Visitor reviews for Ruka Ski Resort

Ruka Ratings

Overall: 3.5. Based on 8 votes and 12 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 4.4

(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Ruka is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Variety of pistes: 3.1

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Ruka has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Off-piste: 2.6

(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.

Scenery: 3.5

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 4.2

(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Ruka.

Public Transport: 3.8

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Ruka, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Accommodation: 4.0

(1) No places to stay in/near Ruka, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 2.9

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 3.4

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Ruka.

Ski in/Ski out: 4.2

(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.

Childcare: 3.6

(1) There are no child care facilities at Ruka, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowmaking: 3.6

(1) Ruka relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 4.4

(1) There are no snow groomers at Ruka, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Ruka are groomed daily.

Shelter: 3.6

(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Ruka is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 1.1

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Ruka, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.

Regional rating: 3.7

(1) Ruka usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.

Lift Staff: 3.8

(1) The staff at Ruka are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Ruka are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 3.8

(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.

Ski Schools: 4.0

(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.

Hire and Repairs: 4.2

(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.

Beginners: 4.4

(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.

Intermediates: 3.8

(1) No intermediate terrain at Ruka, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 2.6

(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.

Snow Park: 4.1

(1) Not even a kicker at Ruka, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Cross-country: 4.3

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Ruka, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 1.6

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Ruka has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 3.3

(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.

Eating: 3.5

(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.

Apres-Ski: 3.2

(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.

Other Sports: 2.8

(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.

Entertainment: 3.6

(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.

Winter Walks: 3.9

(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.

Ski Pass Value: 3.5

(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.

Value (National): 3.7

(1) Overall, Ruka is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.

Value (Global): 3.6

(1) Overall, Ruka is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.

Show all 35 ratings

November 11, 2006
neil porter from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
This is a snowsure resort...but along with the snow comes the cold I was there in Jan this year and it was 20/32 most of the week!! So make sure that you take extra clothing. They have quite a good snowpark with some big kickers. The runs are quite short though and I think after 1 week you would of had enough. Another point it that the runs are floodlit until 19.00hrs local time. I`d say this is a good resort for people who are just starting out boarding and skiing but if you are at an advanced level this would not be for you.
November 16, 2006
Steevo Wells from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Have to agree with Neil on the cold factor. Jan was -33 all week. Then again you are near the Arctic circle so I guess we should have expected the cold. The runs are limited although perfectly groomed and some challenging reds and blacks. Boy do they know how to look after the runs with snow making all day every day. All groomed again ready to play for the next day too so its like constant dusting of pow. I love the Scandinavian board parks with many visits to Hemsedal(Norway) but gotta say that the park in Ruka was brilliant with kickers of all sizes up to the booter for the big boys. They had a good selection of rails too which is all good. The pipe was being shaped as we left but looked a good 100m long with pretty high walls....will have to go later in the year next time if not for the warmth then at least the pipe will be open. The big plus is that the park is floodlit all day so when it starts to get dark it is wicked to ride in. You can see every bump(although not many) on the run in to the kickers. Overall I would say it is well worth a trip if you have not been to Finland before. Cold but if you wrap up warm who cares about that. Oh.........And the scenery is amazing. Go and enjoy!!!!
January 26, 2008
paul bennett from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just got back from Ruka on Jan 20th 2008, I have never seen snow like it, constant snow 24 hours a day and for the 7 days we were there. I think we were lucky with the temp too, coldest it got was -10. Perfectly groomed pistes, quite varied for beginners and intermediates. Only issue, certain lifts would often be closed for no apparent reason other than energy saving as we were told. Fantastic place, will book again for next year!!
February 01, 2008
jason from Ski Finland Finland
Just got back from Ruka and had a great time. Loads of snow and could not ask for better conditions but a bit cold at times. Stayed in the Ruka apartments which were very nice and clean and only about 100m away from the lifts. The kids loved it all. The ski-hire was free and really good for beginners. Fantastic place.
January 01, 2010
Malcolm from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
As an experienced cross country skier I really enjoyed Ruka in January. The skiing was limited to about 70km of tracks, but these took you over three beautiful fells, so I was quite happy to ski them all in both directions. The tracks were well groomed for both classic and skating, but too demanding for the not-quite-novices in our group. (complete novices are well looked after by the ski school - but once you've got the basics you want to get out there exploring, and this was quite hard, with most routes including red or black sections). The countryside at Ruka is beautiful and the colours of the arctic sky inspiring. The downhill slopes were very well groomed, and I was able to ski some of the blue runs on my cross country gear.
February 13, 2012
Doug from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Be prepared for the cold. Started at -36 but warmed up to -5 although with significant wind chill. A face mask is a good addition to your kit. Positives: if you time your visit before mid Feb and the national holiday period, slopes can be almost empty and queuing non existent. Even though the slopes are all groomed daily, it is still possible to get powder on a piste if you are really lucky making for a fantastic start to the day. Plenty of off-piste and wooded area's to play in and children are well catered for. Negatives: very few chair lifts, all of which appear to be non heated, although 1 is covered. Some long T-Bars which can be painful when shared with children. Little or no indication of which lifts are open in main resort, although typically at least the T-bars will be available. Resort is costly compared to most European resorts.
November 28, 2012
Leigh from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
The context of our ski holiday was for early turns at a ski resort that was guaranteed snow cover. As established skiers, we expected little in terms of skiing but were looking forward to the adventure of heading close to the Arctic Circle for our first trip into Finland. Arriving to Kuusamo we were surprised at how easy it was to then get to Ruka. Arriving late into the night was no problem as we had been given the keycode to the apartment by text several day before. Communication with the head-office was easy and all questions were answered. Self-catering accommodation was top-notch which included wood-buring fire and an awesome sauna. For the price, have never stayed in such great self-catering accommodation. First day skiing we had to hire equipment which was extremely easy and well-thought out. Including lift-pass for five days hire for two people the price was under £200. Considering the equipment and service we got we thought this was pretty good value. Weather-wise we were told it was mild and the temperature was hovering around zero degrees. Due to the early season only half the mountain was open but the main part of the mountain was open including the park and mogul area. There seemed to be an extensive snow-making area and a few of the locals apologised for it being too icy; if this was icy, we had died and gone to heaven from our Scottish skiing background. Although very short days, all runs were lit. And although early into the season lifts ran from 9.30 AM to 6 PM and beyond the official closing time which was something we certainly were not expecting. Piste conditions were excellent and well-maintained. The ski area itself was limited but considering what else is on offer at this time of year (glacier skiing), the terrain was more than suitable for what we had expected. It would be a great place to take beginners and those wanting something different for their first ski of the year. After the mild start temperatures plummeted to minus 14 which resulted in excessive use of snow-making. Overall, would I ski here again? Most certainly at the start of the season. Having to only share the piste with established national ski teams and ridiculously talented juniors, it could be said we were easily the worst skiers on the hill which was a small price to pay for never once having to queue. It would be an awesome place for those who like adventure, new to skiing, or those just looking for something a bit different. Leigh.
February 19, 2015
Cheryl from Ski Finland Finland
Ruka is a beautiful village. Ski runs are short but well groomed. We booked Finland as all reviews said no lift queues. Absolute rubbish the queues are as bad as the Alps so be prepared to queue at February half-term in cold temps. The lifts are old, mostly drag lifts and often break down. There are masses of people on the slopes during half-term and be prepared for beginners trying to plough down red and black routes! We will come back here but not during February half-term. The Finnish people are all friendly and the slopes are kept in excellent condition.
October 24, 2018
Dean from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Visited mid January 2018 and was blown away by the resort. Few things to note, English tour companies don't tend to do holidays there from early to mid Feb onwards due to the resort becoming too popular for them to secure competitive prices, as well as the resort being too busy for them to want people to visit. We visited mid Jan and there were no queues at all which really helped with the pistes being relatively short, so we never had to worry about queues at the bottom, so weren't left wanting longer pistes. We were surprised at the variety of terrain and fun off-piste wooded areas kept us busy for the whole week. The whole resort, including the pistes, were almost like a ghost town, so don't go expecting a lively atmosphere. The short daylight hours meant the whole resort needed to be lit up, so plenty of 'night skiing' opportunities which was great, especially with their lengthy lift opening hours. Only downsides were they didn't make an effort to open the half pipe early which left a whole piste closed next to it for the duration of the trip. We found out they didn't open it until the peak season for them in Feb onwards, which is something to be aware of. They also don't operate all lifts every day, which can become a bit of an inconvenience, but generally all the terrain is still accessible, just more likely to be on a T-bar in some areas where there is both. Everything else about the whole trip was just perfect, and we've booked to return this coming season!
December 28, 2018
Jo from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
We're just about to visit Ruka for our fifth consecutive year! Each time we say we'll go somewhere else, but we keep getting drawn back. And each year our group gets bigger as everyone we take loves it too! We always book with Crystal Ski as they seem to be the only UK airline that flies directly to Kuusamo. And if you time it right, you can get flights and accommodation for about £300. You just have to check the website very regularly! For this bargain price, the accommodation is second to none. Spotlessly clean and spacious. We book a 4-6 bed apartment for two of us as there is only about £10 difference in price (again, you have to time it right). Soooooo much more space for your money than in the Alps. And every apartment has its own private sauna and log fire. Bliss! The village is small but there are plenty of places to eat, the food is really good and portions are big. The Finnish locals are super friendly and the service is amazing. There is a small supermarket in the village centre, and a bigger one a bit further out. The ski resort is also small, a keen skier/boarder could do all the runs in a day, but there are loads of off-piste runs through the trees, a half pipe, and a good park, all of which keep us entertained for the week. The other good thing about a small resort is that if you're with a mixed-ability group, or if you all head out at different times in the morning, it's very easy to go and do your own thing then find each other again. We always visit mid-January and therefore the resort is dead (having never visited in half-term, I can't advise on how busy it gets). We have never queued for a lift and sometimes we can have a whole run to ourselves! However, they are currently expanding the resort and building a whole new village, so the above might not be true in a couple of years! Daylight hours are short, but all pistes are floodlit really well. With the temperature continually staying below zero, the snow never thaws and therefore there aren't any icy patches. One year we visited, it hadn't snowed for almost a month before we arrived, but the snow on the pistes was still abundant and powdery. They also have excellent snow-making facilities. As the resort is small, piste management is really efficient, with nearly all pistes being groomed every other day. With regards to snowboarding and flat sections, I've only found one area of about 70 m that I have to unclip and walk. No matter if I point my board straight and go as fast as I can, I still can never quite make it without walking or borrowing a ski pole to row along. Overall, Ruka is beautiful and should definitely be experienced at least once. Another perk is the random fire huts and fire pits dotted around the fell. Perfect when you need a break to thaw out and toast a marshmallow. For the sake of a balanced review, here are some negatives: - Ruka is no mountain range, it's very much a hill. After 4 years there, I have found myself craving long Alpine runs, proper off-piste, and views of mountains. However, we manage to get it so cheap, we can also book another budget week in the Alps as well. - Cold! In our first year we went early Jan and the temperature got down to -30C. Folks, I got frostbite on my nose!!! Luckily, only in the very top layers of skin so no lasting damage! We now go later in Jan, but it still frequently gets to -20C and below. - Quiet apres-ski scene. There is a bar that stays open until the small hours and does karaoke, but in general, it's not a party resort. Tips: - If you book an apartment, go for the bigger one where possible. The small ones do feel a bit cramped. This year (2018, booking for 2019), it was actually cheaper to book the bigger apartment! - If you want to go to the village in the evenings for food, avoid accommodation that isn't within walking distance as the bus stops running at about 19:30 and taxis are expensive. - Layers! Lots of layers!