If you’re used to the big European ski resorts, Lapland is a wonderfully unique experience. This stunning region is characterised by treeless fells which rise majestically 500-700m out of beautiful pine forests, surrounded by open plains.
Surrounded by the stunning Syöte natural park with frozen lakes, snow-covered pines and activities like reindeer sle...more ‣
Highlights • Finland’s longest Snowpark • SnowLand for families• Trips to meet Santa
Rubbing shoulders with the spectacular Pyhä-Luosto national park, Pyha has everything you’d expect of a classic Lap...more ‣
Highlights • Authentic Lapland resort • Cosy log cabins• Chance to see Northern Lights
As well as a modern ski area catering for beginners, intermediates and freestylers, this fairytale Finnish resort has...more ‣
Highlights • Northern lights • Short transfers• Winter wonderland activities
The resorts in Lapland are something completely different from the mega resorts in France and Austria. With most in the middle of the wilderness and local businesses often run by the native Sami people, the vibe is usually quiet and authentic.
Thanks to so many other winter activities on the cards - lots of people visit for the Santa meeting, winter wonderland experience - the slopes are generally quiet and the lifts queue free (although the Sauna gondola in Ylläs is pretty popular...). This is brilliant news for beginners who can learn in peace and quiet, as well as powder hounds who can make fresh tracks even days after snowfall.
The ski areas are small (the biggest is Ylläs at 53km, which is a fraction of what you get in the 3 Valleys, Dolomites or Paradiski) but have the bonus of being snow sure and excellently looked after. The small size works perfectly for families and beginners who can get familiar with the area.
Skiing 24/7 is rarely what people do here anyway, with so much else to get stuck into like snowmobiling, reindeer and husky safaris, not to mention the chance to see the unforgettable Northern Lights.
Beginners and early intermediates will get the most out of the ski areas on the whole but there are a few advanced runs to conquer too: Pyhä, Levi, Ruka, Ylläs and Salla all have FIS status runs from downhills to slaloms. Hutto-Ukko is Finland’s steepest slope in Pyha and Jattipitka in Ylläs is the longest. The snow gods are famously generous here and the areas are hardly ever short of powder if you do fancy venturing off the piste.
While the downhill ski areas are pretty compact, what Lapland does have by the bucket load is cross country. If you’re an advanced skier who’s tired of the terrain, this is a super place to learn something new, with most resorts having English speaking cross country instructors at hand to show the basics. Ruka has access to a whopping 500km of cross-country runs if you want to get some serious mileage under your belt.
As the winter season can be dark with only a few daylight hours, many of the slopes are floodlit to keep the pistes skiable.
With the first signs of snow at the end of August, the ski season opens with some deep cover, which only gets better as the season rolls on – April usually has the deepest snow.
Although December and January only have a few daylight hours, lots of the downhill runs, cross country tracks and snowparks are floodlit so you can enjoy a whole day on the slopes.
It’s Lapland’s sub-zero temperatures we have to thank for the incredible snow conditions, but this does mean you’ll need to wrap up extra warm, adding a few extra layers to your usual Alpine gear. Proper thermals are worth their weight in gold, as is a jacket with snow cuffs to prevent any cold sneaking in between your gloves and sleeves. Some people opt for lining gloves under their usual ski gloves and a good quality buff or facemask can be a godsend.
The resorts cater for the climate really well, with campfire huts dotted around at the bottom of slopes and plenty of warm cafes, restaurants and indoor activities if you need to escape from the cold.