Family holiday in Finnish Lapland, pick and mix activities

“This tailormade family holiday revels in fabulous Finnish winter activities as high on authenticity as excitement.”


Ruka ski resort | Optional activities include: husky safari; reindeer sleigh rides; snowshoeing; snowmobiling; ice-fishing; traditional sauna; wilderness hut or igloo stay

Description of Family holiday in Finnish Lapland, pick and mix activities

Ruka is one of Finland's premier ski resorts – a place of excellent winter sports opportunities for all the family, set in a region renowned for pristine wilderness. This holiday also offers you complete control over the activities so all the family can get to do just what they want.

You can snowmobile or husky sled over wintry fells, or enjoy an authentic wood-fired sauna in the village of Iisakki for a hot and heavenly slice of Finnish tradition. Other fabulous Finnish winter activities include snowshoe walking and reindeer sleigh rides. Or try your hand at ice fishing – and if you catch something, you'll then learn how to cook it on an open fire. Talking of meals, local menus are high on food found nearby – fish, wild game and wild berries – combining local tradition with near zero food miles.

With many of the activities offering a focus on authenticity, guests will combine the pleasure of the activity with gaining first-hand insight into Finnish history and tradition.

The holiday price includes seven nights in a private apartment and cold-weather clothing for the duration of your stay. Direct return flights and airport transfers are also included.

Please note that many activities require a minimum number of participants in order to run so all activities are subject to availability.

The Vanha Karhu Apartments are located around 6km from the activity-packed Iisakki Village, within walking distance to Ruka Centre (approximately 10-15 minutes) and only 1km from the slopes. Vanha Karhu Apartments offer the ideal base for a family seeking adventure. The range of luxury accommodation stretches from Ruka Centre to Lake Rukajärvi, where you will find the Winter Village that is built every year entirely out of snow.

The wellbeing facilities here boast several group saunas and outdoor jacuzzis for a unique way of spending the evening with your family. Your apartment even offers its own private sauna.

The newly renovated, modern yet cosy décor provides a warm atmosphere, which is perfect for relaxing with the family after a busy day in the snow.

Hotel facilities
- The central point is the Ruka Centre, where you will find restaurants and shops. You can buy food for the duration of your stay here, and it is accessible by foot or via the free shuttle bus which runs daily from 9.30 until 19.00 (except Christmas Day and Christmas Eve).
- Your apartment has a fully equipped kitchenette, supplied with fridge, freezing compartment, toaster, microwave oven, electric stove, coffee machine, kettle and dishwasher.
- Free Wi-Fi is available in your apartment and a hairdryer is provided.
- You will have your own porch/ terrace outside.
- The starting point for all of your activities is located in the same country yard as your accommodation.
- There are many wellbeing facilities in Iisakki Village, 6km from the Ruka Centre. Here there are group saunas holding as many as 30 people, as well as outdoor Jacuzzis. You can even experience ‘Sauna Yoga’ or ‘Sauna Pilates’ at 50 °C.

Apartments A and B
Your beautifully decorated, spacious, private apartment has its own living area (with a TV), fully equipped kitchenette, shower, toilet and private sauna. The apartment is open plan, with twin/double beds on a level behind the lounge area and a sofa bed in the lounge. Each apartment can accommodate up to four people. Each apartment also has its own porch terrace.

Apartment C Upgrade (supplements from: £75pp)
If you are a slightly larger family or would like to spend the week in a bigger apartment, you can upgrade to apartment C which offers more space and has two twin bedrooms, as well as a sofa bed in the lounge area. This apartment has all of the facilities included in apartments A and B, with an additional washing machine.

Included in the price
* Flights: Return direct flights from London Gatwick to Kuusamo (flight routes from Manchester and Birmingham are also available). Flight routes subject to change
* Transfers: Return airport transfers
* Accommodation: 7 nights accommodation in an apartment
* Meals: Not included (your accommodation consists of a fully equipped kitchen and is within walking distance to shops and restaurants)
* Activities: Choose from our extensive range which is detailed in the ‘Activities’ section of the holiday page (activities are priced individually). The order of activities you select is subject to change. Fully qualified guides and instructors are present during activities
* Cold weather clothing for the duration of your stay

Image credits: Ruka Safaris

Travel Team

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Vanha Karhu Apartments allow guests to maintain a low carbon footprint during their stay. They are located in the very courtyard that all sporting activities begin from, as well as being within walking distance of the local shop, the main restaurants and the activity booking office. Should anyone desire to arrive at these destinations by other means, there is a shuttle bus, therefore transportation will be shared, rather than guests travelling individually. This significantly reduces the amount of fuel consumption that would occur should guests require a car to reach essential locations.

Ruka takes great pride in their traditional Finnish wellbeing facilities, promoting health, welfare and local culture. They particularly encourage the use of their sauna in Iisakki village, which has been awarded The Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience certificate. Up to 30 people can enjoy the sauna at once, and it is wood-fired, using a traditional energy source rather than using a more polluting means of energy, such as electricity.

Where activities are concerned, many of them are non-polluting and non-harmful to the environment, such as snowshoe walking, husky safaris, reindeer sleigh rides and ice fishing. Following ice-fishing, those who make a catch are taught how to prepare their fish for dinner and cook it naturally on an open fire, meaning that the fish is not caught wastefully. When machines are used for activities, such as snowmobiles, they are always shared by two people. Halving the number of snowmobiles that could be taken out at any one time, reduces harm to the environment by reducing the number of chemicals being emitted.

All of our animal-focused activities work with the utmost respect for their animals’ health and welfare. The husky farm takes great care of their dogs, who receive regular visits from the local vet as well as receiving provincial veterinary services. The farm is also strict about the running distance of each dog per day so that they are never too tired and have time to rest and relax between working.

The Impacts of this Trip

As well as the saunas, another important cultural aspect of Iisakki Village is the local restaurant. Guests at the apartments are offered wild food dinners, which consists of a menu complete with fish, wild game and wild berries. Encouraging clients to buy local produce not only advocates tradition and cultural exchange but also benefits the economy of the local community. Wherever possible, guides are locally sourced to maintain financial security in the area.

Many of the activities provided focus on authenticity, particularly those that include eating or living ‘like the locals’. Clients can spend the night in a simple wilderness hut, with open fire cooking facilities and a traditional fire-powered sauna. They are also offered the opportunity to stay in an igloo for the night. These back-to-basics experiences offer insights about historical Finnish conventions and promote spending the evening without electricity, using natural energy sources.

Other activities involve furthering guests’ knowledge about the local culture. During the husky safari and reindeer sledging, the guides teach visitors about the animals’ lives and how they serve as an advantage to the community. This furthers clients’ understanding of a tradition that, for many cultures, is seen purely as a source of enjoyment and entertainment, rather than an essential part of Finnish life.


2 Reviews of Family holiday in Finnish Lapland, pick and mix activities

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Our whole family sledding with the huskies!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I am sure it benefitted local people. I would need to understand the specific data points of the holiday village, along with emissions standards for snow mobiles then measure that against our carbon emissions from air travel and bus travel. The Finnish people have clearly more environmental stewardship in their daily lives and this is clear from how they live. The holiday village seemed very efficient and environmentally friendly, but I am no expert.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent! The only challenge we had was having younger kids prevented us from doing several activities.

Reviewed on 02 Jan 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

So many memorable times, but probably snow mobiling to see Father Christmas.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring lots of thermals and a head torch.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We visited a reindeer farm run by the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Absolutely wonderful

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