Taiga Times: Making Finnish nature trips easy for Helsinki travellers
By Malin Norman | Photos: Iikka Koistinen / Taiga Times
Taiga Times’ mission is to make exploring Southern Finland’s nature easy, sustainable and safe. Kiia and Jeffrey Meneses started Taiga Times to offer nature experiences to tourists in Helsinki wanting to vary their city break.
Taiga Times is a passion-project of a Finnish-Canadian couple who met in Australia almost ten years ago. The idea for Taiga Times was born during their studies: Kiia Meneses graduated from Tourism and Hospitality, while Jeffrey Meneses studied to be a wilderness guide.
Taiga Times organised its first guided tours in 2019 but the outbreak of COVID-19 meant there were no tourists, and the couple were left with surplus time on their hands.
“We still managed to organise tours for people living in Finland but we spent every spare moment fine-tuning our website, the food we offer and the tours themselves. We spent dozens of nights camping and trialling new routes,” Kiia explains.
Taiga Times offers day-hikes, but also multi-day excursions for small groups, taking care of everything from the travel to the location, a Finnish lunch and even extra clothes, which are available to borrow should the Finnish weather catch you off guard.
Kiia ensures every trip is authentically Finnish, but also sustainable: “Depending on the season, we can forage our own chanterelles and make soup afterwards! Seasonality is important for us, so we might make smoked rainbow trout soup or spinach pancakes – both of which are Finnish lunch staples.”
Taiga Times organises trips almost every day of the week, all year round – meaning it’s easy to add a day exploring Finnish nature to an existing travel itinerary.
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