Kilometre-long frozen lakes, acres of snow-topped trees, and first-class ski slopes with the nightlife to match are all staples of holidays to Ruka.
Skiing and sights
Ruka hugs Lapland’s southern border. This ski town’s first slope was opened back in 1954, and it now boasts a grand total of 29 runs. And the floodlit slopes mean that you don’t have to limit your skiing to daylight hours. Ruka has plenty more feathers in its cap, though. Its après-ski credentials are top-notch – you can take your pick of heated terraces and bars.
The town’s blanketed in snow for 200 days of the year, giving the whole place a fairytale feel. The landscape here’s picture-perfect. As well as the slopes, we’re talking pine forests that look like they’ve been dusted with icing sugar, and frosted-over lakes. If snowsports aren’t your forte, Ruka lines up plenty of snowy alternatives – you can hop on a husky-drawn sled or rocket around on a snowmobile.
Finland’s famous Bear Trail hiking route cuts through Ruka. The town’s a popular resting spot for travellers taking on the Oulanka National Park’s 80-kilometre challenge. It takes about four days to tackle the whole thing. But if you’ve not packed your hiking boots, giving a section of the trail a go is a great way to see some of Ruka’s Arctic countryside. We’re talking deep ravines, dense forests and rushing rivers.
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Once you’ve landed at Kuusamo Airport, you’ll be handed your thermal gear, before being whisked off to your hotel in Kuusamo and Ruka. You’ll have the rest of the day to explore – you could opt to grab a toboggan and hit the slopes, or take a stroll through snowy fields and forests.
Your morning line-up includes a husky and reindeer sleigh ride, which means you can sit back and take in the snow-dusted views. Next, you’ll warm up around a roaring campfire with some snacks and hot drinks, while one of Santa’s elves tells you a story. In the afternoon, it’s time for the main event – a trip to see the man in red. Your visit will kick off with a tobogganing lesson with the elves, followed by a light bite of sausages and piping-hot juice. Mr and Mrs Claus’s house is next up, where you’ll get to listen to Santa tell tales about his life. After that, you’ll have some free time to fill with your choice of activities.
Now that you’re an official elf-in-training, it’s time to pay a visit to Santa’s secret cottage. Here, you’ll polish off your lessons before it’s time for the main event – meeting the man in red. After Santa’s taken note of everyone’s Christmas wishes, you’ll all gather round to listen to him tell tales about his magical life. You’ll then get to play snowy games with the elves on Santa’s frozen lake. If you’re on a 3-night trip, you’ll finish off your day with a festive finale, which includes a traditional Christmas dinner and games, and a festive fireworks display.
Those of you on a 4-night trip have today as free time. You can opt to spend it playing in the snow, or choose to book a place on one of our excursions. Visit excursion.tui.co.uk to find out more. You’ll have your festive finale – complete with fireworks and a traditional Christmas dinner – to round things off in the evening.
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Daytrips to Lapland
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