For a unique winter adventure, the ski resorts of Finland offer up so much more than just skiing. Expect to spend your time sledging, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, ice fishing, viewing the Northern Lights, seeing reindeer and if you’re lucky enough and out there before Christmas, you might even get to visit Santa. Add in spectacular Arctic scenery, comprising frozen lakes, rolling snow-capped hills and thick forest to complete the Finnish skiing package.
Despite all of the off slope attractions, the skiing itself is more than a good enough reason to visit if you’re a beginner or intermediate – but anyone more advanced will find the slopes too limited. The main resorts of Levi, Ruka, Pyha and Ylläs all offer snowsure, long seasons, great facilities for learners and night skiing, despite possessing small vertical drops.
All the main resorts offer up excellent family accommodation (everywhere should be equipped with the ubiquitous sauna), either in well-appointed hotels or in log cabins out in the forest. The villages are generally quiet and après ski is limited – but a big reason behind this is because most people are out and about enjoying the off slope activities.
Getting to the country’s ski resorts has become easier in recent years thanks to more flights to Kittilä and Kuusamo airports, and more tour operators running charter flights to these destinations. But the resorts are a long way from Helsinki or any other major airport and the snowy drive is not recommended.
A word of caution however. As you’re so far north, the days are very short and temperatures can frequently drop to well below -20C, so come prepared! Alternatively, visiting later in the season will guarantee longer days and warmer temperatures.