Cross-country Skiing in Finland
Skiing – a Winter Activity Favored by the Finns
Skiing is one of the favourite sports among the Finns, as according to statistics, there are more than 600,000 cross country skiers in Finland. The advantage of cross country skiing is its versatility, as it is possible to enjoy the exercise which increases endurance and improves muscular fitness in the middle of beautiful winter scenery. In Finland, it is possible to ski on maintained tracks all across the country, including capital regions.
Skiing can be very versatile by exploring different terrains. In addition to sheltered forest landscapes, tracks can be found on the pistes of the fells, on the shore of the sea, and on frozen lakes and rivers. Most tracks are also well suited for skiing with dogs. Another addition to the sport is skiing in deep snow, which allows free movement in the silence of the wild nature.
If your skiing skills have become rusty, or if you want to try the sport for the very first time, ski schools providing instructions for cross country skiing can be found at most ski resorts.
The longest ski tracks in Finland are found in the ski resorts in Lapland
The most extensive skiing track networks in Finland are located in the large ski resorts of Lapland. Most of the tracks are in Ylläs, where you can choose your own route from a 330 km long range of ski tracks. Next up are the tracks in Levi (230 km), Saariselkä (200 km), Ruka and Kuusamo (152 km), and in the area of Pyhä and Luosto (150 km). The longest uninterrupted illuminated track (25 km) can be found in Koli.
In Lapland, the ski season usually lasts from October until May. The season for the large ski resorts starts early in the autumn, as it is possible to extend the ski season with the help of snow tank snow and heating tracks. The longest season is in Enontekiö, where it is possible to ski in the natural landscape even in June. In addition to skiing outdoors, skiing can also be practiced in the ski tunnels of for example, Vuokatti, Kivikko in Helsinki, Jämijärvi and Leppävirta, where you can enjoy the popular winter activity throughout the year.
What to pack for a skiing trip?
When planning for a skiing trip, packing suitable clothing is essential. The right kind of clothing allows adaptation to different weather conditions. Here are some tips for packing for a skiing trip:
- Hot drinks for hot snacks and hot food in thermos tanks
- Glide wax for skis
- A good quality backpack that fits well
- Technical underwear that transfers the sweat that build up during skiing to the next garment layers
- A second layer to keep you warm, depending on weather conditions and your own skiing pace
- A third of outer garments to protect you against wind and rain
- A thicker jacket for breaks, possible extra garments and fire- making tools
- Hot food and drink in thermos tanks for meal breaks
You can also go on a skiing trip without your own ski equipment, as many tourism companies rent the necessary equipment for a fee.
When going on a skiing trip the most convenient place to stay is in a rental cottage near the best skiing trails. When planning a trip, you should check out the rental cottages at the most popular ski resorts – Ylläs, Ruka, Levi, Saariselkä, Pyhä-Luosto and Pallas-Olos – or find your own favourite directly on the list of ski resorts.