners. You will travel two people per sled.
You will be out for around five hours in total and will enjoy a traditional Finnish campfire lunch.
Day 7: Visit to reindeer farm
On your final full day in Finnish Lapland you will gain a valuable insight into a significant part of the culture in this region when you visit a working reindeer farm. Reindeers are synonymous with Lapland and have been herded for centuries, forming an intrinsic link with both the Sámi people and North Finland.
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 reindeers and life up here above the Arctic Circle. This is sure to be an interesting experience for the entire group.
Day 8: Departure
Today you will bid farewell to the beautiful wilderness of Saija as you are transferred to the airport for your return flights home.