The Magic of Lapland

Ruka’s silvery forests and snow-laden winter landscape stay true to the special atmosphere that Finland offers, which Finns refer to with the term ‘Lapin taika’, ‘The Magic of Lapland’. 30 km north of Ruka lies Oulanka National Park, one of the most popular national parks in Finland, known for its impressive rapids and falls. It is also renowned for its semi-domesticated reindeer, which are grazed by local herders and are allowed to wander freely in the park – you can recognise them by their ear tags!

There is a real buzz here during winter, as people come together to make the most of the area’s incredible landscape and facilities. Only a short drive away you will find Iisakki Village, a historical Finnish village which was built as a dedication to Paanajärvi village which became Russian territory after WWII. The village is brimming with tradition and offers an authentic restaurant, Iisakin Talo, a country barn and a lakeside sauna.

Based in Vanha Karhu Apartments, the starting point for all sporting activities is right on your doorstep, so you are in the heart of the action and the adventure. The whole family can experience the thrill of snowmobiling, husky safaris, cross-country skiing, reindeer sleigh rides, or a number of other activities. Plus, if you’re ever looking for an escape, you can unwind in your private sauna or one of the many traditional saunas and bubbling Jacuzzis in Iisakki Village.

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A Taste of Everything

For our team here at Activities Abroad, Ruka offers the perfect mixture of everything you could want in a family winter holiday destination. There are seasonal activities that the tiniest of participants can join, like a visit to Santa’s secret cottage, where you can bake cookies in Santa’s kitchen and play outside with his elves. The animal activities are also especially fantastic at any age, as you can form a true bond with the animals. You are given time to cuddle and play with the huskies before your snowmobile safari, and you can feed and get to know the reindeer before they take you on your sleigh ride.

A trip here can take you from speeding through the snow on an RZR buggy, to easing off in a steaming Jacuzzi, to starlit sledging on a hunt for the incredible Northern Lights. Tailor a holiday here and it can be diverse and include a bit of everything, or be a more specific trip with a smaller spread of activities. Whatever you choose, the memories you make in Ruka will stay with you for a lifetime.

From Slopes to Saunas

The activities on offer here promise nothing less than immense adventure. Ruka is home to one of Finland’s four largest ski resorts and is esteemed for its amazing skiing and snow-sports resources. In particular, there are a vast variety of snowmobiling opportunities, taking you to the Russian border, a private reindeer farm and even to your own wilderness hut, where you can spend the night living like the locals.

You don’t always have to drive yourself – why not have your own team of huskies do the work for you, or hop on a magical reindeer sleigh ride? If you really want to increase the energy levels, you can take an RZR buggy for a drive through an enchanting snowy forest.

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Adrenaline-pumping activities are not the only thing that this trip has to offer. Ruka is extremely proud of its culture and traditions, and provides many opportunities for true Finnish experiences. Try a wild food dinner in Iisakin Talo, complete with wild game, fish and berries. As well as relaxing in your private sauna, you can have a truly Finnish sauna experience in Iisakki Village’s traditional sauna on the lakeside of Lake Rukajärvi. This sauna was one of the first to be awarded with the Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience certificate, so it really is worth making your way there for the experience.

©Ruka Safaris

Get an expert opinion

Family holidays are so important so please get in touch and let our Travel Experts use their firsthand experience to help you make the right decision for your family. We’ve explored our destinations with our own families, we’ve slept in the accommodation, dined in the restaurants, rafted on the rivers, zip wired through the tree tops, played in the snow, marvelled at the Northern Lights… So please contact us if you have any questions.

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