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“Paradise for serious cross country skiers”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Yllas Ski Resort

Yllas Ski Resort
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Lapland Husky Sled Ride from Yllas
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
192 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Paradise for serious cross country skiers”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2012

Finnish Lapland has several great skiing areas but Ylläs is the most extensive of them. It is mostly flat with seven low mountains at some distance from each other. The whole area is covered with extremely well prepared skiing tracks, at least some 250-300 kilometers. The Ylläs mountain has also downhill skiing but this does not compare with Alps, as the mountain is only 600-700 meters high.
For cross country skiing it is probably the best area in Northern Europe, with possibility to do really long distance skiing to adjacent areas. Finns normally take a hotel or rent a cabin and ski for a week round the area. Every 5-10 km there are cafes which serve food and drinks so one does not go hungry (but they close relatively early, generally 4 pm). Starting from March there will be light from 7 am to 8-9 pm so long skiing tours are possible. When days become warmer, and nights are still freezing, this means that one can ski anywhere outside the prepared tracks in the mornings, before the snow becomes soft. There are forests so even in worse weather it is possible to ski. The villages are not much to see, but very lively during the high season (from March to end of April) and one can find interesting local produce as well as luxury goods. There are may activities offered for tourists (skidoo, dog sled, reindeer trips etc) but the best we Finns can think of is to ski long tours outside the most popular tracks. You will meet a few skiers but otherwise it is empty and very beautiful, with bright sunshine, flat treeless white mountains, lakes and small rivers.
So, if you have sporty kids who can ski, this is the place to come to. For non-skiers, there is not much of interest (and the skidoos are a pest which should be forbidden...) except in the summer. Smaller children can be pulled in special sleds or with rope on the track, but then you must be a pretty good skier. As the temperatures change a lot during the day, it is much recommended to use skating skis. The tracks are everywhere broad enough. On the other hand, the tracks for classic skiing are like rails so they are very easy to ski.
Lapland is then a paradise for serious skiers. Finns come there even though they cannot ski very well, but they keep to the tracks near the villages.

Visited April 2012
9 Thank jippu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Herts, UK
Level Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Lovely laid back resort”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2012

Four of us visited Yllas in mid February with skiing ability from beginner to very experienced. We only did downhill skiing so the review relates to this but there were lots of cross country ski trails which were floodlight until late evening.

Pistes & Skiing
We stayed mainly on the south side of the fell but you can cross over between the two sides using the Southern Gondola or a drag lift on the North side (note that this seemed to close when windy so there is the possibility of getting stuck). In general skiing conditions were excellent with wide and quiet pistes. The temperature never went above freeing so there were no problems with slushy snow or ice. In addition during our week it snowed 3 or 4 times to give some perfect powder conditions. The resort was fantastic for the beginners and intermediates in our group but would be limiting if you are after a large number of black runs.

The resort is mainly used by Finns in high season which means that ski schools are mainly for children and non-Finns. This means that the school was small and a wide range of abilities was put together in a class. It may be better for some people to book 1 or 2 private lessons (67 Eur for 1.5 hrs). Note - I asked my ski instructor about Levi and his recommendation was Levi is better for partying and Yllas has better skiing.

We visited Yllas at the start of the High season (week 8). It’s worth noting that timing is important if you want to ensure all the lifts are open or it is not too busy. In low season not all lifts operate and all close at 5pm. In High season (starts wk 8 – this seems to be how Finns refer to these things) all the lifts open, some until 7pm (floodlight), but the Finnish school holidays are weeks 8 and 9 so this is the busiest 2 weeks of the season. If going again we’d probably aim for weeks 10/11 (mid March) as it will be quieter, all the lifts are open and the days will be quite long. Note that some of the slopes are floodlight, these are mainly lower down the slopes but include a black and red from the top of the fell. (check sunrise and sunset times if going early season).

Note that all lifts are drag (mainly T bar) except the Gondola on the south side and a chair lift on the north side. On one day is was quite windy so the Gondola closed but you could still get a T bar to the top of the fell from the south side.

Temperature - it varied between -5and -12 deg C when we were there so this isn’t an alpine resort where you’re lunching outside. It wasn’t a problem if you have good warm ski gear and wrap up with plenty of layers. I would recommend getting a tight fighting thermal base layer as this is much better than just a t-shirt. I typically wore four layers underneath good thick water proofs. This was thermal top, t-shirt, then long sleeved cotton top, then sweatshirt. On the bottom undies, long thermals then some thick jogging pants. Interestingly the low temperature meant you didn’t get that wet, it’s just too cold. You can get dehydrated so all café’s and bars offer complimentary cold water. Note we booked thermal suits up front but didn’t really need them. However the hire place (Yllas adventures) was very helpful and when we asked also offered gloves, balaclava and socks at no extra charge.

With the exception of alcohol (Eur4-6 for a beer) we didn’t think food was overly expensive. Lunch was typical Eur15-20 for 2 of us this would be either 2 sandwiches or a pizza for 2 plus a couple of hot drinks and a soft drink. When we stopped for a drink and cake during the day it would be under Eur10. As a couple we stayed half board and spent an additional 400 Eur over the week on food and drinks.

There is a company called Yllas Adventures which offers plenty of trips snow mobiling, husky sledging, riding, snow showing etc

We were fortunate to see the Northern lights twice whilst out walking around midnight, neither were very colourful but it was still good to see them.

We didn’t grasp the local geography when booking so it’s worth understanding this as impacts whether you can ski in/out and the nightlife and restaurants around your accommodation. Yllas consists of 4 distinct areas – 2 on the north side of the fell and 2 on the south.
Sport resort Yllas
This is where we stayed and the Saaga hotel is located, it’s the main ski area on the south of the Fell. The advantage to staying here you can either walk or ski to the lifts and ski school. We would walk ca 50 metres in the morning then put our ski’s on. The disadvantage for some will be the very limited nightlife here although the Saaga hotel was quite busy. There are 3 or 4 small bars which were quiet in the evening and a few café’s. There is a ski hire place and ski school plus 2 other equipment shops. Golden Moments café did excellent cakes and a lovely Reindeer and leek quiche ! We visited during the busiest 2 weeks of the year and there were occasionally short queues for the Gondola, especially on a nice day but even then no more than 10 minutes (note that at busy times there is a single fast track queue which is used to fill in odd spaces). There were no queues for the drag lifts. There is a small shop for food items but if self-catering you’d need to get the bus to the supermarket Yllasjarvi (it runs every couple of hours), there is a taxi service but we didn’t use it.

Supermarket by lake – YllasJarvi
This is on the south side of the fell about 3 Km from Sport Resort Yllas so if staying here you’d need to get the bus to the slopes (evidently you can hire a locker at the Ski rental shop by the slopes so don’t have to carry your gear around). It is on the edge of the lake (Frozen during the winter) and has a small supermarket, a petrol station and at least one restaurant and bar.

Yllas ski
This is the starting point for skiing on the North side of the fell. I was told there is no accommodation here, but it’s the location of the northern side Ski School.

We only drove through this and it is the largest resort and has a supermarket. It seemed to have a few restaurants and bars plus a small shopping centre. If staying here you’d need to get a bus to the slopes, they run every 30 mins to the north side but kess frequently to the south side.

Other activities
We travelled with Inghams and booked husky sledding (super safari - which was 10 km) and snow mobiling through them, we enjoyed both trips.

Visited February 2012
36 Thank RichBeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Truro, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A friendly and well managed resort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2012

I have been a regular skier to Finland during the past decade, first visiting Levi, and then two visits to Pyha, and now Yllas on Feb 4th 2012. If I am honest, the skiing is not challenging, but I have long-since passed the stage of leaping off cornices and plummeting down diamond blacks. My record of four visits to Finland for my skiing speaks for itself. I find the temperatures low, but the skiing conditions superb on well- managed, generous pistes. The piste-huts offer a varied cuisine with a friendly service. The scenery is amazing, with plenty to do for the not so dedicated skier; dog-sledding, reindeer-sledding and snow-mobiling, and not forgetting cross-country skiing. The hotels and log-cabins are clean, comfy and warm, with a regular bus service to and from the resort. For the less experienced skier or the learner, I would recommend a March to April trip; temperatures perhaps more comfortable, however, one should be aware that if you want good snow then you don't want temps to rise too near 0. Having said that, my friends and I were skiing at temps of -32 to -38 on the beginning of this last holiday. It is worth mentioning that in this type of cold there is no moisture in the air, and one can wrap up against it wearing sensible layers- we were very comfortable. It was a soul-moving experience to see the amazing snow and ice formations on the lift-gantries, trees and piste huts around and on top of the mountain, giving one the impression they were skiing through an icy land of fantasy. I can, without reservation, recommend the resorts of Finland for skiers who simply love skiing for the sheer enjoyment of the sport rather than the death-defying challenge it can also offer...CJB

Visited February 2012
20 Thank Chrisbees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Not for advanced skiing.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2011

Good gloves and a Balaclava needed. They shut the one Gondola if it is windy leaving you with some long t bar rides and they close these too if windy, snowy or whatever leaving you with some flat blueish nursery runs. This is not a resort for real ski fanatics but would work well for novices with young children. Low intermediate would be fine if it is light and they do not shut the lifts. This can be a very dicey choice for a holiday if at the wrong time of year or the weather is off.

It is also dark most of the time in December so I would recommend skiing later in the year but check snow records. Over all a bit weird.

Visited December 2011
6 Thank Vincent404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
266 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“great ski slopes”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2011

A great ski slope and very reasonable prices. Ski lifts, kids area, bar, restaurant and sledging area for kids ;0) Ski pass is needed to access the slopes. There are lessons with an instructor for one to one or small groups.

Visited December 2011
Thank TravellingNessy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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