Ylläshumina, Ylläs, Finland
A customer review
That the Yllashumina Hotel is a most comfortable place to stay and Inntravel have put together an excellent package I am going to take as read and instead focus my comments on the cross-country (XC) skiing which is what we specifically went for, as did the vast majority of the hotel guests from around Europe.
The hotel, situated on the north shore of the lake, is very well placed for access to the XC trails and particularly those leading into the national park. The trails are extensive and kept well groomed. Indeed, I would say that they were some of the best tracks I have skied on in Europe; firm and fast, an absolute joy! Up until a warm front arrived and brought the warmest mid/late March weather for 30 years and with it thaw/freeze conditions but that's the chance you take with outdoor sports.
Akasompolo is a popular destination so the tracks in a 10km vicinity of the trail start points were as busy as any in Europe. Talking to guests from Europe, they target Finland in mid-late March onward to extend their ski season when conditions are getting marginal at home and they benefit from direct flights to Kittila from Munich, Geneva etc. However, invest in some kms under your skis and you will be rewarded with the peace and quiet of the forest and fjells.
The hotel arranges a minibus taxi (extra cost) to various drop-offs around the national park which enables you to plan a one-way ski back and gets you access to further away areas you might not reach on a round trip. There are options for cafe/refuge stops and the trails are very well signed.
Hotel Yllashumina has good ski preparation facilities so there is no need to try and pack bulky items like a wax iron. The ski hire shop also offers a reasonably priced ski service if you don't want to do it yourself.
The blue/red/black degrees of difficulty on the trail map are accurate and consistent with what you would find elsewhere in Europe. I think those with a few years' XC ski experience will get the most from this location. Newcomers to the sport may well be limited in the distance they can get from Akasompolo; it would seem a long way to come for busy trails and I would say there are better places in central Europe to learn XC skiing. However, focussing out, you do get the option of huskies, reindeer and ice fishing to throw into the mix!
Mr Spencer, 16 March 2022