After arriving at your hotel, the remainder of the day is free for relaxing or exploring your surroundings. This evening, you'll have a choice between a search for the Northern Lights on snowshoes or the Starlight Sledding*. Meet your guide at the designated location. Both tours will commence at 7pm and it's recommended that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior.
The Snowshoe tour allows you to capture the true feeling of a winter night in the beautiful fell scenery. Your walk will follow old reindeer treks in the fell surroundings. Every now and then stops will be made to admire the nature and snow covered trees. Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, so no one can guarantee sightings. However if the sky is clear you'll see bright stars, and with a little luck, the captivating and colorful Aurora Borealis. During the trip you'll enjoy a break for a hot drink and your guide will tell you interesting stories about the Northern Lights and the arctic nature.
The Starlight Sledding tour is an unforgettable adventure for families. You'll be seated in a sledge pulled by a snowmobile as you start out by driving into the forest. The route goes through varied landscapes. The journey by sled will take you to a camp where you'll make a fire together with your guide, grill some sausages, and make coffee. If you're lucky you'll be able to see the Northern Lights dancing in the sky while you travel along in your sled.
*On both tours, your equipment will be provided including snowshoes, overalls, gloves, boots, woolen socks, masks & helmets.
Today, you'll have the option of two Snowmobile Safaris*. For both tours, you meet your guide at a designated spot at 10am.The first option is the Reindeer Safari, passing through the beautiful forests and over ice covered lakes to a traditional reindeer farm with a real atmosphere. At first you'll have a short reindeer sled-drive, followed by feeding the reindeer and sharing the stories of reindeer's life in the arctic nature. After the reindeer sledding, you will receive a diploma and enjoy coffee with sweet pastry and sausage. This excursion will be approximately 4 to 5 hours,
The 2nd option takes you towards the eastern part of Kuusamo, close to the Russian border. During the tour you'll drive on the top of the magnificent Kuntivaara hill, which is famous for its snow frozen trees. The breath-taking scenery over the arctic wilderness will be a memory you'll never forget. At the end of your ride, enjoy a soup lunch and coffee in a cozy wilderness restaurant. This tour will last approximately 6 hours.
*On both safaris, your equipment will be provided including overalls, gloves, boots, woolen socks, masks & helmets.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Ruka-Kuusamo)
Today once again, you have the choice of two tours. For the outdoor enthusiast, ice fishing, or as the Finnish say pilkki, is on the agenda. It's a typical winter activity that most Finns participate in at some stage. You'll travel by car to the shore of a beautiful lake with plenty of fish. You'll set off by snowshoes and walk a short distance to the frozen lake where you'll start the ice fishing process. After drilling a hole in to the lake, you'll set up your fishing jigs. For the novice fisher, a jig consists of a lead sinker with a hook molded into it and is usually covered by a soft body to attract fish. During the pilkki, it's possible to catch perch, whitefish, roach (not that kind), pike or even grayling. If luck is on your side, the guide will show you how to prepare the fish by an open fire. Coffee, tea and sweet buns will be served during the tour as well. Your equipment will be provided including snowshoes, overalls, gloves, boots, and woolen socks.
Or if you prefer something more sedentary:
The Finnish dream; a sauna by a lake! Iisakki's Sauna is just that: a wood-heated sauna with a massive 750kg stove. Heating the stove takes four hours, but the bather is rewarded with exceptionally slow and gentle steam. The Iisakki`s sauna is one of the first saunas awarded with the Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience certificate. This experience is conducted with a local sauna guide who will tell you about the origin of sauna culture and why it is so important to Finns. Your guide also joins you in the sauna and explains the do's and don'ts of sauna etiquette.* Participants can also step up their sauna experience with a warm outdoor Jacuzzi or dip in the ice hole! During the sauna experience berry juice and water is served as well as small snacks. After the sauna experience it is time to enjoy traditional Lappish buffet dinner with local delicacies.
* Sauna participants can be covered with a swimsuit or towel. This is suitable for children and adults of all ages.
(Breakfast, Dinner & Accommodations, Ruka-Kuusamo)
While the day is at your leisure, a trip to Finland would not be complete without dining on the local delicacies. This evening you'll arrive at an underground restaurant; Kontioluola or "bears cave". This hidden restaurant in the woods only opens its doors occasionally for special events.
The evening will start with a welcome drink at the ice bar (season for ice bar is Dec 31 thru Mar 31). Then enjoy the Finnish version of farm to table; you'll savor local delicacies such as fresh caught fish from the nearby lakes, berries from the forests and reindeer prepared with very typical Lappish style.
(Breakfast, Dinner & Accommodations, Ruka Kuusamo)
After a leisurely breakfast, time to say good-bye to this untouched wilderness and begin your next Avanti destination.