Ruka is one of Finland’s major ski resorts and is buzzing during winter, when prices are at their highest. It’s a great base for outdoors activities year-round though. In summer, it makes a useful base for hiking the Karhunkierros, and there’s enough going on that it doesn’t feel too spooky. You can nab some excellent accommodation deals at this time too.
The Ruka turn-off is 26km north of Kuusamo. Two kilometres down this road, you can turn right to the small centre of Itä-Ruka (another 3km), or continue up the hill to the pedestrianised main centre of the resort, where most facilities are.