Finland – where your wildest winter sport dreams come true!
The big winter games in Beijing are right around the corner so we listed some of the winter sports you can try yourself when visiting the winter wonderland, Finland.
Winter is the longest season in most of Finland, lasting for close to impressive seven months in Finnish Lapland. This offers you endless opportunities to enjoy the fun winter activities and sports you have perhaps always wanted to try out.
If you are looking to ice skate, Finland is your perfect destination. Whether you’re up for a hockey match, hoping to do a longer ice-skating trip or excited to put on ice skates for the very first time, there are great opportunities for you ranging from artificial skating rinks to natural ice fields or tracks on lakes and even on the Baltic Sea.
While Lapland is generally all about skiing, ice skating is possible at least in Rovaniemi. In Kotatieva Winter Park, you can ice skate in a magical winter forest. At night-time, they offer Aurora skating, a once in a lifetime experience skating under the Northern Lights.
If you are more experienced and looking to ice skate a longer distance, you should head to Lakeland Finland. On lake Kallavesi in Kuopio, you can enjoy fresh winter air in beautiful lake scenery while gliding through a 12.5-kilometre-long track on the icy lake. Other unique and well-maintained longer tour skating experiences you can find for example on frozen lake Saimaa.
Ice skating is a popular winter activity also in Finland’s capital, Helsinki. You can find many ice rinks around the city, or even try ice skating on the frozen Baltic Sea! Just make sure to check whether it’s possible to rent out the skates if you don’t have your own.
Snowboarding and skiing
While you can find more ice-skating places in Southern Finland, the best snowboarding and skiing spots are without a doubt up north. Bring your own or hop on some rental equipment and enjoy the speed before heading to your next hot chocolate break. Slide between the magical snow-covered trees while experiencing the true winter wonderland.
Generally, the slopes in Finland aren’t very long, but there are still many great ski resorts for both beginners as well as more experienced to enjoy. The longest slope of Finland (3,000 meters) you can find in Ylläs, near Kittilä. If you are looking to try more winter activities at once, another great skiing resort nearby is Levi, where it’s also possible to stay in one of the incredible glass igloos.
A little bit more to the southeast near Kuusamo is located many people’s favourite winter destination Ruka. In this child-friendly destination, you can even go greet two reindeer, Rosa and Rudolf, within one of the easier slopes. And if you’re up for a challenge, why not give alpine skiing a try!
Traditional (and very trendy) cross-country skiing has been extremely popular during the past years in Finland. There are skiing trails throughout the whole country, although the longest trails are in Northern Finland. Put on your skis and get ready to sweat – or take it slow and enjoy the view and the cosy cafés on the way.
Inari-saariselkä, located in Ivalo in the very north, is known as a cross-country skier’s paradise, where different length tracks are in topnotch condition. If you are trying the sport for the very first time, you can book a professional ski instructor to help you get started safe and easy. Afterwards, warming up in the Finnish sauna is a must.
Sledding and other winter activities
Kids’s favourite winter activity is probably sledding. The city of Rovaniemi offers 100 city sleds for your convenience, whether your child wants to hop on board one, or you need it for dragging home your groceries. In Levi, children can have fun in the Children’s land in the center of Levi. Finland’s longest sled hill is located in Saariselkä, and flying down the hill will for sure also get adults excited.
To name a few other fun and special activities to try in Finland are snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice swimming. The winter lover's must destination Finnish Lapland offers truly something for everyone!