Cross-Country Skiing in Lapland Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Destinations:
Finland
Programmes:
Winter
Trip Code:
K07FL
Activity Rating - Mixed
Multi-Level

You may be a total beginner or an experienced cross-country skier. Many destinations offer different level weeks or multi-grade skiing on the same week. Choose from ‘Classic’ and ‘Skate’ style holidays, or even a ski marathon race for the ultimate winter challenge. See below for more grading details.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 12

Trip Overview

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.

Limited availability for December 2020 departures. Book now to avoid disappointment

At a Glance

  • 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

Trip 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

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).

Group

There is no minimum group size on this tour as it can be booked by couples, families with older children or small groups of friends; please feel free to enquire as to how many other people are booked on your departure. Children are welcome to join as long as they are able to participate in the skiing but we would suggest over the age of 13yrs.

Adult min age:
12
Min group size:
2
Max group size:
30

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Akaslompolo
End City:
Akaslompolo

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Akaslompolo

    Make your own way to 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

    Make your way back to Kittila airport for your flight home.

Accommodation

Yllashumina Hotel

Yllashumina Hotel - exterior

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.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £238.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts are included and are buffet-style continental.

Transportation

Transfers included on flight inclusive bookings from Kittila airport at 14:30 (transfer 45 minutes) and back to Kittila airport in time for a flight leaving at 06:35.

For land only packages, transfers are available at a supplement.'

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

Weather Charts

Finland

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Finnair from Gatwick to Kittila 09:05/14:30 (transfer to hotel, 45 minutes provided). Return: Kittila to Gatwick 06:35/08:05. As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Akaslompolo

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Akaslompolo on the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Transfers included from Kittila airport at 14:30 (transfer 45 minutes) and back to Kittila airport in time for a flight leaving at 06:35.

If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

Location start:
Akaslompolo
Location end:
Akaslompolo

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Winter temperatures in Yllas can be cold (as low as minus 15/20°C), particularly between December and March, and whilst you won't feel this as much when exercising, you must bring appropriate clothing and equipment to keep you warm and comfortable.

A baggy layering system works best in cold temperatures to trap warm air around the body. Breathable materials with wicking properties such as wool are recommended for use as base layers so as not to hold too much moisture. Winters tend to be cold but dry, so breathable windproof outer layers are preferable to waterproof layers (these can create moisture inside and make you cold). Clothing should be comfortable and easy to move about in.

You will need the following:
A large bum-bag or small rucksack, large enough to carry the items you will need during the day such as extra layers and a large water bottle/thermos flask. It is more comfortable to ski without a backpack, but we suggest you take both to give you the option to choose on a daily basis depending on the weather and how many layers you wish to carry.

Outdoor/winter clothing
Walking boots for snowshoeing and for generally walking around / getting to and from the main building
Windproof ski coat/anorak with hood (ideally baggy in fit to trap warm air, and a breathable fabric such as Gore-Tex)
Windproof ski trousers (ideally baggy in fit to trap warm air, and a breathable fabric such as Gore-Tex)
Warm fleece (2 thin fleeces are better than one thick one)
A good quality thermal base layer (top and bottoms) is essential (breathable fabrics with high wicking properties such as wool recommended). A second thermal base layer (top and bottoms).
A few pairs of woollen socks.
Warm hat (which covers the ears) and mittens or gloves; mittens are much warmer than finger gloves (woollen mittens with a windproof cover are ideal).
Any creams (sunscreen, face cream, etc.) that contain water are not be suitable for cold weather; we advise to bring oil based products where possible.

Other items:
Sunglasses and high factor sun cream
Trainers/comfortable shoes for the evenings
Swimsuit (for sauna)
Headtorch

Equipment Hire

Cross-country skiing equipment:
You will need to advise your height, weight and shoe size when hiring skis and boots in resort. If you wish to bring your own skis, please advise one of our sales consultants as soon as possible. This must be added to your reservation otherwise the airline may charge you at check-in for the extra luggage.

Practical Information

Passport

Finland

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Finland

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Finland

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Finland's Timezone:
Europe/Helsinki EEST (GMT +03:00)

Electricity

Finland's Electricity:

220-240V. European adapter required. 

Money

Finland's Currency

The national currency of Finland is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

ATM Availability

We advise you to take some local currency with you just in case, although the majority of restaurants and services can be paid for using credit or debit cards. There is a cash machine at Kittila airport on the first floor.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

For additional activities the hotel can book these for you, including dog sledding, snow shoeing etc. Half Board is pre-bookable at the hotel but if you feel like braving the outdoor temperatures at night, there are restaurants to choose from in the local area.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.