The whole Ylläs area throws its best on the table when it comes to traveling with kids.
So we spent the Holidays in the Pallas-Ylläs area and as you guys are aware, I already wrote about the Pallas side of things. If you’re not, shame on you and go check it out!
Ylläs is significantly busier than Pallas and they provide a plethora of activities, from downhill skiing to Snow Villages. We skipped on the more expensive alternatives and didn’t rent any gear.
The three-year-old either sat on the sled or walked on her own. Oh and she also flew!
Äkäsmylly Mill along the way
This is a lovely destination halfway from Pallas to Ylläs (or the other way around). There’s a wide parking lot (which was snow-covered, so we left the car on the side of the road). There was a beaten path so we didn’t need snowshoes.
During ski and Fall Color season they uphold a café but it was closed now. But no worries, we had snacks.
The café is located a few hundred meters from the road, next to the rapids. A bridge is built across the water and on the other side there’s a lovely lean-to.
Varkaankuru hut is easily accessible on snowshoes
Once we reached the village, a friend and local guide Marja took us to Varkaankuru, a hut up in the fell. The path leading to it looked awesome when viewed from Heikki’s drone:
On the way up the fell I was testing out Marja’s glide snowshoes while Heikki took them for a spin on our way back. Ulla had her daughter in-tow. We had no use for actual snowshoes this time around, the snow carried us with no issues.
They do, however, have rental snowshoes at the Visitor’s Center and they provide valuable information about the surrounding trails as well.
Visitor’s Center Kellokas in Äkäslompolo has a detailed exhibition about the local culture and nature and even provides a flash mob every now and then!
The basic expo is wonderful and heartwarming and very family-friendly. They have little notebooks you can stamp whenever you find the next thing on the list.
Fortunately for us, we ran into two musicians who decided to play the Finlandia Hymn on their harmonicas. You can see this flash mob style performance on the Center’s website.
Kellokas also has a restaurant and a café. Oh, and a cinema as well!
Gondola ride up to the heavens, with hot cocoa and donuts
We’ve never been on the side of Ylläs where all the action happens. But the idea of the first sunrise was too much to miss out on.
As one might expect, it was exciting.
Atop Ylläs, everything (and I do mean everything) was covered under crown snow-loads. The café looked like a spaceship and every sign was giant. It’s windy up there, so remember to dress accordingly.
The view was breathtaking no matter where you looked. Pink on one side, yellow and orange on the other.
Eväskori offers exquisite pizza, also available gluten-free
When visiting Äkäslomopolo, On both occasions we went to Eväskori for food. Their pizzas are enormous and every option has its own personality.
The place is filled with little bric-a-brac people have brought with them. The toilets deserve a special mention from their cleanliness and size.
Bonus: giant reindeer in the Jounin Kauppa courtyard
This one doesn’t really need an introduction – I’m sure everyone is aware of the social media strategy and coverage of Jounin Kauppa. It’s a.. different kind of grocery store.
After a fridge refill trip to the store we once again had to admit that where we love the northern lights and stargazing, the three-year-old absolutely adores the play area in the store.
The giant reindeer also has a bell around its neck. Give it a ring, why don’t ya?
Where do you propose we’d go the next time we’re around?
In collaboration with Sisustus Appassionata (the white and the red beanie).