Winterspa in Koli – From a landscape to Marvel & Icelandic horses in the snow
NOh, three days in Vuokatti was it for us in Finland, some 160 kilometres to the Southeast in the Koli national Park. There is a Dinner with salmon by the open fire in a traditional Finnish tepee, and a beautiful completion of the Spa with panoramic views of the snow-covered slopes, waiting in addition to even more snow, a lovely winter adventure horses on the back of the cozy island.
The Koli is a 347 metres high mountain in the Finnish Region of North Karelia is the fifth-largest lake in the country: the lake Pielinen. The view from the summit on the surrounding lakes is regarded as a national Symbol in Finland, which attracts over centuries, many photographers, artists and nature lovers face. Kolis hills and lakes all year round, a beautiful backdrop for many activities. We were able to test a few of them yourself. North Karelia is in fact one of the most sparsely populated areas of Finland. Anyone looking for solitude and tranquility, you will find here for sure.
#1 | skiing & snowboarding in Koli
In the Ukko-Koli ski area 6.8 km of ski slopes and three ski lifts take guests. The longest slope is around 1.5 km long. Our Hotel was at the top of the summit and we had to take the Lift down to our Ski - and Snowboard-to pick up Equipment. Who has it, can direct the nozzles from the Hotel to the slopes.
The ski area is located at an altitude of 100 to 330 m and is slightly smaller than the one in Vuokatti making it with the dream landscape of betting loose again. During the descent, the frozen lakes, the landscape is a to feet, in combination with a panoramic view that brought me truly Amazed. It was like a painting. What fascinated me in this mountain also, especially, was the ride with the 2-seater chair. Around me everything was snowed in. The twigs and branches of the fir trees bow fairy tale, the snow masses to the bottom and formed fascinating figures – a real winter.
#2 | On Icelandic horses in the snow to go for a ride
A very special winter adventure waited on the penultimate day: A horseback ride on Icelandic horses in Paimentupa. When I was awakened by that childhood memory, because I actually spent 15 years of my life on the backs of horses. I'm just happy every Time huge, if I may again sit on a horse's back. And this time, even in the most beautiful landscape of Snow.
The Icelandic horses were waiting in the stable for us. My companion was 19 years old and was called Faxi. We got our riding clothes, a helmet and a leather pants, we went on our polar suit, and initially remained on the ranch, where we shot with our Guide a couple of laps. Until a short time before, was not sure if we can ever ride. A small snow storm made us almost have a stroke by the bill. After about 20 minutes, it was time for us to finally get out in the woods. About two hours we rode through the beautiful landscape, and partly on forest roads, some across country by 80 cm deep snow.
Icelandic horses are considered to be particularly robust. They are also in the cold outside all the time, not just come in, the barn is freezing, and you also have nothing at all to trudge through the deep snow. The owner of the Farm, our Guide, incidentally, is German and has lived for almost 30 years, in Finland – where he has fulfilled his dream with the Icelandic horses, which have actually been born, almost all of the in Iceland.
#3 | Dinner of the extra class – salmon by the open fire in a Finnish teepee
On the last evening we were invited by Koliactiv Oy a very special dinner. There was salmon from the open fire in a small “Kota”, is a wood-heated tepee in Finnish style. The so-called Flammlachs is a popular, delicious and rustic preparation of salmon in Finland. We sat in a circle around the open fire, on a fur-wooden benches placed in the polar suit, in the me, despite the fire to warm. As a Starter, there was a traditional Butter-and-Egg Pie and bread. As the main course of the Flammlachs was served with potatoes and a salad of wild mushrooms, followed by a blueberry muffin as a dessert.
Anyone who is looking for a traditional Finnish Dinner in a romantic setting, this is definitely the right choice. The provider has also some other great activities in the program.
#4 | Relax in the Koli Relax Spa
The end of our Finland trip could not have been better: an evening just for us in the Koli Relax Spa. We had him all to ourselves, because the Spa closes daily at 20 – we were allowed in anyway and complete solitude to enjoy. The area on the upper floor of the hotel consists of two Outdoor hot tubs with fantastic views of the ski slopes and the frozen Piniensee, various saunas and Indoor Pools. That was just the thing we needed after four days of adventure in the snow.
Address: Break Sokos Hotel Koli Ylä-Kolintie 39 83960 Koli (Ticket 39 Euro)
Our Accommodation: Break Sokos Hotel Koli
The Break Sokos Hotel Koli is located in the picturesque Koli national Park, close to the summit. The view from the Hotel on the landscape is stunningly beautiful, but otherwise the Hotel is recommended really. The rooms are bright and nicely equipped. In the Restaurant in the morning is served a rich Breakfast buffet and in the evening, an À-la-carte menu. A real Highlight is the Hotel Spa in the upper floor with a roof terrace and panoramic views. Who has the ski equipment, you can equal to driving from the Hotel to the slopes – the 2-chair lift brings guests from the Hotel down into the valley or to ski.
Restaurant-tips for Koli
- Grill it!
The Grill it! a traditional, Scandinavian steak is the restaurant at the summit of the Koli. It not only convinces with a beautiful view, but with delicious dishes, where local ingredients and a charcoal grill up a delicious spicy touch. In the evening we had the pleasure of À-la-carte menus, and in the morning we were able to strengthen ourselves with a hearty Breakfast buffet.
Address: Ylä-kolintie 39, 83960 Koli
- Kolin Ryynänen
This quaint, small and cozy Gastropub Kolin Ryynänen is situated in the midst of Koli. In addition to all sorts of delicious dishes – we Fish & Chips “had” to lunch – it's also an incredibly wide selection of different Beers.
Address: Ylä-Kolintie 1, 83960 Koli
- Koli Activ Outdoor Dinner
My culinary Highlight in Koli: Flammlachs from an open fire in a typical Finnish Tipi with Koli Activ.
Address: Koli Activ, Rantatie 12, 83960 Koli
How are you going to Koli?
We flew via Helsinki to Kajaani, because we were the first days in Vuokatti. Then it was time for us to Koli (journey time two hours). From the airport in Kajaani, according to Koli, but the order of 200 km. If you only want to Koli, you should better fly to Joensuu, from where there are two Times a day a Shuttle bus to Koli. There are also private Taxis for around 130 euros each way (maximum 4 persons).
Info & Facts
- Koli is famous for the beautiful and breathtaking landscape and the Koli national Park.
- In Koli, there are two ski resorts, Ukko-Koli and Loma-Koli, with a total of 12 slopes and around 130 possible ski days per year.
- We were only in the Ukko-Koli ski resort. The longest slope is 1,500 km long.
- Snowboarding, skiing, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, Snowmobiling (on a total of 1,800 km-long routes), fishing, horse riding, traditional Sauna and ice swimming and much more – the number of possibilities is large. A selection of winter activities, click here.
- Finland is EU. For entry, a staff sufficient identification and it can be paid for with the Euro.