It is very easy to follow the crowds and pick one of the popular European mega-resorts for half term. This year, turn your attentions to Finland and you’ll find a whole lot of stuff to attract you. Queues are essentially non-existent, the slopes are crowd-free and the resort is a total escape from city life.
Salla is a complete retreat into a snowy setting and a world away from the school timetable or the claustrophobia of the office walls. It is a fab place for children to learn to ski as the English-speaking instructors have been heavily recommended by the Finnish National Association. The learning slopes are near the resort cabins and restaurants so you don’t have too far to go. The Werneri Ski school, running across 29 other resorts, specialises in teaching children. There is also snowboarding, tobogganing and countless free-riding opportunities. The six blue runs are great for totally unpressurized skiing and the more serious reds and black include one of Finland’s most difficult Slalom runs.
The ski area is small but part of the attraction to this ‘in the middle of nowhere’ resort is the alternative activities. You can ski in the morning and then book in for snowmobiling, a reindeer or husky ride or some ice-fishing in the afternoon. There are 160km of cross-country runs to get stuck into through some unbelievably idyllic scenery.
As we round the corner to February the daylight hours start to increase from the 5 hours you get in the early winter months. It might be a few degrees warmer than December and January but with daytime highs of around -7˚C, you’ll still need to wrap up warm!
After a few drinks at the Papana Pupi pub, we challenge you to say its name a few times over. Papana is actually the name for reindeer dung but don’t let this put you off and merely embrace the Finnish sense of humour. The Log restaurant is a good one for families as is the Kiela restaurant with some local dishes.
Half Term Snow History
Average snow depth
Average snow depth
Half Term ski rating