The picturesque banks of the Tornionjoki River, the granite rock of Aavasaksa and the hilly terrain at one time led the inhabitants of the commune of Ylitornio to the idea of creating a ski resort. The rock, as a natural object, is part of the Struve arc, which in turn is included with the list of sites protected by UNESCO. Lack of industrial production and the problem with unemployment have made tourism the main sector of the region’s economy. There is not a single Lapland family that does not have their own hotels. These are cottages, villas and chalets converted into living houses.
In addition to mountain and cross-country skiing, there will be a canine and reindeer sledding ride. It is a traditional form of entertainment of the northern peoples. The municipality is located on the border of Finland and Sweden, as well as the border of the Arctic Circle. The holiday season starts in November and ends in April. But in the summer there is something to do. Hiking, white nights, kayaking, fishing and other activities include summer hotels.
The city has its own celebrities, famous all over the country and the world. Sisters Katja and Virpi Kätkä were born here, who in 1992 created the popular pop duo “CatCat”. At the local studio they recorded their debut single and album, and in 1994 they presented Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest. The performance was extremely unsuccessful. A year later the band disbanded, but in 2000 it reunited again. The sisters are touring the country and abroad. Sometimes they come to their homeland, in Ylitornio.
In 1981, sami Yauhoyarvi, the future world championship medalist and Olympic champion in the team competition (2014), was born here. In 2015, he was named Athlete of the Year. He still participates in cross-country skiing, representing Finland in international competitions.
The commune gave the writer and playwright Rosa Leakes (1958) to the country and the world. Even in her youth she left her family and went in search of plots for her works. She lived in different communes and squats, but often visited her reindeer parents in Julithornio.
There are no theatres, museums or historic sites in the city. There is amazing nature and real Lapland hospitality. The nearest airports are in Rovaniemi and Kemi Tornio. There is a railway station and a high-speed highway connecting Tornio and the north-western part of Finland.
Aavasaksa is located 10 km from Ylitornio. You can stay both in the commune and in the resort. Hotels offer rooms of different price categories.
The hotel complex is located in the resort area of Aavasax and consists of 14 cottages and a separate building, which houses budget rooms. Guests are engaged in the organization of food on their own. There is a kitchenette and a restaurant/bar in the village. The nearest lift is 200 metres away.
It is easy to get to the cross-country tracks, which are 40 km long. Of these, 11 km were illuminated. There is a rental service for ski equipment and snowboards. Here you can provide ski equipment to the whole family, including children from 4 years old. For independent trips to the Swedish border and back you can take a snowmobile. Small covered parking lots are organized on all routes. They can wait out the snowfall or stop for ice fishing. In summer, parking lots are used for hiking on the Aavasaksa rock to observe the Midnight Sun.
«We like this place, because it’s nice house with sauna and kitchen. We have big sofa and three beds. Near was the sliiding hill, children liked it very much. It is quiete place. The house is warm and comfy” (We like this place because it’s a nice house with a sauna and kitchen.
The chalet complex is located in the Aavasaksa ski resort. Guesthouses are hugely popular during weekends, especially at Christmas. The interior is decorated in a pleasant Scandinavian style. There is nothing superfluous and pretentious. Each cabin has a terrace, a barbecue area. The slope lift is 200 metres from the complex. There is no parking, so you will have to check in the owners where you can put the car. The staff speaks Finnish and English. Russian tourists have not yet arrived here, but European travelers chalet are in high demand.
«Everything was perfect. We had a comfy, simple cottage and could even rent some equipment for free. The personell was very friendly, even driving us to our train station. And beautiful scenery around the hotel” (Everything was fine.
The hotel is located on the Swedish side of the Tornionjoki River in Everthorgio. The three-storey knowledge with budget-category rooms welcomes guests all year round. Continental breakfast is available in the morning, and then guests are left to their own. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants in the area, so there will be no problems with food. The Aavasaksa ski resort is 8.5 km away.
“Easy check-in, comfortable beds, nets on the window from mosquitoes. Good public area, Central and close to the river for a walk” Samuel, Switzerland
Another guest budget complex in Evertrnio. The two-storey building is surrounded by its own garden, there is a cozy terrace for guests to relax. Parking is free. Guests are housed in a two-bedroom apartment. There is a dining area in the rooms. The staff speaks English. The restaurant and supermarket are within walking distance. The nearest lift to the slope is 7.5 km.
«The couple Paul and Maria were really charming and helpful people, they even entertained our kids. I’m quite impressed they want to offer holiday opportunities for people who need special arrangements for example because of a disability or accessibility needs” (Couple Paul and Maria are really very charming and helpful people, they even entertained our children.
The modern Scandinavian-style hotel is located in the Swedish city of Evertorio. Guests are accommodated in standard and deluxe rooms. There is a restaurant on site. The hotel is the newest – opened at the end of February 2020. Prices are affordable. The Aavasaksa ski resort is 8 km away. The service is often criticized by tourists, but mainly it concerns the organization of breakfast. The rest of the claims are not made.
«Vi var helt ensamma på hela hotellet. Vi hade kontakt med Personal via sms” (We lived in the hotel completely alone. Contact with the staff was carried out via text) Malin, Sweden
The comfortable villa is located on the outskirts of the village of Kuivakangas. Nearby is a river where you can go fishing. The caring owner always keeps the boat ready in the summer, and the ice pick in winter. The house has only one bedroom, so it usually comes in entirely. There is a sauna, a barbecue area and other recreational areas. Owners arrange transfers from the airport for an additional fee. Lingerie and towels are also not included in the cost of accommodation.
«Cute little sauna inside the cottage and another sauna in the river that you can use, fireplace, everything you need, kind people willing to help you and show you around, beautiful surroundings, I saw the aurora!!!» (A nice little sauna inside the cottage and another sauna on the river bank, which you can use, a fireplace, everything you need, kind people, ready to help you and show beautiful surroundings, I saw the aurora!!!) Orianna, Colombia
In the heart of Ylitornio is a comfortable Kievari hotel. Breakfast is available in the hotel’s restaurant. You can buy coupons for lunch. The cost of one is 9.90 euros. Lunches are only served on weekdays. In addition to traditional activities such as cross-country and alpine skiing (10 km to the ski resort), snow safari and fishing, there is an endless disco and karaoke club.
“Very comfortable (new) beds and linen, slept like a king. A great breakfast with a wide range of dishes. Wi-Fi worked well. A cute little bar with a big wine list. Very friendly, helpful and attentive staff! All in all, a really nice surprise. We highly recommend and we will definitely be back!”
The holiday houses are located in Ylitornio. Mini hotels are fully equipped with modern equipment and are close to paved hiking routes and treadmills. You can fish on the lake, and caught fish to cook at a barbecue.
“Great location, and the cabin has everything we need for a short stay on our way up north” (Great location for travelers further north.
The hotel’s single-storey buildings with panoramic windows are a 6-minute drive from Ylitornio. There is a great restaurant with entertainment programs in the evenings, walking trails, illuminated running trails, a golf course.
«Excellent customer service, they made me feel very welcome and fulfilled my wishes despite the difficult times. Tidy and modern, newly refurbished appartment with all the amenities. Good food!» (Great customer service, they made me feel very welcome and fulfilled my wishes despite hard times. Anne, Finland
Next to the Karemajat Panorama hotel is a hotel village with original cottages. Guests are offered excellent living conditions in the natural area, they all have access to the services and entertainment of the nearby hotel. The ski resort is 10 miles away.
“All cottages are built on a hill. It overlooks the river and the valley. The house is very cozy, light and warm. There’s a big drying cupboard. In the morning, the administration allowed us to ride for free on vat and ice. There is one slide on the territory, which immediately merges into the cross-country ski track. This is very convenient for skiers living in cottages. We rested and hanged ourselves from the heart!”
In order to choose a place to stay, you need to consider all the hotels. Amenities are the same everywhere, prices are roughly equal. The choice will depend on the location and planned rest. Wildlife lovers will like cottages such as Karemajat Cottage Resort. For those who are used to urban living conditions, you can consider Hotel Kievari or Tornedalens B’B.