Skiing in Lapland
If you’re used to skiing the better known European resorts, a week skiing or snowboarding in 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. Although barely half the height of the ski areas in France our Austria, Lapland's long winters of steady snowfall and exceedingly low temperatures create snow sure skiing conditions which often stretch from October through to May.
Lapland Ski Resorts
The resorts in Lapland are something completely different from the mega resorts in France and Austria. With most resorts 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...), good 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 in Ylläs is 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 the port of call anyway here, 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 digressing 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.