Ruka - Kuusamo ski resort guide & reviews Ski area, apres-ski, things to see & do in Ruka-Kuusamo
Skiing in Ruka - Kuusamo - located 25km north of the small town of Kuusamo, Ruka is one of Finland's largest and most modern ski resorts. In recent years, visitor numbers have started to grow significantly thanks to significantly lower lift pass prices when compared to mainstream European resorts, virtually guaranteed snow and a very long season.
Timing of your trip to the Arctic Circle definitely needs to be taken into account as the hours of daylight vary considerably from 5 hours in December to a massive 18 hours in April. The best time to visit to see the Northern Lights is February and March.
The nights in Ruka are lively, especially at weekends and often involves some good food with live music. There is a very good choice of restaurants serving international cuisine to local specials. A firm favourite is fried whitefish in front of a log fire.
|Key information (whole area)|
|Season||Dec - April|
|Apres ski||Lively & Fun|
Ruka - Kuusamo Ski Area Guide
The ski season typically starts towards the end of October and lasts until early June - over 200days - which gives you some idea of the amount of snow that falls here and the fact that it stays cold!! There are 30 pistes serviced by 20 lifts which are open from 9.30am until 7pm.
Masto slopes on the east side of Ruka are great for families as the area consists of easy and intermediate slopes as well as Masto Mini park.
Saarua is the most popular slope area in Ruka, which is not surprising as these slopes are always in top condition and nicely sheltered by the woods, even on a windy day. Pessari 10 is a nice red slope with lots of variation. While skiing down you can admire the views towards Valtavaara and Konttainen fjells.
The Front slopes of Ruka are some of the steepest in the resort and are particularly challenging for the more advanced skier and boarder. If you're looking for a challenging slope, Kelo is the place for you! The top part of this slope is a good warm up before the steeper part down the bottom. The woods around Kelo also offer lots of fun routes, the famous Pirunkuru among others.
The possibilities for cross-country skiing in Kuusamo are excellent. The total length of cross-country skitracks is no less than 500 km, of which 40 km are illuminated. Northern Finland is one the most exceptional places on earth for cross country skiing.
The young freestylers of the family can practise their skills at the Masto Mini Pipe and Mini Park, which is an area with jumps and rails. This is a good place to start before hitting BatteryPark with much bigger jumps and more challenging rails. There is also a slope for sledging and tobogganing at Masto area.
Things to see & do in Ruka
If you don't fancy skiing or the weather is not that great, then there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied...
- Snow mobiling where there are 600km of tracks
- Dog sleighing
- Husky safaris
- Reindeer safaris and reindeer village
- A visit to the Santa Park
- Ice fishing
- Ice karting
- Indoor tropical pool complex
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Our view on Ruka Kuusamo
We think Ruka is an ideal ski resort for family ski holidays with so many activities you don't find in the traditional ski resorts in the Alps. A few tips and suggestions...
- Ruka has one of the longest ski seasons around although the best time to visit is from mid February when the days start to get longer and the temperatures start to rise.
- Cross the Kuusamo frontier and head to the nearby Russian town of Viena Karelia. There are some stunning areas along Lake Pääjärvi or in the Paanajärvi National Park for some gentle hiking. A valid passport and visa are obligatory for all passengers on the tours to Russia.
If you like Ruka, you may also want to consider Kranjska Gora in Slovenia.