Get behind the wheel to head deep into the northernmost reaches of Europe in search of brown bears on this fly-drive holiday through Finland.
Close to the Russian Border, traverse sparsely populated taiga forests and hike through national parks to soak up the stunning scenery.
Get to know the wildlife while passing green expanses of pine trees and canoeing through crystal clear lakes, before retiring to a Finnish sauna each evening.
Collect your hire car upon arrival at Kajaani airport and meet your representative. Drive to Metsäkartano for dinner in a mansion. (D)
Choose between two national parks. Take on the rugged landscape and hilly walking trails around Hiidenportti National Park to reach the majestic vertical walls of the Hiidenportti Gorge, or opt for easier routes around beaches and beautiful lakeside scenery at Tiilikkajärvi National Park. (B,D)
Leave Metsäkartano for Kuhmo. Travel via Nurmes to discover Finnish Karelian culture at Bomba House. Stop to join a wildlife tour and explore the middle of the taiga forest in search of native flora and fauna – a beaver spotting safari can be booked at additional cost. Spend a night in Kuhmo, a small traditional village. Visit in July to enjoy it’s famous Chamber Music Festival. (B,D)
Head north through sparsely populated regions next to the Russian border, reaching the international frontier crossing point of Vartius. Visit WW2 battle sites and war museums at Raate. Enjoy an evening in the tiny border village of Juntusranta in European brown bear- inhabited forest. An evening bear watching safari can be booked at additional cost. (B,D)
Continue north to Hossa. Hike, canoe or fish in this stunning area, famed for its crystal-clear lake and pine covered heath lands. Visit the oldest rock paintings in Northern Finland at Värikalliot and feed the semi wild inhabitants of the Hossa reindeer park before moving on to Kuusamo. (B,D)
Take to the Small Bear’s Trail and hike through the pine forests and the river valleys with sandy banks of Oulanka National Park and visit the rushing rapids. Try mountain biking or hop in a canoe. Alternatively, head to Ruka (Finland’s favourite skiing resort) to enjoy stunning hill-top views and take on the slopes with a sled. (B,D)
Arrive at Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle. Visit the Riisitunturi National Park or Korouoma Nature Reserve for hiking routes through striking valley-carved landscapes. Fill your last day with wildlife on a visit to the Ranua Zoo to meet Finland’s’ native polar bears, brown bears, lynxes and wolves and uncover Finnish Lapland’s history at the Arktikum museum. (B)
Return hire car to the airport and leave for the UK. (B)