Yllas is a short transfer from the nearby Rovaniemi, offering the country's longest area of downhill slopes and excellent cross-country trails. The slopes span both flanks of the mountain and recent investment has included new runs and a quad chair, giving plenty of scope for novices. This is Finland's largest downhill ski area - but it has only 53km of pistes that suit novices best. Second- and third-week skiers will rapidly conquer the benign black runs. The maximum vertical is a quite respectable 460m. Grooming is 'good'. Past reports of the ski school have been positive. The area has 330km of cross-country trails, 38km of which are floodlit; whereas a downhill skier might view the place as an awkward sprawl, for the XC fan it is a doorstep ski resort of limitless scope. Off-slope activities include snowmobiling (410km of tracks), dog sledding, reindeer safaris, snowshoeing and ice fishing.There are also 15 cafes along the tracks. From the lift base, trails fan out around the mountain, across the frozen lake and away through the endless forest.
The resort is a quiet family area with an increasing choice of accommodation dotted around its two villages, both 4km from the lifts. äkäslompolo, is a sprawling lakeside settlement of hotels and cabins tucked away in the trees, plus a few restaurants and bars a short bus ride away from the smaller settlement of Ylläsjärvi. A new ski-in ski-out development, Sport Resort Ylläs, is taking shape at the lift base, beside the gondola. The äkäs cabins at äkäslompolo have been recommended, as has the 'comfortable' Saaga Spa hotel at Sport Resort Ylläs, which has 'gym, pool, kids' pool, sauna, steam and hot tub, and a useful drying cabinet in the bedrooms'. Eating out is slowly improving, with four restaurants at Sport Resort Ylläs opening a few seasons ago. Tips in town include more upmarket Poro for traditional fish and meat dishes. Julie's suits families better. Tower is fairly new at äkäslompolo.