Äkäslompolo is a village in Finnish Lapland, in the municipality Kolari. It is a hub for travellers of the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park both in the summer and winter and also part of the Ylläs ski resort.
As a ski resort in Lapland, the main season is during the schools' winter holidays in February and especially at Easter. Note that the town of Äkäslompolo is not directly on the slopes, but a few kilometres away, so if you're looking for a ski-in-ski-out experience, stay at Ylläs instead.
If you come in late autumn, midwinter or late spring, be aware of the implications, such as darkness, low temperatures or, in spring, flooded trails. There are services all year, although some shut down off season.
The nearest railway station is in Kolari. Off season you might have to take the train to Rovaniemi instead.
By car, drive along E8 to Kolari and 10 km farther north. Then turn to Äkäslompolo by road 940. You can also come from the east, via Kittilä and Ylläsjärvi, driving the last 10 km by the slopes of the Ylläs fell.
The village itself is not very big, you can explore it by walking. In skiing season there are ski buses around the Ylläs mountain, single ticket is around €2. Matka.fi includes information about some long distance bus routes which can be used for local travelling.
There are concerts in the larger restaurants and nightclubs.
- St.Lauri's Chapel (in the village). Chapel. Concerts.
- Yllästunturi Visitor Centre Kellokas, Tunturintie 54 (halfway to the Ylläs fell, by the road to Ylläsjärvi), ☏ , email@example.com. M–F 09:00–16:00, in season daily with longer hours. Information and advice on the national park, reservation of lodgings, maps. Exhibitions and video presentations on the nature and culture of the area. Logging museum. Nature trails and guided tours (guiding to be reserved in advance, €50/hr). Souvenirs. Fishing and hunting permits. Café and restaurant. Free.
- 1 Varkaankuru nature trail (start at Kellokas). A 4-km-long circular trail through the narrow Varkaankuru valley. The microclimate in the valley is peculiar and the vegetation is exceptionally lush.
Most people come here for skiing. There are downhill slopes at the Ylläs fell and also a lot of cross-country skiing tracks, combining with the tracks of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. The downhill tracks are quite good for Finland, and very well maintained. The cross-country tracks offer wonderful journeys in the nice forest, and they are also well maintained. There are quite a few wilderness huts in the national park for those going for longer journeys, but they are often crowded in season.
The area is very good for hiking. There are many wilderness huts where you can spend a night on longer trips.
Travel agencies offer practice of Lappish activities like husky or reindeer sleigh trips, visits to reindeer farms and traditional Sami lávvus, as well as snowmobile safaris. The safari providers are near the supermarket on Sivulantie. Go and check out the different companies before booking your tours! Some providers might offer special trip and/or good discounts if booking more than just one activity!
In the lower part of the village there is a K-Citymarket where you can buy everything you need. Prices are a bit higher that in K-Citymarkets in south Finland.
- 1 K-Market Jounin kauppa, Sannanrannantie 3, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon–Sat 8–21, Sun 10–21. The self-proclaimed "most famous grocery in Lapland" is well and truly a cut above your average corner store: it has a deli selling freshly made sushi, a cheese and wine bar, and smokes its own meat and fish. If you don't have a car, order online and they can deliver for €13.90.
There are restaurants, but most of them are only open seasonally. In skiing season all of them are open.
- Cafe & Bar Routa, Sannanrannantie 3 (at K-Market Jounin Kauppa), ☏ , email@example.com. M–Sa 09:00–18:00, Su 12:00–17:00 (might vary on/off season). Lunch from 11:00 at least in season. Also catering and programme.
- Ravintola Otso Äkäslompolo, Tunturintie 15, ☏ .
- Pirtukirkko, Äkäsentie 10 (at Äkäshotelli). Äkäshotelli's "Moonshine Church" is probably the liveliest place in town, with live concerts by touring Finnish bands and a nightclub in the basement.
Near the slopes there are hotels, you can search and you will find them. If you are on a budget (and/or you want something traditional) you can rent a wooden cottage instead. If you really want to feel the wilderness you can rent a wooden cottage in the national park (office is in the town), it's cheaper but no electricity or water, heating is with fire, nature toilet.
- Holiday Resort Seita (Lomakeskus Seita), Tiurajärventie 36 A, ☏ . The house is known for its good food. After having breakfast you may pack your picnic lunch with you from breakfast buffet. After sauna dinner buffet is waiting for you.
- Harjun Mökit, Heinolantie 5, ☏ . Cottage accommodation in a peaceful area near the ski tracks.
- Ylläksen Yöpuu, Tunturintie 18, ☏ . In the middle of Äkäslompolo. Eight full-equipment cottages, with nice services, open around the year.
Postal code 95970 Äkäslompolo.
- Hetta by the Hetta-Pallas hiking trail through Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. The trail is the oldest in Finland and quite popular. In winter you can ski more or less by the same route.