Close X
Hawk Owl Oulu, Finland
ABOUT FINNATURE

Frequently Asked Questions

If you think we have omitted an obvious question, please let us know via email: info@finnature.fi.

We provide more detailed pre-departure information for each of our photography tours – these questions are more general in nature.

General Questions

Finnature is the leading tour operator in Finland specializing in bird and wildlife watching and photography tours.

We arrange birdwatching tours to Finland and Norway and many major tour operators use us as a tour operator. If you visit Finland with a group, you have good chances of being served by us!

We specialize in wild bird photography. We offer bird photography tours to varying destinations in Finland and abroad. We maintain our own bird photography hides or work together with the best bird photography hide keepers to offer memorable photography to our clients.

We work together with the best wildlife watching and photography sites in Finland.

Tour Related Questions

Our photography tours are all-inclusive, and they include expert Finnature guiding, accommodation, half board/full board (always mentioned in the itinerary), land transportation and use of professional photography hides mentioned in the itinerary. Any extra costs are mentioned in the tour itinerary. A single room supplement, if required, is extra.

Flights are not included in the tour price. Finnature does not book flights either.

We welcome photographers, birdwatchers and nature lovers of all levels of experience to join our tours. However, to make a booking with us, you have to be over the age of 18. Persons under 18 but over 15 years of age can attend to our set departure photography tours with parents/guardians – please check the detailed age requirements for our tours from our Terms and Conditions.

Groups are small to minimize our impact and to maximize your time with leaders and the social dynamics of the group. Most often there are no more than 6 people in the group. On some tours, such as our Hokkaido, Japan tour, the group size is bigger with maximum of 14 people in a group. Maximum group size is stated in tour itinerary.

On birdwatching tours, the group size varies from 4 to 14 people.

We insist that smokers refrain from smoking in the proximity of all other group members and while watching/photographing wildlife at all times.

Smoking is strictly prohibited in all our photography hides, in vehicles and in Villa Finnature Guesthouse. There are designed smoking areas for those who need them.

We try, wherever possible, to use accommodations that have a good environmental reputation and that strengthen local communities. Sometimes we have to book the best available close to the site we are visiting.

On tours to Oulu, accommodation is at our own Villa Finnature Guesthouse in Muhos. Read more about Villa Finnature here.

Most often, meals are served at accommodations, whether it is a hotel or our own Villa Finnature. We try, wherever possible, to provide meals from local ingredients.

Special diets are well met in Finland and Norway. We notify providers ahead of tour about special diets – please inform about your special diet in advance in the Personal Information Form.

Booking Related Questions

You can book all our photography tours at our web shop or by email at info@finnature.fi. When booking, you must pay the 10% deposit to confirm your spot on the tour. You will receive booking confirmation by email.

When booking at our web shop, you can pay via PayPal. When booking by email, alternative is to pay by bank transfer. Our office will give you instructions for payment.

The remaining balance must be paid no later than 30 days before departure of the tour.

Yes, we do. The cost is displayed on the tour web shop site for each individual tour.

If you want to share a twin room with another guest on our tour, we try to match you up with someone else of the same sex, also wishing to share. If we are unable to do this, we will contact you before the balance is due on the tour, to let you decide if you want to pay the single supplement or cancel the tour. At this point, your money will be refunded on cancellation.

Usually 2 weeks prior to departure.

You can find our detailed cancellation and refund policy here: Finnature’s Terms and Conditions.

You may cancel your booking at any stage. However, deposits are non-refundable unless cancellation is made by us.

If you cancel a tour less than 30 days prior to departure, the full price of the tour will be charged. Alternatively, you may transfer an existing booking and your deposit to another person or to another tour within the next 12 months from the original tour.

Photography Related Questions

The best time for Owl photography in Finland is usually in winter in February-March/April, and in spring in May-June. However, Owls are very dependent on their food supply voles, and their densities vary greatly between years. Because the food situation and therefore the Owl situation can change quickly, we announce Owl photography opportunities only on short notice via our newsletter and at our Facebook site. Before inviting photographers, we always search for the best Owl photography opportunities and make sure that Owls are photographable, considering both their individual behavior as well as the setting and environment for photography.

Ways to photograph different Owl species vary largely. During winter months, we can often find Owls hunting in open fields during daytime, and they can be extremely photogenic. Species include Great Grey Owl, Hawk Owl, and more rarely also Ural Owl and Pygmy Owl in other environments.

In spring, we start to check for breeding Owls in the beginning of the breeding season in early May. Only after this we will know the breeding situation of that year. Unfortunately this means that we are unable to estimate the Owl situation earlier. Breeding species in Oulu and Kuusamo area include Great Grey Owl, Ural Owl, Hawk Owl, Boreal Owl and Pygmy Owl.

Occasionally, we might have photographable Owls during other times of the year as well. The latest information can be inquired from our office.

Aurora Borealis can be seen and photographed in northern Finland and northern Norway from late August to March when the nights are completely dark. During summer the Aurora are not visible due to light nights. Many factors determine possibilities for Aurora photography: weather needs to be clear, season needs to be autumn/winter, how many nights to try, location often determines if the Aurora are only in the northern sky or as a corona above head, and of course Aurora activity itself. We always check for weather and Aurora forecasts during our scheduled photography tours in autumn and winter.

Questions About Finland

Located in the far north of Europe, Finland is at the crossroads of south and north, but also of east and west. Finland has four seasons with unique characteristics and variable weathers. We provide more information about the recommended gear for each tour in the pre-departure tour information.

Winter – December-January-February

In winter, days are short and permanent snow covers the ground usually from December until April. Temperatures are at their coldest in January and February when they can drop down to -40 °C at times. More often temperatures are between -10 to -25 °C. Snow can reach depths of over one meter!

Spring – March-April-May

Spring starts to arrive to Finland in March. A lot of changes take place in a short time – increasing amount of sunlight and warmth melts the snow and frost, and later in spring in May the trees sprout leaves. Weather is variable and temperatures vary between -15 to +5 °C in March and April, and between 0 to even +25 °C in May.

Summer – June-July-August

Summer weather can vary a lot in Finland and we can have +2 °C and +25 °C in a same day in different parts of Finland! Nightless summer nights in north Finland have a magical glow to them.

Autumn – September-October-November

There is a wistful feel in the air when August turns to September. Most of nature starts to slow down. Weather in autumn can often be windy and rainy. Temperatures vary from 0 to +15 °C, November being colder. Depending on the location, the first snow could arrive as early as in October – usually it always melts away.