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Scandinavian/Lapland resorts, DIY?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have been to Finland a few times (Ruka mainly) and Norway once (nr Rjuken). Would like to explore more, think will have to do it DIY.

A) what's best time, or times to avoid?;
B) must have flights from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Newcastle; Leeds or Manchester at a pinch, maybe. Direct flights and few hour's drive or easy transfer ideal; 1 stop over is acceptable;
C) must have good non-drag uplifts (the odd few are OK if can be avoided.

Cheers.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We have just done diy to Ruka. No direct flights but Manc to Frankfurt then Frankfurt to kuusamo. Not great as we missed connection in Frankfurt and had a very long 3 leg journey to get to kuusamo. Lost a full day.
Been to Levi but there were a lot of drag lifts and flat areas. It wasnt my favourite resort.
You might get direct flights from London but I have decided against Finland next year and booked Oslo flights for Xmas. Lots of people on here recommend Trysil.

Going to hafjell this Easter again Oslo flights.

What time of year were you thinking of going?
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Trysil is good but it has 24 drags vs 7 chairs. From what I recall when looking around a lot of the Scandi resorts seemed to have a lot of drags. Trysil have drags as they stay open when its windy. Some are very long. You can get around not using the drags too much there, as I was looking to do to save my legs, especially if you stay at the Touristcentre side.
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Salen is the same more drags than chair lifts but quite a few chair lifts still. The main reason for that is due to how windy is can be causing them to need to close the chair lifts but the drags are fine to stay open.

We went in Feb half term last year a (we are tied to school holidays) and although it was cold and a bit windy nothing bad at all (was far far worse in Val thorens in april last year).

In terms of length of daylight this was fine and and snow quality was great.

Although we DIY’d we booked accommodation, lift passes and kids ski hire through SkiStar.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I was going to ask a similar question!
Other half would like to see Northern Lights & Friends would like to take their kid to see Old red nose & his pet red nose.
So thought if we could marry it all up into one big trip.

The resorts Ive looked at are quite off putting (being borders) with the amount of drag lifts though
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@Grizzler, @Mr.Egg, drag lifts are prevalent in Scandinavia and whilst you can avoid them you'll also potentially be limited in the terrain you can access. At Trysil, for example, when it gets windy the top 2 chairs close and then you have to use at least a couple of t bars if you want to get round the mountain. Åre is perhaps a little better, but others can comment better than me on that. You can ski nearly all of Hemsedal from its 3 chairs, with just the highest point (and 1 piste) absolutely requiring a drag lift.
Bear in mind that most of the lifts are short in comparison to lifts in the Alps, so perhaps a bit more manageable for boarders.
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@Grizzler, We go to Åre in Sweden often. We fly SAS from Manchester to Östersund with one stop at Stockholm Arlanda. Transfers are about 1 hour with Flygtaxi.se, and are quite cheap. Accommodation is cheap enough for good high quality self catered apartments and easy to book via Skistar, who also supply lift passes. If you went and stayed in the Tegefjäll area, keep in mind there is little by way of evening entertainment, and there isn't a night bus, so better to stay in Åre itself if you need bars. We have booked a ski in/ski out apartment in Åre in March for 650 euro, with our flights being about £540 in total and transfer 25euro per person each way, so 100euro total. The better accommodation in Åre does get booked up early, but there is always good apartments in Tegefjäll, and we have liked staying there, but you do need to plan shopping and like I say, going out.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
And Finland, in either Levi or Yllas are easy enough with Inghams, we recommend Yllas, and the log cabins in Äkäslompolo. They are excellent. It is almost the same price to DIY there as with Inghams, but if you did DIY, accommodation can be booked through destinationlapland.com, not sure about the flights though. It is a great place to learn to xc ski, and is very reliable for northern lights. It can get very cold, but we quite like that.
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Thanks all. Some useful looking destinations mentioned to research further.

Don't mind what time of year; love the dark and semi light of arctic winter, skiing under lights etc, but have also been told that the snow is much better and the weather (and light) better in March / April - but also busier. It was one of my questions: when is best or best avoided?

I accept there will always be drag lifts, but as long as chairs can normally be used, even if that restricts which runs you can use, then that's OK (boarders + knees that now can't take much drags).

As far as I can see so far, Crystal will not be flying to Finland next year from Manchester. I have previously looked at Inghams for Yllas etc, which I would like to do, but they seem terribly expensive, particularly for couples. (Crystal this year were very cheap for Finland for some reason.) So it's going to be DIY if we go again, I think. (Mind you, if for 2 people, those Are prices quoted above are out of our price range too!)

So which are the best sites for accommodation research? Which are the airports to head for? Being up North, I'd maybe consider Finnair flights from Scotland rather than those from Manchester.

Is there a easy quick way of finding out who flies to where, when and from where? All the flight searches I've tried require you to enter specific dates and destinations, so take ages for general 1st stage research.
One of the reasons that puts me off DIY: too much research and hard to find information, prices,
etc, quickly.
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For Norway / Sweden definitely SkiStar
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For Are, you could fly to AMS, then fly to Trondheim and then drive to Are (2-3 hour relaxed drive, so long as you don't get "moosed"). For many of the Norwegian resorts and for Are, use Skistar website to find accommodation
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Grizzler, DIY, this is how I do it;

First go to the wikipedia page of the destination airport, eg Bergen, scroll down to the flights and shortlist the airlines and airports to investigate then go direct to the airline sites to investigate costs, flight times, baggage etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergen_Airport,_Flesland

Accommodation sites, I would choose Booking, but also check some others.
As there's two of you I would choose a hotel/hostel in a town away from the resort (which should be cheaper) with enough restaurants and supermarkets, then have a hire car to go to different resorts/other cities according to the snow conditions.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Scandinavian Mountains Airport will open at the end of 2019 and will make Trysil and Sälen more accessible; 10-30mins drive to Sälen and 40mins drive to Trysil.

There will most likely be regular bus/transfer between the airport and both resorts so car hire might not be necessary.

No details at the moment regarding which airlines are flying there but if I remember correctly it will most likely be chartered.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Skistar only run a small fraction of the resorts. For others, often the resort website has an accommodation search. Even for Åre, there are other (sometimes better) options, e.g. https://eng.mittiare.se/.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Dont be put off by DIY. I found DIY for Norway by far the easiest of the 4 Euro countries we've done so far.

The websites are usually good and with an English version (no need to google translate).

If you end up going for a Skistar resort everything can be done on their website: accomodation , lift passes, lessons , as they typically run the whole show. They have got their stuff together.

Rental cars come winterised when needed without worry.

Norway was just about cashless as a place could be so no need to change currency.

Pretty much everyone speaks excellent English. If you arent getting anywhere or cant find info then you just ring up and ask, try doing that in Italy.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Grizzler, We know what you mean about Inghams and the cabins in Yllas for a couple, it's all good until the under occupancy gets loaded on, but if you ever want to take the hit, it is a nice treat. We did notice though, earlier this month, that there were pretty good full board deals at the Akas hotel. It was about £650, inc flights, transfers etc. We were tempted.
I will add, the prices I said before for flights, are in total, inc ski carriage, for us both, and the price for the apartments on Skistar are for the apartment, no under occupancy. All you will need to add is linen, which is next to nowt, wifi, which is slightly more, but still cheap, and final cleaning, but we never get that, always do it ourselves, and have never had a problem.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
i have just sorted Norway for Easter this year and again for Xmas and it has been straightforward. This includes changing accommodation from self catering to hotel, sorting a night in Lillehammer and ski school. English speakers and great manners. Another point. Xmas 17 was set for Norway and had to cancel 4 days before going due to family emergency. Contacted the hotel no problems with cancellation and very helpful lady at nsb railways for ticket refunds. Norway is a very civilised country!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@lpsmc1, +1 everything you say about Norway. I have never been skiing there, but have been there many times working. We will ski there at some point. Having driven over, I really fancy ski touring in the Telemark.
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@Grizzler, as the questions about drag lifts have been answered, and some resort suggestions have been made (Åre, Sälen, Trysil etc), I’ll add some other suggestions in Sweden.

FYI, for Sweden avoid weeks 7-10 as it’s “Sportlöv” half-term holiday, especially week 9 which is Stockholm (busiest and most expensive). Easter is a good time to ski in Sweden, so check which week “Påsklov” holiday falls on to avoid that (it’s week 16 for 2019) although it’s not so busy. You can google for Norway vacation periods.

Hemavan-Tärnaby - southern Lapland. Flights to Hemavan from Stockholm with www.direktflyg.com. Very convenient as accommodation is a walk or taxi journey away. However, they were not running buses between the two resorts when we were there, so you’d need a car. Accommodation can be booked through the Hemavan-Tärnaby website. Guess you can also fly to Mo i Rana via Oslo and drive.

Kjittelfjäll / Borgafjäll - southern Lapland. Flights to Vilhemina from Stockholm with direktflyg. Not been myself, but the ski areas look very nice. I would assume you need a hire car, but options seem a bit limited. Some information here https://www.southlaplandairport.com/flygplatsen/flyginformation/till-och-fran-flygplatsen/

Riksgränsen, Bjorkliden - northern Lapland. Could combine with Narvik, Norway. Flights with SAS from Stockholm. Hire a car or take a train right into the resort. The resort opens in February and closes in early May.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Lovely, thanks all. I must get researching.
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Avoid Trysil if you don't like drags!! Great resort otherwise though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Hidden gem, Pyhä in Finnish Lapland, 1,5 hours from Rovaniemi airport and there’s daily buses.

Resort isn’t big but it offers best offpiste possibilities in Finland. You can easily find ski-in accommodation there and all services are in walking distance. 30kms away there’s other similar place Luosto, which you can visit by bus.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Thumb, yep, been there. As you say, small but some off piste and tree fun to be had.
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@Grizzler, didn't your MCL/ACL snap last year? ok to ski again now?
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bambionskiis wrote:
Avoid Trysil if you don't like drags!! Great resort otherwise though.


We went to Trysil last Easter with 2 beginner kids under 9 staying on the TouristSenteret side and didn't find the number of drag lifts too much of an issue. On that side of the resort particularly you can access large chunks of the mountain via chairs and the odd short drag so not really a problem. We're going again this Easter as we really enjoyed the overall experience there (in the Radisson Blu Resort), hopefully they get a few big snow dumps over the next couple of months though as they've currently got less than half the snow they had this time last year.
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