Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Private

Log Cabins & Bears of Finland - self drive (8 days)

50 Degrees North

Kuopio, Finland To Rovaniemi, Finland

Valid for Departures: 01 May 2019 - 30 Sep 2019


Day 1
Kuopio, Finland
Metsäkartano holiday centre Dinner

Day 1: Arrival at Kuopio

Arrival at Kuopio airport where you will collect your hire car. For the first night you will drive to Metsäkartano holiday centre situated in Rautavaara in a tranquil spot surrounded by lakes, forests and wilderness. Total distance: 130 kilometres.

If you arrive on an early flight you can visit the city of Kuopio which is full of life especially in summer. The city, in the centre of the Savo region, is famous for its marketplace, harbour and cheerful people. At the market you can taste the local speciality,“kalakukko”, a Finnish fish pie.

Two nights will be at Metsäkartano holiday centre - with a long natural sandy beach on the lake.

Day 2
Kuopio, Finland
Metsäkartano Hotel and Holiday Centre Breakfast, Dinner

Day 2: Explore either Tiilikkajärvi National Park or Hiidenportti National Park

Today you can choose between two national parks that are both within easy reach of Metsäkartano. Tiilikkajärvi National Park offers quite easy routes, beautiful lakeside scenery and beaches. By contrast, the scenery at Hiidenportti National Park is quite rugged; trails include more hills and are a bit more demanding.

The heart of Hiidenportti National Park is the majestic Hiidenportti Gorge with its vertical rock walls. Both national parks have some good hiking trails for a few hours’ day tour. Remember to carry the picnic lunch with you because there are no opportunities to purchase food in the parks. You can pick up maps and information at the holiday centre.

Day 3
Kuhmo, Finland
Kuhmo Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Drive to Kuhmo

It’s time to say goodbye to Metsäkartano and head via Nurmes in Karelia to the village of Kalevala, Kuhmo. In Nurmes you can visit the Karelian Bomba House and the Karelian village around it. The Bomba House might be a good place to enjoy lunch as well. Midway, in the middle of the wild taiga, is a company organizing wildlife watching tours. During these tours you can observe some interesting native Finnish animals, such as beavers and wolverines. You can participate in a safari, at an extra cost, but this must be booked before departure.

By the end of the day you’ll arrive at Kuhmo which is a small village where you can see the Finnish national epic Kalevala reflected in the architecture, events, research, museums and the food. You can learn more about Kalevala and Karelian culture at the Kalevala Information Centre Juminkeko and at Kalevala Spirit Experience Park, close to your accommodation. If you visit Kuhmo during the last two weeks of July – you won’t be alone! At that time of year Kuhmo is full of guests enjoying the annual Chamber Music Festival which is famous and appreciated throughout the world.

Wolverine observation (on day 3) season May - August 19th

Driving Distance approx. 105 km driving

Day 4
Kuhmo, Finland
Local Farm homestay in the tiny village of Juntu Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Meet the brown bears

In the morning you will have the opportunity to visit Petola Visitor Centre which is an information center on Finland’s large carnivores – bear, wolf, lynx and wolverine. From Kuhmo the route goes toward north through some very sparsely populated areas following the Russian border. You’ll pass through the beautiful village of Lentiira and cross the road leading to Kostamus and to the international frontier crossing point of Vartius.

Some 25 km south of Suomussalmi is the historical area of Raate which was the stage of some heavy battles during the Second World War. In Raate it is possible to visit the Winter War exhibition and the Raate Frontier Guard Museum. Your accommodation for the next night will be in the tiny village of Juntusranta just beside the Russian border. Arola, Helena and Eero’s former dairy farm, is well-known for its delicious local food. The farm is surrounded by remote woodland inhabited by European brown bears. In the evening you can take part in a bear safari and observe these majestic animals from the purpose-built log cabins.

Kuhmo – Juntusranta approx. 170 km

Day 5
Kuusamo, Finland
Ollila Holiday Cottages Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Hiking in Hossa

Heading north again you will first arrive at Hossa which is a national hiking area known for its crystal-clear lakes and handsome pine heathlands. The area offers great opportunities for hiking, canoeing and fishing. One good destination for a day hiking trip might be Värikalliot, the oldest rock paintings in northern Finland dating back some 4000 years. Hossa Visitor Centre offers information on trails and there is also an exhibition on the area's history and present day.

In Hossa you can also visit a reindeer park and get to know the semi-wild animals inhabiting the northern area of Finland better. You can try your skills at lassoing reindeer or just pet and feed them. Your final destination today is Kuusamo, which is one of the most important tourist destinations in Finland thanks to its magnificent nature and the vast range of activities available throughout the year. Before settling down for the night at the cosy Ollila Holiday Cottages you could, for example, pop into the Tourist and Nature Centre Karhuntassu and visit a nature photograhy centre there.

Juntusranta - Kuusamo approx. 135 km

Day 6
Kuusamo, Finland
Ollila Holiday Cottages Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Kuusamo Nature's Own Amusement Park

This morning you don´t need to pack your luggage because you will stay another night at the same place. Today you can head to Oulanka National Park or to Ruka which is maybe the most popular skiing resort in Finland.

The landscape of Oulanka National Park is made up of pine forests; river valleys with sandy banks and rapids; and, in the north, vast marshes. The area is rich in animal and plant species. Hikers can get a general picture of the park’s nature even on daytrips. There are several routes available but one very nice (though very demanding) one is the Small Bear’s Trail starting from the village of Juuma. Departing from Oulanka Visitor centre you can visit the Kiutaköngäs rapids which are some of the biggest rapids in Finland. Many safari companies organize river rafting in Oulanka National Park varying from easy family tours to speedy tours that will make your heart race!

At Ruka you can climb up to some of the hills and admire the beautiful views over forests and lakes. An easier way to get to the top is the Ruka Lookout Lift that takes you up to the hill. If you are brave enough, you can descend on a speedy summer sled! The safari companies of the area also offer many other activities, such as canoe trips, quad safaris, mountain biking and Nordic walking tours.

Day 7
Rovaniemi, Finland
Chalet Hotel Rovaniemi Breakfast

Day 7: Reach the Arctic Circle

This will be your last and longest day of travelling, ending at Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle. If you are still willing to do some hiking you can easily visit either Riisitunturi National Park or Korouoma Nature Reserve which both offer the opportunity of some nice daytrips, though there are no circular routes available. Both destinations have their characteristics and especially the 30-km-long fracture valley in Korouoma is very special.

If you take the longer, southern route from Posio to Rovaniemi you will have a chance to visit a Wildlife Park situated in Ranua. There are about 50 species of arctic and northern wild animals at Ranua Zoo, including bears, the only polar bears in Finland, lynxes, wolves, wolverines, moose and many more.

This will be your last and longest day of travelling, ending at Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle. If you are still willing to do some hiking you can easily visit either Riisitunturi National Park or Korouoma Nature Reserve which both offer the opportunity of some nice daytrips, though there are no circular routes available. Both destinations have their characteristics and especially the 30-km-long fracture valley in Korouoma is very special.

The city of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, offers plenty to do. Santa Claus’ Village on the Arctic Circle takes you to the atmosphere of Christmas, even if it is summer. You can visit Santa Claus in his office, send a postcard from Santa Claus’ Post Office and visit a Christmas Exhibition presenting Christmas traditions around the world.

The Arktikum, a science centre and museum, is also worth a visit. The exhibitions of the Arktikum lead you through the Arctic areas’ and Finnish Lapland’s history and modern day providing a unique insight into the way of life, culture and history of the North.

For the last night of the tour you will stay at Chalet Hotel Rovaniemi, in a well-appointed cabin with a genuine Finnish sauna where you can refresh yourself after a week full of activities. Exceptionally the dinner is not included in the price today but there are several good restaurants to choose from in Rovaniemi.

Kuusamo - Rovaniemi approx. 210 km

Day 8
Rovaniemi, Finland
None Breakfast

Day 8: Depart Rovaniemi

Breakfast and drive to the airport of Rovaniemi where you will leave your hire car.

Tour Features


Experiences have not been selected at this time


This self-drive itinerary takes you through the sparsely populated taiga forests of north-eastern Finland. There are three national parks and two national hiking areas with their hiking, canoeing and fishing possibilities easily accessible from the route.

Close to the Russian border you can participate in bear or wolverine observation tours which give you a unique chance to watch and photograph these animals safely. There is also a chance to learn more about Finland's large carnivores - bear, wolf, lynx and wolverine.

Accommodation varies from hotel rooms to apartments and cosy cabins. Each night you will get to enjoy local delicacies and the genuine Finnish sauna is also available most nights.

You will also have the chance to visit Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle on the last day of the trip.

Day 1: Arrival at Kuopio

Day 2: Explore either Tiilikkajärvi National Park or Hiidenportti National Park

Day 3: Drive to Kuhmo

Day 4: Meet the brown bears

Day 5: Hiking in Hossa

Day 6: Kuusamo Nature's Own Amusement Park

Day 7: Reach the Arctic Circle

Day 8: Depart Rovaniemi

About Us

50 Degrees North is a family owned, boutique destination specialist tour operator for the Nordic region and the Scandinavian Arctic. The company’s entirely Nordic sales staff offers in-depth knowledge of all its destinations. Luxury for us means experiencing something extraordinary beyond your everyday life; immersing yourself into the local culture, nature and people and, when possible, venturing away from the well-trodden paths and into the ‘un-known’. We do things the simple and beautiful Scandinavian way. With offices in Norway, Canada and Australia, 50 Degrees North is able to provide our clients with support 24/7.

Insider Tip

50 Degrees North is an authentic and affordable option for the Nordics. We are NOT your luxury white glove operator. More details at

Terms & Conditions

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The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for 50 Degrees North


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By: Igofish

Reviewed on: 09 Jul 2017

Given that 59 Deveees North is in Norway, they had no presence in Greenland whatsoever. While they were able to arrange the activities we requested, we had no single point person in Greenland. We felt on our own on a daily basis. This may have been due to a lack of personal experience with Greenland and more specifically the town where we visited. Since this is a national heritage site, I would have expected greater familiarity. However, we were able to fend for ourselves when neededttt
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Great options and fast service when needed

By: patcat

Reviewed on: 13 Aug 2017

Ours was a complex itinerary and they came through. There were a few minor stumbles and one change initiated by us...but all were handled quickly and professionally. Overall a fantastic experience!
Travel Advisor:  Colette Guterson
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Not Recommended

50 Degrees North

By: Meryl

Reviewed on: 10 Sep 2017

Did not get what we had hoped for overall on our trip to Iceland. The only part of our trip that was planned for us and we loved was at The Blue Lagoon. Did not get "guided" tours, got pick up and drop off at destinations. Planning done on own and helped put together by our agent was better than what 50 Degrees North did for us.
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Wonderful adventure

By: globetrots

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2017

Terrific service all around offering plenty of options and information. Had to make last minute miodifications and all went smoothly.
Travel Advisor:  Kip Abbott
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Good experience

By: Jensi

Reviewed on: 22 Jan 2018

My travel agent worked directly with 50 North in planning our trip. I can say that all of our tours were professional and fun. Also, when the weather caused restrictions on some of the planned activities, the company was quick to find a suitable alternative. Everything was exactly as described to us and we had a fantastic trip!
Travel Advisor:  Ron Phillips
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Well planned, learned a lot

By: Connerss

Reviewed on: 09 Apr 2018

Hotels were very nice, tour operators were good, private guides were stellar and informative, particularly those with Mountain Guides. Would definitely use 50 Degrees North again. Only complaint was one tour operator (Artic Adventures) had buses that were so compact we all had to turn and leave our legs in the aisle, and I'm not tall. While the sites were beautiful and the tour guide knowledgeable, the long sardine-can bus ride was very difficult. Perhaps they were the only operators sending trips to our desired locations, unsure of that detail.
Travel Advisor:  Irene Quisenberry
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Trip to Finland

By: Finngirl

Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2018

I would definitely use 50 Degrees North again. They planned our trip, which was perfect. There were 4 people in our group and they had something for all of us, and we all enjoyed everything we did. Leena our tour guide was absolutely wonderful. She made the walking tour a lot fun and we learned a lot. Hotels they choose were great and I couldn't have asked for anything more.
Travel Advisor:  Rosemarie Spinney
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By: Grandma

Reviewed on: 13 Sep 2018

Everything went perfectly. Tours were wonderful.
Travel Advisor:  Amy Rectenwald
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Competent but not great comunicators

By: Bobiz

Reviewed on: 22 Oct 2018

Guides and transportation were very good. They were not responsive to our requests for restaurant reservation....they made some...and then ignored other requests.
Travel Advisor:  Lydia Ganz
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Thank you Anna & 50 Degrees North

By: Michelle T.

Reviewed on: 11 Dec 2018

Anna was super helpful when we encountered some minor issues on our trip - she was readily available to help . We had an absolutely amazing time in Sweden & Finland. I would highly recommend visiting this area- I would only recommend going a bit later as we didn’t have much snow even in early December :(
Travel Advisor:  Landa Mauriello-Vernon
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Knowledgeable up north

By: Hectar

Reviewed on: 16 Jan 2019

They really know the area. They put us in the right hotels and the guides the booked were wonderful. Everything was easy to understand and get around.
Travel Advisor:  Betsy Bouche