It has to be said that when planning a ski holiday, Finland is not the first country that springs to mind. For those in the know, it offers great experiences, very different from Central European high altitude resorts. The country has more than seventy-five resorts, many of which are located in hills outside towns and villages and are used by locals. Skiing is the national sport and very many Finns ski regularly. The large ski resorts are mainly in Lapland in the north of the country where the unique landscape is sure to impress. It is wild terrain, a wilderness of rugged fells which undulate between five and seven hundred metres, and acres upon acre of snow laden forests. A truly magnificent sight. Although there is an absence of high mountain peaks, there is plenty of downhill skiing including exhilarating black runs.
The main resorts are Levi, Yllas, Pyha and Luosta, and Ruka. Levi is the most popular and caters for all ability levels in both skiing and boarding. It has two snow parks and offers a lively apres ski scene. The village centre has bars, restaurants, clubs and shops. The ski resorts offer a variety of leisure activities including reindeer sleigh riding, snowmobiling, dog sledding, ice fishing and spa treatments. Levi also has a bowling alley. While in Lapland you must attempt to see the wonderful Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights), one of nature's most spectacular phenomena.
Although the first snows arrive in Lapland in October and melt in May, the high ski season is from February through until May. Daylight is very short in December and January so much of the skiing is on illuminated pistes. The temperature is very low, with daytime temperatures between minus twenty and minus five. The air is dry, so as long as there is no wind and you are adequately dressed, you'll be surprised at how pleasant it feels. The correct clothing is critical but need not be too expensive. Be sure to wear layers, beginning with thermal underwear. Try and wear some wool and have a down-filled jacket. Hats with earflaps are essential as are decent mits with a thin pair of gloves beneath. At minus twenty and below, it is best not to expose bare skin to the elements. Good warm boots with two thin pairs of woollen socks should keep your feet comfortable.
Low cost Finland ski holidays are sure to please as they offer great value. Standards of accommodation are high and service is very good. Restaurants serve a variety of local fare as well as international cuisine. Nightlife in the smaller resorts is very low key and even in the larger ones, it remains relaxed and is never raucous.
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