2 recommended wildlife locations.The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.
This reserve is one of the best places in Europe to photograph brown bears. Hides are located in sparse coniferous forest beside a small bog and, lured by carrion, bears can be seen at night from as close as five metres away. During the day there are nature walks, with good opportunities for birdwatching.
Where: Pirttivaara, Suomussalmi
Ideal for viewing: Brown bear, Moose, Wolverine, Black grouse, Capercaillie
Excellent for: Bear watching
Viiksimo is located between two nature reserves – Elimyssalo and Iso-Palonen – in an area that is a tapestry of small lakes, numerous ponds, pine heaths and eskers. Right in the midst of the Finnish wilderness, it is a great place to watch and photograph bears, wolverines and wolves.
Ideal for viewing: Brown bear, Wolverine, Grey wolf, Moose, Whooper swan
Excellent for: Bear watching, Wolf watching
One of Europe’s last remaining wildernesses – a mosaic of taiga forest, crystalline lakes, peat bogs, and pine heathland – stretches from Finland into Russia. This undisturbed countryside is the best in Europe for viewing brown bears and makes a perfect refuge for its 430 bird species, 100,000 moose and around 200 wolves.
2 recommended trips.Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Long evenings and early dawns allow incomparable opportunities to watch and photograph the wildlife of the forest on this small group trip in Finland. Staying at purpose built hides, night vigils with a naturalist guide reward you with close-ups of brown bears, wolverines and occasionally wolves.
Trip type: Group tour
Duration exc. international flights: 8 days
This perfect short-haul break takes you to a wonderful spot for sighting brown bears in the Finnish wilderness. Staying at Martinselkonen Wilderness Lodge, enjoy overnight bear watching from hides located deep in the forest, allowing close-up encounters with these fascinating animals and their cubs.
Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Duration exc. international flights: 4 days
When to go
The best time to visit depends on what you want to do. Bears are best viewed during the long summer days between late May and mid-August. Snow lays thick from December to March.
Nov to Mar: Northern Finland is covered snow, and the days are short
Apr to May: The days lengthen and the snows begin to clear. Ice cover melts in the lakelands
Jun to Aug: The nights are short and light, with midnight sun above the Arctic Circle
Sep to Oct: The days shorten, temperature drops and migratory birds depart – but colourful foliage
Jun to Aug: Brown bears active and foraging in the forests
1 recommended place to stay.
The hides are located two kilometres inside the forest, around 10 minutes drive from the lodge. The only access is on foot, so you need to be reasonably fit.