Lapland is well known as a winter destination and famed for its ski tracks, viewing the Northern Lights and of course for the magical experience of visiting Father Christmas in his snowy cabin. However, did you know that Levi is an absolutely beautiful place to visit during the summertime when the sun never sets and the temperature is often warmer than the south of France.
I was recently invited to become one of the Lapland Midnight Sun Ambassadors 2022 and have just returned from the trip of a lifetime spending time high above the Arctic circle basking in temperatures of +30 degrees. The midnight sun shines above the arctic circle from May to August creating glorious nightless nights when the sun never sets.
Getting to Levi:
I took a flight with Finnair from Manchester to Helsinki from where I connected to a domestic service up to Kittilä airport 170 km (105 miles) north of the Arctic circle.
This journey time was one hour and twenty minutes and from the aircraft window I viewed some of the many pine forests and lakes of beautiful Finland.
If you would prefer to travel by train then you can take the overnight sleeper VR train from Helsinki to Kolari. 68 km (42 miles) from Levi and transfer to the resort from there.
A wide range of accommodation is available in Levi throughout the year from traditional Finnish cabins to luxury hotels. We stayed at the fabulous Hotel Levi Panorama which boasts an idyllic location on the slopes of Levi Fell overlooking the village centre.
The hotel is accessible both by road and by the Levi Express gondola which is located directly outside the door allowing guests to ski in and out during the wintertime.
The hotel features rooms, suites and apartments and I was lucky to stay in one of their luxurious sky suites. On opening the door I was blown away by its stylish Nordic inspired décor and spacious interior. The sky suites can sleep up to six with a combined bedroom / lounge with a king size bed and a double bed settee.
Although this was gorgeous, the connecting glass roofed and walled igloo room was the real showstopper and just perfect for relaxing and viewing the golden hues of the midnight sun from its windows. Hotel Levi Panorama.
Levi Golf: Enjoy a round of golf on Finland’s most northerly 18 hole golf course which is open for four months each year.
The course is situated in the beautiful natural beauty between Levi Fell, the Ounasjoki river and the Taalojärvi lake.
Even if you are not a proficient golfer you can still enjoy a visit as we did by getting some practice on the driving range. We spent an hour under the expert guidance of the club pro learning the basic techniques and I enjoyed it so much that I’d like to try again sometime on a local course back home.
Did you know that the Levi course even has a special rule regarding reindeer which can sometimes be found on the course? The rule is “that if the reindeers are in the way of your intended swing, you may drop the ball without penalty to the nearest point of relief, but not nearer the hole’.
After playing we toured the course in a golf buggy and enjoyed cups of coffee in a scenic spot at the far end. There’s an attractive clubhouse too where lunch is also available to non-members. Levi Golf
Ride the Gondola Lifts The Gondola 2000 lift takes passengers to the top of Levi Fell both summer and winter.
The cabins even have hooks attached to the side of them so that cyclists can transport their bikes to the summit and then follow the trails back down the hill. From the gondola enjoy peaceful, panoramic views over the surrounding area.
Levi Bike Park: Here you can rent mountain and e-fat bikes that are equipped with wide tyres and suited to the rocky terrain. We spotted lots of people enjoying the warm, sunny conditions and enjoying following the marked cycle trails. Levi Bike Park
Santa’s Cabin: Just a short hike from the upper Gondola 2000 station you will find the home of the big man himself. Sadly, he was away taking a well earned holiday when we visited but despite not being able to look inside, we enjoyed some stunning views from the cabin’s terrace. It was built for the film Christmas Story and has since been the subject of other movies.
Hike the Peak Trail: Next to the lift station is the start of a 600m looped boardwalk trail that goes all the way around the top of the fell.
The trail offers some spectacular views and is both wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Along the way are information boards explaining about the nature, geology and the northern lights.
There are also several seating areas to take in the views and an open fireplace for preparing a tasty picnic lunch.
The Levi Express lift upper station is located next to the Hotel Levi Panorama where we were staying. This gondola is shorter than the Gondola 2000 but equally scenic, taking only 2 minutes to complete its journey down to Zero Point in the village centre.
Samiland Exhibition: located next to the hotel and forming part of the UNESCO Observatory Cultural Village programme.
The indoor galleries explore the Sami people’s thousands of years of history, culture, occupations and mythology.
Outside there are a collection of Sami traditional buildings to explore providing more insight into their way of life. It’s definitely worth a visit. Samiland Exhibition
Summer Sled: Another way to get down the mountain from the hotel is to ride the summer sled. There are one and two person sleds and we opted to take single ones.
I watched people set off ahead of me and was pleased to see the attendant giving instructions on operating the sled and then leaving a good length of time between riders.
The course is 800m in length and you can adjust your speed as you wish meaning that if you are a thrill seeker you can whizz down as fast as you dare or alternatively take it steady like me. I really enjoyed the sled ride feeling very safe and secure so much so that if there had been time I would have taken the gondola back to the top for a second go! Summer Sled
Midnight Sun Experience cruise: A relaxing way to spend one of the long, summer evenings is to take a scenic boat trip on the two adjoining lakes of Sirkkajärvi and Levijärvi lakes.
The boat is very comfortable with sofas, tables and chairs. The decks are adorned with flowers and there’s even a sauna on board. We didn’t swim in the crystal clear lake but if you wish to, the captain will stop the boat awhile whilst guests enjoy a refreshing dip.
Coffee and freshly prepared pancakes are offered and these were delicious and irresistible even though we had eaten dinner a little earlier. Midnight Sun Cruise
Visit the local husky farm: Take a drive out to the nearby husky park. Here we were introduced to the gorgeous Siberian huskies, wolves and arctic foxes, some of which are movie stars having appeared in various Hollywood films.
A friendly guide showed us around and explained the ways in which the animals are cared for during their summer holidays and about their autumn training for winter sledding tours.
We were invited into some of the enclosures to feed the animals which was fun to do as the animals were very calm and not jumping all over us.
Afterwards we enjoyed coffee and gingerbread in a cosy cabin which was filled with trophies and other sledding memorabilia. Another must do activity whilst in Lapland. Levi Husky Park
Spend the day at the beach: With summer temperatures around 30 degrees its great to spend some time relaxing at one of the lakeside beaches.
We went to Saunabaari on the shores of the scenic Immeljärvi lake and do you know, it felt even nicer than being on the Mediterranean. We lazed on deckchairs with the warm water lapping at our feet licking ice creams before going for a dip in the lake.
SUP boards can be hired from the cafe bar and with the water so calm it’s the perfect place to experience this activity. Saunabaari
Shopping: Spend some time exploring the shops in Levi village. Here we found a range of good quality sportswear, Finnish design, clothes and gift shops. Its easy to get to especially if you are staying at the Hotel Levi Panorama as it is just down the gondola from there.
Go reindeer spotting: This is very easy to do as we saw them quite often on the fells and even sitting in front of the hotel trying to keep cool in the shade of the building. Some of them were looking a little ragged though as the summer season is when they shed their coats.
Enjoy the Midnight Sun: We felt invigorated with the nightless nights and didn’t seem to get tired as we would if we’d been at home so we were out late each evening basking in the golden glow of the midnight sun.
I do hope this post has inspired you to consider spending a summer holiday in Lapland as it really is beautiful and uncrowded. The air is pure and unpolluted and the streams so clear that we filled our water bottles from them when out hiking. There are lots of lovely places to eat both up on the fells and around the village and I’ll be covering these in a future post.
Mosquitoes can be quite a nuisance during the summertime but don’t let this put you off visiting so come prepared with a good quality repellent. I seem to be a magnet for mosquitoes so always take my Bite Away device (a ceramic heat pen) in my backpack when travelling as it instantly relieves itching and I find it to be extremely effective.
I was invited to Levi as one of the Lapland Midnight Sun Ambassadors 2022 and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.
If you have enjoyed reading this post, you may also like:
If you use Pinterest please consider sharing and pinning the image below: