8 Seasons in Ylläs

Lapland offers great variety throughout the year with eight different seasons. In Ylläs there is activities for each of them.

Northern Lights

The green flames dancing in the sky, the Northern Lights, are always a breathtaking experience. The Northern Lights appear differently every time, so you never get tired of them.

Statistically, it’s possible to see the Northern Lights on two out of three nights in Ylläs. So, the chances are quite good as long as the sky is clear or at least some stars are visible through the clouds.


In ancient history, the seven fells of Ylläs were young and vigorous, reaching heights of several kilometers with sharp peaks, resembling today’s Alps. Over hundreds of millions of years, these mountains have undergone erosion and the harsh treatment of multiple ice ages. What remains today are the rounded roots of these ancient mountains.

The seven fells of Ylläs are Ylläs, Kesänki, Kukas, Kuer, Aakenus, Lainio, and Pyhä. Each of these fells is unique and worth exploring. The easiest to access and conquer during summer are Ylläs itself, along with Kesänkitunturi and Kukastunturi, as well as Kuertunturi in the winter.

7 fells

Reach the top: All year round

Special features: Views that stretch over 100km; Gondola

Yllästunturi fell is a landmark of western Lapland that can be spotted from far away. 719 metres above sea level and 500 metres above the surrounding terrain, the fell top presents views that stretch over 100 kilometres all over Lapland. By relative relief, Yllästunturi is one of Finland’s great fells.

You can reach the top comfortably by gondola all year round. In summer, walk on a hiking trail or on a ski resort service roads from both sides of the fell – Ylläs Ski Resort Ylläsjärvi and Ylläs Ski Resort Äkäslompolo – lead to the top. In winter skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers enjoy the fell landscapes.

Reach the top: Only in winter (no marked trail)

Special features: Well suited for backcountry skiing

Lainiotunturi fell’s steep slopes rise in the middle of the area. No trails lead to Lainiotunturi, but a crosscountry ski trail goes around the fell with several mellow resting spots on the way: the Hangaskuru lean-to shelter, Kotamaja wilderness café and the Karhukota day trip hut. In winter, you can spot backcountry skiers and snowboarders on the slopes of Lainiotunturi fell.

Reach the top: Only in winter (no marked trail)

Special features: Part of restriction zone – avoid moving during snow-free periods

Framing the northern edge of the Ylläs area, the wide Pyhätunturi fell has no trails. The fell is best admired from the Kotamaja wilderness café, lake Pyhäjärvi shore or in winter the cross-country ski trail that goes around it.

Kindly note: the Pyhätunturi fell is part of the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park’s Restriction Zone, where camping is prohibited and even accessing it in summer should be avoided. Thank you for not wearing the fragile fell nature

Reach the top: All year round

Special features: Pirunkuru Gorge

On the other side of lake Kesänkijärvi rises the rugged Kesänkitunturi fell. In summer, the Pirunkurun ponnistus trail provides breathtaking views over the lake and fells. This straight way to the top will get you winded if you keep a brisk pace. In winter, a xc ski trail and snowshoe trails take you up the gentler slope to the Tahkokuru day trip hut, located at the treeline of the fell.

Reach the top: In winter

Special features: Easy to conquer in winter

In winter the relatively easy Kuertunturi fell snowshoe trail is one of the finest in Ylläs! At the top, the snow covered trees frame the vast landscape. In summer there’s no trail to Kuertunturi fell, making Kesänkitunturi fell a feasible option, for example.

Reach the top: In summer

Special features: Feel the remote wilderness. New wilderness hut along the trail.

The long and horseshoe-shaped fell offers a feel for wilderness and natural quietness. In summer, the Aakenustunturi fell can be conquered via the Totovaaran Tunturireitti Trail that starts from the Totovaara parking area. Alternatively, start from the Pyhäjärvi parking and follow the Vareslaen Kierros Trail. The newest open wilderness hut in Ylläs, the six-person Aakenustupa, is positioned beautifully and is definitely worth a visit! In winter, a cross-country ski trail goes around the Aakenustunturi fell. Follow the trail to nearby Totovaara hill for amazing views of the chain of fells.

Reach the top: All year round

Special features: One of the easiest to conquer

A three-kilometre gentle ascent on the trail through a pine forest. Up the steepening slope to the treeline and the treeless fell top. That’s it! Kukastunturi fell is one of the easiest to conquer. Stroll to the top without breaking a sweat or get a workout on your way up – it’s up to you.

The views from the top reward the hike. In the north, peaks of Pallastunturi fell catches your eye and in the east, the Lainiotunturi fell is almost within reach. In the south, Yllästunturi fell rises as its most beautiful.

The summer hiking and mountain biking trail leads to the top and in winter, a xc ski trail, snowshoeing trail and winter biking trail take you to the highest point.

Ylläs History

Äkäslompolo village’s first permanent building was built on the west shore in year 1740. In 1875, Tano’s house was built on the site of the burned down house, which is still on the same site, at the beginning of the current Tiurajärventie road.

Tourism became more common in Ylläs in the 1930s, when the locals were surprised by the “empty skiers” who came further from south for fell skiing courses. Äkäslompolo was a small village of 14 houses and the inhabitants initially accommodated tourists in their houses. In Ylläsjärvi tourists were hosted in three houses.

The first accommodation buildings were built in the late 1940s in Äkäslompolo. When arriving to the village, the last 30km were skied and the goods were transported by horse or reindeer, until the road to the village was completed in the 1950s and a regular bus connection also began.

Mr. Jouni Kaulanen opened the village’s first grocery store in the basement of his house in 1950. Jouni Kauppa moved in 1980 to the building now known as Jounin Kauppakeskus and finally in 2008 to its current location.

First wilderness cafe was opened in Tuomikuru gorge where you can still spot remainings of a fireplace. Ylläs’s first “ski lift” was built in 1957 in Varkaankuru gorge – skiers were pulled up to the fell by the engine of a old Volkswagen car.

Ylläsjärvi village’s Eelin Kauppa (“Eeli’s shop”) opened in 1963 and village’s first accommodation building came a bit later in 1968.

Maintenance of the cross-country skiing trails began in the 1970s, when Parks & Wildlife Finland’s (“Metsähallitus”) started grooming some trails and also new ski/wilderness cafe Kotamaja was opened by Uuttu-Kalle. The maintenance of the ski trails as it is today dates back to the 80s, when the Äkäslompolo Tourism Association was founded.

Finland’s first national parks were established in 1938, and Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park was born at that time. The nature reserve initially covered the northern part of the fell chain, Pallas and Ounastunturi fells, and in 2005 the Ylläs area was merged with it. The National Park has been Finland’s the most popular for long time.

The journey from Äkäslompolo to Ylläsjärvi became significantly easier when connecting road Maisematie was opened in 2006. Previously, you had to drive from one side of the fell to the other via Luosu, making a long detour.

Nowadays, Ylläs is a mecca for all outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy nature with its huge network of trails, the best mountain biking trails and the longest downhill ski slopes in Finland.

Read more

Yllastunturi Visitor Centre’s library has lots of book – most are in Finnish.

Äkäslompolo.fi website (in finnish) has lots of stories, history and pictures.

Yllasjari.com website covers the history.

Äkäslompolo Village in June

Discover the many villages of Kolari

The Ylläs area lies in the municipality of Kolari next to the Swedish border in Fell Lapland, the north-western part of Lapland, Finland’s largest and northernmost province.

Kolari is known for the unique borderless “Meänkieli” culture prevalent on both the Finnish and Swedish sides of the Tornion-Muonionjoki river, and for being a hub for salmon fishing.

Ylläsjärvi Village in August

When holidaying in Ylläs, a visit to Kolari town is a convenient way to catch a glimpse into
local culture. Visit the old church, follow the ski tracks of Olympic gold medalist Pertti Teurajärvi
or pop into the Swedish town of Pajala just across the border river – no passport needed.

The villages of Kolari offer interesting things to see and experience year-round.

Welcome to Kolari!

Kylienkolari.fi Kolari.fi


Finns love coffee and are proud of their nature. So is there anything more Finnish than drinking coffee outside? ☕
By buying Ylläs products, such as the Ylläs mug "kuksa" in the picture, you support the maintenance of the trails in Ylläs.

#ylläs #visityllas #visitylläs #yllas #kuksa #finnish #finnishthings #lappi #lapland #arcticcircle #springinyllas #springinlapland
You don't have to ski to visit the top of Ylläs! 😍 Take the gondola lift, admire the scenery and enjoy yummies at the restaurants @yllaskammi and @ravintolagondol .

#ylläs #yllas #visitylläs #visityllas #lapland #gondolalift #skiing #snowboarding #lapland #visitlapland #gondola #laskettelu #lumilautailu #gondoli
Have you taken a break in Lake Kesänkijärvi hut? 💙 It is a favourite resting place of many hikers and skiers. And we don't wonder why. It's between two fells, in the home of the Siberian jays ("Kuukkeli"). Many good stories and snacks have been shared on its benches. 

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Yesterday's sunset was like a dream. 🌠

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The green lights in the sky start their dance when the sun has set. Have you entered the Northern lights disco? 💙💚

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There are seven fells in the Ylläs area. Do you know which two of them are in the picture? 🏔️

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Goodbye February, welcome March! ☀️

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Have you already been cruising on the longest slopes in Finland? 🏂☀️

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If you have not registered for the Ylläs-Levi skiing yet, now is the time to get active. Prices go up on 29 February, so be quick! You don't want to miss this cross-country skiing event in some of the most beautiful fell scenery in Finland! Are you skiing with us? 💙

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