Paul Humphreys, Buyer – ExtremeGB, checks out Finland’s Ruka ski resort.
Ruka is situated in North Finland and is situated at 290m and has 24km of ski runs, so not the largest. There is 15km of easy runs, 6km of Intermediate and 3km of Advanced. There are a total of 21 lifts, five chairlifts, 13 drag lifts and three magic carpets. The resort is defiantly not the largest but with treeline skiing and a fantastic ski school it’s definitely a great resort for beginners.
For a week lift pass the cost (2022 price) is £155 and ski lessons start from £99 for three half days, all the instructors speak English, so this is a great resort for families and those looking for a confidence boost.
We flew into a very cold and snowy Kuusamo Airport from Gatwick, a flight time of about three hours, followed by a 25-minute coach transfer with Crystal. Within 45 minutes we were checked in at our hotel and exploring the resort
The resort is based around the town of Ruka, it’s small but has all you need. There are some great bars and restaurants, as well as the famous Finnish Karaoke bars that are a must for the experience! There is a small shop, a few takeaways and gift shops, if you did go self-catering the shop would have all you need.
We strayed at the Hotel SCANDIC RUKAHOVI, which is situated in the main town and is next to the main chair lift for easy access to the runs. There is a bus that takes 15 minutes to get around to the ski school, we never used it but we did see it running during the day. We booked half-board with Crystal and the food was good. There was a full buffet-style breakfast with everything you needed and more. It was a great start to the day. The evening meal was also buffet style and good.
The main reason we picked this resort was for my wife, she is still new to skiing and we were looking for somewhere with a good ski school and that was not too busy. We were not disappointed. The ski school was amazing and there was a great instructor. My ski school was well organised and held half-day lessons, this meant I could ski in the morning and meet up for an afternoon skiing with my wife.
The skiing was fantastic, light fluffy snow and treeline skiing. The runs were very well maintained. The experience of skiing past reindeer will take a lot of beating! We enjoyed stopping at the open fire pits they maintain, just to the side of the runs, to warm up, feed the reindeer and toast marshmallows.
We really enjoyed Ruka and Finland, friendly people and wide-open treeline skiing. This is not a large ski resort with hard black runs but if you are after a different experience with treeline skiing and wide-open slopes, and you don’t mind the cold, I would highly recommend this resort. Also great for family and first-time skiers.