In case you're wondering and you probably are as I was for a few weeks after being introduced to the word, Ylläs is pronounced "Oollas", or at least that's how I managed to make myself understood, most of the time.
Now let me quickly explain why travelling in Finland was such a great way to start another year of travel. It was easy. Incredibly so. Airports were accommodating and clean (with free WiFi), airport security was efficient and polite, flights and buses both arrived and departed on time, taxi drivers were friendly in either silence or conversation and we got everywhere we were supposed when we were supposed to.
With this in mind, it was no surprise when the apartment we stayed in for a week in Ylläs was easy to find, well-located and exactly what we expected and needed. Oh actually it was a bit more than this. It was also incredibly comfortable and as I often saw in Finland, a little stylish too.Here's my review of one of our home from homes in Finnish Lapland.
What's it all about?
This two bedroom apartment is a modern and accommodating compact space designed to make a ski holiday in Ylläs comfortable and convenient. The second bedroom is a small cove of bunk-beds just to the side of the entrance (similar to what I've seen in French ski apartments) but the master bedroom is surprisingly big with plenty of storage space. The kitchen is sociable and well equipped and I spent far too many hours lying on the L-shaped sofa catching up on emails and wrapping my legs in the blankets provided. There is a washing machine to use and a sauna to warm cold aching legs after too many falls off piste. Or perhaps that just applies to me.
What's so good about it?
The sauna, the location - 200m walk from the gondola lift - and the style and comfort that it gave us during our stay were the best things about this apartment. You don't expect to enjoy time in your ski apartment, you normally just use it as a base from which you come and go boots clunking down the corridor. However, we loved having a homely and modern space to relax and work in when we took mornings off or had to work late into the evening.
The one small downside of staying in self-catering accommodation close to the ski lift is that there isn't a decent sized supermarket nearby (there's a small but pricey mini-market in a nearby hotel) and you'd need a car to get to the huge supermarket on the other side of the national park in Äkäslompolo (pronounced Akas-lomp-olo FYI) . That said there are a handful of restaurants nearby as well as food options on the mountain. We also liked being close to Bar Kaapi, a friendly and relaxed bar where we enjoyed live music, meeting friendly locals and it is apparently the only place in Finland to stock Pastis. Who, me?
This apartment is perfect for couples or a young family (who likes each others' company) to get the most out of a ski holiday. There is a ski room for your equipment, you're a few minutes walk from ski hire shop, to Ylläs Adventures where you can book excursions like snowmobiling and dog sledding and you are close to a sweet cafe called Cafe Milli where they serve homemade lunches and city coffeeshop worthy coffee. There are lots of apartment options in Ylläs and compared with hotels in the area they are usually cheaper and certainly more spacious. You can enquire about our apartment via this website where Jari will happily answer your questions. Please also be sure to say "hei!" to Jari from us too... Disclosure: My trip and the accommodation was supported by VisitFinland and Ylläs Tourism but this review, opinions and the many hours I spent in the sauna are all mine.
Frances M. Thompson
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