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This small, but perfectly formed resort is ideal for families and benefits from one of Europe's longest ski seasons...
One of Finland's best-known winter sport destinations, Ruka offers a variety of well-maintained pistes.
That's probably why it has been chosen to host lots of high-level competitions: the 2005 Freestyle World Championships were held here, as was the 2010 Men's Freestyle Skiing World Cup.
Resort height: 295m The mountains
You don’t have to be a great skier to enjoy a trip to Ruka, though. The resort has the largest dedicated beginner ski area in Finland. And beginner and intermediate level skiers and snowboarders alike will love the empty, tree-lined slopes and the fairy-tale setting.
The immaculately groomed pistes are perfect for honing your technique, as are the red runs on the western side of the mountain.
Although there are perhaps fewer groomed slopes for experts to get their teeth into, the exciting off-piste through the trees is not to be missed.
Boarders keen to practise their tricks will also be spoilt for choice with two terrain parks featuring two different half-pipes, as well as a fun and challenging assortment of tabletops, rails and corners.
Just remember that Ruka’s northerly location means that it can get bitterly cold – particularly in the first half of the season, when floodlighting is required to light up the slopes.
Ruka is just 25 minutes away from Kuusamo airport by car or coach...
However, the bad news is that you will probably have to get a flight from the UK to Helsinki and change there.
Ruka is a great place to try skiing or snowboarding for the first time, or to hone your early intermediate skills...
The cross-country skiing is also exceptional, but advanced skiers and snowboarders may find the downhill pistes a bit dull.
Ruka boasts spectacular views, tonnes of activities and several lively bars. Something for everyone then...
The Finns like a party and there are several fun après-ski bars in Ruka, where the good times are often accompanied by loud music. Try the Colorado Mts bar or the bar at the Hotel Rukahovi. For tasty local fare, meanwhile, the resort has a wide selection of informal restaurants. These include the cosy Restaurant Kaltiokivi (next to KarhuBar) and the Juomuskota, which specialises in traditional, local dishes.
Active non-skiers certainly won't get bored in Ruka. They can try snow-mobiling or dog-sledding, go on a reindeer safari, take the little ones to meet Santa, or even try their hand at ice fishing. The snow-mobiling safaris also run at night, when you have a chance of seeing the incredible Northern Lights. Alternatively, you can round off your day with a relaxing Finnish sauna.
Cost of living 6/10
Scandinavia might have a reputation as a costly part of the world, but its ski resorts are no more expensive than many of those in the French Alps, for example. The lift passes are also cheaper than in many parts of Europe.
Attractiveness of the resort 8/10
Situated in the unspoilt beauty of the natural wilderness, on the edge of Lapland, the scenery in Ruka will not disappoint. When the sun goes down, you will also experience the atmospheric blue polar light and perhaps even see the Northern Lights.