Ruka, near Kuusamo on the southern edge of Lapland, gives an added dimension to 'cool' as temps drop to 20 below (Celcius) in the dark months of mid-winter. That's not stopped this snug little ski area rocketing on to the world stage, with growth running at ten percent annually. It has been helped firstly by having some of the lowest priced lift tickets in Europe (always a help with prices touching £150 a week in some of the big French and Swiss ski areas) and secondly by developing a core boarding and freestyle culture (partly thanks to a symbiotic relationship with the ticket prices, but an eight month season from October to May is another big plus, who needs Spring and Autumn?). A third strong plus factor is that the resort's snow surety is legend. It is typically one of the first in the world to open in October each year (and one of the last to close each Spring). The icing on the cake was the awarding of the World Freestyle Ski Championships here in 2005 - the biggest ever ski event to be staged in Finland.
Located 25km north of the small town of Kuusamo, (with an international airport) Ruka is one of Finland's largest and most modern resorts. Facilities include dog sledding, snowmobiling and a huge indoor tropical pool complex nearby. 100% snow making and floodlit, with a very long snow-sure season from mid-October to mid-May.