Snowboarding in Finland

Snowboard fahren in Finnland

Snowboarding in Finland

Because water freezes at 0°C and the Earth orbits the sun, there is always snow at both poles and alternately in each hemisphere near the poles.

Winter is magical, but it is not unusual. So what exactly makes Finnish winters and Finnish ski resorts so unique?

On the one hand, the Lappish ski areas are among the most snow-sure in the world; Ruka is even the safest in Europe.

While nature does most of the work, Finnish ski resorts also use clean water and efficient machinery to create their own white gold. Climate, technology and snow storage guarantee a white holiday from November to May, sometimes even longer.

Although the Arctic falls into polar night around the winter solstice, you don't have to fear the darkness. The short, magical days of January are crisp, colorful and full of peace, and when it's time to ski, floodlights ensure you can see everything in front of you.

As soon as the days get longer again, it seems as if the sun never sets. When April comes, you no longer need artificial light.

Finnish ski resorts have snow and light, what more could you want? World-class slopes. Well-groomed, clearly marked, safe slopes for all skill levels. Freestyle parks and halfpipes for snowboarders and skiers, mogul slopes and freeride zones, practice areas for children and snow groomers for days. Believe me, it's all there.

And finally, one should never underestimate the importance of security. Finland is one of the safest and most stable countries in the world, and this also applies to skiing.

Your well-being is always in good hands, whether you're whizzing down the slopes, pampering yourself at the spa or having dinner at a restaurant. Simply put, you can focus on having a good time.

Although Finland is largely a flat country, there are almost 100 ski resorts, most of which are located in Lapland, within the Arctic Circle. You can ski and snowboard here, and there are hundreds of acres of groomed cross-country ski trails. These are some of the best ski resorts in all of Finland, not only for skiing but also for family holidays and other winter activities such as husky sledding, ice skating and watching the Northern Lights.

1. Levi

Levi is one of Finland's largest, best-rated and most popular ski resorts and has 43 kilometers of slopes and 230 km of cross-country ski trails. The village is very lively during the holiday season and there is a range of accommodation available, including log cabins and glass igloos where you can watch the Northern Lights. For park lovers, there are the jumps in the 1 km long South Park and the halfpipe in Street Park on the front slopes. Levi is just minutes from the local Kittila Airport. A note: the ski area will not fully open until February when daylight hours increase sufficiently.

2. Ruka

Ruka is often considered one of the best ski resorts in the Nordic countries and hosts eight World Cup competitions each November/December. If it's good enough for the professionals, it's certainly good enough for us. With 22 lifts and 35 slopes, it is a popular ski resort surrounded by untouched Finnish countryside. The season begins in early October and lasts until May. There is snow here for 200 days every year. Don't miss the legendary Spring Break Festival and Wappalounas, a jam session for snowboarders with live music on the slopes.

3. Iso-Syöte

Tucked away in Syöte National Park lies the Iso-Syöte ski resort, which was voted the best ski resort in Finland for 2017 and 2018 at the World Snow Awards. With 17 slopes and 10 lifts, it is known for its incredible snow reliability and family friendliness. The Snow World for Children has four slopes and four lifts created specifically for children to learn to ski. Away from the slopes, you can go on snowshoe hikes and husky tours, or pet reindeer and roast sausages over an open fire - just the Finnish way.

4. Ounasvaara

Near Pyhä is the Ounasvaara ski resort, which is located almost in the center of the city of Rovaniemi. The main slopes are well suited for beginners, while advanced skiers can use the FIS slope of Tottorakka (No. 3) should complete a slalom course at an international level. Young children will love tubing (sliding down a rubber ring) at Snow World. Ounasvaara is a slightly smaller ski resort with just five lifts and 13 slopes, but you can ski here while also visiting Santa Claus Village and spotting polar bears and snowy owls at Ranua Zoo.

5. Saariselkä

Saariselkä, Finland's northernmost ski resort near the town of Inari, has a total of 15 ski slopes and 200 km of cross-country ski trails. Located at the gateway to Urho Kekkonen National Park, there's something wild about Saariselkä - it's certainly less crowded than many other Lappish holiday spots. In addition to skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling and Northern Lights viewing are also popular here. Despite its remote location, the location offers numerous amenities and entertainment options, including jazz and blues festivals.

6. Pyhä

Just a short drive from the Lappish capital of Rovaniemi, Pyhä is easily accessible from Santa's official hometown. There is a real back-to-nature vibe in this remote part of the country. The ski area itself has nine lifts and 14 slopes, the longest of which is 1.8 km long, while the surrounding Pyhä-Luosto National Park is served by 150 km of cross-country ski trails. There is also an amethyst mine nearby, the only one in the world open to visitors, and restaurants serving traditional Lappish cuisine.

7. Vuokatti

Vuokatti's location on the border between the Arctic lake district and Lapland makes it one of the most popular winter sports resorts. While there are few downhill slopes, it is a cross-country skier's paradise with more than 150 km of groomed trails. Thanks to the unique ski tunnel, you can ski all year round as the temperature is constantly maintained between -5 and -9 degrees Celsius. Olympic cross-country skiing and biathlon athletes train here. You can also go snowmobiling, go on a husky safari and visit a reindeer farm.

8. Ylläs

Ylläs is probably the most scenic of all Finnish ski resorts and boasts one of the largest ski areas in the country. At an altitude of 719 m above sea level, there are 63 slopes, including the longest slope in Finland, Jättipitkä, which is 3 km long. The slopes are primarily suitable for beginners and advanced skiers, but there is also an extensive off-piste offering for advanced skiers and snowboarders. Cross-country skiing enthusiasts will enjoy 330 km of trails, and ice fishing, snowmobiling, reindeer watching and dog sledding are available. Back in town you will find a number of Nordic restaurants serving traditional Lappish cuisine.

9. Tahko

Overlooking a sparkling lake, Tahko is located in central Finland and has a slightly shorter season than the more northern ski resorts (December to March). The 24 slopes are mostly beginner-friendly, with little steep terrain to pique the interest of more advanced skiers. Freestyle lovers can let off steam on the rails and boxes of Tahko in the park. There are five restaurants and two rental shops on the slopes. You can cook something and warm up at one of the free campfire areas with firewood.

10. Salla

"In the middle of nowhere" is the slogan of this Finnish ski resort, as 90% of the region is uninhabited. Downhill and slalom competitions have been held in Salla since 1937. Amazingly, the oldest ski in the world was found here, dating back to 3.245 B.C. BC goes back. Today the ski area has 15 slopes with a good mix of green and blue slopes for beginners and red and black slopes for advanced skiers. With a brand new magic carpet and toboggan hill, it's very family friendly.

11. Messilä

Just 10 km from Lahti and 110 km from Helsinki, Messilä is one of the most popular ski resorts in southern Finland. Unlike the north, it doesn't suffer from the same extreme cold - in January and February the average temperature is around -6°C (21F). Messilä is set in the grounds of a beautiful historic manor house and has 10 slopes and 9 lifts, a snow park and 70 km of cross-country ski trails. There is also a direct bus transfer from Helsinki on Thursdays to Saturdays during the winter season, making getting to the slopes easy.

12. Himos

Himos in Jyväskylä, Central Finland, is more of a beginner ski resort with mostly small, gentle slopes. It's a great place to learn to ski before moving on to bigger runs with more advanced terrain. There are 21 slopes, all converging near the main town, so there's no need to get lost. All slopes are illuminated, so you can ski the entire mountain even on dark winter days. You can also go on a moose safari, try ice swimming or curling, and there are plenty of activities for children.