• Levi is the most popular ski resort in Finland. Two snow parks, a variety of slopes for skiers and snowboarders and a lively village centre are the main attractions. The resort is easily accessed through Kittilä airport just a few minutes’ drive away. Levi hosts an annual FIS World Cup slalom competition in November.

  • The twin resorts of Pyhä-Luosto are the most unhurried of Lapland’s ski centres. The fells offer great variation for all types of skiing and riding. Pyhä is famous for its picturesque backcountry, a feature that keeps domestic experts coming back year after year, and many ending up living here.

  • Many would argue Ylläs is the most fabled of Finnish ski resorts. A ski lift has been running on these fells since 1957, and the allure of Ylläs and the six fells around it never loses the charm. A bit of après-ski in these surroundings can’t be wrong.

  • Many clichés are clichés for a reason. Calling Lapland a winter wonderland is not the most original expression, yet a fitting one. Remarkable light conditions, silvery forests with snow-laden trees and a white wilderness stretching as far as the eye can see are key contributors to the unique atmosphere referred to by Finns with the term “Lapin taika”, “the Magic of Lapland”. The picture is from Ruka.

  • The light conditions in Lapland are phenomenal. The spring sun stays above the horizon long into the evening, facilitating shots like this.

  • Finding a Finn who’s never tried skiing is rather hard, since it’s somewhat of a national pastime: the population is 5,4 million, and a million Finns consider themselves active skiers. Most learn to ski at an early age, as family ski holidays are a nationwide concept and a great deal of schools organise trips for their pupils.

  • Snow parks are an essential part of most ski resorts and Lapland is no exception. The biggest resorts often have more than one terrain park and at least one smaller park for kids and for practising tricks. Freestylers will definitely not be disappointed by what Lapland has to offer; just ask the score of locals who have turned professional in newschool skiing, snowboarding or telemarking.

  • All resorts in Lapland are family friendly. While youngsters and other madcaps spend their time in the black runs and snow parks, the more, eh, seasoned skiers like to cruise around the resort taking in the scenery and atmosphere.

  • The selection of activities in Lapland’s resorts is plentiful. The point is to spend time outdoors enjoying the fresh air and good times with close ones. Making new animal friends is not uncommon, either.

  • Finland is a country of contrasts, and nowhere is the fact as evident as in Lapland. The skiing season is in full swing by December, when the two-month Polar Night period starts. The lack of sunlight doesn’t mean the slopes are closed, but it does mean great skiing in artificial light like in the front piste of Levi.

  • In the spring, from February onwards, nature provides all the light one can imagine and turns Lapland’s fells into sunny ski paradises. A number of events are organised in resorts around the region, celebrating togetherness and the best time of year for skiers and snowboarders.

  • The lack of big mountains in Finland does not exclude freeriding. The fells of Lapland present sweet spots and challenges for off-piste powderhounds, too – you just need to know where to look. Obviously a local guide helps, as is the case everywhere else. Remember: Safety first and watch out for reindeer!

  • Services and amenities are available in all of Lapland’s ski resorts. Many resorts want to preserve their village-like appearance, while others decide to go the other way. Levi is by far the liveliest of Finnish ski resorts, with a bustling micro city of a centre filled with restaurants, bars, shops, a bowling alley and a spa, among other things.

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Ski Lapland

Looking for something different to ski down? Bored with your regular snow park? Or just bitten by the downhill bug? The round fells of Finland’s main ski area, Lapland, offer varying terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.

There are around 75 ski resorts in Finland, most of them small local hills next to cities and villages. The big ones, however, lie in the fells of Lapland, and are classic winter holiday destinations.

The “Big Four” of Lapland’s ski resorts – Levi, Ylläs, Pyhä-Luosto and Ruka – rise from roughly 500 to more than 700 metres above sea level and boast slope lengths up to three kilometres.

Six Months of Skiing

Lapland’s versatile resorts offer downhill enthusiasts everything from kids’ runs to black slopes, and snow parks to backcountry exploring. The season starts in late October, and high season spans from February until the snow melts in early May.

The mood in Finnish ski resorts is pleasant and far more relaxed than the crowded hot spots of, say, Central Europe – no worries about getting into a free-for-all in the lift queue or kamikaze-style overtakes on the slopes.

Food tip: the thing to do on your Lappish ski holiday is to roast sausages for lunch. Don’t take our word for it; join the locals around the fire at the bottom of the hill.

Get Cosy in a Log Cabin

Lapland’s ski centres are essentially holiday resorts, with many more activities on offer besides skiing and snowboarding. Snowmobiling, husky tours, reindeer rides, cross country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing and simply enjoying the fresh northern air and the “Magic of Lapland” are all great pastimes in lower altitudes.

For a genuine experience, reserve at least a few days and hire a log cabin, the quintessential dwelling in Lapland. After a long day spent outdoors, a steaming sauna followed by lounging in front of the fireplace are just about right for your own private piece of the Magic.

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Lapland

In just a few minutes, you can leave behind the hustle and bustle of a ski resort or a city and arrive in the peace and quiet of the wilderness.

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