Situated in the unspoilt beauty of the natural wilderness some 60kms souht of the arctic circle and 20kms west of the Russian border lies Finland's premier ski resort of Ruka. Ruka has guaranteed snow from October to May offering some excellent skiing on well-groomed and uncrowded pistes. Cross country skiers will relish the challenge of trying to cover the total of 260kms of trails amounst fantastic scenery. In the early season, days are shorter but morre skiing is possible until 7pm as 23 out of the 28 slopes are floodlit and this is great fun. When the sun goes down, it is not pitch black as you will experiance the atmospheric blue polar light and if you are lucky, catch a glimpse of the amazing northern lights(mainly between December and February). Later in the season, days are longer than in central Europe with lots of sunshine.
When it comes to having a good time, the Finns are no slouches and Apres ski is always a lively affair, with plenty of music.
Try Ski Bistro, the Hotel Rantasipi's apres ski bar or the Riipinen Game restaurant.
Learn the technique of telemark skiing or take part in the activities organised by the local nature and adventure team. You can try a snowmobile safari across the frozen lakes and through the forests, reindeer safaris, husky dog sledding, ice fishing or even visit Santa Claus.
The Ruka Club complex has a gym, four squash courts, indoor tennis and badminton, a golf simulator, saunas, Jacuzzis, solariums and a nursery. The nearby Kuusamo Tropikki has a fantastic range of pools and whirlpools to help relax any aching muscles.