Thanks to its mountain biking trails, Ylläs has won this year’s Outdoor Destination of the Year award. Over 7300 people took part in a public vote to select the winner, announced in Helsinki on Friday 15 March. Ylläs won the main prize of 5000 euros, which will go towards the ongoing development of its outdoor facilities.
Mountain bike trail networks were the theme of this year’s competition. The judges had to select a trail network consisting of forest tracks, outdoor trails and gravel roads where cycling is permitted. The network should also provide versatile facilities for cyclists, such as rest areas, biker-friendly accomodation and preferably rental and guiding facilities as well.
Janne-Juhani Haarma, CEO at Visit Ylläs, is delighted by the award.
“This is really great news, as we have concentrated on developing mountain biking for several years now. Our intention has been to develop all year round cycling and trails suitable for everyone, both experts and beginners alike,” he explains.
In all, Ylläs has 200 km of mountain biking routes and 100 km of maintained winter biking trails. The Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park and the seven Ylläs fells offer varied terrain for riders of all abilities. Starting in June 2017, mountain biking in the national park is now permitted along marked summer trails. Ylläs also includes a downhill mountain biking area called Bike Park, where the gondola lift is open for cyclists from late June to the end of September.
Mountain bikes, oversize-tyre fatbikes and E-bikes can all be rented locally. Guided mountain bike excursions are also available.
According to CEO Haarma, Ylläs now intends to upgrade the trail signs and boost its marketing.
“We have some incredible mountain bike trails that are the equal of any of our international competitors.”
The Outdoor Destination of the Year competition was organised this year for the 15th time. Its aim is to promote outdoor resorts and help their visitors discover new trail routes and facilities. The general public chose the winner in an Internet vote from ten finalists selected by a panel of experts. Ylläs received about 15% of all the votes cast.