Download GPX file for this article
66.16529.151Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ruka is a ski resort and village near Kuusamo in the Oulu province of northern Finland.

Rukatunturi's highest point is 492 m. The longest run in the mountain is 1,300 m. In winter Ruka is the place to be for people who love winter sports. In summer time Ruka welcomes people to enjoy the beautiful nature, for example as a base for hiking the Karhunkierros trail or shorter hikes in the Ruka area.

Understand[edit]

Ruka Ski resort

Ruka is part of the Kuusamo municipality, with the centre Kuusamo and the airport some 23 km to the south.

Ruka got its first dauntless downhill skiers already in the 1930s, but it took until 1954 before the first prepared slope, the modern day Front Slope, was opened. The first ski lift was opened three years later, and a hotel-restaurant Kaltiomaja opened in 1962. Since then the resort has been steadily growing and the modern, pedestrian friendly centre was completed in 2010. The resort has been owned and developed by the Finnish company Aho Group since 1974.

Ruka offers the longest skiing season out of any resort in Finland, over 200 days a year. The First Snow Track (Ensilumenlatu) is opened in early October and the slopes stay open until early May. The resort is mostly a winter sports centre, but since the 2000s Ruka has been developed and marketed as a summer destination as well.

Ruka is the second most popular ski resort in Finland (after Levi) having 23,000 beds, 35 slopes, 125 kilometres of cross-country ski tracks, some 30 restaurants, and 549,000 registered nights a year (in 2018–2019).

Get in[edit]

The simplest way to get to Ruka is to fly to Kuusamo and take the airport bus to Ruka. If you travel by train from southern Finland, the nearest train stations are in Oulu, Rovaniemi and Kemijärvi; also Kajaani may be an option. From there, take a bus to Kuusamo. You can bring your car on some of the trains. Driving from southern Finland will take around 10 hours.

Get around[edit]

The new Ruka Pedestrian Village was finished in November 2010. You can now walk to the slopes from the hotels without any road crossings. Also Talvijärvi is close to the slopes. Some accommodations are some 5 km away, more suitable for those coming for cross-country skiing or other activities.

By bus[edit]

There are two coach connections a day on weekdays between Kuusamo and Ruka. There is also a dial-a-ride service available from Kuusamo to Ruka. It can be ordered using Matkahuolto Trip Planner and Tickets mobile app. The passenger can pick up the ride up to five days, can check availability at any time, and secure the ride as well as the seat just by ordering transportation. The app always shows the final binding price before confirming the order.

By taxi[edit]

  • Smartphone app: Taksini is available from App Store and Google Play. Other apps: Valopilkku, 02 Taksi.
  • 2 Otaxi Ruka, +358 100 84200. Ruka taxi station is operated by Oulu regional taxi company Otaxi.

See[edit]

Aurora borealis

Although the highest hills here are often referred to as fells, there are no true fells here. However, the adjacent peaks of Ruka massif are by far the tallest hills around. The views from Valtavaara are well-known. Also the views from Juhannuskallio and from Konttainen are very nice. You can also enjoy the views from Ruka. In Juhannuskallio there are also caves, the biggest one known as Pirunkirkko ("Devil's church").

  • Fells
    • 1 Konttainen. Peak 407 metres a.sl., about half a kilometre from the popular hiking trail Karhunkierros. The northernmost peak in the Ruka massif belongs to Valtavaara-Pyhävaara Nature Protection Area.
    • 2 Valtavaara. The peak at 492 metres is famous for its views. A lush Surmanoro gorge (up to 40 m deep) is located here, on the north-west side of the hill. There is a "lapp pole hut" and a day hut on the peak. Belongs to Valtavaara-Pyhävaara Nature Protection Area.
    • 3 Rukatunturi. Climbing up to 500 meters a.sl, Ruka is the highest hill around. Even though it isn't a true fell, human action has once turned the top into a treeless heath, and there are great views to surrounding landscape. The hiking trail Karhunkierros starts from here and heads to the north.
    • 4 Pyhävaara. Peak 461 m a.sl. The southernmost peak in the Ruka massif belongs to Valtavaara-Pyhävaara Nature Protection Area, and is assumed to have been a sacred place – a sieidi – to the Sami people. Avoid leaving the marked trail as the rocky terrain might be dangerous and there are some very rare plants growing around. There is a "lapp pole hut" on top of the secondary peak Pikku Pyhävaara.

Do[edit]

Cross-country skiing, noon in February

In winter the ski resort offers are the main things to do in Ruka. There is also a large cross-country skiing route network (90 km). In summer the beautiful nature provides a lot to do, e.g. visiting Valtavaara-Pyhävaara Nature Reserve.

  • Observe and photograph Aurora borealis during long winter nights.
  • Downhill snowsports and cross country skiing
    • Ski pass sales, Rukakyläntie 8, +358 8 860-0235. The place to buy ski passes for the Ruka slopes. From single run adults €5 to 5–7 days adults €150.
    • Piste Rental Shop (PisteVuokraamo), Rukakylätie 17, +358 400-101-605. Children's equipment, alpine skiing, carving, snowboarding, telemarking, cross country skiing, helmets, goggles; Halti outdoor wear.
    • VuosselinPortti Rental Shop (VuosselinPortti Vuokraamo), Jussinkuja 5, +358 400-101-610. The rental shop of Eastern Ruka.
    • Ski School Ruka, Rukakyläntie 17, +358 400-101-635. 10:00–16:00. Private lessons and lessons for groups. Alpine, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, telemark and adaptive skiing. Private lessons €32–92.
    • Saarua–Valtavaara–Saarua skiing trail. 10-km demanding classic and freestyle cross country skiing trail. No lights. Campfire shelter at Valtavaara. Connects to other cross-country skiing trails in the area. Free.
  • Hiking:
    Aallokkokoski rapids in Oulanka National Park on the Karhunkierros trail
    • 1 Karhunkierros, +358 40-834-6814, . Summer and autumn. Legendary 80-km hiking trail to and through Oulanka National Park. The other end of the trail is at Karhunkierros visitor centre in Hautajärvi or e.g. at Kuntakkivaara. Being popular and well maintained the trail is suited also for less experienced hikers, but map and basic survival skills are needed and the terrain is hilly. The suspension bridges are not suited for dogs. There are eight open wilderness huts along the trail, free but often crowded in season (and due to the popularity of the trail, first come first served prevails, rather than latecomers' rights). In summer basic food can be bought each other day with normal speed. It is recommended that water be had at service points or treated (boiled) before drinking. There is an ultra running competition along the trail (83 km) yearly in May (winner times: men 08 hr 20 min, women 10:30). There are also shorter versions of Karhunkierros, 18–31 km. From Hautajärvi the UKK trail continues 260 km via the Sallatunturi area, Tuntsa Wilderness Area and Tulppio all the way to Urho Kekkonen National Park. Free. Karhunkierros (Q442308) on Wikidata Karhunkierros on Wikipedia
    • Valtavaara-Pyhävaara Nature Reserve. Versatile area with barren cliff, spruce forests and marshy depressions, mostly higher than the surroundings, with Valtavaara reaching 492 m. The local mix of northern and southern species is unique in Finland and the area is popular among birdwatchers. Staying on the trails is recommended, both for safety and to protect threatened plant species. Picking berries and edible mushrooms is allowed. Camping and campfires allowed only at designated sites, the latter not during wildfire warning periods and always only with due care. Taking samples or damaging flora, fauna or rocks is forbidden as usual in nature reserves. Fishing is restricted. Horseback and bike riding is allowed at certain routes. Free.
      • Juhannuskallio Trail (Juhannuskalliontie road in the east end of Ruka, marked with poles with green paint). 300-m trail to the top of Juhannuskallio.
      • Valtavaaran huiputus. Circle trail to the top of Valtavaara (along the Karhunkieros trail) and back to Ruka.
      • Trail of the red-flanked bluetail (Sinipyrstön pyrähys) (starts at Konttainen parking area, marked with blue paint). 1.5-km trail around the lake Konttaisjärvi through old spruce forest, at the foot of Konttainen. This is one of the places west of Ural where you can get to see the bird that gave name to the trail, popular among British birdwatchers. It sings in June, which makes it easier to spot. The trail can be combined with a stretch of Karhunkierros to the Suolampi shelter or with a climb of Konttainen.
      • Pyhän jyssäys (from the crossroads of Plantingintie road and Petäjäkuja 1). 6-km trail to the top of Pikku-Pyhävaara, where there is a hut and a campfire site.

Programme services[edit]

Reindeer ride
  • Kuusamo Safaris, Kotatie 1, +358 400-326-690, . Tailor made activities for families and small groups. For example: snowmobile-, husky-, ice-fishing-, reideer sleigh-, snowshoe trekking and cross-country skiing safaris, canoeing, cycling, white water rafting and rowing trips.
  • Rukapalvelu Ltd, Rukakyläntie 13, +358 10-271-0500. M-Sa 09:00–17:00, Su 10:00–17:00. Customised events and adventures. Also weekly programs available.
  • Ruka Safaris, Rukarinteentie 1, +358 8 852-1610, . M-F 08:00–17:00 (Sa Su closed). Tours and other programme; accommodation, including a winter village built of snow.
  • Ruka Adventures, Rukanriutta 7, +358 8 852-2007. 09:00–16:00. All kinds of adventures for groups. For example ice carting, snowmobile safaris, river rafting, quadbike safaris etc.
  • Stella Polaris Adventures, Mestantie 1, +358 40-843-3425. 09:00–21:00. Wilderness safaris with high quality services. Private safari company, DMC.
  • Northernlight Safaries, Rukatunturintie 2, +358 40-523-1532, . Speed safaris and overnight safaris. You can experience the real winter in the wilderness with professional safari guides.
  • Wilderness Wolf Nature Safaris, Rukajärventie 30, +358 40-570-0279. Husky farm with over 200 sledge dogs. Prices start from €36/2 km/person..
  • Rukahuolto Oy (Rukabuses), Riutanpää 1 (Next to Neste Oil station), +358 40 5880121, toll-free: +358 8 868 1700, . 09:00-17:00. Snowmobile short term rental and day trips. All snowmobiles are Polaris IQ LXT 550 (2 seater) 1 hr €60, 2 hr €70, 3 hr €85, 4 hr €100. Prices include equipment (overalls, shoes, gloves, balaclava, helmet), insurance (own risk €650), and a route map. Price doesn't include gasoline.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Sale Ruka, Rukanriutta 7, +358 10-763-3222. M-F 08:00-21:00, Sa 08:00-18:00, Su 12:00-18:00. S-group groceries store in Ruka. Gasoline.
  • 2 K-Market Rukankylä, Rukankyläntie 8. 10:00-18:00. A small groceries store on in the Ruka Pedestrian Village.
  • 3 K-Market RukaValley. daily 09:00-21:00. A truly tiny grocery store next to the reception of SKI-INN hotel Ruka Valley.
  • 4 Shopping Center Kumpare (Kauppakeskus Kumpare), Rukakyläntie 8, +358 8 860-0250. 09:30-19:00. Here you can find the Ruka info, Internet terminals, WLAN, groceries store, souvenir shops, gym, child park etc.
  • 5 RukaStore, Rukatunturintie 13, +358 400-101-615. 10:00-19:00. Here you can find high-quality equipment and clothing for winter sports.
  • 6 Café and Souvenir shop Pitäjän Pirtti, Rukatunturintie 14, +358 40 183 1680, . daily 10:00-17:00. Largest selection of souvenirs around. Also a café and restaurant.
  • 7 Riipisen Wild Game and Souvenir Shop, Rukakyläntie 8, +358 40-166-2340. 10:00-17:00. This is the place to buy your game souvenirs.
  • 8 Alko Kuusamo Ruka, Rukanriutta 7. M-F 10:00-21:00, Sa 10:00-18:00, Su closed. Alcoholic beverages.

Eat[edit]

View from a café on top of Kumpuvaara fell near Ruka.
  • 1 Stefan's Steakhouse Ruka, Rukatunturintie 11 (Ruka village), +358 10 4233 250. daily 17:00-23:00. Steak restaurant.
  • 2 Colorado Bar & Grill, Rukankyläntie 6 (Ruka village), +358 20-775-9405. 14:00-22:00. American style food. Live music, delicious food, sports, drinks etc. From the menu you can choose also quite spicy foods. about €7–27.
  • 3 Ski Bistro, Bistrotie 1 (in Ruka Valley area), +358 400 101625. in season daily 10:00-18:00. Lunch and warm drinks.
  • 4 Restaurant Villisika, Rukankyläntie 17, +358 8 860-0300. 11:00-20:00. Lunch at noon, otherwise à la carte. Also children's menu. Party at night in the Bar Piste.
  • 5 Riipinen Wild Game Restaurant, Rukatunturintie 6, +358 8 868 1219, . M-F 12:00-21:00. A wild game restaurant offers specialties like bear, arctic char, moose, and of course reindeer. There's also a separate kids' menu. Table reservation strongly recommended.
  • Restaurant Royal Ruka, Mestantie 1, +358 400-819-840. Gourmet restaurant with Lapland's Dinner and À la Carte list. Laplan's Dinner €35–39.
  • Restaurant Rukahovi, Rukankyläntie 15 (Ruka village), +358 8-859-10. Traditional restaurant in the middle of Ruka. Live music and great views.
  • Restaurant Rukatonttu, Hiihtostadioinintie 1, +358 40-199-1100. Cozy restaurant with views to the lake Talvijärvi.
  • 7 CAMP kitchen & bar, Bistrotie 2, +358 50 350 1290, . daily 08:00-22:00. International food, burgers, stakes and fish dishes. Also kids' menu. Breakfast.
  • 8 Monomesta (at the bottom of Pessari slope), +358 400 300 025. Alpine-ish ski-in restaurant at the bottom of Pessari ski slopes. Soups, fingerfood, and drinks. Location is a bit remote as there is no road here. You may arrive by skiing, walking, or riding a snowmobile.

Sushi[edit]

Pizzerias[edit]

Kebab[edit]

  • 13 Kamina, Bistrotie 2 (in Ruka Valley area), +358 50 4776640. daily 12:00-19:00. The only restaurant specialized on kebab and falafel dishes in the resort opened in February 2021.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Restaurant Zone (Ravintola Zone), Safaritalo, +358 10-271-0555. 12:00-04:00. After ski or safari parties until the morning, karaoke and a big glassed terrace. Lots of different kinds of events. €9-11.
  • 2 Restaurant Piste, Rukankyläntie 17. daily 10:00-. Another after ski classics right next to the slopes. Capacity for almost 1200 customers and often famous live artists playing. The sunniest terrace in town.
  • 3 Bar Ihku Ruka, . daily 12:00-. New bar and nightclub. Karaoke daily after 6pm.
  • 4 Hanki Baari, Rukankyläntie 11, . daily 11-.
  • 5 Snow Bar Polar, +358 40 7740504. in season daily 12:00-18:00. An open-air bar made of snow and ice (and some concrete) up on the fell, right next to the Village-2-Valley gondola lift upper station.

Sleep[edit]

Cottage in Ruka

There are many commercial lodgings: hotel rooms, apartments and cabins. In the Valtavaara Nature reserve and along the Karhunkierros trail there are lean-to shelters and campfire sites where you can camp overnight for free (and also open wilderness huts farther along Karhunkierros).

Camping[edit]

  • 1 Ski-Inn Ruka Caravan, Vuosselintie 13, +358 8 860-0300, . A 150 spot caravan area. Both day places and seasonal places.
  • 2 Iisakki Village, Myllylahdentie 4 (6 km from the village), +358 40-501-6041, . Holiday village with tent area and caravan site with electricity. Breakfast, restaurant and a lobby bar. Saunas by the lake. Lots of organized activities available.
  • 3 Viipus Camping, Viipusjärventie 1 (5 km north from the village), +358 40-586-6251. Some cabins and a caravan site. Own tents welcome. Shared showers and toilets. Kiosk and sauna.

Lodging[edit]

  • 4 Scandic hotel Rukahovi, Rukankyläntie 15, +358 8 2374-8948, . The largest hotel in the village is located in the middle of Ruka ski resort. Hotel has twin rooms, superior panorama rooms, suites, one room for disabled and apartments for 3–6 persons.
  • Rukakeskus Oy (RukaPyhä Ski-Inn), Rukatunturintie 9, +358 8 860-0300, .
    • 5 Ski-Inn RukaSuites, Rukakyläntie 8, +358 8 860-0300. Check-in: 18:00, check-out: 15:00. RukaSuites apartments are in the village of Ruka. They are in walking distance from the slopes. Apartments are made specially for skiers.
    • 6 Ski-Inn Aurinkorinne, Hiihtokouluntie 16–18, +358 8 860-0290. Check-in: 18:00, check-out: 15:00. Apartments are 400 m from RukaVillage. The nearest slope Talvijärvi is right next to the apartments. from €65 per night in the summer to €620 per week in the winter.
    • 7 Ski-Inn Hotel RukaVillage, Rukakyläntie 6, +358 8 860-0300, . Especially for skiing travellers. Each room has cooking facilities.
    • 8 Ski-Inn Hotel RukaValley, Bistrotie 2, . New hotel in Ruka Valley area i.e. east side of the fell. Rooms and apartments for 1-6 persons. Grocery store and restaurant. Trip from the valley to pedestrian village takes 6 minutes by Village-2-Valley gondola lift.
    • 9 Ski-Inn MastonAitio Cabins, Rinnekyläntie 3, +358 8 860-0300. Cabins are great for active families. Kids ski area and a rope tow lift is located near the cabins. For example winter weeks from €565.
  • 10 Ruka Ski Chalets, Rukatunturintie 12, +358 20-787-0451, . Large apartment hotel in the pedestrian village.
  • 11 Hotel Arctic Zone, Rukankyläntie 13, +358 8 860-8600, . Small hotel in the pedestrian village.
  • 12 Boutique Hotel Ruka Peak, Juhannuskalliontie 27A, +358 8 868-4100. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. A boutique hotel on the top of Ruka Fell. Every room has large windows and the views are beautiful. Some rooms have a private jacuzzi.
  • 13 Villa Valtava, Pihlajalammentie 2D, 93830 Rukatunturi (close to Konttainen and Valtavaara hills, 10km from the main resort), +358 40-847-4106, . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. Modern villa with outdoor Jacuzzi, 110m², 3 bedrooms, 8+2 people
  • 14 RukaTonttu, Hiihtostadionintie 1, +358 40-199-1100, . Hotel is next to hiking trails, ski-tracks and slopes. There is direct access to Talvijärvi lake for those who like swimming. Also restaurant, sauna, equipment rental and programme services. Apartments available also in the village and at lake Vuosseli 5 km from the slopes but close to skiing and snowmobiling tracks. €68–150.
  • 15 Hotel Royal Ruka, Mestantie 1, +358 400-819-840, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. This is the luxury five-star hotel in Ruka area. You can also arrange conferences in the hotel (max. 65 persons). €125–190/night.
  • 16 Rukan Salonki, Kemijärventie 235, +358 40-534-9183. High quality chalets by lake Salonkijärvi, 2 km from Ruka.
  • 17 Matkailumaja Heikkala, Talvijärventie 10, +358 40-554-4892. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. 14 cottages and 7 rooms next to the lake Talvijärvi. Kids can walk straight to the slopes of Ruka. from €35 to €180 per night.
  • 18 Rukajärven Lomamajat, Rukajärventie 60, +358 8 868-1170. Different sizes cottages and three villas by the Lake Vuosseljärvi about 4 kilometres from Ruka. from €95 to 250.

Stay safe[edit]

  • 3 Bene Finlandia Ruka, Shopping centre Kumpare, +358 40 707 7123. Private health care company at Ruka has 24/7 emergency unit with on-the-spot X-ray ability. Also general medical service and basic laboratory tests. Check your insurance!

Connect[edit]

Postal code: 93830 Rukatunturi or 93825 Rukatunturi, the latter a special code used by most businesses in the village.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Ruka is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.