The resorts we offer in Finland are more than just simply ski resorts, they are ultimately a winter experience. If you want to discover somewhere offering more than your normal ski holiday, then skiing in Finland could be for you.
In a nutshell, why Finland (Lapland)?
- Idyllic, stunning scenery
- Snowsure resorts
- Friendly and efficient service from the locals
- No lift queues
- Memories of unique holiday experiences that will last forever
Iso-Syote – an incredible winter wonderland
The picture-postcard Iso-Syote cabins are a great choice for your stay in resort. The smaller cabin types are authentic log cabins, whereas the larger cabins are more modern in style and feel. The Hotel Iso-Syote is the base for everything that is happening in resort. All excursions and activities start from there; all evening entertainment, which is normally laid back, will be happening at the hotel. The views from the enormous panoramic windows in the hotel’s restaurant area are unmissable.
The ski area of Iso-Syote is relatively small, with just 10km of pistes, so, it’s ideally suited for beginner and intermediate skiers and boarders. The few runs are varied and scenic, but this region is all about the activities. For more details on the activities, see below.
Ruka – ski resort and activity centre
Ruka’s ski area has 20km of piste runs ranging from gentle slopes for beginners to taunting gradients for the professionals. Although the ski area is relatively small, it is incredibly varied. For the kids (and big kids), there’s opportunity to whizz down the adventure trail, where you ski through a house before stopping off to see the reindeer who roam in their pen high up on the hill side. For the pros, why not try the FIS world cup moguls run or slalom run. The fun park also provides everything from beginner jumps and bumps to the massive 130m Super Pipe with an angle of 16,5 degrees. Have a go yourself or just watch in awe as the locals showcase their skills. The slopes open at 9am and close at 7pm. On a Friday they stay open until 10pm -that’s a potential total of 13 hours skiing. The area is floodlit and the illumination of the slopes creates a dreamlike atmosphere in the polar light.
With a total length of cross-country ski trails is no less than 500km, (of which 40km are illuminated), the possibilities for cross-country skiing in the area are endless. Northern Finland is one the most exceptional places on earth for cross-country skiing. If you don’t have your own cross-country skiing equipment, the ski hire shops are glad to help you find the right gear.
The pedestrian village of Ruka offers accommodation to suit all. Whether it is a self catering appartment, hotel room or suite. Many of the accommodations come with a private sauna. In the centre of the resort, the two main hotels are the Ruka Suites and the Rukahovi hotel. A little further out are the Aurinkorinne appartments and Maston Aitio apartments -wooden buildings, almost hidden amongst the snow covered trees.
Ruka has enough restaurants and bars to give you variety through the week. There’s also a supermarket to stock up with your own food, if you’re staying in the apartments.
Apres ski can be a bit more expensive in Finland. The average price of alcohol is higher than you will find in other European resorts. However, this does not prevent the Finns from having a good time. Karaoke is very popular and can be found in most bars. The atmosphere is light hearted and good fun. Whether you want to join in for a hot chocolate and a sing along or something a bit stronger, you’ll be made to feel at home.
Crucially, Ruka is very beautiful.
Love trying something different? There are activities galore.
Here are 6 of our favourites:
You may have tried Snowmobiling elsewhere but the incredible landscapes of Finland make this an entirely different experience.
2.Drive a team of Huskies
This opportunity to take on your own team of huskies is great fun. The Husky man will instruct you on how to drive your team -he’ll also inspire you with his passion for these dogs and talk of how they just love to run.
3. Ice fishing
Yes, with some patience and the utmost perseverance, you can actually find some fish in a nearby lake.
4. Reindeer rides
Did you know, there are (alledgedly) more reindeer than people in Finnish Lapland?
5. Floating down the rapids
You may be wondering exactly how this works. Surely, you won’t just be thrown in. Rest assured, you’ll be kitted out with the essential floating suits, life jackets and helmets. Following this, you’ll be instructed on techniques and safety measures. Then it’s up to you to float along and enjoy the ride.
6. Meeting Santa
We all know, of course, that the only ‘real’ Santa lives in Finnish Lapland. A special friend for all children (whether small, large or extra large). Someone in our group was genuinely excited to meet him (not me).
He actually lives in a secret location less than half an hour from Ruka. On your arrival, you will have time for some sledging by the frozen lake, before being invited in to the wonderful cottage by Santa and Mrs Claus.
Santa will tell you all about what he does during his ‘busy period’ of the year and all the intricate details of how difficult it can be to get around the world in such a short space of time. He does, of course, have a vast knowledge of the region and can tell you stories of how he came to settle in Finland. He invites questions from all of his guests and although sometimes awkward questions are thrown at him, he manages to provide some fascinating answers.
Before leaving, you may have the chance to help out with some ginger-biscuit baking or Christmas-card making and you will certainly learn to sing a Christmas song in Finnish – taught by Santa, Mrs Claus and their elves. Ahhh, a magical afternoon enjoyed by all.
You could also spend a night in an igloo, go ice rally driving, ice karting, experience the beauty of the wilderness with a snowshoe safari, take a night time snowmobile trip or maybe one of the longer snowmobile safaris (even as far as the Russian border).
Lapland activity weeks & Santa adventure weeks
Fancy doing it all in one week? -You can try ‘Santa adventure weeks’ in either resort, for any December departures. Alternatively, you can opt for one of our ‘Lapland activity weeks’, which is offered on all other weeks, with four or five activities included in the price of the package.
The daylight hours are limited. Temperatures can drop, sometimes severely, in mid-winter. That said, all the slopes are floodlit – meaning you can ski on the slopes for longer and there is no flat light. The most important thing is to ensure you have appropriate protective clothing, which should include the following:
- Warm suit made with thermal materials & waterproof exterior
- Several layers of undergarments
- Long thermal underwear & warm socks
- Warm boots with a good grip on the base
- Hats, gloves & scarves
- Hand and boot warmers (recommended)
- Ski goggles
Share your experiences
Have you experienced any activities in Finland (Lapland)? What did you enjoy about your trip to the region?