One of the joys of running an adventure travel company is that we have a wonderful excuse to always be searching for new trips and new locations. What about skiing in Finland and seeing the Northern Lights? How about hiking the GR7 in Spain? I've heard of a fantastic ski journey in Poland, let's look at that? Why not go snowshoeing in Bavaria? Just an example of the chat in our office. Each year we aim to 'freshen up' our holidays with somewhere new and exciting, but we are equally as happy to have you suggest somewhere. With so many loyal customers returning every year we have a great incentive to search for new trips, the links to which we have given at the bottom of this page.
Well, Bulgaria turned out to be quite a surprise in terms of the mountain ranges and the ancient culture. When we were first approached by Stoyan Milkov to create a snowshoe trip to Bulgaria we were uncertain about the potential in terms of the terrain and the facilities. But having visited the country and spent time with Stoyan, who is a guide, we are now convinced that it can offer a great snowshoe adventure combined with culture and traditions.
Bulgaria dates back to the 7th century making it one of the oldest states in Europe, and offering you, the visitor, a true cultural experience. During this week of snowshoeing we will hike in various national parks in the Rhodope, and Pirin mountains, mountain ranges. In addition, this trip features 3 and 4 * hotels that have been carefully chosen to show you Bulgaria in 'comfort'.
The mountain ranges of Pirin and Rhodope provide excellent snowshoes routes and on this trip we will visit both areas. Both National Parks are home to a rich flora and fauna, including brown bears, jackals, wolves, wild boars, deer, and chamois. With a professional guide, who is also a 'local', you will have the chance to get 'under the skin' of Bulgaria learning about its turbulent past, and how its people see its future. With our starting point the ancient capital of Plovdiv, declared European Capital of Culture for 2019, we believe this to be an action packed itinerary!
Do not go beyond this point!
What an exciting opportunity! The chance to ski in the forests of Finland along the route of the frontier with Russia. This is perfect for those skiers who have done a few days on cross counry skis and now want to do a point-to-point journey. We find that as soon as people pick up the basics, and master controlling speed and direction that they very quickly want to do a journey, and this trip is ideal for achieving that goal.
We spend three days based at Vuokatti which has excellent ski tracks, allowing you to consolidate and improve your technique before we set off on our epic journey along the frontier staying in traditonal log cabins once used by the Border Guards. We start in Hossa National Park, the name Hossa means "Sami hunting ground". The park is famous for its rock paintings at Värikallio Cliffs which are at least 3,500 years old. A perfect first journey on cross country skis, skiing across lakes, through the forests and enjoying a sauna followed by an icy dip in the lake. Don't worry the last bit isn't compulsory though it is a lot of fun, but bring earplugs so you can block out the shrieks of the 'ice dippers'.
This part of Finland is really fascinating in terms of its history. It is just over one hundred years ago that Finland achieved independence from Russia in 1917, and the area through which we ski is steeped in history. When we stay with Helena at Arolla Farm she will delight in telling you tales of the past. A really wonderful way to spend the evening.
Tania Noakes, BASI Level 3 ISIA Teacher
All of our trips feature first class instruction, but for this particular week in the Haute Savoie region of France we place more emphasis than normal on developing your cross country ski technique. Our guide for these weeks is Tania Noakes an International Mountain Guide (IFMGA) and BASI Level 3 ISIA Teacher. Tania is passionate about all aspects of nordic skiing with her enthusiasm and love of the sport shining through her teaching. She not only loves to ski long distances and coach to a high standard, but is also a former member of the GB cross country ski-team.
A range of high plateaux, lakes, and lovely valleys make this are one of the premier areas in France for cross country skiing. It is the venue for many cross country ski races each winter, such is the quality of the skiing. On this trip we will go 'on safari' each day and visit a different ski area with the aim of doing around 20 kms per day. Then it's back to our gorgeous accommodation for dinner and relaxation.
One of the joys of this week are the excellent views that are to be had, from the Plateau de Beauregard it is possible to see Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe. Also the Confins Plateau, with its lake of the same name, is another pretty venue for perfecting your skills with a cosy cafe for a delicious hot chocolate. The Confins Plateau is also well-known as it has hosted the Cross Country Skiing World Cup on several occasions. If you are an Intermediate level skier and want a really fun week with first-class ski instruction then this is for you.
Groomed to perfection
What a total joy it is to discover a route you have never heard of. A chance arrival on a website blog with a mention of The Hallingdal and suddenly we are pursuing this new journey in Norway. Formerly called the Adventure route, the name suggested an adventure was indeed in store. It did not fail to deliver the goods. After many months of contacting tourist offices, speaking to locals, and pouring over maps we figured it all out, and at the beginning of April 2018 Lindsay set off to see what all the fuss was about.
She found the 'fuss' was about 145 kms of brilliant 'advanced' skiing, across lakes, over high passes, swooping descents, across plateaux and even a mountain summit! We begin in the famous ski town of Geilo which sits at the gateway to the infamous Hardangervidda. Very quickly, on day one, we leave Geilo behind and below us as we climb to the plateau and begin our journey towards Eggedal.
It is really wonderful to explore a new route, and have that constant thrill of wondering what's round the next corner, or over the next hill. And it is even better to do the route for the first time with our guests and see what they make of it all. This is a glorious week of cosy hotels, characterful mountain lodges, and the chance to spend the night with wolves, moose, lynx and reindeer. Intrigued? Check out the trip below.