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Yllas

This magical resort is perfect for beginners and families, cross-country lovers and those looking for as much fun off the slopes as on them. Whether rendered speechless by the Northern Lights, popping in to see Santa Claus or spending a night in an Ice Hotel, this once-in-a-lifetime resort will give you an unforgettable experience.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Short transfers • Northern Lights • Finland’s biggest ski area • Winter-wonderland

Great for: • Families • Groups • Non-skiers • Cross-country skiing

This magical resort is perfect for beginners and families, cross-country lovers and those looking for as much fun off the slopes as on them. Whether rendered speechless by the Northern Lights, popping in to see Santa Claus or spending a night in an Ice Hotel, this once-in-a-lifetime resort will give you an unforgettable experience.

Yllas Resort

This gorgeous Lapland resort (pronounced “U-las”) has welcomed skiers since the 1930’s and is the biggest of the 35 ski areas in Finland, home to the country’s longest slope, the 3km Jättipitkä run (which translates to ‘enormously long’!).

The resort is split into two villages on either side of the region’s highest “fell” - a smooth mountain rising above the treeline. Both villages have remained true to their roots - Ylläsjärvi in the south and Äkäslompolo in the north – and both are authentic, beautiful and unpretentious places to visit. The cosy log cabins are set in spectacular natural scenery in an area that is one of the last, untouched wildernesses in the world, with more reindeer than people...

The slopes are a short bus ride from the village centres, although you can usually ski all the way back or cross-country ski straight from your doorstep.

Finnish resorts are vastly different to the southern European ones that many might be familiar with, from landscape and climate to infrastructure. They’re much lower - at 718m, Ylläs’ peak has the highest skiing in the country but being so much further north means that the snow cover is even more reliable. The temperatures rarely reach 0°C so the snow conditions are perfect as the lack of melting means that ice is not a problem, although you’ll have to make sure to wrap up warm!

If you’re getting a bit cold, head to one of the big fire pits marked on the piste map at the bottom of some of the slopes (eg. Jättipitkä and Harrinrinne), where locals and tourists meet to warm up and toast something tasty.

Though it’s a world away from home, the resort is easily accessible, you can fly to Kittilä which is just a half an hour transfer to Ylläsjärvi and a further 15 minutes to Äkäslompolo, or catch the overnight train from Helsinki to Kolari which is only 35km away.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Lapland, Finland

Established: 1957

Open: November-May

Downhill: 53km

View our detailed Yllas snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Yllas snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Kittila35 mins
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 30km 57%

  • 20km 38%

  • 3km 5%

Top Altitude:718m
Bottom Altitude:255m
Resort Altitude:255m
Longest run:3km
Slope Orientation:N,E,S,W
Vertical Drop:463m
Skiable Vertical:463m
Night Skiing:Yes
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • cm
  • Base
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  • Forecast
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Web Cam

Yllas web cams
Downhill Runs:53km
Beginner slopes:57%
Intermediate:38%
Advanced slopes:5%
Lift Pass Price: 178€ (adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: Olos, Pallas, Levi

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Yllas

With 53km of downhill slopes, the skiing is fairly compact although over 300km of designated tracks make this one of the best cross-country destinations in the world.

The uncrowded, perfectly groomed slopes are a beginner’s dream and make learning to ski a fun and relaxing experience. The ski schools meet on both sides of the mountain and speak excellent English with group lessons normally having small class sizes to give a personal feel.

Early intermediates will love the wide, cruising runs which are perfect for building confidence. One of Ylläs’ best features is the lack of queues and piste congestion - you can really get used to the feeling of having the big pistes all to yourself! The many long slopes are great for picking up a bit of speed, especially the Jättipitkä red which is the longest in the country and a definite must for anyone visiting.

There isn’t a great deal of demanding on-piste for advanced skiers, although the World Cup and Super G slopes are both very pacey and should get anyone’s pulses racing. The off piste is best for more experienced skiers, as the low temperatures keep the snow in great condition and powder remains powder for much longer.

For snowboarders, as well as a half-pipe and international standard super-pipe, Ylläs is home to 4 snow parks on both sides of the mountain, 2 for beginners and children and 2 bigger parks for advanced riders with jumps, boxes and rails.

29 of the slopes are floodlit to accommodate the lack of daylight in the winter months, and 2 of the 4 snow parks are also lit up so you can throw some shapes no matter what time of year it is.

Whether you’re an experienced cross-country pro or looking to give it a go for the first time, this is the place to do it. 330km of endless tracks make up Finland’s biggest network and let you take a different route each day. Refreshment huts, cafés and campfires along the trails keep you going throughout and give you the chance to take a well-deserved rest!

Yllas Apres Ski

Both villages are sleepy and traditional so while there are nice places to go for a drink, those looking for a European party scene might be somewhat disappointed. The focus is more on relaxation and entertainment away from the slopes of which there’s more than enough to keep all ages very happy. The Akäs hotel is most popular for a few drinks with a dance floor and club inside, while the restaurants in the resort serve all kinds of local delicacies – reindeer and freshly caught fish are both highly recommended!

This is said to be Santa’s original hometown so you can’t come here without paying him a visit. Take a snowmobile to a remote log cabin where Father Christmas himself is waiting with his trusty elves to meet the children and give out presents and hot chocolate.

A stand-out highlight is undoubtedly the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. Street lights are turned off at 10pm every evening between October and February in order to see the phenomena even more clearly. Unfortunately, this incredible experience is by no means guaranteed so if you do manage to see the Northern Lights count yourself as particularly lucky!

There are plenty of other ways to explore the beautiful Finnish scenery including seemingly endless snowmobile rides through forests and over frozen lakes. Alternatively, take a reindeer or husky safari and be pulled through the landscape in the same way as the Sami people have done for hundreds of years. Having a pack of excitable huskies at your disposables may seem intimidating, but soon the thrill of controlling your very own dogsled will have you hooked.

A visit to the magical Snow Village is also a must – over 1.8 million kgs of snow and ice are used to construct a huge village with a unique theme every year. Stay for a night, have dinner in the restaurant, party in the disco or even get married in the chapel if it takes your fancy! Whatever you choose, this enchanted palace will leave you with some unforgettable memories.

Known as the land of extremes, one of the customary traditions is to sit in the roasting sauna, then cut a hole in a frozen lake and jump in the ice cold water. Then return to the sauna and repeat... sounds a bit mad but it’s said to be good for you! Also check out the first Saunagondola in the world. Yes, a sauna-gondola. 4 people can take a 20 minute round trip from the top of the mountain down to the resort and back again in the first ever sauna built as a bubble lift. It’s a strange but breath-taking experience to be sat in a traditional Finnish sauna 700m high, looking down on the trees and spectacular landscape.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Yllas

When is the best time to ski Yllas?

Northern Finland has a unique climate that changes massively depending on the time of year. In mid-winter the sun barely rises above the horizon at all with an eerie, shadowy glow throughout the day. Floodlit pistes and snowparks mean that you’re still able to enjoy the skiing even without the sunlight. Around late January as the sun starts to appear once again, you’re treated to gorgeous, day-long sunsets which reflect off the snow. Days start to become longer than in the Alps around March and by the end of the season are approaching almost 24 hours of sunshine.

Being so far north means that whatever time of year you go, it is sure to be extremely cold so make sure to wrap up warm (it’s a good idea to hire snowsuits). However, the air is dry so that once you are wrapped up warm, it is relatively comfortable. This also leads to fantastic snow conditions that don’t melt or get icy and tend to stay around far later into the season than much higher European resorts.

A trip between December and February will give you the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

Peak Dates

There is little more festive than Christmas in Ylläs, Santa’s original hometown. Take a husky sled-ride, visit Father Christmas and his elves or take a ride with Rudolph himself for an experience that all the family will love. Browse Yllas Christmas ski holidays ‣

New Year in Ylläs is usually a special experience, with lake-side fireworks, lively restaurants and the opportunity to see the Northern Lights – nature’s fireworks. Browse Yllas New Year ski holidays ‣

Families will absolutely love February Half Term in Ylläs with great, affordable skiing away from the crowds and all kinds of activities off the slopes. Browse Yllas Half Term ski holidays ‣

Spend a magical Easter in Ylläs with some awesome late-season snow conditions and entertainment for families of all ages away from the usual holiday congestion. Browse Yllas Easter ski holidays ‣

Yllas Ratings & Customer Feedback
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Average Rating 4.6 out of 5
We hadn’t been to Yllas before and were seeing Finland for the first time – there’s not a lot there but we liked it. We were all new to downhill skiing and it’s great for beginners but it would probably be a bit limited for experienced skiers. We mixed cross country and downhill skiing and hired gear separa... + more
Richard Hampshire, Thornbury
5 out of 5
We hadn’t been before and what attracted us was the guarantee of snow for the Christmas period. You also have the chance of seeing the Northern Lights although we didn’t manage to because of the weather. Yllas is probably not for people who want to go hurtling down the black slopes all day every day, but fr... + more
Laura Eddy, Leicestershire
4 out of 5
We had a wonderful week in Yllas. We loved the snowmobiles, I shared one with my husband and we had an absolutely brilliant trip. The huskies were great too. The weather was freezing, around -40 some days. The clothing was really good, the first time we went out without snowsuits we regretted it! Everyone there... + more
Mrs Plummer, Essex
5 out of 5
Yllas is brilliant, it has everything you need within walking distance from skiing to activities (I’d recommend the huskies and snowmobiling). 10 times better than Rovaniemi! We spent Christmas here in 2015 and will be back for New Year 2016/17! + more
Michelle, Cambridgeshire
5 out of 5
It’s all quite atmospheric in Finland, it’s nice to do activities like the reindeer safari and snowmobiling as well as skiing, it makes the whole thing an adventure holiday and more than just skiing. + more
Colin, Ealing
4 out of 5
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Families in Yllas

With great beginners’ facilities, childcare and babysitting services and all kinds of fun activities on and off the slopes, this winter wonderland resort gives family members of all ages a dream holiday.

Ski schools on either side of the mountain, magic carpets and plenty of gentle, easy-going blue runs provide an ideal setting for young learners. Older kids with a bit more experience can enjoy the long reds from the top of the mountain and the two Junior Parks, where they can get to grips with the jumps and rails. In the past few years, kids under 6 have gone free on the slopes (as long as they’re wearing a helmet!), which can be a great added bonus!

A visit to Santa in his very own hometown is a stand-out, unforgettable Ylläs experience that the kids will be raving about for years. There’s usually the chance to meet Santa and his reindeer in his remote log cabin where the little ones get presents and get to play with the elves – see if we can add a Santa experience to your booking. Add on reindeer and husky safaris through the beautiful Lapland scenery, and the chance to see the Northern Lights and it’s clear to see why this resort has such a magical reputation.

Keep wrapped up in lots of warm layers as the temperatures really are low out here, especially in December, January and February – ask us about thermal suit and boot hire which can be a godsend when it comes to keeping kids warm and happy. Hiring the bulky stuff will also save precious suitcase space not to mention money, leaving you some spare pennies to spend on a mug or two of warming Finnish glögi while the kids are enjoying the snow...

GroupsGroup Holidays Yllas

Ylläs is a superb, bucket list resort and there’s no better way to enjoy it than with a group of your nearest and dearest.

With a great ski school set-up and learners’ areas, beginners are really well looked after while plenty of wide, cruising blues and reds are perfect for those looking for an easy-going, relaxing ski. The more advanced of the group will get excited by the off-piste options – which boast great powder throughout the year due to the low temperatures. Speed-demons have two World Cup and Super G slopes to keep them happy, as well as the longest run in Finland – Jättipitkä.

Ylläs is much more than just a ski resort, with just as much entertainment off the slopes as on them. Enjoy thrilling snowmobile rides through the snowy scenery, or take a reindeer or husky safari where you can even get to take the reins for yourself! For something weird but wonderful, give winter windsurfing a go, and if you’re thinking about trying cross-country skiing, there’s no place better than here. For something a little less active, relaxing in the many saunas is a traditional pastime, as is going in search of the Northern Lights which can be a truly unforgettable experience.

For a fun few drinks, head to the Akäs hotel which one of the most popular haunts with a dance floor and club inside. However, Ylläs is more about relaxation and enjoying the magical village atmosphere than lively nightlife – if you all like the sound of cosying up around a log fire with a mug of Finnish glögi, this place is spot on.


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"Great for beginners and cross country"

Richard Hampshire, Thornbury
5/ out of 5
We hadn’t been to Yllas before and were seeing Finland for the first time – there’s not a lot there but we liked it. We were all new to downhill skiing and it’s great for beginners but it would probably be a bit limited for experienced skiers. We mixed cross country and downhill skiing and hired gear separately each day - we’re more familiar with cross country skiing and this was very good here, if you want to go on prepared tracks it’s excellent. There are also ample places to stop and get a hot drink. The area is forest not mountain and by the end of the week I remember thinking I’d now done Finland forest when it comes to cross country skiing! It’s certainly adequate for a one week holiday as you can always go round the corner and see a new view – they have huge frozen lakes – but after two weeks you’d probably never want to see a frozen lake again! We were here at the end of March and it was very cold some days and a bit windy, one day the downhill was closed in the morning because of the winds. A friend told us to pack Buffs which is essential and makes a huge different as it was really cold some days. If it’s -10 and windy like it was for us, think carefully about getting warm gloves, I used my mountaineering gloves and was quite surprised that my hands got so cold - I got hot aches on one occasion which is really unpleasant. The roads had hard packed snow so you wouldn’t want to walk around in town shoes, the key requirement is that you’d need a sole with a grip so you don’t end up slipping over. It’s not somewhere you have 20 places to choose between when it comes to where to eat, but there were some good restaurants and the menus have plenty of choice and good helpings – not Cordon Bleu but everything up to that. One evening we went to see the Ice Hotel, which isn’t something I would usually do - I was persuaded to do by the people I was staying with –but I enjoyed it. We also went snowmobiling in the night time to see if we could see the northern lights which was a great experience. Yllas is a small scale, low-key and homely place where everything is efficiently organised. It’s a small village where everyone seems to know everyone else, for example I asked our ski instructor if he knew a good place to hire cross country gear and got the impression he knew the owner of the shop personally. I’d be surprised if there were more than five ski instructors in the whole place. I was told the thing to do was to get individual lessons as you get some personal attention, so I fixed this up with the ski school by email and it worked extremely well; when I turned up at the counter on Monday morning they knew we were coming.

"Amazing Christmas with the family"

Laura Eddy, Leicestershire
4/ out of 5
We hadn’t been before and what attracted us was the guarantee of snow for the Christmas period. You also have the chance of seeing the Northern Lights although we didn’t manage to because of the weather. Yllas is probably not for people who want to go hurtling down the black slopes all day every day, but from a family perspective it’s excellent – you just need to mix the skiing with the non-ski Lapland activities so you get the best of both worlds. The area is brilliant for beginners as the skiing is easy peasy - if you’re learning that’s where I’d want to go to learn. The majority of people in the resort are not there to ski, they’re primarily there for the Lapland experience, which means you have the slopes to yourself! The slopes are lovely, wide and beautiful and there wasn’t a queue in sight. We had ample skiing for the family. The area is mostly button lifts but this is a good thing as they aren’t affected by high winds so you don’t have them closing in bad weather. They flood light all the slopes because the light goes at about 2 in the afternoon which means you can still get a full day’s skiing in. We were lucky that it wasn’t too cold but you do have to have a full thermal kit and we were prepared for this. Yllas is more of a modern resort, the other side has more traditional cabins. It’s quite a small place but there are a couple of nice bars and restaurants. We went on a reindeer ride on Christmas day and also did the Ice Hotel visit, I wasn’t looking forward to having to be on a coach to get there (we don’t usually do that kind of thing) but I’m so glad we did, it was absolutely amazing. A good tip is that you don’t have to follow the tour going round and can just go off in your own to do it at your own pace, that’s what we did and we really enjoyed it.

"Wonderful!"

Mrs Plummer, Essex
5/ out of 5
We had a wonderful week in Yllas. We loved the snowmobiles, I shared one with my husband and we had an absolutely brilliant trip. The huskies were great too. The weather was freezing, around -40 some days. The clothing was really good, the first time we went out without snowsuits we regretted it! Everyone there is doing the same thing in terms of stripping off their snowsuits when you’re in the hotel etc, so it really isn’t a problem. The only time it seeped through the snowsuits was when we were out on the snowmobile – and I think that was because we’d been out there for 5 or 6 hours and I was sat on the back. It was an amazing place to be on the lead up to Christmas and I loved every moment, I don’t want to spoil it by going back in case the next week doesn’t match it!

"Christmas in Yllas"

Michelle, Cambridgeshire
5/ out of 5
Yllas is brilliant, it has everything you need within walking distance from skiing to activities (I’d recommend the huskies and snowmobiling). 10 times better than Rovaniemi! We spent Christmas here in 2015 and will be back for New Year 2016/17!

"Atmospheric"

Colin, Ealing
4/ out of 5
It’s all quite atmospheric in Finland, it’s nice to do activities like the reindeer safari and snowmobiling as well as skiing, it makes the whole thing an adventure holiday and more than just skiing.
1/5: Show Review list
Richard Hampshire
Laura Eddy
Mrs Plummer
Michelle
Colin