Vuokatti - Half-Term Winter Adventure
- Duration:7 nights
- Key Facts: Saturday departure
- Suitable for: Anybody aged 4 years or over. The minimum age for participation in some activities does vary and so please see the individual activities for details. For further information, please see the terms section.
- Flights: return flights from London to Kajaani (via Helsinki). Flight routes subject to change
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 7 nights in a Lake View Suite
- Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 7 dinners
- The following activities are included in the holiday: husky safari, snowmobile and ice fishing, Northern Lights snowshoe, daytime snowshoe, visit to Finnish farmhouse and reindeer sleigh ride, Vuokatti Spa tickets (the order of activities is subject to change)
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
- Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay
Nestled in the centre of Finland, the village of Vuokatti is an ideal spot for families. Finns travel here from the south to rekindle forgotten childhood memories of winter and consider it something of a hidden gem for family holidays.
The landscape is transformed into an activity playground in the winter months and the focus here is on getting outside and exploring. Our holiday includes a fantastic range of activities which are operated by knowledgeable and expert guides. We’ve included our favourites, along with some time for you to tailor your holiday and perhaps take to the nearby downhill ski slopes or try some additional activities. Of course, relaxing and spending family time at the hotel is also an option.
Your week will begin in the best possible way with a 2-hour husky safari into the winter forest. There are no better companions than a team of eager sled dogs, they’ll be super excited before you set off but after the safari, there will be time for some husky hugs.
It’s all about exploring the wilderness in Vuokatti and one of the most effective ways to do this is by snowshoe. You can all enjoy the deep snow and pristine surroundings whilst breathing in the fresh winter air. Our winter holiday includes a daytime snowshoe and an adventure under the dark northern sky during which you will search for the Aurora Borealis.Read more
The long winters in Northern Europe mean that the traditions and culture here are quite unique. Reindeer are a huge part of this and a visit to a nearby farm will introduce you to these famous local animals. The tour will include short safaris in sleighs pulled by reindeer and there will also be the chance to meet the other animals such as horses, dogs and goats. This holiday also includes a thrilling snowmobile and ice fishing tour, both of which are family favourites.
The holiday will be enjoyed from Hotel Vuokatti and Suites which combines modern comforts with a picturesque setting. There is a range of facilities but we imagine Mum and Dad will particularly enjoy the cosy bar and the three hotel saunas.
This holiday takes full advantage of all that is on offer in this relatively undiscovered area of Finland.
Image credits: Vuokatti Safaris
Day 1 Arrival and Welcome
After arriving at Oulu Airport, you will be transferred to your accommodation in Vuokatti which is approximately a 2 hour and 30 minute drive away. There is an entire week of fun winter activities to enjoy, so you may want to relax after check in and take advantage of your spacious suite which has a stunning view of the frozen lake. The kids can get straight out to enjoy the snow and there are sledges available for them to enjoy at the hotel.
A delicious three-course dinner will be enjoyed in the hotel restaurant tonight.
Day 2 Husky Safari
What better way to start your holiday than a 2-hour husky safari. We are not sure who will be more excited, the parents, the children or even the huskies, but it is certainly a favourite activity here at Activities Abroad.
You will be picked up at the hotel and transferred to the husky centre which is about five minutes away. Your guide will then introduce you to the dogs who love nothing more than to pull their sleds.
After learning how to harness the dogs, you will drive 2 per sled on a 6km trail towards the Vuokatti hills. The excitable barking of the huskies will swiftly be replaced by the gentle pattering of doggie feet as you glide along the trail. Hot drinks will be included during the activity.
Dinner will be served at the hotel this evening.
Day 3 Snowmobile and Ice Fishing
The Finns love ice fishing and you’ll find that to get to the best locations, many locals use snowmobiles. Following breakfast, you will join your local guide to see what all of the fuss is about during a snowmobile and ice fishing tour.
After instruction on how to drive the snowmobile, you will travel two per machine - at the halfway point you will swap over, so each of the adults has an opportunity to drive. Drivers must be 18 years and over with a valid licence and children will ride behind a guide.
Once you arrive at the lake you will assist your guide in drilling a hole into the ice. Trout, perch and pike are native to this area so drop your lines into the icy water and see who can catch the largest fish. Hot drinks are included and the activity is approximately two hours in duration.
The remainder of the afternoon will be yours to enjoy as you wish and a delicious dinner will be served at the hotel restaurant tonight.
Day 4 Vuokatti Katinkulta Spa and Northern Lights Snowshoe
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant during a leisurely start to the morning. Today we have included tickets to the Vuokatti Katinkulta spa which has a wonderful swimming pool with a speedy water slide and numerous Jacuzzis. A free ski bus leaves from the accommodation approximately every two hours between 9 am and 4.30 pm so you can choose when you would like to visit and return.
During the evening you will enjoy a meal in the hotel restaurant before your snowshoe hunt for the Aurora Borealis. You will strap on your snowshoes and follow an expert guide who will lead you to areas which offer the best opportunities for viewing the Northern Lights. The tour will last for approximately two hours, and following the walk, you will enjoy some hot drinks and snacks.
Day 5 Snowshoeing
Following breakfast, you will join your guide and begin a wintery snowshoe adventure. If you step off the trails without snowshoes you may find yourself knee deep in snow, but with the snowshoes on you can enjoy walks in the deeper snow. It’s really a wonderful way to explore and your guide will tell you all sorts about the local plants and animals.
The tour will last for approximately one and a half hours with hot drinks and snacks included as well as tuition on how to use snowshoes.
The remainder of the day will be yours to spend at your leisure. During the evening you will enjoy a delicious hot meal in the hotel restaurant. You will then have time to relax and enjoy the hotel’s facilities.
Day 6 Visit to Finnish Farm and Reindeer Sleigh Ride
After breakfast, you will join a local guide and visit a nearby coaching inn and farm. The inn was a popular stopping point for travellers with horses and is located within the picturesque Vuokatinvaara fells.
You will be introduced to what life is like this far north and will all get a better understanding of how the local people have adapted to these colder climes.
Reindeer are hugely important to this region, and you will get to meet these furry nosed animals at close quarters when you enjoy a 300m safari around the grounds. There will also be the chance for you to meet the other animals, including horses, dogs and goats. At the end of the four-hour tour, you will enjoy a delicious country lunch at the farmhouse.
Following the tour, the remainder of the day will be yours to spend at your leisure. Dinner will be enjoyed at the hotel restaurant.
Day 7 Free Day
We have left your final day in Vuokatti free for you to enjoy at your leisure. If you wish to make use of our local, expert guides and explore the landscapes further then we have a number of additional activities which you can add to your holiday. Please see our personalise section for details.
Another popular option is to take the ski bus to the nearby slopes where you can enjoy some downhill skiing (all equipment can be hired locally).
Alternatively, you can take the bus to the Angry Birds Park if you fancy something completely different (payable locally).
Simply mucking about in the snow and making use of the sledges available at the hotel is also a great option for families but the choice is entirely yours.
Breakfast and dinner will both be enjoyed at the hotel restaurant.
Day 8 Departure
Following breakfast, your half term winter adventure in Vuokatti will be at an end. You will be transferred to Oulu Airport with an array of fantastic family memories of a traditional Finnish winter.
Included in price
Vuokatti Hotel and Suites
Hotel Vuokatti enjoys a prime location close to Lake Nuasjärvi in the Kainuu Province of Finnish Lakeland. This small hotel has 18 spacious rooms and 29 modern suites which offer a high quality, peaceful environment from which to enjoy your holiday. It is a wonderful location for children and free use of the hotel taboggans will provide endless amounts of wintery fun whilst you enjoy a drink in the bar.
Within easy reach of shops and the ski slopes of Vuokatti (both around 500m), it is an ideal base for families who are looking for a combination of winter wilderness and modern comforts. A ski bus stops at the hotel and is free of charge so getting around is nice and simple.
- You will enjoy your breakfasts and evening meals in the hotel restaurant, which has an impressive outlook over Lake Nuasjärvi. Here a range of local ingredients such as moose, pike and reindeer are served alongside some more international options
- There is also a small café and lobby bar area which serves coffees, drinks and snacks
- For children, there are a number of toboggans provided by the hotel which are free to use
- The hotel has numerous saunas for guests to use. There is even a large sauna with panoramic glass windows looking out onto the frozen lake. NB: the panoramic sauna is not open every day (reception will provide details) and so we cannot guarantee access to this during your holiday
- There is a small but well-equipped gym for guests to use should you wish for some indoor exercise during your stay
- Free Wi-fi is available throughout the hotel
Vuokatti Suites: these well-equipped, two-bedroom suites were completed in 2014 and offer a high standard of accommodation. All units have a kitchen with modern appliances (dishwasher, oven, microwave, coffee machine), a spacious living room, a bathroom and a private sauna. Each of the suites has a stunning view of either the frozen lake or the forested hills, which can be enjoyed from the terrace.
Double/Twin Rooms: the rooms at Vuokatti Hotel and Suites are well equipped, spacious and modern. All rooms are en-suite and the bathrooms have a shower as well as hairdryers. The rooms all have a flat-screen TV, a desk, safety deposit box and mini-bar.
Personalise this tour
Northern Lights snowmobile
There is something thrilling about zooming over the snow underneath a dark starry sky in search of the Northern Lights. The snowmobiles headlights cut through the trees as you enter the winter forest and drive towards a clearing in the Vuokatti hills. You will then stop for snacks and a hot drink. Keep your eyes on the sky as the lights can dance at any moment.Read more
You will travel 2 per snowmobile with children sitting behind the guide. Drivers must be 18 years and older with a valid driver’s licence. Full tuition will be given on how to drive the snowmobile.
Duration: 2 hours
Min group size: 4 people
Availability: Monday to Sunday
Credit: Vuokatti SafarisFrom £115 per adult
From £80 per child
Northern Lights husky safari
Combining a search for the Northern Lights with a team of excitable sled dogs is great fun. After the dogs set off, their happy barks and howls are silenced as they focus on their task. You will cross snow-covered, frozen meadows whilst keeping your eyes on the starry northern sky. If there any signs of colour, you will stop and take the time to admire the Aurora.Read more about this activity
After the safari, you will return to the husky centre and have the opportunity to meet the dogs and take photographs. Hot soup will then be served in the cafeteria.
You will travel two per sled with full tuition on how to control the dogs. The tour will last approximately 3 hours.
Duration: 3 hours
Min: 2 people
Availability: Monday to Sunday at 5pm
Credit: Vuokatti SafarisFrom: £186 per adult
From: £115 per child
Snowmobile to husky farm
Combine two of our most popular winter activities with a snowmobile and husky safari set amidst the stunning winter scenery.
Driving 2 per snowmobile, with children sitting behind the guide, you will travel over snow-covered meadows towards the husky centre. After assisting the guide to harness the dogs you will then enjoy a husky safari into the silent winter forest.Read more about this activity
Sled dogs love adventure just as much as our families and it is difficult not to fall in love with their infectious excitement. Don’t worry, at the end of the safari there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy a cuddle and make some new doggie friends.
Full tuition on how to drive both the snowmobile and husky sled will be given. Drivers of the snowmobile must be 18 years old and over and hold a valid driving licence. Hot drinks and snacks are included.
Duration: 3 hours
Min group size: 4
Availability: Mon-Sun at 10 am
Credit: Vuokatti SafarisFrom: £150 per adult
From: £88 per child
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Prices based on: two adults sharing a Lake View Suite with two children
♦Special offer - child age range increased for half-term 2019♦
Save just under £250 on children aged 13 & 14 years for half-term 2019 only (child price will revert to 12 years and under in 2020).
Sat 16 Feb 2019
to Sat 23 Feb 2019
|Adult price (per person): £1755.00||Child (age 4 - 14): £1535.00||Child (age 4 - 12): -||Book|
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-sale booking and fix the price of your trip at the pre-sale price displayed below. Simply by paying an initial deposit of £50pp, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain preliminary and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed, you will then have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. A further deposit payment of £350pp is due by 01 April 2019 or at the time of us confirming the trip details to you, whichever is sooner. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp payment. We reserve the right to charge supplements where there are significant changes to an itinerary or increases in flight costs. Any non-package rates remain subject to change.
Sat 15 Feb 2020
to Sat 22 Feb 2020
|Adult price (per person): £2070.00||Child (age 4 - 12): £1815.00||Child (age 4 - 14): -||Enquire|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 8 people and maximum 30 (approximately)
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate
Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.
The order of activities is always subject to change and you will be provided with your final itinerary upon arrival at your destination.
Please note that some of our holidays may incur a single supplement. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts who will provide you with a quotation.
Medical history and advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
If you have a reduced level of mobility, then please contact our travel experts to discuss the suitability of this holiday in relation to your requirements.
Experience and fitness
Most of the activities we offer have been designed for beginners who have no prior experience and are of all age ranges and fitness levels. Our guides provide expert advice, tuition and instructions prior to any activity going ahead. Activities are designed to be enjoyed and not endured, but some, do require a more basic level of fitness than others. If you have any questions, then please contact one of our Travel Experts who can provide first-hand advice.
The only holidays which are not as suitable for complete beginners are the multi-night safaris which involve several days in wilderness cabins travelling by either snowmobile or husky safari. Again, this all depends on the individual taking part, but some prior experience and understanding of these types of activities can be very helpful and a greater level of fitness is recommended.
Guides & Safety
When partaking in any activity, it is imperative that everyone in your group listens very closely to the instructions provided by the guide and that they are abided by at all times. Our guides are experts in their field and no one knows the environment better than these highly knowledgeable and experienced providers.
Prior to starting any activity, please make it clear to your guide if there is any element of the safety briefing you are unsure of or would like to clarify before you set off.
Our guides will always take local conditions into account when considering whether an activity can go ahead. This is, in part, why your itinerary is subject to change at short notice. This rarely happens, however, if it does, we will always endeavour to reschedule the activity for later in your holiday. If this is not possible then the cost of the activity will be refunded to you when you return home.
Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times; please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.
NB: In order to participate in our holidays, all guests must be able to understand instructions given in English. These instructions may be delivered verbally or in writing and will include vital safety information and ongoing instruction during activities.
Minimum and Maximum Age
The minimum age for this holiday can be found in the ‘Key Facts’ section of the holiday overview.
Younger family members may be able to participate but may not be able to take part in all activities. Please contact one of our Travel Experts if you have any questions.
Booking activities locally and equipment hire
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card. Please see your trip dossier for full details.
Travel Safety and Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/ Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/ The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.
Children and snowmobiles
For safety reasons, children under the age of 16 will typically travel in a sledge pulled behind the guides’ snowmobile on any snowmobile tours. From approximately 15 years onwards, children may be allowed to ride pillion on the back of a parent’s snowmobile. The guide will make a decision on the day as to where each individual child shall travel, and this may depend on the child’s height and the guide’s confidence in their ability to travel safely as a pillion for the duration of any safari. The guide’s decisions are final.
The driver of a snowmobile must be 18 years or over and have a valid driving licence. If an adult is unable to share a snowmobile with either a child or another adult in their party, they will be required to pay a single snowmobile supplement as all prices are based on two people sharing.