From Winter 2016/17 we’ll be adding two ski resorts in Finland, Levi and Ylläs, to our existing range of Iso-Syöte, Pyha, Ruka and Salla.
For those unfamiliar with the joys of a Finnish winter holiday: the range of activities on offer is probably unmatched anywhere in the world, the skiing’s delightful, the snow is near-constant and the scenery is truly staggering. We tend to recommend Scandinavia primarily to families, but the truth is that with all of its charm and potential for adventure, Finland is suited to anyone looking for more than an average ski holiday. There are so many other activities available which makes it particularly attractive: an overnight at the Ice Hotel, glass igloos, ice fishing, husky and reindeer safaris, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, walking and more. And if Santa Claus can make his home there then it must be pretty special.
Both Levi and Ylläs sit comfortably within the Arctic Circle and are some of the northernmost ski resorts in the world. As well as ensuring excellent ski conditions, Levi and Ylläs’ high latitudes also mean a vastly elevated chance to witness one of the world’s most sought-after phenomena – the Northern Lights – something which both resorts are proud of to say the least.
These two resorts offer everything you might expect from a Scandinavian resort: short transfers (20 minutes to Levi and 45 to Ylläs), a new direct flight from Gatwick to Kittila (see below*) and a full range of accommodation including classic, cosy log cabins.
Made up of two villages, the Arctic adventure resort of Ylläs represents an ideal set-up for a family winter break. The resort consists of two parts, Ylläsjärvi and Akäslompolo, both unassuming in nature but host a range of local bars and restaurants as well as a regular ski bus to the lifts (free with the lift pass). The ski area in Ylläs is one of the largest in Finland but the real draw is the activities provided by our partner, Lapland Safaris – there’s everything from a stay at the Ice Hotel, ice fishing and a Northern lights safari to snowshoeing, reindeer and husky expeditions.
Levi is compact and colourful with a variety of shops and restaurants. It’s not big on the après scene, but it does have 15 (fifteen) floodlit pistes, so there’s plenty of scope to spend the evening on the slopes. The resort centre is conveniently located right at the foot of the main ski lift and on the mountain you’ll find uncrowded slopes. It also hosts World Cup ski events every year – a measure of the quality of some of the skiing here in the second largest ski area in Finland.
When it comes to accommodation, there are several good hotels as well as self-catering apartments – but for a true Finnish experience, you can’t get any better than a traditional wooden cabin. At the end of a long day, you can soothe sore ski muscles in your private sauna and then cosy up on the sofa in front of your log fire, what could be better?
The price for a holiday starts from £367 per person (based on four sharing) for a five-night’s stay at the three-star Sirkantähti Apartments in Levi with flights from Gatwick to Kittila and transfers and from £359 per person (based on four sharing) at the four-star Saaga Apartments in Ylläs with flights and transfers.
Crystal Ski Holidays www.crystalski.co.uk or call 020 8939 0726
* Season from 13th December 2016 – 12th February 2017. Departures up to and including 27th December are for 7 nights and depart on a Tuesday. A shorter duration (five nights) departs on 3 January 2017, with rest of the season weekly departures on a Sunday.