Ylläs is the number one!
Arriving to the northern tracts for the first time, one can not help but be bewildered by the solemn beauty of the Ylläs fell chain in the north-western stretches of Kolari municipality. Shaped by ice-masses that where covering the entire land during the last ice age, these fell-mountains or ’tunturis’ have been attracting travelers since the 1930ies, when horse-pulled sledges where still the only means of transport to the – then remote – settlements at the foothills: Ylläsjärvi and Äkäslompolo.
Today, in the year 2007 and well eighty years after the first hesitant attempts of tourism in the region, Ylläs is the number one. A recent survey ranks the skiing resort as the best destination amongst various Finnish winter-sport locations. There is, of course, the plain facts: On Ylläs you may find the longest continuous downhill skiing slope in the entire country. A brand-new and spectacular landscape road between the two villages shortens the time to get around Ylläs to ten minutes. Within just a few years, the number of hotel – or cottage – beds around the fells has risen to about 18.000, providing everything from a top-notch hotel suite to cozy log house quarters. But then, there is the felt facts: That development, despite overwhelming growth rates and international acclaim, has been driven with care and humbleness, respecting the natural environment and preserving a living structure beyond one central village for tourism. Using resources right and fair.
Or how says the slogan of the Ylläs traveling agency:
"Ylläs. Fell mountains, not fabricated anymore. Since 1936"