Ruka: Finland’s winter sports paradise in the Arctic Circle

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Ice, snow, forests, lakes: all this can be found in Ruka, one of Finland’s largest ski resorts. You can spend the perfect skiing holiday here on over 35 slopes and 500 kilometres of trails, while in summer the region turns into a paradise for hikers and cyclists. Here you can find out when and how best to arrive, what types of accommodation are available and what makes Ruka such a special holiday destination.

Why should you travel to Ruka?

Ruka: Holidays
Ruka is the perfect place for a holiday in unspoilt Finnish nature.

Just north of the cosy town of Kuusamo lies Ruka, one of Finland’s largest ski resorts. Here you can experience the icy and snowy north up close – whether on the ski slopes in winter or on one of the many hiking trails in summer, the breathtaking, seemingly boundless nature of the region invites you to go on all kinds of tours. Winter sports fans can not only get active themselves, but also experience the greats of the sport live when Ruka is transformed into a centre for cross-country skiing, Nordic combined and ski jumping at the annual Nordic Opening .

The plateau is 250 metres above sea level and is surrounded by typical Finnish nature: deep forests, thousands of lakes, rivers, waterfalls and mountains with valleys and gorges. Nature lovers will feel right at home here, as the flora and fauna of the region is also very diverse – in Ruka and the surrounding Oulanka National Park you can find Siberian, Arctic and southern species.

So if you are longing for an extraordinary outdoor holiday in the untouched north, Ruka is the place for you.

Where is Ruka?

Ruka is located in the north of Finland, not far from the Russian border, in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia. The winter sports centre belongs to the city of Kuusamo and is located about 25 kilometres north of it. The next largest city is Oulu on the Gulf of Bothnia, which is around 240 kilometres away by car. Helsinki, the Finnish capital, is a good 700 kilometres away as the crow flies and 830 kilometres by car.

Ruka: weather

Due to its location in the far north, Ruka has pleasant and long summer days and icy, snowy and dark winters. The warmest month is July, when the average temperature is 20° Celsius and you can go on a wonderful hiking tour. Winters, on the other hand, are cold and snowy – the perfect place for winter sports of all kinds. From November to March, average temperatures are below freezing, with the coldest month being January, when temperatures drop to -9° Celsius on average. Snow and ice are guaranteed – as are the Northern Lights, which regularly appear in the sky during the cold months.

Ruka: Weather
The northern lights can be observed in Ruka in the best winter weather.

Activities in Ruka: out and about in an outdoor paradise

Ski resorts in Ruka and Kuusamo

The Ruka-Kuusamo ski resort is one of the largest ski resorts in Finland. There is snow here on over 200 days a year, which is why the ski season starts as early as October and doesn’t end until May or even June. Skiers can enjoy the Nordic winter weather on 36 slopes with a total length of 18.7 kilometres and 21 lifts, and there are a total of 9 kilometres of easy slopes for beginners. If you are travelling with children, you can register them at the oldest and largest ski school in Finland – and children under the age of six ski for free.

If you are looking for a change, you can also switch to one of the cross-country skiing trails. There are 100 kilometres of trails in Ruka itself and around 500 kilometres in the surrounding area, 40 kilometres of which are floodlit. Half of the trails are already groomed at the beginning of winter and are regularly maintained so that you can enjoy nature in classic or skating style.

Snowboarders and freestylers are also welcome in the Ruka-Kuusamo ski area. Snowboarders have free rein on the slopes and runs in Ruka and hardly any uphill sections, while freestylers can practise and show off their tricks on various pipes and rails in the Battery Park.

Ruka: Ski resort Ruka-Kuusamo
The Ruka-Kuusamo ski resort is one of the largest and best-known ski resorts in Finland.

Off the slopes and trails

Ruka: Off the slopes
Ruka can also be explored by dog sled.

Ruka also has plenty to offer away from the ski slopes, so there’s never a dull moment. Not only the nearby Oulanka National Park invites you to go hiking, cycling, swimming and canoeing, especially in the snow-free months.

Various providers also offer tours with dog or reindeer sledges, as well as snowmobile tours. You can also try out ice skating, ice fishing or ice climbing in Ruka – and of course wellness with the famous Finnish sauna is a must on a holiday in Finland.

A highlight especially for children awaits in Ruka Village: here you can visit Father Christmas and his reindeer.

Professional winter sports in Ruka: Ski jumping and more

Ruka: ski jumping
Ski jumping and co. can be experienced live in Ruka.

If you want to take a break from winter sports and watch the real pros, Ruka is the place to be – the town is a hotspot for the World Cup in all Nordic skiing disciplines.

The Ruka Nordic regularly takes place towards the end of November as the traditional opening of the Nordic winter sports season and is therefore popular with all the stars of the scene and many fans. Whether cross-country skiing, ski jumping or Nordic combined – you get the full package in Ruka and Kuusamo.

If you want to combine your winter holiday with an unforgettable professional sports experience, you can either get a day ticket or a combined ticket for the whole weekend.

Accommodation in Ruka

Hotels in Ruka

As a tourist hotspot, Ruka has plenty of hotels and accommodation to offer. The comfort of a good hotel should not be underestimated, especially during a strenuous skiing or outdoor holiday. Here you can relax wonderfully from the day’s action and many hotels offer a high level of comfort. Highlights in Ruka include the Hotel Royal Ruka, which is located 1.5 km from the nearest ski resort and offers gourmet Lappish cuisine, and the Magical Pond Nature Igloos resort, where you can stay in a glass igloo in the middle of nature 8 kilometres from Ruka.

Holiday flats in Ruka

If you want enough space for yourself, your fellow travellers and your ski equipment, you can opt for a holiday flat. Here, too, there is often a high level of comfort, and some holiday flats often have their own sauna. This guarantees relaxation after a long, exciting day. Holiday flats are therefore particularly suitable for families. A highlight in Ruka are the Ruka Ski Chalets, which are only about 60 metres from the nearest ski lift and not only have their own sauna in each holiday flat, but also a washing machine and tumble dryer.

Ruka: Accommodation
There are many comfortable holiday apartments in Ruka in the immediate vicinity of the ski area.

Travelling to Ruka

Travelling by flight

Kuusamo Airport is located about 25 kilometres from Ruka. There are daily flights from Helsinki and the flight takes about an hour. Helsinki is very well connected to the major European airports, so travelling there is often not too stressful. Airport buses and shuttles are available locally, or you can organise a hire car.

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