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“Empty slopes, great for beginners!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Yllas Ski Resort

Yllas Ski Resort
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US$119.64*
and up
Lapland Husky Sled Ride from Yllas
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Empty slopes, great for beginners!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

There are 2 areas for skiing at Yllas, one called Sport Resort Yllas and one called Yllas Ski, on either side of the fell, although they are linked by lifts over the top of the fell (your ski pass works on both sides). We spent a day skiing at each area and much preferred Sport Resort Yllas. There was a better selection of runs and the ski hire centre was more professional, there were also more places to eat! We had done a few days skiing before coming to Lapland and found that the slopes at Yllas were perfect for our standard of skiing. A lot of the time we had the slopes to ourselves and there were never queues for the lifts. The only downside was the permanent fog when we were there, but that just made it more atmospheric. One useful tip that we wish we'd known about before we went skiing at Yllas is that there are fires and seating at the bottom of some slopes (marked on the ski maps) where you can cook sausages. Make sure you take sausages with you (there are sausage forks provided) as there is nowhere to buy them at the ski resorts.

Visited February 2014
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2 Thank winton1514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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74 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“My only non-NZ snow experience & I loved it!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2013

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.

Visited April 2013
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3 Thank Helvin3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fareham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Amazing experience....recommend it.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2013

This was my first skiing trip abroad, but even I could not believe that there were no queues at all on the slopes! None at all! Apparently my skiing friends tell me this is amazing news. I appreciate we went a bit later in the season (end of the first week of April). There were a number of different runs to choose from to suit every level, but is definitely limited for advances skiers. We were a party of largely novices/beginners so it suited us just fine. Staff at the ski hire place were very friendly and helpful. Facilities were all very good. They have a child's small mechanical roundabout with sledges and a snowmobile and playground area by the slopes for the younger children with swings/slide and a lovely big slope to safely sledge down!The Ski bar served the usual burger and chips/doughnuts/wide variety of beer/spirits/juices etc and the pricing was ok. It was never too busy either, which was a complete bonus as you were served quite quickly. Yllas itself has a frequent, efficiently run bus service to and from the slopes. We caught it at the Kittila Hotel as we were staying in the log cabins and this was nearest. Recommend the log cabins, lovely to enjoy the end of the day with a log fire and your own private accommodation! However, I completely agree with previous reviewers that if you are staying in a cabin but go half board to eat at the hotels it must be a nightmare to trek back and forth....particularly as our log cabin was one of the furthest away, which was wonderful for us as we went self catering but otherwise.....don't do it! It would be so much hard effort to traipse back and forth! Despite there always being sledges lying around for everyone to use. These absolutely made the trip delightful for the children. This is one of the most picturesque places I've visited and the forests just looked so idyllic in those snowy conditions. A number of restaurants to choose from, recommend Jullis's for big portions, good food and reasonable pricing. Reindeer is on the menu and is a must if you like your red meat. I had the white fish which was divine. Variety of choice. Poro was also good, all very fresh, friendly welcoming service, interesting interior decor. The beauty of Yllas was that we had a young child travelling with us and the 3 hour flight to get there made it so much of a shorter journey which is very attractive. We travelled with Ingham's and found the staff to be so friendly and helpful (tall guy, dark hair...just lovely!). This is one place I will definitely be returning to to improve my skiing, as I didn't feel overwhelmed as a beginner. Gorgeous!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank LibbyOliver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirkkonummi, Finland
Level Contributor
38 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Best skiing in Finland by far”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2013 via mobile

If you want to ski in Finland this is the place to be. Best slopes, longest piste is 3 km and there is a lot of choises for every skill level. The weather can be windy and cold sometimes, but its all about proper clothing. Also very rarely you need to stand several minutes in ques, only sometimes in the gondola lift, but it is worth waiting.

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1 Thank Matias P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambs
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Skiing Ylläs, Finland, January 2013”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2013

These are our reflections on our skiing holiday in Ylläs, January, 2013. We booked through Premier Travel in St Ives, Cambs. The package was with Inghams and we stayed at the Saaga, Ylläs.

Skiing
Most reviews about Ylläs skiing report limited runs for advanced skiers. This is definitely the case, but the two of us who are intermediate/advanced skiers spent a very enjoyable time on the slopes with our six-day pass.

Our first-time skier (aged 63) had three 90-minute lessons on a one-to-one basis and received excellent tuition. Cost of these sessions was €178.

Our slightly more advanced yet cautious skier enjoyed the wide, gentle slopes on the lower button and T-bar.

Our one concern before the holiday was the lack of daylight hours, but we soon discovered that this was not going to be a problem.

We found ourselves enjoying breakfast from 8:30 onwards and then strolling back to our rooms to get togged up and out on to the slopes for a leisurely 10:30 start, by which time the Finnish sun would just be peeping through.

From then until 15:00 the sun hovers just above the horizon, giving the sky a beautiful glow – sometimes blue, sometimes pink, and with various hues in between. We were treated to a gobsmackingly beautiful sunset which seemed to last an entire afternoon.

Pistes are well-groomed and generally wide, giving you plenty of time to recover if technique is found wanting.

Drag-lift staff are on-hand at the lowest levels and are very friendly and helpful. Higher up, it's self-service, since it's a safe assumption that if you're skiing the upper slopes you know how to handle a T-bar.

You've probably found some reviewers of the Ylläs resort questioning the lack of chairlifts, but there's a simple reason for this. If conditions are windy the chairlifts probably wouldn't be able to operate, so given the simple choice to carry on skiing or stop altogether I know which one I'd choose.

The Gondola was shut due to high winds for one of our days, but it was easy to ski around using the T-bar system. Not all runs were open but we still had a full day of skiing on that occasion. The resort obviously takes care to ensure good access whenever possible.

T-bars and buttons open at 10:00 and the gondola will be in action soon afterwards, if not simultaneously. Some draglifts close at 15:00, others at 17:00, but the gondola usually runs until just before 19:00, allowing for a full day of skiing.
Floodlit skiing is quite enjoyable, with ample light on a red run and the main black run at the centre of the resort.

There is a special set run for snowboarders with ramps and various bars for jumps and tricks.

We enjoyed hot chocolate and coffee at the café a short step away from the top of the gondola, but you could ski back to Ylläs for a pit-stop or across to the other ski centre on the other side of the Fell.

Hotel
We stayed at the Ylläs Saaga Spa on a half-board basis. The hotel also has self-catering apartments attached to it, but if self-catering the nearest supermarket for supplies is a 45-minute walk or taxi ride. There is a very small shop next to the hotel, where we bought beers and savouries. Souvenirs and other incidental supplies are available.

Access to the slopes
The Ylläs Saaga provides excellent access to the slopes.
From the basement bootroom (with lockers) it's a case of riding up one floor in the lift, steeping out through a door which opens out on to the snow. Within a few paces you can step into your skis and push out on to the piste. The nearest button lift is within 50 metres or you can ski another 200 metres down to the gondola.

If you are on the Fell side of the hotel and on floor 2 you can ski into and out of your patio, straight on to the slope.

Other floors offer lift access to the bootroom.

Rooms
You'll either have a view of the Fell or you can look out over the car park and beyond to the beautiful Finnish countryside. We asked for a room looking up the slopes to the Fell and the hotel was able to fulfil this request.

Rooms are warm and comfortable, with en suite facilities (shower but no bath).

We had a twin room. Beds were very comfortable and warm, with spare duvet provided in the wardrobe. You'll also find two bathing robes for use when visiting the pool/spa area.

There is plenty of wardrobe space and suitcases can be stored on a rack out of the way for the duration of your stay.

The en-suite includes warm-air clothes drier, which is a boon.

TV channels are mainly Finnish, with BBC World Service.

Restaurant
Meals are buffet style and there is no rush to eat, with the restaurant open from 07:00 to 10:00 for breakfast and 18:00 to 21:00.

Breakfast
For breakfast there's a choice of cereals, porridge, toast, scrambled or hard-boiled egg, saveloy, spicy sausage, baked beans, various breads which can be toasted, selection of cold meat and cheese. There's also fruit salad or forest berries with yoghurt, plus mini-biscuits or spongy circles with a chocolate coating.
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk shake and juices are also available.

Evening meal
Soup of the day and salad bar are available every evening, along with a choice of three main courses, one of which is vegetarian.

We found the main courses filling without being spectacularly good, but we finished the week on a high with an excellent bit of beef.

It's possible to eat a la carte in a different part of the restaurant with a discount for your half-board status taken into account.

The dining room is a little dingy, with tables laid out in rows reminiscent of a refrectory rather than a restaurant. This is not a serious complaint, merely an observation.

Hotel staff
Staff are very friendly and helpful, and all speak excellent English.

Pool/spa
There's a lovely indoor pool to loosen up after a day on the slopes. Same sex saunas are in the male and female changing rooms, but you have to go naked. A helpful Finnish chap spotted my nationality as soon as I stepped inside the sauna.
'Are you English,' he enquired politely. It was a bit disconcerting that he stepped outside once I'd confirmed that I was, but he was quickly back, armed with a sheet of paper taken from a roll outside the sauna door. 'Sit on that so you don't burn your [word for bottom removed to pass profanity censor]', he said helpfully.

Internet
There's free internet access connection in your room is provided via cable connection, and there is wi-fi access in the reception and bar area.

Travel
We booked through Inghams, who fly from London Gatwick, Birmingham or Manchester with flybe on a chartered flight. Flight time from Birmingham is just over three hours. Finland is two hours ahead of UK in January.
If you prefer to stay overnight ahead of departure (our flight was at 10:00) we can recommend the Crowne Plaza, Birmingham, a five-minute taxi ride to the airport.
On arrival at Kittila airport it's a swift walk from the plane to the main terminal. Bags are quickly off the plane and the coach is a 50-metre walk away.
Transfer from Kittila to Ylläs is 35 minutes.

Excursions
Pay extra for some outings for the full Lapland experience.
We enjoyed a reindeer safari, husky dog-sled ride (during which you drive your own team), a visit to the Lioni snow hotel, and a night-time snowshoe walk through the forest.
Snowmobile, ice lake and Santa visits are also available but we didn't take up those options. You can either pre-book these through your travel agent or Inghams, or visit the Ylläs Adventures shop on the other side of the car park from the hotel.

Rep
Our Inghams Rep at the Ylläs Saaga was Eleanor, a very helpful young lady with an extremely calm demeanour. A brief, well-conducted welcoming meeting was informative and there was no hard sell to book trips.

Nightlife
There didn't appear to be any in Ylläs the week we were there, but we weren't looking for it.
Apparently Levi is the place to go for that, but please do some research elsewhere before taking my word for it.

Ski hire
We hadn't pre-booked equipment hire, so on arrive on the Sunday we popped across to the Taiga centre and were quickly kitted out for the week. Ski lift pass was available in the same building. The hire shop closes at 19:00 on a Sunday, so we were able to get this all sorted out ready for a prompt start to our activities on the Monday.
Other people who had arrived at the same time as us and who had pre-booked their equipment had to wait until Monday morning to get their gear, but this didn't appear to be a problem for anyone. The only difference was that they had to get up and out slightly earlier than us to go across to the hire shop with the rep.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
50 Thank Graybomeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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