Finland : Finland

Cross-country skiing in Lapland

Trip code: K07FL 4.7 (14 reviews)

Winter snow holiday

7 nights,
single centre

9.0Kg CO2e

SUMMARY

  • Stay in the resort of Yllas in the heart of Finnish Lapland, a cross country skier's paradise
  • Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park - officially where the world's cleanest air has been measured
  • Ski in ski out 3 star family run accommodation based in the Lappish village of Akaslompolo
  • Snow sure destination
  • Opportunity to see the Northern Lights!
  • Plenty of activities to choose from including snowmobiling, husky sledding, snowshoeing, fat biking and nearby, downhill skiing

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast and 7 evening meals
  • Comprehensive route directions
  • Use of the cross country ski trails
  • Use of the sauna and Arctic Spa
  • Standard transfers to/from your hotel (if booking inclusive flights)

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Perfectly picturesque and surrounded by the 7 softly rounded, snow-capped fells of the Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park, the village of Akaslompolo makes for superb cross-country skiing exploration whatever your ski ability. With over 300km of designated tracks - the most in Finland - trails vary from flat and easy to more demanding routes into the fells. There are even about 40km of trails that are illuminated at night for superb skiing even in the atmospheric twilight of the Polar Night in December and into January. The intricate network of signposted trails crisscross and intercept each other, so your route can even be changed halfway through, giving countless alternatives through the beautifully preserved Lappish landscape. There are even so-called 'warm tracks' on the upper fells where it might be as much as 15 degrees warmer than in the village!

Using cross-country trails directly from the hotel, follow the freshly prepared ski tracks to the frozen lake of Akaslomopojarvi, through peaceful ancient forest and pristine white and unspoilt nature. The trails are dotted with traditional Finnish kotas - small wigwam shaped huts where you can take a break from skiing to marvel at the silent snow covered landscapes - or enjoy Finnish hospitality in a skiers' cafe where you can try the local energy booster of a pulla (sweet sticky bun), munkki (the doughnut equivalent) and a hot blueberry juice.

Just 200km north of the Arctic Circle, this far north there are good opportunities to glimpse the celebrated Northern Lights. Street lights here are turned off at 10pm to showcase this extraordinary natural phenomenon. Admire from the hotel or take to your snowshoes as night falls in a guided search (payable locally) over the snow for the Aurora.

When you fancy a day off from skiing, a convenient ski bus connects Akaslompolo with the impressive Snow Village - constructed as the first snows come down in November, artists from around the globe come here to design and sculpt this intricately chiselled ice hotel. Or take the chair lift to the summit of 719m high Yllastunturi Fell - which gives the Yllas region its name - to savour the views at the highest restaurant in Finland.

The base for your 7-night stay is the Yllashumina Hotel, set near the shores of Akaslomopojarvi lake and a home away from home run by the Qvist family for over 70 years. With just 32 rooms, housed in 8 separate traditional wooden cabins, it makes for wonderfully cosy and intimate accommodation. Dinners here, served in a separate log building, where you'll also find the welcoming lounge and Humina pub, are buffet style with hearty Lappish fayre based on locally sourced game, fish, cheese and berries. All guests can take advantage of the hotel's sauna, a must for any Finnish accommodation!, as well as the Arctic Spa: an outdoor hot tub for the ultimate in relaxation.

Climate in Yllas / Akaslompolo

Akaslompolo and Yllas are located in Finnish Lapland, 150km above the Arctic circle. This northerly location gives Yllas long winter and summer seasons with a short spring and autumn in between.

The Winter ski season runs from November to May. The temperature in the winter months stays well below zero and it can often get below -20°C or even -30°C especially during January. These temperatures may sound extreme, however the dry air in the Arctic means that they are not a problem, providing adequate clothing is worn. When the temperatures are very low, it is essential to have thermal base layers. Hats and face masks are advisable too, especially if dog sledding or snowmobiling. Some visitors to Yllas also find that hand and foot warmers are a good thing to have when heading out on to the slopes for the day.

Daylight hours during the ski season in Yllas range from 0-6 hours in November, December and January up to 16 hours in April. For the short days in December and January flood lighting is provided on the slopes and the darkness is more like a blue twilight, aided by the reflection of light from the snow, than a pitch black. The long nights of winter are the best opportunity for viewing the northern lights in Yllas so it is considered by some people as the best time to go.

Terrain

Climate in Yllas/Akaslompolo

Akaslompolo and Yllas are located in Finnish Lapland, 150km above the Arctic circle. This northerly location gives Yllas long winter and summer seasons with a short spring and autumn in between.

The Winter ski season runs from November to May. The temperature in the winter months stays well below zero and it can often get below -20°C or even -30°C especially during January. These temperatures may sound extreme, however the dry air in the Arctic means that they are not a problem, providing adequate clothing is worn. When the temperatures are very low, it is essential to have thermal base layers. Hats and face masks are advisable too, especially if dog sledding or snowmobiling. Some visitors to Yllas also find that hand and foot warmers are a good thing to have when heading out on to the slopes for the day.

Daylight hours during the ski season in Yllas range from 0-6 hours in November, December and January up to 16 hours in April. For the short days in December and January flood lighting is provided on the slopes and the darkness is more like a blue twilight, aided by the reflection of light from the snow, than a pitch black. The long nights of winter are the best opportunity for viewing the northern lights in Yllas so it is considered by some people as the best time to go.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Akaslompolo

We meet you at Kittila airport and take you to the Lappish village of Akaslompolo (45 mins) and the Yllashumina Hotel.

You stay at Yllashumina Hotel.

hotel details



Yllashumina Hotel, Äkäslompolo

TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


The welcoming, family run Yllashumina Hotel sits on the edge of the village of Äkäslompolo, not far from the lake and overlooked by the fells of the Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park. It is traditionally Finnish in style, with all rooms coming with individual drying cupboards for your ski things! The ensuite standard rooms (twins only) are located in 8 cosy yet rustic log cabins close to the main reception-restaurant building and are equipped with kettle, fridge, hairdryer and television. They are mezzanine style with twin beds 'downstairs' and an additional bed tucked away under the eaves. Use of the hotel's saunas - a must for any Finnish accommodation, with separate facilties for men and women - is included as standard, as is use of the Arctic Spa (limited to once/twice a week).

For half board, the hotel serves a copious and tasty 3 course buffet each evening, with special themed dinners also included during the week. Expect to sample such Finnish specialities as salmon soup, reindeer and baked “leipäjuusto” cheese.



Room upgrades: Superior Rooms and Suites
For a touch of luxury, upgrade to one of the superior rooms. These are much larger than the standard rooms and come with a cosy sitting area - complete with fireplace, television, DVD and blu-ray, a separate bedroom (double bed only) and a kitchenette, as well as a bathroom with 2 showers. The one bedroom suite has the same facilities as the superior rooms, but also comes with bath tub in the bathroom.

Days 2-7: Suggested itinerary

The hotel's convenient ski service will help you to get kitted out with your skis, boots and poles on your first morning before discovering what this beautiful area has to offer. With easy access to the cross-country skiing trails around Akaslompolo, you can choose which trail to follow depending on your ski ability and local weather conditions for leisurely independent exploration.

For those wishing to try cross-country skiing for the first time, improve their technique, or master the art of skating, ski tuition can be arranged locally, as can guided group excursions (supplements payable locally). If you fancy a change from cross-country, downhill skiing, snowmobiling, husky sledding and snow shoeing are all available (payable locally).

Day 8: Return home

We take you back to Kittila airport for your flight home.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights?  

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £325.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £325.

During your stay, ski hire (either classic skis or skating), ski lessons, guided ski excursions and guided snow shoeing excursions, please call for a quote.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
Please contact Headwater to discuss your best flight options. It is important to be aware that direct flight options are limited between the months of January and April. Return Kittila Airport transfers are available. 45 minutes each way.

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 10pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

Helpful and knowledgeable. I get a sense they care about making holidays as good as as can be

Shari Norton, 7 Apr 2024

 

We enjoyed every aspect of the holiday. It was the first time we have been self guided rather than part of a group and it really suited us because we could ski at our own pace. The hotel was very comfortable and quite unusual in that we were the only people from the UK for most of the week. There was a lovely mixture of nationalities. We hope to go back in the future.

Margaret Sergeant, 17 Feb 2024

 

Headwater is a professional organisation with friendly and helpful staff and it is an organisation we would travel with again. The essential information was very useful but an overview map provided with the joining instructions would be helpful. The trip to Akaslompolo exceeded our expectations. The scenery was beautiful, the cabins were comfortable and warm and the food was excellent. Other activities were available and there were plenty of walking routes if you didn't want to ski. We would come here again. The only criticism is that the signs on the routes were sometimes confusing and did not seem to tie in with the map.

Karen Curran, 4 Feb 2024

 

Lauren Matkin provided fantastic service and helped us with all our queries

Anne Van Dierendonck, 24 Dec 2023

 

A great choice for independent travellers looking for an active holiday with safety and quality assurance built in.

Gillian Lightfoot, 17 Dec 2023

 

We enjoyed the opportunity to visit a new country and experience a new activity. The Yllas region of Finland is very beautiful and quiet and the snow and cold added to that. The hotel was excellent and staff very professional. We found the cross country skiing challenging. We were complete beginners so in that respect we felt our expectations of what we could achieve in terms of ability were not met. We had hoped to be able to ski around the area more easily than we could and instead we switched to doing a bit of skiing on the lake (nice and flat) and then walking around the park on the cycle trails. I would suggest that beginners should book more lessons and to know that they may not be able to ski for many kilometres after 2-3 days of practice so to be prepared to ski for some of the holiday but also enjoy other outdoor activities on offer. The northern lights were lovely and the people of Finland very welcoming and friendly.

Mr Leeding, 5 Mar 2023

 

We enjoyed the holiday a lot. Cross country skiing is very energetic (in a different league from hill walking or downhill skiing) and you need to be very fit to enjoy it.



Hotel was excellent in all respects. Äkäslompolo was truly beautiful. There were many skiing and walking trails on the doorstep. Travel was fine.



Booking process however was very poor. After realising the direct flights as advertised on the website weren't available, I booked and paid a deposit. I was later informed hotel was full, no others available. Days later, I was informed there was a deluxe room at the hotel for an extra payment.



Furthermore, having booked a 6 day cross country skiing holiday as beginners, we'd also booked a 90 minute lesson which we'd assumed would be on day 1. It was on day 2 and the hotel were unable to change this, which meant we spent day 1 falling over. If these booking issues can be improved, I can thoroughly recommend this trip for the fit!

Ms Smith, 5 Mar 2023

 

Our cross country ski trip to Yllas,, Finland exceeded our expectations. The accommodations were fantastic, and the wide variety of trails accessible from our resort were extraordinary. Seeing the Northern Lights was truly a highlight of the trip.

Ms Courtemanche, 26 Feb 2023

 

I would highly recommend a stay at Yllashumina. The food was delicious and there’s excellent access to all the ski trails. If you’re lucky you’ll see the northern lights.

Ms Dodd, 12 Feb 2023

 

All aspects of the holiday were excellent. Skiing on loipes directly from the hotel; exceptionally comfortable hire boots; very good skis; well maintained loipes; lovely cafes en route; excellent food at the hotel with good choices; very helpful staff; wonderful saunas & great outdoor hot tub. Our hotel location was quiet & peaceful with Akaslompolo a half an hour's walk away for shops etc. Lots of snow. We were even lucky enough to see some Northern Lights one evening. A very enjoyable holiday.

Mrs Todd, 29 Jan 2023

 

I found Akaslompolo a top class destination for cross-country skiing. Snow conditions were excellent, which I consider essential. I will never again book a trip outside Scandinavia, because of unreliable snow conditions nowadays in central Europe. The network of ski trails is immense and it is easy to find trails with few other skiers. An unexpected pleasure was to find several cafes for skiers at strategic points. In late January, day length was not a problem, at 7 hours. Daytime temperature varied hugely, from -3C to -24C, so you need clothing for very cold conditions. Use local forecasts, not the BBC. The hotel was very comfortable with excellent food. There were many other activities that could be booked - I went to a reindeer farm only 1 km from the hotel. The only aspect people might find difficult is that that there was absolutely no "group dynamic" of Headwater customers. You need to be prepared to dine and ski just by yourself or in your own party.

Mr Clifford, 29 Jan 2023

 

A magical place for Christmas with an excellent family run hotel and plenty of good food. The snow was good, you could ski virtually out of the chalet and tracks well maintained. Ski instructors were excellent. There were other options if you did not want to ski all week such as snow shoeing, fat biking, downhill skiing, dog sledding and reindeer rides. Most of these were in another area not far from the hotel so the immediate vicinity of the hotel was not touristy and felt authentic and remote. This is not a group holiday and probably not for single travellers. Probably better if you've done cross country skiing before to get the most out of the week as you are not with a group unless you pay for lessons.

Ms Eland, 19 Dec 2021

 

Excellent base for skiing and other winter activities. The ski tracks offer a variety of terrain and challenges, there is no charge for using the tracks which were well maintained throughout the week I was there. I would recommend the half board option because the food in the hotel is excellent and there are no better options that do not require travel by car or taxi. Ski equipment was good and the staff in the hire shop friendly and helpful, I did resent having to pay for my hire skis to be waxed.

Mr Collins, 9 Feb 2020

 

A great holiday. Great trails and wonderful food. Yllas is a great location. We strongly recommend half board at the hotel. Room a little disappointing - very cramped. Initial transfer was late and it was a little confusing arriving at the airport but otherwise things went smoothly. Delighted not to have a rep. around. Ski Rental OK but ran out of boots in my size and landed up with some old (but very functional) boots. Would certainly visit again.

Mr Bartholomew, 2 Feb 2020

 


Winter snow holiday

7 nights,
single centre

9.0Kg CO2e

7 nights from £1389

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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