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Culture Destinations Europe Food Guide

Yllas | Lapland Under the Northern Lights

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Charming and remote, Yllas is more than just another ski resort area; it’s a window into an often unseen part of Finnish culture. Beloved by Finns and tourists alike, Yllas offers your standard skiing options alongside many unique cultural and natural wonders, including auroras, fells, and wilderness cafes. There’s a plethora of amazing things to do in Finland and Yllas for everyone, as the region is friendly to non-skiers as well.

Photo by emmakara on Pixabay

Welcome to Lapland

Enter Yllas, and you will soon find yourself in the heart of Lapland, Finland. Between the gentle, sloping fells and the remarkably clean air, the region is sure to bring you a new appreciation for nature. This area also rests within the Arctic Circle, however, so be sure to bundle up if you’re planning on a Finland vacation in the wintertime.

Yllas is home to two villages that act as hubs for the area’s many activities: Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi. Full of charm and warm Finnish hospitality, these villages are gems to Finland tourism and are worth exploring for their many shops, restaurants, and saunas. One doesn’t have to stray too far from these villages to reach the ski resort area, but keep in mind that Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park lies on the border of the region as well and is definitely worth exploring for those who want to see Lapland’s true natural splendor.

Photo by pasja1000 on Pixabay

Unique Experiences

Due to Lapland’s unique geography, many of the skiing experiences to be had in Yllas are unique as well. The area is full of fells instead of mountains, and these large rounded hills provide gentle slopes and great cross-country skiing. This topography also lends itself well to other winter sports such as snowmobiling, winter biking, and snowshoeing. Something else unique to the area? Husky safaris, in which you’ll be pulled by a team of sled dogs as you zoom about the wilderness. 

Yllas quiets down at night, but those who want to explore after dark will be rewarded with fantastic views of the Northern Lights in Finland. One does not need to travel far from town or even leave the villages to see the lights, provided you’re in an area away from artificial light. Viewing this truly breathtaking phenomenon is sure to be an absolutely unforgettable experience.

Photo by pasja1000 on Pixabay

Dining in the Wilderness

Yllas has as much to offer foodies as it does skiers. Both Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi boast restaurants with traditional Lappish cuisine, including reindeer, lingonberries, and Finnish pancakes. Some of the best food experiences, however, are found outside the villages in the region’s wilderness cafes. Located (appropriately) in the wilderness areas of the ski resort, these cafes are home to delicious soups, entrees, and desserts. As you might imagine, these snacks provide great pick me ups after you’ve been adventuring all day. Many of these cafes even sell souvenirs, so keep an eye out!

Be aware that while some of these cafes can be reached by car, many of them are accessible only by skiing or biking. If this is how you choose to visit, be sure to save plenty of energy for the journey back!


Header photo by Sturrax on Pixabay

Photo by MartinStr on Pixabay

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