Cross-country ski holiday in Finland, March 2015

22 posts in this topic

Today will be 30°C in Munich, and the hottest day of the year so far, so what better time to start planning a winter holiday?

 

Is there any interest in another cross-country skiing trip to Finnish Lapland in March 2015?

 

The trip would be similar to March 2014 (see Finland Bootcamp, photos, and video), but possibly to a different resort (see list of options).

 

The northern lights were at the peak of their 11-year cycle last year. In 2015 they'll still be strong but the following years will be weaker. This means it'd be a good time to return to Lapland now before trying other more southerly resorts in future years.

 

Dates: Saturday 7th March to Sunday 15th March, 2015 Saturday 14th March to Sunday 22nd March, 2015

Accommodation: Shared log cabin, six twin rooms, kitchen, lounge, and sauna

Activity: Seven days of cross-country skiing, approximately 30 km per day

Extras: Ice hotel day visit, igloo village visit, husky dog sledging, overnight wilderness trek

Estimated cost: €500 flight, €400 accommodation, €50 transit = €950 total + €250 groceries & spending

 

Example itinerary:

- Meet at Munich Airport on Saturday morning

- Fly to Helsinki, 1 hr stopover, fly to Ivalo or Kittilä in Lapland

- Transit bus to the resort, move into cottage on Saturday evening

- Sunday to Friday inclusive, six days of skiing, ~30 km per day, different trail each day

- Optional: trip to ice hotel or igloos, and/or husky dog sledging

- Optional: 100 km trek with overnight stay in a wilderness hut (carrying own sleeping bag)

- Cooked breakfasts in the cottage, snack lunches in huts/cafes along the trails, home-cooked dinners at log cabin

- Saturday morning, transit bus back to Kittilä/Ivalo airport

- Fly to Helsinki, possible one-night stopover and Helsinki city visit (only if no same-day flights to Munich)

- Fly to Munich Saturday (preferred) or Sunday (depending on flight availability)

 

If there's little demand this year, we'll almost certainly do a trip the following year instead, i.e. March 2016.

 

But if we do go ahead for March 2015, then it'd be best to book soon, i.e. June or July, in order to secure the cheapest flights.

 

Sign-up in the thread below if interested, and share any other thoughts or ideas. No commitment yet required, this thread is just to gauge interest.

 

post-16-14007522081244.jpg

Click for photos from March 2014

 

post-16-14007523786429.png

Click for map of Lapland resorts

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5)

6)

...

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6)

...

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7)

...

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7) Ivanna Skimahrumphoff aka NewChris

8)

9)

...

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7) Ivanna Skimahrumphoff aka NewChris

8) Ophelia_30

9) Kerstin

10)

11)

12)

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7) Ivanna Skimahrumphoff aka NewChris

8) Ophelia_30

9) Kerstin

10) Anshu (Anywhere in Scandinavia)

11)

12)

0

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7) Ivanna Skimahrumphoff aka NewChris

8) Ophelia_30

9) Kerstin

10) Anshu (Anywhere in Scandinavia)

11) Eep

12)

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Great that there is so much interest. Let's go ahead and do this!

 

To keep the logistics under control, we should limit it to 12 places, at least initially.

 

But if we reach 12, don't hesitate to add yourself to the waiting list.

 

I'll make a final decision on the destination in early June, and then start taking definitive reservations.

 

Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7) Ivanna Skimahrumphoff aka NewChris

8) Ophelia_30

9) Kerstin

10) Anshu (Anywhere in Scandinavia)

11) Eep

12)

======== Waiting list:

13)

14)

...

1

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7) Ivanna Skimahrumphoff aka NewChris

8) Ophelia_30

9) Kerstin

10) Anshu (Anywhere in Scandinavia)

11) Eep

12) nomis

======== Waiting list:

13)

14)

...

0

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7) Ivanna Skimahrumphoff aka NewChris

8) Ophelia_30

9) Kerstin

10) Anshu (Anywhere in Scandinavia)

11) Eep

12) nomis

======== Waiting list:

13) Eva (new horizons maybe?)

14) Eli

15)

16)

...

0

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7) Ivanna Skimahrumphoff aka NewChris

8) Ophelia_30

9) Kerstin

10) Anshu (Anywhere in Scandinavia)

11) Eep

12) nomis

======== Waiting list:

13) Eva (new horizons maybe?)

14)

15)

16)

...

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Consensus seems to be happy with either a return to Äkäslompolo, or venturing to somewhere new. Having done lots and lots of research about Saariselkä (thanks to iines for helping) I think we should go there.

 

Apparently Saariselkä has a slightly different landscape to Äkäslompolo. It is further north, so there are fewer trees. This means better views across the rolling hills. There is still plenty of forest, but not as much.

 

Flights for this resort are more expensive for the week 7-14th March, so the new plan is to go a week later than I originally suggested. Cabins are also slightly more expensive, so in total it works out at €994 per person. A bit more than last year, but hopefully it's still OK with everyone.

 

Finalised details

 

Dates: Saturday 14th March to Sunday 22nd March, 2015

Accommodation: Shared log cabin "Govadas", six twin rooms, kitchen, lounge, and sauna

Flights: Munich to Ivalo via Helsinki, return flight requires an overnight in Helsinki

Costs: €537 flight, €389 cabin, €25 ski luggage, €43 stopover hotel = €994 total

 

As with all airlines, Finnair increases their seat prices as the aircraft fills up. They also only allow booking of maximum 8 seats at a time. So I reserved in two batches then averaged the price as follows: (8x526 + 2x581)/10 = 537 EUR each. CQ and I are left out of this equation as we're returning two weeks later on a more expensive flight.

 

Towels and bed linen are automatically included with the cabin this time. No option, or need, to bring your own.

Cabin is 50 meters from the ski trail, and 8 minutes walk from the supermarket.

See the Saariselkä location on Google Maps, as well as the Street View image of our cabin.

 

Suggested itinerary

 

Sun: 25.3 km via Joikun Kota, Moitakuru, Lutto

Mon: 30.4 km via Lutto, Vellinsärpimänoja, Luulampi, Rumakuru

Tue: 39.8 km via Rumakuru, Rautulampi, Kiilopää

Wed: 37.6 km via Piispanoja, Kiilopaa, Rönkänlampi

Thu: 34.3 km via Varihaselkä, Laanila, Kakslauttanen

Fri: 31.2 km via Kulmakuru, Pikku-harrinoja

Sat: 31.4 km bonus "last day" loop, to be decided

 

Different trail every day, grand total: 230 km (trail map PDF)

 

In addition there are options for an igloo village visit and husky dog sledging.

 

Payment

 

Places are only confirmed once I receive full payment.

I'll message everyone to determine who's still in and to send out my bank details.

Payment in full €994 can be made immediately

...or in two installments: €535 by July 31 and €459 by October 31, 2014.

If payment deadlines are missed, places are opened up to the waiting list and non-TTers.

Paid reservations can be cancelled and refunded in full, minus €50 Finnair name change fee, provided someone else takes the place.

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Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob

2) STB (happy with Äkäslompolo or somewhere new)

3) CandyQuackenbush

4) Natalia

5) Newinmunichberlin (Anywhere in Scandinavia! )

6) Kitkit (Äkäslompolo or someplace new)

7) Ivanna Skimahrumphoff aka NewChris

8) Ophelia_30

9) Kerstin

10) Anshu (Anywhere in Scandinavia)

11) Eep

12) nomis

======== Waiting list:

13) Eva (new horizons maybe?)

14) pyrchick (happy to meet at the lunch stop :-) )

15)

16)

...

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It looks like we're going to Finland! Again! :-)

 

The cabin is now booked for 12 people, and 10 flights have been provisionally reserved.

 

Finnair currently has 4 more seats available at the price we've picked. There's no telling how long they'll remain available, so it'd be good reserve two of them before anyone else does. So, those who haven't confirmed yet, let me know ASAP whether you're in or out.

 

Flight times:

MUC 11:50 -> HEL 15:25 (Saturday 14th March)

HEL 16:30 -> IVL 18:00 (Saturday 14th March)

 

IVL 18:25 -> HEL 20:50 (Saturday 21st March)

HEL 16:20 -> MUC 17:50 (Sunday 22nd March)

 

Finnish Lapland 2015 sign-up sheet

 

1) Editor Bob - CONFIRMED

2) STB - CONFIRMED

3) CandyQuackenbush - CONFIRMED

4) Natalia - CONFIRMED

5) Kitkit - CONFIRMED

6) NewChris - CONFIRMED

7) Ophelia_30 - CONFIRMED

8) Kerstin - CONFIRMED

9) Eep - CONFIRMED

10) nomis - CONFIRMED

 

11) Newinmunichberlin

12) Anshu

 

======== Waiting list:

 

13) Eva

14) Pyrchick (happy to meet at the lunch stop :-) )

15)

16)

...

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