This year we wanted to go that little bit extra, so the draw of the northern lights, snow laden trees and the crisp cold air took us to Finland!
Ruka in Finland is a small ski resort just on the edge of Lapland, which is accessible from Kuusamo airport (around a 30 min drive).
Travelling to Ruka
When we first arrived it was like Christmas all over again. It has a very different vibe to France, more like a sleepy town compared to apres ski party.
Landing in Kuusamo all you see for miles is white snow and when you first step off of the plane it’s fresh! But that’s what we love. A small note that Kuusamo is a small airport, so on the way home we advise that you get there early! We were on a booked holiday with transfers and they didn’t get there with enough time for the amount of people and it was a big stress.
Staying in Ruka
We stayed right in the centre of Ruka town, so everything was accessible. Our accomodation was a 2 min walk to the nearest ski lift with our ski lockers being right next to our accommodation. The rooms were very modern and clean with lots of space (compared to your average French resort), we even had a boot warmer and a sauna in our accommodation! Wifi worked great too!
The Ruka experience
We had six days of skiing on Ruka’s slopes. Thankfully we were lucky in our planning, meaning the resort was relatively quiet, sometimes having the slope all to ourselves. This was due to the fact that we visited Ruka a week before Finland/Russia school holidays, so prices were cheap. What is great about Ruka is that skiing can continue into as late as May or June due to the amount of snow and constant cold temperatures.
Dani tried out her first ever black run which was surprisingly easy compared to the black runs of other European ski slopes. For those of you who enjoy a snow park, Ruka has a very technical one, with lots of rails, boxes and kickers. They also have a halfpipe, (usually ready in time for the Finnish holidays) so we can see the draw for this. They also have a few off-piste ski routes through the tree areas which were great fun and not technically difficult.
Other activities in Ruka
There are many other activities to do around the Ruka area other than skiing. From meeting Reindeer to ice fishing and Go Karting on the snow. If you have great weather and patience, you may even get the amazing spectacle of the northern lights, which is not to be missed.
Food and restaurants in Ruka
Food wise Ruka has many great places to eat, but our top two are RUOK burger (we both agree the best burger ever!) and the Wild game restaurant – Riipisen, where you can try more traditional Finnish cuisine for a decent price. There are a handful of bars in resort, but again they have a more chilled vibe than party vibe.
We loved Ruka for the fact that it was a great week with some relaxing vibes. If you would like a great family holiday, where slopes are relatively easy and there are extra activities, then Ruka is a great place for you. It feels magical and you have a great chance of seeing the Northern Lights. However, if you are looking for a party with a buzzing nightlife and more difficult slopes, we would stick to somewhere like Tignes, or Meribel in France.