Within the Saariselkä area alone, there are 125 miles of well-maintained cross-country skiing tracks, 22 miles of which are lit. This varied network or well-groomed trails in Urho Kekkonen National Park start from right outside your cabin or hotel door, taking you on a winding route from one fell to the other occasionally entering the depths of the forest to ascend the fells again. Widened trails can be found between Saariselkä – Laanila – Kakslauttanen - this three mile route popular with first-timers.
All of the tracks are suitable for both 'classic' and 'free' techniques and, if you don't yet understand what this means, then the ski school will take you out for a lesson - either 90 minutes or 180 minutes. Enough for you to get your bearings on these thin, straight skis. Of course, equipment rental is also not a problem and they also wax and maintain the skis according to the weather.
One of our favourite things about cross-country skiing in Finland are the little trail cafés. But, perhaps that says more about us?! What you must do is take the trail to a nearby hotel for 2pm (until 5pm), for the local dance - monotanssi. This is the weirdest, yet somehow coolest, ski party in the world. Hundreds of cross country skis are lined up outside and the dance floor and balcony are absolutely crowded, as traditional music is played by a live band. Since 1984, Laanihovi has hosted this shindig and... grab your partner because it's the best fun you could possibly have in ski shoes! You can ski across beautiful fell trails to get there or take the shortest on the 'perfume trail' (two miles from Saariselkä).