When considering a skiing holiday, Finland may not be the first name to come to mind. Other countries are more famous for their skiing, and they have larger resorts with more prestigious names. However, for those who want to enjoy good snow and gorgeous scenery in a place where the resorts and the crowds are smaller, Finland may be the best choice.
Skiers looking for Finland’s biggest slopes and longest runs can find them in the northern part of the country, but the snow tends to be heavier in the central region. The south has lower topography and a shorter skiing season, but it’s closer to the urban centers with their shopping, sightseeing and nightlife.
In the north can be found Finland’s largest and most popular ski resort, Levi. This is a good place for true fans of the snow and ice, for it is located above the Arctic Circle and includes a lot of wooded back country to explore. The Northern Lights can frequently be seen here, providing a backdrop for a land of ethereal beauty. There is also an excellent park area, some good pipes and facilities for beginners. The local town exists for the skiing community, offering quality accommodation, dining and nightlife. Levi is the location of the FIS Alpine World Cup.
Wilderness fans will also enjoy Ruka, another far-northern locale with steep slopes in a setting of polar wilderness. The skiing here tends to be rather challenging and is popular with advanced skiers. This location is so far north, visitors can experience the extended night of the polar lands. Despite its isolation, Ruka has lively nightlife and a real party reputation, so those who like to celebrate after they ski will love it.
The Yllas ski resort is in the Lapland region and offers ample areas for both skiers and snowboarders. This is a large area with 61 slopes served by 29 lifts as well as plenty of off-track runs. Night skiing is very popular here, and many of the slopes are lit. Nightlife is great and there are many excellent restaurants nears the slopes. Yllas is good for beginners, as it offers many smooth runs as well as ski classes.
Also in the northern part of the country is the Iso-Syote Resort. This region gets heavy snowfall, and the natural snow formations on trees and topography can be quite spectacular. Here skiing can be combined with other snow activities such as snowboarding, reindeer rides and husky dog sledding. The landscape is perfect for beginners, providing many long, smooth runs down from the fell. There are fewer challenging areas, but more experienced skiers can still find some enjoyable runs to exercise their skills.
In the south there is Himos, the most popular of the southern resorts. It is within easy travelling distance of several major cities, making it perfect for those who are combining some sightseeing and shopping with their skiing. Himos has 21 slopes accessed by 15 lifts as well as extensive cross-country skiing areas.
Another great area in the south of Finland is the Messila resort in Lahti. Here travelers can find the longest downhill ski runs in southern Finland. There are ten runs here used by both skiers and snowboarders, each run served by a t-bar ski lift. These runs may be a bit too advanced for beginners, while more experienced skiers will probably find them easier than many of the slopes at the northern resorts.
At Messila there are many well-lit cross country runs through beautiful forests. In these areas, the trails range from those for beginners to others that offer more challenge. In winter, the Bay of Lahti freezes and is safe for skiing, offering some very long, smooth runs ideal for beginners.
International competitions are held in Messila, and there are three excellent ski jumps. When jumps are taking place, they can be observed from a nearby restaurant, which has full-length windows for the purpose.
Finland is a skier’s paradise, and these are some of the most popular places to do it. This country has some of the most beautiful, unspoiled terrain in the world, and it’s just perfect for skiing.