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Family Finland Winter Adventure
5 days
Finland - Trip code FWF

Family Finland Winter Adventure

Finland is a winter wonderland, known for its unspoilt, natural charm, forests and deep snowy plains. On this trip experience a range of adventure and activities that captures the imagination of children and adults alike. Our base is the Paljakka ski area where we can enjoy the snow-covered landscape and many exciting snow-based activities that include; husky sledding, a snowmobile safari, sledging, snowshoeing and even the chance to build an igloo. This is a great winter adventure and you may also even get the chance to see the Northern Lights.

Trip highlights

  • Paljakka ski resort - Enjoy the pristine natural beauty of this ski area
  • Winter activities - Experience husky sledding and a snowmobile safari
  • Wilderness adventure - Try your hand at igloo building and even ice-fishing
  • Northern Lights - The chance to see a natural wonder of the world
Accommodation grade:
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a holiday which combines exciting activities and experiences with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Typically you’ll be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries.
Group Size:
10 - 16
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Drive to Paljakka ski resort

After arriving at Kajaani airport, we head directly to our base in Paljakka ski resort where we check into our hotel and enjoy an included dinner (driving time 1 hour, 59km). Paljakka is a perfect base to explore Eastern Finland; offerig a host of winter activities it also has 10 ski lifts and has direct access to 12 individual pistes which allows for plenty of ski runs that are perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers plus there is a terrain park to try out your skiing acrobat skills for the more advanced skier. There is also a sledding hill next to the hotel (sledges are provided) for you to try in your free time while on this trip.

Accommodation: Hotel Paljakka(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Meals Provided: Dinner
Day 2 - Snowmobile safari, snow shoeing and sledging

After breakfast we head out for our first activity, a snowmobile adventure through the snow-covered forests (3 hour trip). During the trip, we see the Finnish countryside at its very best as we head into the wilds. With over 500 kilometres of well-maintained snowmobile trails, our base is an ideal launch pad to explore the pristine winter wonderland.

The minimum age for a child to sit on a snowmobile is 8 years old (two people share a snowmobile) although children can be placed in a sledge that is pulled by the snowmobile which fits up to six kids. The minimum age to drive the snowmobile is 18 years old and a driving license is not needed as the route does not include public roads. Please check that your travel insurance fully covers you for medical and repatriation expenses if you intend to go snowmobiling. An excess of EUR 1,200 (£1050) will be payable in the event of any damage to your snowmobile; this excess, together with any third party liability (damage to someone else or someone else's property whilst driving a snowmobile) may not be to covered by your travel insurance policy.

We return to the hotel for lunch. This afternoon we try our hand at snowshoeing in the beautiful snow-white forests. The trail provides the opportunity to enjoy the tranquil splendour of the winter scenery and forests covered in layers of blanketing snow.

Snowshoeing is fairly easily mastered and we should need just a few minutes to feel confident enough to head off on our afternoon's exploration which lasts for around 2 hours. Your Explore Leader will adjust the duration and distance to match the requirements of the group. Snowshoes and hiking poles are provided.

After an action packed full day we return to the comfort of our hotel for a hearty evening meal and relax with a traditional Finnish sauna.

Accommodation: Hotel Paljakka(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3 - Ice fishing followed by Husky sledding

Today's morning activity is ice-fishing on a lake near the hotel. Ice fishing has a long heritage in Finland, with the area renounded by local residents for its abundant fish stocks. Our Explore leader will scout out the best spot and prepare an opening through the frozen body of water. Any fish we catch can be prepared for dinner this evening.

This afternoon we try out a husky safari along a 5 km trail. After a technical and safety briefing from your guides, we will meet our eager Huskie pack and head out amongst the trails. There is a feeling of peace and serenity as we escape the trappings of modern day life and head out into a winter wilderness through snow covered birch forests, with only the sound of the breath of the Huskies around you. The minimum age of a person to drive is eighteen years old with children sat in the husky sledge. The minimum weight is 50kg to be able to drive a husky sledge. After the husky safari we head back to the farm where the dogs are housed and enjoy a hot drink to warm us up.

We return to our hotel for dinner, there may well be time to try out alpine curling or alternatively head out sledging. Be sure to head outside after dark for the chance to see the northern lights, weather permitting.

Accommodation: Hotel Paljakka(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4 - Ice-fishing and build an igloo with optional downhill skiing

After breakfast we try our hand at building a Quinzee, otherwise known as an igloo. Using shovels and spades we make a big pile of snow which is then hollowed out.

The rest of the day is left free to head to the slopes for downhill skiing, tobogganing or cross-country skiing. The Paljakka ski area has 10 ski lifts and has direct access to 12 individual pistes which allows for plenty of ski runs that are perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers. Alternatively depending on snow conditions, we can head to the Ukkohalla ski area that has 15 individual pistes and over 110km of cross country skiing. We recommend pre booking lessons before you travel to avoid disappointment, prices for liftpasses, lessons and equiptment hire can be found in the optional excursions section of the trip notes.

The evening provides time to relax in a traditional Finnish smoke sauna before dinner (as there is no chimney in the sauna, the sauna fills with smoke when heated and the stones in the stove are heated by the fire) with the more adventurous among you even trying out ice swimming. Grilled sausages and some drinks are provided at the sauna.

Accommodation: Hotel Paljakka(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 5 - Drive to Kajaani airport where the trip ends

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Kajaani airport where the trip ends. The order of the activities or the content of the trip may alter based upon weather or snow conditions.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Family information

Minimum age

Why book this trip

This winter adventure is a great trip for families who like the outdoors and trying out a number of unusual activities that will keep all entertained. There is free time to ski in the resort which is particularly good for beginner and intermediate skiers and with included winter activities, this trip offers a great seasonal adventure.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 4
  • Lunch: 2
  • Dinner: 4
  • Bus
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Activity Guide(s)
  • Driver(s)
  • 4 nights standard hotel
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information



Finland's summer is generally warm and bright, with temperatures often reaching mid-20s. The days are long during the summer months of June and July as Finland is home to the Midnight Sun. The winter is often snowy and very cold with short days. Temperatures can drop well below freezing sometimes getting as low as -20.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Round


Evangelical Lutheran



Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

A selection of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your Family adventure. Whilst the basic tour price you pay before you travel includes a great selection of highlights, we have also built in free time to allow you the flexibility to choose from a carefully selected range of additional excursions and activities or take time to relax, the choice is yours. At certain destinations along the way there may be several options to choose from and it may not be possible to fit all the activities in; your Explore Leader will be able to give advice on which are the most suitable for your family.

Day 4 - Downhill Skiing. Depending on local conditions there is the option to ski in Paljakka (where we are based) or Ukkohalla located 28km away. 2017 rates €49 per person for a day pass and equipment hire adult, €41 per child.
Transport to/from Ukkohalla can be arranged for €80 per person return - minimum 4 people. Ski lessons can also be booked, please request these in advance to avoid disappointment.


Pack for cold mountain conditions. It's best to dress in warm layers of breathable fabrics. You'll need waterproofs and plenty of warm clothing including a warm, jumper, fleece, gloves, hat, scarf and thermal underwear. Winter overalls, mittens and boots are provided as well as downhill skiing equipment (skis, poles, boots, helmets). The snowshoeing equipment (snowshoes, poles) is also included


Warm waterproof walking boots with a good tread and ankle support are required for snowshoeing. Trainers for relaxing.



Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a daysac for personal items.


Bring a water bottle, torch, binoculars, camera, sunglasses and suncream.


Local crew
Local Representative - At your discretion you might also wish to consider tipping your local representative in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Country Information


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
Dinner price
Beer price
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Recommended Currency For Exchange
We recommend that you take Euro cash with you to Finland as on this tour there is little opportunity to change money.
Where To Exchange
The tour leader will advise.
ATM Availability
ATM machines are available only in Helsinki, Helsinki airport, Kajaani (no ATM in Kajaani airport or in Paljakka). If you need money, it is important to mention this to the Explore Leader/driver at the airport and they will stop at the ATM in Kajaani before driving straight to Paljakka.
Credit Card Acceptance
Hotels do accept credit cards.
Travellers Cheques
We do not recommend that you use travellers cheques as they can be difficult to exchange

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information


Accommodation notes

Booking a Single Room

All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation. Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date. For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.

The hotel that we stay at in the Paljakka ski resort is surrounded by beautiful winter landscapes and is a short distance to the slopes. The family run hotel which only has 24 ensuite rooms, offers family rooms that can take between 2 and 5 people plus it has a cafeteria for breakfast and restaurant for main meals. There is free Wi-Fi at the hotel and a sauna.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Finland: Visas are not required by citizens of the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.



Nothing compulsory though we recommend protection against tetanus and polio. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Europe, at specific times of the year. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Dates, prices and booking

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