Headwater - Cross-Country Skiing in Lapland

8 days
from
£1,009
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Suitable for:
Age 2+
Activity level:
Multi-Level
Activity Rating - Mixed
Trip code: 
K07FL
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Winter Holidays
Group size:
2–30
Min age:
2

Cross-country skiing paradise in the heart of Finnish Lapland - excellent for all levels.

Perfectly picturesque and surrounded by the 7 softly rounded, snow-capped fells of the Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park, the village of Akaslompolo makes for superb cross-country skiing exploration whatever your ski ability. With over 300km of designated tracks - the most in Finland - trails vary from flat and easy to more demanding routes into the fells. There are even about 40km of trails that are illuminated at night for superb skiing even in the atmospheric twilight of the Polar Night in December and into January. The intricate network of signposted trails crisscross and intercept each other, so your route can even be changed halfway through, giving countless alternatives through the beautifully preserved Lappish landscape. There are even so-called 'warm tracks' on the upper fells where it might be as much as 15 degrees warmer than in the village!

Using prepared cross-country trails directly from the hotel, follow the freshly prepared ski tracks to the frozen lake of Akaslomopojarvi, through peaceful ancient forest and pristine white and unspoilt nature. The trails are dotted with traditional Finnish kotas - small wigwam shaped huts where you can take a break from skiing to marvel at the silent snow covered landscapes - or enjoy Finnish hospitality in a skiers' cafe where you can try the local energy booster of a pulla (sweet sticky bun), munkki (the doughnut equivalent) and a hot blueberry juice.

Just 200km north of the Arctic Circle, this far north there are good opportunities to glimpse the celebrated Northern Lights. Street lights here are turned off at 10pm to showcase this extraordinary natural phenomenon. Admire from the hotel or take to your snowshoes as night falls in a guided search (payable locally) over the snow for the Aurora.

When you fancy a day off from skiing, a convenient ski bus connects Akaslompolo with the impressive Snow Village - constructed as the first snows come down in November, artists from around the globe come here to design and sculpt this intricately chiseled ice hotel. Or take the chair lift to the summit of 719m high Yllastunturi Fell - which gives the Yllas region its name - to savour the views at the highest restaurant in Finland.

Highlights

  • Stay in the resort of Yllas in the heart of Finnish Lapland, a cross country skier's paradise
  • Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park - officially where the world's cleanest air has been measured
  • Ski in ski out 3* family run accommodation based in the Lappish village of Akaslompolo
  • Snow sure destination
  • Opportunity to see the Northern Lights!
  • Plenty of activities to choose from including snowmobiling, husky rides, snowshoeing, fat biking and nearby, downhill skiing

Key information

  • 7 nights en suite hotel
  • 6 days leisurely, independent cross-country skiing exploration
  • Cross-country skiing available for all grades
  • Ski hire / ski lessons available at a pre-bookable supplement
  • Optional snow activities nearby
  • Countries visited: Finland

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • Accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Transfers to and from the airport when flights are booked
  • Use of the sauna and Arctic spa at the hotel
  • Use of Cross-country ski trails

What's not included

  • Half Board (available at a pre-bookable supplement)
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Ski hire (classic or skating), ski lessons, guided ski excursions and guided snowshoeing trips
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Akaslompolo
to
Akaslompolo
  • Day 1

    Start Akaslompolo

    We meet you at Kittila airport and take you to the Lappish village of Akaslompolo (45 mins). Your hotel for the week is the Yllashumina Hotel where you stay on a B&B basis with the option to upgrade to half board (pre-bookable at a supplement).

  • Days 2-7

    Suggested Itinerary

    The hotel's convenient ski service will help you to get kitted out with your skis, boots and poles on your first morning before discovering what this beautiful area has to offer. With easy access to the cross-country skiing trails around Akaslompolo, you can choose which trail to follow depending on your ski ability and local weather conditions for leisurely independent exploration.

    For those wishing to try cross-country skiing for the first time, improve their technique, or master the art of skating, ski tuition can be arranged locally, as can guided group excursions (supplements payable locally). If you fancy a change from cross-country, downhill skiing, snowmobiling, husky sledding and snow shoeing are all available (payable locally).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Akaslompolo

    We take you back to Kittila airport for your flight home.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Finland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included and are buffet-style continental.

Weather

Akaslompolo and Yllas are located in Finnish Lapland, 150km above the Arctic circle. This northerly location gives Yllas long winter and summer seasons with a short spring and autumn in between.

The Winter ski season runs from November to May. The temperature in the winter months stays well below zero and it can often get below -20°C or even -30°C especially during January. These temperatures may sound extreme, however the dry air in the Arctic means that they are not a problem, providing adequate clothing is worn. When the temperatures are very low, it is essential to have thermal base layers. Hats and face masks are advisable too, especially if dog sledding or snowmobiling. Some visitors to Yllas also find that hand and foot warmers are a good thing to have when heading out on to the slopes for the day.

Daylight hours during the ski season in Yllas range from 0-6 hours in November, December and January up to 16 hours in April. For the short days in December and January flood lighting is provided on the slopes and the darkness is more like a blue twilight, aided by the reflection of light from the snow, than a pitch black. The long nights of winter are the best opportunity for viewing the northern lights in Yllas so it is considered by some people as the best time to go.

Finland

Is this trip for you?

This trip is operated by our sister company, Headwater, who offer more flexibility, so you can ski as much or as little as you like. There are some subtle differences between the way Exodus and Headwater trips run which may appeal to you:

Minimum age: children over the age of 13yrs are welcome to join as long as they are able to participate in the skiing.
No minimum group size: departures are not subject to a minimum group size in order to run, although occasionally a ‘small group’ or ‘sole traveller’ supplement may apply.
Sole travellers: if travelling on your own a compulsory single supplement will apply (unless stated otherwise - look out for dates where there is no charge for single rooms).
Group leader/evenings: if you choose to purchase lessons or guiding services locally, the ski guides will ski with you during the lesson or guided portion of the day, but they will not join you in the evenings. There are no ‘group’ dinners and parties tend to dine separately. The hotel will also help you to arrange other activities.
Insurance: insurance details are required at the time of booking.

Cross-country skiing is an increasingly popular winter pastime. Compared to those used for downhill, the skis are longer, thinner and lighter with bindings that allow you to lift up your heel. Most cross-country skiing is undertaken on prepared tracks (loipe) covering flat and hillier terrain enabling you to explore the winter landscapes away from the confines of the alpine piste.

The area is excellent for cross-country skiing, both for families and for those who enjoy a challenge. All weeks are suitable for all cross-country skiers

Beginners and Intermediate:

For those wishing to try cross-country skiing for the first time, improve their technique, or master the art of skating, ski tuition can be arranged locally, as can guided group excursions (supplements payable locally). If you fancy a change from cross-country, downhill skiing, snowmobiling, husky sledding and snow shoeing are all available (payable locally).

Advanced:
Guided group excursions can be arranged (supplements payable locally). If you fancy a change from cross-country, downhill skiing, snowmobiling, husky sledding and snow shoeing are all available (payable locally).

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Yllashumina Hotel

The welcoming, family run Yllashumina Hotel sits on the edge of the village of Äkäslompolo, not far from the lake and overlooked by the fells of the Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park. It is traditionally Finnish in style, with all rooms coming with individual drying cupboards for your ski things! The ensuite standard rooms (twins only) are located in 8 cosy yet rustic log cabins close to the main reception-restaurant building and are equipped with kettle, fridge, hairdryer and television. They are mezzanine style with twin beds 'downstairs' and an additional bed tucked away under the eaves. Use of the hotel's saunas - a must for any Finnish accommodation, with separate facilties for men and women - is included as standard, as is use of the Arctic Spa (limited to once/twice a week).

Buffet breakfast is included as standard. If you upgrade to half board, the hotel serves a copious and tasty 3 course buffet each evening, with special themed dinners also included during the week. Expect to sample such Finnish specialities as salmon soup, reindeer and baked “leipäjuusto” cheese.

Room upgrades: Superior Rooms and Suites
For a touch of luxury, upgrade to one of the superior rooms. These are much larger than the standard rooms and come with a cosy sitting area - complete with fireplace, television, DVD and blu-ray, a separate bedroom (double bed only) and a kitchenette, as well as a bathroom with 2 showers. The one bedroom suite has the same facilities as the superior rooms, but also comes with bath tub in the bathroom.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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