Vuokatti - Half-Term Winter Adventure
- Duration:5 nights
- 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 Heathrow to Kajaani (via Helsinki). Flight routes subject to change
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 5 nights in a Hill View Suite (upgrade to Lake View Suite available for a supplement, subject to availability)
- Meals: 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners
- The following activities are included in the holiday: husky safari, snowmobile safari, Katinkulta Spa ticket, Northern Lights snowshoe and ice fishing (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. Even the Finns travel here from the south of the country to rekindle forgotten childhood memories of winter. They 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 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.Read more
Your week will begin in the best possible way with a husky safari. There are no better companions than a team of eager sled dogs.
A thrilling snowmobile safari is next on the agenda and provides the chance for you to explore the wilderness and cover greater distances.
You will also experience one of the most traditional local pastimes as you try your hand at ice-fishing.
On one evening you shall strap on some snowshoes and follow your guide into the wilderness. Your mission is to find an ideal viewpoint from which to watch the skies for the Northern Lights, which visit this region frequently during the winter months.
Throughout, families will stay at 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 three hotel saunas.
This holiday takes full advantage of all that is on offer in this relatively undiscovered area of Finland and is sure to create unforgettable family memories.
Image credits: Vuokatti Safaris
Day 1 Arrival and Welcome
Following your arrival into Kajaani Airport, you will be transferred to Vuokatti Hotel and Suites which is approximately 40 minutes away. The evening is yours to spend at your leisure, so you may simply want to settle into your surroundings and enjoy the winter views from your apartment. There is plenty of space for children (and adults) to play outside in the snow and the hotel even has taboggans for guests to use.
Dinner will be enjoyed at the cosy hotel restaurant which also has a bar area and lounge.Included Meals: Dinner
Day 2 Husky Safari
What better way to start your holiday than with a husky safari. We are not sure who will be more excited, the parents, the children or the dogs, 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 a safety briefing and information on how to handle the sled, you will set off, travelling two people per sled on a 6km trail towards the Vuokatti hills, with one person (an adult) taking the controls and the second enjoying the views from the sled.
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. In total, you will be out for around two hours and shall be dog sledding for around 30-40 minutes depending on the conditions.
After the adventurous start to your day, you may like to add in some additional activities, or perhaps take to the nearby downhill ski slopes (payable locally), please see the ‘personalise’ section of the holiday page for details.
Dinner will be served at the hotel this evening.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 Snowmobile safari to the Vuokatti Hills
Today you will experience snowmobiling, one of the most exciting ways to explore the wilderness. Your route will lead you into the Vuokatti Hills, where you can achieve brilliant views over the winter scenery.
After instruction on how to drive the snowmobile and a safety briefing, adults will travel two per machine whilst the children will travel in style in a sleigh pulled by the guide’s snowmobile. There will be a break for warm drinks and snacks during the safari and you will be out for around two hours in total.
Please note that you must be over 18 and hold a full driving licence to drive a snowmobile.
The remainder of the day is yours to spend at your leisure. If you would like to explore Vuokatti further then there is a range of additional activities which you can add to your holiday, including an evening search for the Northern Lights by husky or snowmobile. Please see the ‘Personalise’ section.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 Ice Fishing
Ice fishing is a hugely popular way for families to spend time together in Finland, and this Lakeland region offers some wonderful spots.
After breakfast, you will head to a nearby frozen lake with your guides. Your first task is to drill holes through the thick ice to reach the icy waters below, then all you need to do is drop your line and wait. Trout, perch and pike are the most commonly caught fish here so fingers crossed you can land a catch. Hot drinks will be served during the activity and you will be out for around 1.5 hours in total.
Following the tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel where you can choose to either relax or try out some additional activities locally (see ‘personalise’ section for details).
Dinner will be served in the hotel restaurant.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 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 great water slide and numerous hot tubs. 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 and you can ask the guides any questions you like about the area.Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 Departure
After breakfast, your half term adventure will sadly come to an end. You will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home.Included Meals: Breakfast
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 wonderful hotel has 18 spacious rooms and 29 modern suites offering a high quality, peaceful environment from which to enjoy your holiday. It is a wonderful location for children and free use of the hotel toboggans always provides hours of entertainment.
Within easy reach of shops and the ski slopes of Vuokatti (both around 500m), this is the ideal location for families looking to combine winter wilderness activities with modern amenities.
A free ski bus stops at the hotel, so getting around is nice and simple and it allows you to tailor your free time together.
- You will enjoy your breakfasts and evening meals in the hotel restaurant, which has an impressive lookout 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
- Lunches are not included to give you the freedom to explore independently during your free time. There are a selection of cafes at the ski centre. You may also prefer to make use of your suite’s kitchen facilities and visit the local supermarket.
- 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 Hill View Suites:
These well-equipped suites are ideal for families and offer a high standard of accommodation. They are situated in an annexe, a very short walk from the main hotel building.
The Hill View Suites are 49.5m2 and offer two bedrooms. The largest bedroom comes equipped with a double bed and the small room features a sofa bed for 1-2 people. There is a second sofa bed in the sitting room which again can sleep 1-2 people. Whilst the suites can sleep up to 6 people, we find that they are most suited to families of 4.
All the suites have a kitchen with modern appliances (dishwasher, oven, microwave, coffee machine), a living room with smart TV, dining area, a shower room and a private sauna. As the name suggests, these suites offer views of the surrounding hills from their glazed terrace.
Bed linen, towels and end of stay cleaning are of course included (guests are asked to simply ensure that the dishwasher and the bins are empty). If you would like to have a mid-stay clean or a change of linen during your stay, then this can be arranged for a supplement.
Vuokatti Lake View Suites:
For those who would like a little extra space, then the Lake View Suites are ideal. They offer 58 square metres of space and two good sized bedrooms. Again they are in the separate annexe building just a short walk from the main hotel.
Both bedrooms have a double bed, and there is a sofa bed for 1-2 people in the living area, so in total, they can sleep up to 6 people.
Personalise this tour
Evening Husky Safari
If you would like to try another dog sled safari, then this evening tour with a team of excitable sled dogs is ideal.
After a short transfer to the husky centre, you will be given full driving instructions and a briefing, before setting off on the trails two people per sled. Your route will cover around 12km as you enjoy the trails with your eager team of dogs. Travelling after the fall of darkness sees the wilderness take on a whole new feeling as the light of your headtorch guides you along.Read more
If conditions are favourable, then there is a chance that you might even be able to see the Northern Lights during your tour. You will be out on the trail with the dogs for around 1 hour.
After the safari, you will return to the husky centre and can spend time with the dogs and take photographs. A picnic dinner will then be served in the cafeteria on your return to base (so you will not dine at the hotel this evening).
You will travel two per sled with full tuition on how to control the dogs.
Duration: Approximately 3 hours (including transfers and dinner).
Min: 2 people
Availability: Wednesday at 6 pmFrom £186 per adult
From £115 per child
Reindeer Sleigh Ride
Reindeer are some of Lapland’s most-loved animals and during this activity, you’ll learn all about the fantastic creatures as well as the importance of herding in the region.
After a short transfer, you will meet a local reindeer herder who will tell you about life here in the Arctic and will explain all about herding. You’ll get to try lassoing before jumping into a sleigh to enjoy a short ride (approximately 200-300 metres).
Afterwards, enjoy hot drinks and snacks around an open fire.
Duration: 2hrs (including transfers)
Please note: this activity is not available during Christmas and New Year.
Image credit: Nicola Barriball (client)From: £72 per adult
From: £44 per child
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Prices based on: two adults sharing a Lake View Suite with two children
Mon 17 Feb 2020
to Sat 22 Feb 2020
|Adult price (per person): £1475.00||Child (age 4 - 12): £1195.00||Book|
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-reservation by paying a deposit of only £50pp. The provisional prices, departure dates, and itinerary remain subject to change. We will contact you when final details are confirmed, and you will have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. Should you wish to proceed then a further deposit (typically of £350pp) will be payable at this stage. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your initial £50pp payment. Our Travel Experts will happily provide you with full terms and a complete quotation.
Mon 15 Feb 2021
to Sat 20 Feb 2021
|Adult price (per person): £1580.00||Child (age 4 - 12): £1280.00||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.