Date: 06/03/2024

How do skiers and non-skiers adventure together in the Nordic countries

Author: Laura
Location: Finland, Norway

Magnetic North Travel founder, Laura, recently travelled to Ruka, Finland with a multi-generational group (kids, parents and grandparents) proving that the Nordic countries offer the perfect place to combine skiing and winter outdoor activities for skiers and non-skiers alike. Here she shares some insights and thoughts on how to curate the perfect trip for a multi generational and interest group.

Quite often folks leave behind family members to pursue a favourite pastime of skiing. But as skiers head north for their downhill fix, there are more reasons to make this an inclusive family adventure for skiers and non-skiers alike - and why not bring the grandparents, aunts and uncles too! My theory when it comes to winter adventures is: the more the merrier. And with so much variety in terms of accommodation type and adventures, there is going to be a perfect fit for your family and friends to enjoy.

Tip 1: Pick the right accommodation

Let's look at accommodation first. If it's a pure skiing break, then of course, our team can recommend a perfect ski-in-out hotel or cabin on the slopes and arrange all the skiing passes, rental and instruction you need. This doesn't work so well for those who crave wilderness, quiet and local walks in nature. If you're hosting a multi generational group, then we think it’s best to avoid the ski in accommodation and spread the net a bit further, even if it's a ten minute drive down the road via car or ski bus.

Ruka Ski Resort in Finland has both options for ski in accommodation and wilderness stays in the local area. If it's the latter, then check out our multi-activity adventure which I tried recently with my family, combining downhill skiing with winter adventures, including husky sledding, ice-fishing, reindeer sledding, biking and snowmobiling (in other words: ALOT). And it worked beautifully for all generations (dad: I'm proud of you for biking to the top of the fell!).

A top tip is to find a chalet with plenty of space for all of you to spread out with enough bedrooms where you might not all need to share. Some of our partners in Norway and Finland offer spacious accommodation, with great facilities and the all-important sauna. You can take the ski bus or for greater flexibility, we can arrange car rental to connect you to the slopes when needed. Some of our accommodation partners have onsite restaurants - perfect if you want to avoid cooking, but perhaps not every day. Being flexible, we can arrange meals on arrival, half board dinners and wonderful wilderness and wild food dinners - perhaps for a special celebration or final night feast.

Tip 2: Identify skiers and non skiers before you go

Let's talk about ski school. If you’re kids have never tried skiing before, one tip is to take the kids to a dry ski slope or an indoor snow dome to see how well they like the idea of skiing. If they have fun and enjoy, then they can join ski school. If they seem to be doing it to please you, or not doing much at all, then they can join the non-skiers on the trip. Simples. Oh and that goes for adults too of course. Once you've worked out who's game for skiing, another top tip, is NOT to arrange ski school any earlier than 10am on day 1 - no no no. With the best will in the world, the ski rental stations get overwhelmed and then you're running behind and it's stressy and sweaty. My new way to go is, first morning, recover, play in the snow and a leisurely afternoon ski rental visit, followed by ski school. It's a game changer. We promise.

Tip 3: Divide and conquer

We packed a huge amount of winter adventures into our recent Finnish ski holiday, making sure that everyone had a chance at their bucket list activities. This meant dividing the group at times (aka having a break from each other may be), and so the long snowmobile trip was perfect for the grandparents, whilst the rest of us visited the husky farm and enjoyed a wondrous sledding adventure on a frozen lake and also a Santa Cottage visit. Absolute perfection. We came together as a group for reindeer sledding, ice fishing and an Arctic Night snow shoe walk.

If you are looking to travel with a select group of your favourite people for winter adventures and skiing, leave it with us to do the work! We'll help identify the best destination and resort, the perfect lodging and the right mix of adventures for all of you.

If you love the sound of our Ruka adventure, click on this link for a sample itinerary which we can tailor to your preferences!

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