On arrival you will be met by your local guide and transferred to Lieksa where you will check-in and have dinner at your accommodation, level – 3* Hotel (Hotel Puustelli). Depending on arrival time you may be taken sightseeing around Lieksa.
After breakfast you will visit Patvinsuo National Park with its nice mires and wilderness-like nature. The National Park is an internationally important as a mire conservation and research area, with old-growth forests and waterways with sandy shores. The emblem animal of Patvinsuo National Park, the bear, which tends to avoid people and it is rarely seen, where as beavers and their dams can be seen along almost all the park’s streams. Swans, cranes and waterfowl, tetraonids and birds of prey inhabit the park making bird watching very enjoable. Birds can be observed from the bird-watching tower at Teretinniemi and bird watching platforms at Lahnasuo and Surkansuo. You will return to your accommodation, level – 3* Hotel (Hotel Puustelli) for a late lunch buffet and departing to the log hide cabins at Kontiovaara for wolverine and with luck brown bear viewing. The entire evening, the following night and part of the next morning will be spent in hides, before we return to our hotel for a proper breakfast and well-earned rest. The cabin hides are fitted with bunks and a toilet although the wildlife here is enough to keep you occupied and awake.
After breakfast and a well deserved rest you will visit Reposuo are. The Reposuo area is a valuable bird area and mire conservation site. It is situated by the village of Pankakoski. Here visitors can observe birds nesting habits or migrating birds as they pass through the area. The diverseness of mire nature in Northern Karelia is apparent in Reposuo. The terrain in the Reposuo area is surprisingly diverse. It changes quickly from open bog to ridge landscape to shoreline. During a day trip to Reposuo visitors can for example observe the areas different bird species, see the different types of mire nature there or pick berries. The mires are filled with beautiful Bog Rosemarys and other wild flowers. Visitors can observe nature without disturbing it from the Ulkkajoki bird watching tower and lookout platform as well as from Ketunlenkki Circle Trail. You will return to your accommodation, level – 3* Hotel (Hotel Puustelli) 13:00 for a late lunch buffet before our second departure to the log hide cabins for wolverine viewing. Brown bear is also possible, but not that numerous as at Viisksimo or at Martinselkonen which we will visit later in the tour. The entire evening, the following night and part of the next morning will be spent in hides, before we return to the lodge for a proper breakfast and well-earned rest.
After breakfast and rest at our hotel, we will depart to Viiksimo. Arriving around 15:00 in time for an early dinner at your accommodation, level – Forest Cabins (Boreal Wildlife Centre Lodge), in Viiksimo. The drive from Lieksa to Viiksimo will take about three hours and on the way we may encounter other mammals of the north including elk, reindeer and Arctic hare, as well as some of the bird specialities.
Maariansarkat Nature Reserve / Viiksimo
This morning you will visit Iso-Palonen – Maariansärkät Nature Reserve, located in the eastern part of Kuhmo, the area is a tapestry of small lakes, numerous ponds, pine heaths and eskers. The esker formation crossing the reserve has been an important area for the migration of the wild forest reindeer as well as providing it with a grazing ground. You will return to your accommodation, level – Forest Cabins (Boreal Widllife Centre Lodge) around 15:00 for an early dinner. Before departing for the hide cabin for brown bear and with luck wolf viewing. The animals usually start arriving around 16:00. The entire evening, the following night and part of the next morning will be spent in hide cabin, before we return to the lodge for a proper breakfast and well-earned rest. Just as it gets dusk – still with good light here this far north – the brown bears appear out of the forest. We may even catch of a glimpse of the scarce and elusive wolves that forage from across the Russian border. There will be wandering immature bears, large territorial males, and possibly mothers protecting their young cubs. The bears can be within yards of the hides for several hours, offering superb photographic opportunities.
After breakfast and a well deserved rest you will depart to search for wild forest reindeer in Elimyssalo Nature Park. The Elimyssalo Nature Reserve represents the best of forest nature that Kainuu region has to offer. It is a tapestry of different types of mires, old spruce forests draped with beard lichens, lush stream banks, and small lakes and ponds. Here are superb photographic opportunities in the Park itself and in the surrounding forests where forest reindeer move around. Afterwards you will drive back to Viiksimo for an early dinner. Tonight will be your second visit to the hide cabin for brown bear and with luck wolf viewing. The entire evening, the following night and part of the next morning will be spent in hide cabin, before we return to the lodge for a proper breakfast and well-earned rest.
After breakfast you be transferred to Martinselkonen. On arrival you will check-in your accommodation, level – Forest Cabins (Martinselkonen Wilderness Centre lodge) and have an early dinner. There is also a possible late outing in the vicinity of Martinselkonen.
Today you will have a choice of activities. After breakfast you will be taken to visit the Hossa area with its sparkling clear lakes and rivers, grand ridges and hills. There are possible encounters with domestic Reindeer and other local species along the way. Or you can have a boat trip to the wilderness Lake Öllörinjärvi. Lake Öllörinjärvi is situated just next to the Finland-Russian border. It is a unique place where water belongs to Finland but the opposite bank is no-mans land. We will make a short boat trip to the lake by a silent rowboat or canoe. We can see some Finnish-Russian border signs and Finnish border guard tower from the boat. This lake is popular nesting place for birds and sometimes you can see an Elk swimming over the lake. If we are lucky we might see some birds and animals or at least we get to enjoy the beautiful lake scenery. You will return to the lodge around 15:00 for an early dinner before departing to the hide cabin for another night of brown bear and possibly wolf viewing. The entire evening, the following night and part of the next morning will be spent in hide cabin, before we return to the lodge for a proper breakfast and well-earned rest at your accommodation, level – Forest Cabin (Martinselkonen Wilderness Centre Lodge).
After breakfast you will depart for Martinselkonen nature reserve area. This is a wilderness area with old pine forest, ponds, lakes, bogs and swamps. During the hike we are most likely see some animals and numerous birds or at least tracks of various mammals. Afterwards you will drive back to your accommodation, level – Forest Cabin (Martinselkonen Wilderness Centre Lodge) for an early dinner. Tonight is your second night in the hide cabin for brown bear and with luck wolf viewing takes place around 16:00. The entire evening, the following night and part of the next morning will be spent in hide cabin, before we return to the lodge for a proper breakfast and well-earned rest.
Today after breakfast you will be transferred to Kajaani airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.