AN EXPLANATION OF THIS JOURNEY
To make a journey with your own motorhome through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Finland and Sweden is in itself an unusual adventure. Imagine if you make this journey in the winter months. Travel to Lapland in the winter is a journey with a lot of snow and sometimes temperatures below -25 degrees. Such cold can usually be predicted pretty well, because the climate in Lapland is not very fickle. Changes in the weather picture can be announced usually well in advance.
Due to the warm Gulf Stream Finland has a more temperate continental climate than a polar climate. The climate is more moderate than in Greenland, Alaska and Siberia, which lie on the same latitude. From mid-October until June, the land is covered with snow. The same applies to Swedish Lapland which is included in the route. The temperature in Lapland is sometimes far below zero degrees. However, this does not feel cold because it is a dry cold and there is barely blowing wind in Lapland. Air temperatures of -10 degrees may feel warmer during the day than a few degrees above zero in the Netherlands with a wind force 4-5 from the east with cold winds.
You will drive this journey with your own vehicle at your own risk.
To make this journey not only to a beautiful adventure, but also organizational to a good result, we use during this journey the guidance of a good and knowledgeable team of highly experienced overland travellers. The guidance will be assisted by local guides and interpreters where necessary and they will possibly travel along with us for a part of the journey.
This journey is organised by Expedition Far East. The terms and conditions of Expedition Far East are valid.
OUR WAY OF TRAVELLING
This Individual Guided Adventurous Overland Journey© goes through a country with very different customs and habits then we are used to. The population of this mostly Islamic country is strongly interwoven with the traditions related to their religion. Therefore a journey like this demands a flexible altitude of the participants, a good physical and mental condition and health. Also the vehicles have to be in good condition.
INDIVIDUALLY AND ALSO GUIDED?
You drive at your own speed and pace. You will receive the Expedition Far East Road-book© with detailed information and the necessary information on attractions and sights and the GPS coordinates to be able to arrive at the next overnight location. We don’t drive convoy, unless absolutely necessary or when it is obliged by the local governments. You can leave in the morning, whenever it is the most convenient for you and stop as often as you like, to have as much individual freedom as possible. Plenty of time to fully enjoy and in the evening you don’t need extra time to search a safe overnight spot, very relaxing!
BENEFITS OF OUR GROUP JOURNEYS
An ‘Individual Guided Adventurous Overland Journey©’ of Expedition Far East has many advantages. One of the most important ones is that we only travel in small groups; maximum up to 12 vehicles. Further advantages are; always a back-up from fellow travellers and the journey guidance, the sense of security far away from home, supported by experienced guidance, difficult border crossings we always take as a group together and when necessary, with the help of local guides, a safe overnight place and from special value, cosy spontaneous evenings together, to share our experiences and adventures.
ROUTE AND DAYSCHEDULE
The route and itinerary are designed with the maximum possible interesting touristic highlights and sites are included on our route. Many are included in the program, others are optional. Of course, we also did take into account the overnight places and we have done our best effort to stay at the most beautiful places and locations. The daily distances range from 75 to 400km per day and are so divided that we have enough time to visit the sights and attractions, to take a break, to do some shopping and to relax. Obviously there are many non driving days, so you will be able to organise your own day. You will receive an Expedition Far East Road-book© with the day schedule and lots of tips and information, interesting sights and the overnight location related information and the required GPS coordinates.
For Europeans a valid passport or identity card required. There is no visa required for any of the countries, where we travel through.
This journey can be made with an average camper. Of course it is recommendable to leave home with a vehicle in a very good technical condition. It is not necessary to have a 4WD, but if you have it can, of course, be useful. You must however realize that a journey like this is heavier to your vehicle through the winter cold. Campers with very little ground clearance or an overhang of more than 3 meters behind the rear axle can not participate in this trip.
Given the winter conditions in which we travel, the vehicle must be adapted to function well in extreme cold. This not only applies for the engine, but also for the house part of the travel vehicle. It can occur that we cannot connect to land power for several days. The capacity of gas and diesel fuel needs to be sufficient for this. In Finland and Sweden is gas not very well accessible to get, as in other countries in Europe.
Winter tires and snow chains are required. In Poland, the Baltic States and in the South of Finland and Sweden, is used salt to keep snow from highways and provincial roads, just as in our countries. In large parts of Finland and Sweden the roads are just swept and prepared twice a day and there is scattered sand or small pebbles . Since the mercury in these areas does not come above zero, there is no ice formation. Partly because of this fact and because there is hardly any difference in height we can well drive here with our winter tires. On small country roads and in remote areas is not swept . These roads can better be avoided or just ride with snow chains.
The speed limit is reduced in some countries in the winter. Where you normally are allowed to drive 120 km/h during summer, it may be reduced to 100 km/h, but in some parts speed is also reduced to 80 km/h. So be very careful and attentively, because there are speed control checks everywhere. Do not think that there is no speed control on a deserted road in Lapland, because here also have the chance to be flashed.
To fully enjoy the journey it is necessary to have a navigation device. Please contact us for more detailed information.
The road network in the countries on this journey are similar to those of the other countries in Western Europe. However, in this time of the year the roads are covered with snow. As previously mentioned in Poland, the Baltic States, in the south of Finland and Sweden the highways and provincial roads are kept free of snow by using salt .
In the flat Lapland roads are simply swept and prepared twice a day and there is scattered sand or small pebbles . These roads are very well to drive with winter tires. Everywhere there can walk reindeer and moose across the roads. They can also appear very suddenly. Quiet driving is therefore once again recommended. In addition, the resting areas and car parks in Lapland, even in remote areas, are provided with heated areas and very well maintained sanitary facilities.
Considering the winter temperatures we will during this trip stay very as much at campgrounds. These range from simple campsites with only basics, to luxurious campsites equipped with all comforts. Almost all the campsites in the Nordic countries have a sauna, often heated with wood. Where there are no campsites, or where they are closed in the winter months, we stay in (belated) public parking lots, at hotels or anywhere in nature.
On this journey there are almost no facilities, where we can empty our grey water and toilet in a descent and environmentally friendly way. We are often designated to a place in the nature. It is important to do this at a discreet and appropriate manner, which causes no nuisance to the local residents and their live stock and crops. The use of chemical liquids is strongly discouraged. Instead of using chemicals for the toilet, there is a system on the market, called SOG; what is a good alternative to having to use no more chemicals.
The voltage is 220 volts, sometimes a little lower. Electricity is usually present on campsites, but sometimes to a limited extent.
Getting cash is possible at one of the many ATM’s with debet or creditcard. In Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland is Euro the national currency. In Poland it is the Zloty (PLN) and in Schweden the Kroon (SEK). Changning money is not a problem.
1 EUR = 4,25 PLN | 1 PLN = 0,23 EUR
1 CHF = 3,55 PLN | 1 PLN= 0,28 CHF
1 GBP = 5,46 PLN | 1 PLN = 0,18 GBP
1 EUR = 9,50 SEK | 1 SEK = 0,10 EUR
1 CHF = 7,90 SEK | 1 SEK = 0,13 CHF
1 GBP = 12,20 SEK | 1 SEK = 0,08 GBP
In the Baltic States is the network for mobile telephony and Internet widespread and of good quality, especially near to the road and in big cities. this does not go fordensely populated areas.
In the countries where we travel through vaccinations for tick-borne encephalitis is recommended from March to November, when you are hiking and camping in the nature. Check with your doctor or healthcentre for update information for a winter journey to these countries.
Taking your pet on this journey is possible, but has to be notified to the travel organisation, before taking part on the journey.