Finland is a fantastic family holiday destination with so much more to do than just ski. Finland offers activities that the rest of the world doesn’t, such as Northern Light trails, reindeer sleigh rides and magical visits to Santa’s secret cottage. A family holiday to Lapland will include sleigh rides, ice fishing, snowmobile safaris and the best natural light display in the world, if you’re lucky!
For the advanced skier, perhaps Finland would not be at the top of the list, since the lack of large ski areas and limited challenges will leave better intermediates and experts under whelmed. The snow, however, is perfect, and the pistes, wide and well groomed. The skiing is excellent for families and beginners and the ski schools are second to none since many of the locals practically skied from birth making their expert tips extremely valuable.
Lapland is Finland’s northernmost region bordering Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea so to say it is cold is an understatement! Good quality warm gear is imperative! In the winter, Lapland is stunning. The perfect winter snow scene which you can explore on a reindeer pulled sleigh gliding along the glistening forest trails.
The main resorts in Finland are Yllas with 53km of pisted runs, Levi with 44km and Saariselka with 12km. Snowfinders currently have one hotel in Lapland called The Panorama Hotel in Levi, with some really wonderful ski in, ski out accommodation. Levi is a winter wonderland and a really great place to ski if you are a beginner or an intermediate since the slopes are completely uncrowded. Levi has a cool, lively après-ski scene, good restaurants and traditional cosy bars.
Finland is famous for the spectacular Northern Lights and staying in Levi will give you a good chance of seeing them. One of nature’s greatest ever natural light displays that happen from late September to early April, with October to November and February to March considered to be dead cert viewings if you are staying in the north of Lapland. Many activities happen in the evenings with searches for the Northern Lights being the primary focus, whether this be thundering along on a snowmobile, a husky or a reindeer safari, a cross country or downhill ski, or a hike through the unspoilt wilderness in snowshoes.
Cross country skiing in Finland is excellent, with the major resorts offering hundreds of kilometres of trails all with stop off points and shelters. People in this part of the world take cross country skiing very seriously, just as much as downhill skiing so definitely give it a whirl during your trip.
The main type of accommodation in all of the Finnish resorts is hotel accommodation with the Hotel Levitunturi one of the most popular choices. There are self catered cabins such as the K5 cabins for rental that are close to the village centre and sleep up to 8 people.
As a destination for cross country skiers Finland is a fantastic choice with all the major resorts offering hundreds of kms of trails Yllas 330kms Levi 230kms and Saariselka 185kms all of the trails have stop off points and shelters. In this part of the world cross country skiing is taken very seriously and is not seen as the poor relation of downhill.
Most resorts open a few runs in November but for two months of the winter the sun does not rise, most areas will have floodlit runs . The mountains don’t open fully until mid February when a normal skiing day is possible. Finland comes into its own at the end of the season with long daylight hours. Temperatures in mid winter can be anywhere from °0c to -°30c .
The main arrival airport is Kittilä with flights from Gatwick Birmingham and Manchester. The flying time is approximately 3hrs 30mins and the transfer time to Levi is 20 minutes, Saariselka 3hrs 15 minutes and Yllas 35 minutes.