February 1 – 8, 2020
About This Tour
“You’re going where in the middle of winter?” That’s what all your friends will exclaim as you reveal your travel plans for next February. Will they understand the allure of the call to adventure that you are answering? To be in a magical place where every hour of sunshine is a Golden Hour due to the long slanting rays? To luxuriate in an isolated lakefront hotel which has been reserved exclusively for gay men from Europe and America? To cavort in winter revels during the day? Then sauna, dine and dance the night away under a sky with countless stars and the possibility to see the Aurora Borealis?
Welcome to Kuhmo, a small town in northeast Finland. Surrounded by ancient forests and crystal-clear lakes, this is a winter wonderland nestled in some of the deepest snow in Finland. With nothing but unspoiled nature as far as the eye can see, Kuhmo is perfect for wilderness activities. This week-long adventure includes winter survival games, a snowmobile safari along the taiga forest, Finnish sauna treatments with birch branches, a husky dog sleigh tour, snowshoeing, ice fishing, cross country skiing, and possibly floating down an icy river! You’ll have an entirely new appreciation for this season after participating in our thrilling adventure in a Winter Wonderland!
- Gorgeous Finnish winter landscapes
- Winter survival games
- Dog sledding
- Ice fishing
- Cross country skiing
- Optional river float
- All meals, including Finnish delicacies like reindeer, bear and elk
- 2 saunas
- Indoor and outdoor jacuzzis
- Optional spa treatments
- Special cultural programs
MAIN TOUR ITINERARY
Arrive in Kuhmo / Welcome Dinner
Arrange your international flight to arrive in Kajaani, Finland today. (You use the airport code KAJ when searching for flights to/from Kajaani). All flights to Kajaani, in central Finland, connect through Helsinki, but an overnight stop in Helsinki is not a part of the tour unless you decide to spend some time there on your own before or after the tour. Arrange your flights to arrive in Kajaani no later than mid-afternoon today. Upon arrival in Kajaani you will be transferred to our hotel in Kuhmo. We will have a cocktail and introductions beside the hotel’s fireplace before heading into our Welcome Dinner. (Dinner included)
Survival Games & Sauna
Enjoy a leisurely morning. Today we will be engaging in friendly competition with one another in teams, as we hone our skills at winter survival games. The challenges will be fun and all done in the spirit of camaraderie. Go Team Toto! In the afternoon, you are free to enjoy the saunas and the indoor and outdoor jacuzzis. You may also want to try out the peat sauna, which has you getting dirty to get healthy. Peat is a 100% natural product, drawn from underground where bioactive ingredients have been combined and formed a substance with minerals. Traditional peat treatments include body masks, facial masks, leg and feet treatments as well as procedures on back, neck and shoulders. These treatments are often combined with sauna sessions so that the heat of the sauna can speed up the processes. After dinner, our DJ will guide us through the evening. (All Meals)
Snowmobile Safari & Kota Dinner
After a late breakfast, we ride on snowmobiles across Finland’s snowy landscape. An experienced guide will give us a lesson on how to operate the snowmobile and provide safety information. Then you and another person will hop aboard and embark on 2-hour thrill-ride across the snow and along the taiga forest. The afternoon is free for relaxation. This evening, we enjoy a special dinner in “Kota” teepee at the lakeshore, enjoying a tasty reindeer meat dish around an open fire. Finally, we luxuriate in saunas and jacuzzis and get a classic Finnish sauna treatment with birch branches. (All Meals)
Husky Safari / Sauna
After breakfast, we head to a nearby husky farm. First, we learn about the life of the sled dogs in the arctic areas and get acquainted with the happy animals. We are given safety guidelines and a driving lesson before embarking on a husky safari with two people on each team. After the safari, we have a picnic lunch at the farm. In the afternoon, you will have time to relax in the sauna or sign up for optional spa treatments. Tonight’s dinner includes traditional tastes of this region of Finland. (All Meals)
Snowshoeing & Winter Fishing
This morning, we embark from our hotel on an energetic and perhaps comical walking tour, as we see how graceful we can be wearing snowshoes. Afterwards, our tour guide shows us how to do winter ice fishing out on the frozen lake. We will have time for sauna and relaxation in the afternoon. This evening we experience “Finnish Mystical Magic”, as we walk (on snowshoes or on foot, depending on snow level) into the forest to meet a shaman. She will offer you love potions and Deer Antler Velvet, and she will predict your future. The main course at dinner tonight will be a special delicacy: bear meat. Finally, you can wow the crowd with karaoke at our hotel’s restaurant. (All Meals)
After breakfast we go to cross-country ski school to learn the national sport of Finland. After lunch enjoy plenty of free time to continue skiing on easy tracks at the Kalevala Ski-centre and along the lakeshore. Ski tracks for persons with more experience are available as well. Sauna time before dinner which features cuisine from the Baltic-Finnic ethnic group, the Karelians. Afterwards, a DJ entertains with dancing until the early hours. (All Meals)
Free Day / Farewell Dinner
Our last full day here is completely free for leisure, to enjoy the snow, have spa treatments, or to repeat some of the winter activities you enjoyed most (optional, not included). One that we haven’t experienced so far, and which will be a Toto challenge, is an exciting float/swim down the Pajakkakoski rapids in the center of Kuhmo! The glow of accomplishment and a hot toddy served in a tepee below the rapids will be your reward! In the evening we get wild and dispense with proper etiquette, white tablecloths or fancy cutlery. Our "Olden Days” Farewell Dinner is all about eating the way locals have done for centuries – with your fingers or wooden spoons. (All Meals)
The tour concludes after breakfast. We check out of our hotel and transfer to the Kajaani Airport (airport code KAJ) for our return flights home, which connect through Helsinki. (Breakfast)
Entry Requirements - For citizens of the United States and Canada, all you need to enter Finland is a valid passport.Immunizations and Health - No immunizations are required, but it is wise to have a current tetanus booster.
Exit Requirements - Your airport departure tax will be included in the cost of your international airline ticket.
Making Travel Arrangements to FinlandOn this tour, international airfare is NOT included. You will need to get your international air to Kajaani, Finland (airport code KAJ), and back from there to the U.S.A. We encourage you to work with Steven Goldberg at Frosch Travel in Chicago, who can find you the best flights to get to Finland and back again. You need to arrive in Kajaani by the afternoon of Saturday, February 1, 2020. Your departure from Kajaani will be on Saturday, February 8, 2020.
Steven Goldberg / Frosch TravelToll-Free in USA: 1-800-323-1276
International guests, please call +1-312-371-9686
When calling, please identify yourself as a Toto Tours participant. If you leave a message on Steven’s voice mail, he will return your call promptly. He will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate.
NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible we often must turn away last minute registrants because we relinquish hotel space and air reservations 8 – 12 weeks prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
WHAT TO BRINGIn February, the average daily temperatures in Central Finland will range from a low of 9 degrees to a high of 20 degrees F. This is truly an outdoor winter adventure, so you will want to think about bringing items that will enable you to cover and protect every square inch of potentially exposed skin. You have the option of renting a thermal overall (suit, hat, gloves, socks, boots) from our hotel for $80 for the full week. This must be booked in advance, with clothing and shoe sizes. If you don’t rent this equipment, you will need to bring your own winter gear including jacket, pants, winter boots, wool socks, gloves, hat, scarf or other face covering. Pack any medications you require in a carry-on bag and leave expensive jewelry at home!
Suggested Packing List:
- Proof of citizenship. Passport required.
- Casual wear for dinners.
- Long pants (2-3 pairs), belt.
- Heavy-duty waterproof winter boots (if not renting).
- Long underwear (tops and bottoms).
- Long-sleeve shirts (3-4).
- Socks and underwear for 7 days.
- Sweater or fleece for additional warmth.
- Winter coat with hood for outdoor excursions.
- Head warmer (wool hat, ear muffs) scarf, insulating gloves or mittens.
- Personal toiletries.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses.
- Moist towelettes, hand sanitizer.
- Camera, lots of digital memory, extra batteries.
- Ziploc Bags (sandwich size for documents, gallon size for wet items or toiletries).
- Electrical Adapter. The electricity supply in Finland is 220 volts. Electrical plugs in Finland require two round prongs. Click here to see what type of adapter to bring.
- A good book for the long flights.
MONEY MATTERSFinland uses the standardized Euro (EUR). We recommend that you take out a small amount of local currency to use for basic expenditures. You can use credit cards at our hotel for purchases, spa treatments and optional activities. We will provide suggested tipping guidelines prior to departure, and will present a collective tip to drivers and guides at appropriate points throughout the tour.
THE TOTO SPIRITToto Tours provides Adventure Travel Experiences as differentiated from tours in the traditional sense. Adventure Travel allows (even encourages) you to be an active participant. Adventurers can be identified by certain traits. They are:
- fun-loving optimists who have a sense of humor and accentuate the positive;
- good natured realists who are willing to accept situations as they exist;
- undaunted by the unexpected, like occasional delays or bad weather;
- willing to forego some of the amenities we normally take for granted;
- eager to try new things & test limits;
- not whiners!
Travel InsuranceWe recommend you purchase travel insurance with Travel Guard to cover for unforeseen events prior to and during your trip. Please follow the link below or call us for more information.
PRICING – MAIN TOUR
Tour prices per personStandard Double Room: $2,250
Superior Double Room: $2,350
Suite (for two): $2,750
Single Room: $2,500
(Due at time of registration for the tour. May be paid with a credit card.)
Remaining Balance Due: November 13, 2020 (80 days prior to departure)
(Full payment required with reservation form if enrolling after this date.)
Note: The tour price does not include bank service charges for processing credit card payments, and assumes that the balance of the tour price will be paid by check. If you would like to pay the final balance with a credit card, a 4% service charge will be applied. Let us know if you wish to pay by credit card, and we will adjust your invoice accordingly.
Included: 7 nights hotel accommodations; transfers between the hotel and Kajaani airport, all meals during your stay; guided activities: snowmobile safari, husky safari, cross-country skiing lesson and equipment, snowshoe tour, winter survival games; free use of saunas, indoor and outdoor jacuzzis daily; special peat sauna; “Finnish Mystical Magic” evening; free use of kick-sleds, sleds, toboggans, Wi-Fi.
Not Included: International airfare to Kajaani, Finland (KAJ); optional activities not specifically listed as included in the itinerary; camera fees; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages; insurance; laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included; tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.
- It is possible to arrive a day early or depart a day later. Extra nights start from $100 per person, including dinner and breakfast.
- Winter gear (thermal overall suit, hat, gloves, socks, boots) can be rented for $80 for the week. This must be booked in advance with clothing and shoe sizes provided.
- A driver’s license is required to drive a snowmobile.
- We reserve the right to change the order or content of the program if necessary due to the weather or other conditions.