Skiing in Finland can many times be a bit hectic and short lived experience. But at Ylläs you just... read more
Skiing in Finland can many times be a bit hectic and short lived experience. But at Ylläs you just... read more
The are no other words to describe these auto of this place. Magical is the only word that can be... read more
I love snowboarding - I miss NZ because of its access to the snow - I wish I could go snowboarding much more often BUT... I'm really not rich enough for all these French/Swiss/Australian/Italian resorts. I was eventually getting desperate for the snow, and my friends and I have always been interested in going to Finland, so we decided that this would be the place to go! Yllas was amazing! It was great that the Hire staff knew English, and that the lifts were so frequent. The slopes weren't necessarily the highest I've been on, but were long and windy and so much fun. The snow up north is epic!!! I'm sure it must have been so much better than the slopes in southern Europe - which were probably melting at this point (Easter). And there were barely any crowds there. So epic. I loved it.MoreShow less
Skiing in Finland can many times be a bit hectic and short lived experience. But at Ylläs you just might get enough gentle downhill time to relax your mind and concentrate on enjoying. I recommend trying this out atleast once in your life!
The are no other words to describe these auto of this place. Magical is the only word that can be used. We have visited twice now over the Christmas period. The most recent time we were treated to the most wonderful Northern lights show. Thank-you!
My husband and I went to Yllas for February half term. We were worried that it would be absolutely rammed as usually this is an awful week to go skiing. It was the opposite. We had the pistes and lifts virtually to ourselves and never had to wait for a lift once.
Yllas has two separate resorts, one on each side of the fell. We stayed on the Akaslompolo side and were very glad that we did. It has a lovely little village which runs all the way down to a T junction at the bottom of the hill, with the Y1 ski centre being near the top of the hill. There are 3 gift shops, some restaurants and a large supermarket on the Akaslompolo side. We stayed at the Akas hotel, which was a great hotel with excellent food.
We went there purely to ski. The logistics of skiing are that you can either walk up to the Y1 ski centre from Akaslompolo village, which takes 50 minutes, or you can catch the ski bus from right outside the Akas hotel. It is free to guests in the hotel and for everyone else it is 20 euro per day per couple from memory. They are fairly regular and it only takes 5 minutes to get to the Y1 ski area. Up here you have your lockers for your equipment which are 35 euro for one week. This is where you get your equipment. It was fantastic quality. The ski boots did not stink and were comfortable. The ski's were exceptional quality and looked like they had hardly been used. Usually it is a massive bun fight on the morning that everyone gets all their kit, but the people are lovely, friendly and efficient and it was a stress free experience. To get back down from Y1 to Akaslompolo, you can walk down which takes 40 minutes, or get the ski bus, or if you are staying at the hotel you can rend a small plastic sled for free and sledge back down on the sled run at the side of the road, which takes 15 minutes.
We went with Inghams so only had 3 days of 1 and a half hour lessons which was good. Maret had us skiing backwards down green slope 1 within 45 minutes of our first lesson and skiing sideways down blue run 2 on the second day!
The snow quality is incredible. It never got above freezing, so was lovely dry powder and was groomed to within an inch of its life. I had never ski'd on fresh cordorouy before. The runs are well layed out with warming huts dotted around with an open fire in the centre for people to huddle around and get the feeling back in their fingers and toes. People were cooking over these fires. There is one at the bottom of run 1 and another at the bottom of run 7. A lovely touch and a place where I spent a lot of time. There is also a lovely heated tea break room that I retreated to when I lost the feeling in my face and hands. The weather in February was minus 11 on the first day and around minus 7 the other days. It gets very cold on the face when it is snowing so you will need balaclava's.
You will also need to do a lot of leg exercises before you go as I was on button lifts for the entire week and it hammers your thighs. The visibility was absolutely shocking all week unfortunately. We had no hope of seeing the Northern Lights. The first time we saw the sun was on the coach on the way back to the airport. This meant that a lot of the piste up the fell was too dangerous to tackle. I got half way up the T bar serving blue run 12 and got off at the half way point as you could only just see the person on the T bar in front of you. My husband is a red run skier, but he only went up the top of the fell 4 times as it was a real pea souper up there and no fun when you can't see where you are going.
I am an improving beginner and it was a fantastic resort for me. 4 lovely green runs in a row, each long enough that you feel like you are on a proper run. One has humps all the way down it. They get progressively steeper. You can really work on your technique. Then there are 4 blue runs in a row. Number 7 has two steep sections to get you used to that in small doses. Number 8 is incredibly steep but only at the very top. Number 9 gets you used to being on a narrower run with a drop off at the side and number 12 is steeper again and over a more prolonged area. My skiing came along more than it has anywhere else (I have been to 4 different resorts.) I would go back in a heart beat and hope to go up the mountain and tackle all the blues next time.
You can catch the bus from Y1 to the other side of the fell. You have to pay for this. It cost us 20 euro's. The other side of the fell is variously known as Sport Resort Yllas, or the Saaga side or the Yllasjarvi side. We did not like it over there. It is not laid out logically. We could not find the drag lift called Saaga that would have taken us up to get across to the only run we went over there for which was blue run 13. We ended up lugging our ski's down a road and then through deep snow through a forest and we ended up appearing half way down 13. It was too steep for me so we had to get the bus back to Y1 and lost 4 hours skiing that day. Very glad we didn't stay on that side.
We did the Laino Snow Hotel excursion which was excellent and the night time snow mobile safari which was also very good. Didn't see any wild animals the whole time we were there but there is a wildlife park in Akaslompolo where we could have seen reindeer and huskies.
It is only a short transfer from the airport and really is a magical winter wonderland place. The week before we were there it was minus 30, so be prepared. We just took normal ski jackets and thermals and we survived. You can rent thermal suits but they are all in one and did not look any warmer than our ski gear. You will be hard pushed to meet friendlier people. They serve food luke warm by the way. They don't believe you should eat hot food in the winter. It is expensive to eat out, so we went half board and then went to the supermarket for snacks for lunch. We treated ourselves to one lunch at Y1 and it was 31.90 euro for two veggie burgers, an orange juice and a small beer. The small beer was 7.90. The supermarket is a much better idea and you can get a four pack of ale in there for around 5 euro from memory.
There is a nice frozen lake to walk out on and a lovely warming hut in the village. We flew with Easy Jet and it was on time. The runway was covered in snow, but that doesn't stop them in Lapland. They just hosed the plane off with de-icer and off we went!
Yllas has two main skiing areas - Yllas Sports Resort (Saaga) and Y1. Saaga is a purpose built resort approximately 30 minutes from Akaslompolo by ski bus although it can be accessed by using several tows at Y1. Saaga has lots of long runs (including the longest run in Finland (run 16 running onto the 15). The runs in Saaga are steeper than those at Y1 and I found that the red and black runs at Y1 were easier than those at Saaga. Apart from the one gondola, all lifts are tows so would recommend building up your leg muscles before you come. Y1 is 5 minutes via ski bus from the village of Akaslampolo. This area is more spread out. Apart from one chairlift at Cafe Express (which can only be accessed by using tows), all other lifts are tows. Runs are not as long but I personally thought they were more fun. Even if you are an expert skier, check out the blue runs- some of them are really good fun with humps (not moguls). Plenty of 'safe' off pisting to be had. The views are also stunning and from the top of both fells you can see the ski resort of Levi. Overall, I think this ski resort is brilliant although the ski bus could be more frequent as they are only every 45 minutes. Having said this, it didn't really cause a problem - it just meant that you could be waiting a while waiting for the next bus.
Ylläs is highest ski resort in Finland and not many of them offers comfortable gondol rides to the top of mountain. Cause in Finland safety is priority they don't take any chances and if its windy day gondol will be shut down.
And remember this is not a alpine region so slopes might not be as exiting as in Europe but there so much more than only downhill skiing.
As i m a beginner it was enough height and steep slopes for me. So it is suitable for beginners and familys with children.
Ticket for ski lift in 2018 was around 50€/day, ski package rental 35€/day.
Plenty of fun is expected!
We came to Ylläs after a break from skiing to try something different. We were very pleased with our choice.
The weather was glorious and the piste conditions excellent throughout. The slopes are not as long as in many of the French resorts we have been to, but there is plenty of fun to be had for everyone. The slopes are quiet all day long - we never queued anywhere.
The organisation is as good as we have seen and the restaurants are excellent. Very high degrees of cleanliness and catered for Gluten Free everywhere.
I suspect we were a bit lucky with the weather, but nonetheless this is a great resort.
In the evening there is a lot of things to do. Best of all if the conditions are right you may even see the Aurora Borealis. We did (twice)!
Been several times to Yllas and stayed in various log cabins....Jayne the rep was fantastic as my two year old was very poorly. She arranged for us to see the local doctor & helped with local transport.
The only thing we can find fault with is that the cabins were a little grubby & no double bedding. We did a trip to the Snow Hotel & would of liked a little more time there to look around. Would probably get a taxi next time.
We also had quite a long walk with a poorly two year old despite requesting a cabin near the Akas Hotel, which meant us getting taxis which can be costly. I would probably advise staying in the hotel with young children
Would definately go through Inghams again though as excellent service
I've stayed at Yllas a few times now, varying from the Log Cabins behind the Akas hotel, to various chalets in the area.
The resort comprises of two sides. On the side of the town, there's a few small hotels, cabins and apartments dotted around the outskirts of the village. Here there are lots of trees, cross country skiing it generally has a quiet atmosphere. Even though it's only about 15 minutes from here to the end of the main road in the town, it's fairly quiet.
A bus regularly picks up skiers to the main ski area, where there's a large shop, equipment hire, restaurants and bars. I've never seen it very busy here.
This side of the 'fell' (they aren't mountains) has mainly drag lifts/t-bars and one chair lift (as of 2014 when I last went).
Over the other side of the fell is the 'Sports Hotel' where they have the added luxury of a cable car and more sun. The hotel (from the couple of times I went near and inside it) is MUCH busier. If you like your holidays with plenty of company and activities, this is the side for you.
Personally I like the quieter side, as snowy forests, cross country skiing and lounging around are all best done without the noise of other people. It's a short walk to the snow-mobile hire center so plenty of opportunity to make noise if you want.
Skiing overall isn't overly challenging as although there are black runs, it's mainly because they are covered in moguls rather than being too steep. The runs are also comparatively short, taking maybe 10-15 minutes at best if you're pretty fast.
The runs are varied though, and I would say excellent for families or any experienced skiers not wanting to challenge themselves too much.
The only downside if that you can get snowstorms, and it's generally very cold (you are in the Arctic circle). Excursions seem no more expensive than Canada, and although aren't cheap, do give you a nice insight into Finnish culture.
There's a good chance you'll see the Northern Lights here too, which I've done so many times I'm almost, almost, not excited when I see them!
Absolutely fantastic trip! Amazing accommodation in a Ylläs log cabins - clean, warm and spacious. Really great excursions, we did Reindeer safari, snow mobile driving, Ice Hotel, Elves secret hideaway and Husky ride.
We had an awesome week in a Ylläs and already want to come back! Inghams were efficient and nothing was too much trouble. Half board at Akas hotel was excellent too. A fantastic trip - our children will never forget it - neither will I!
We actually went December 2016 to Yllas ,this was our second visit with young children and teenagers,we stayed in log cabins ,this place has got to be the most magical place on earth ,we did husky dog ride ,snowmobiles,reindeer sledge rides ,both of the Santa trips ,the ice hotel and dinner with Santa ,the restaurants are fab ,and the people are really friendly,would spend every Xmas there if we could afford it x