Summer in Levi, Finnish Lapland

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.

Finnair flight from Helsinki to Kittilä
Finnair flight from Helsinki to Kittilä

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.

Kittilä airport, Lapland
Kittilä airport

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.

KIttila airport, Lapland
Reindeer decorations in the airport

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.

Accommodation:

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.

Hotel Levi Panorama, Lapland, Finland
There are often reindeer to be seen around the Hotel Levi Panorama on the fell side

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.

Sky Suite, Hotel Levi Panorama, Levi
Sky Suite, Hotel Levi Panorama, Levi

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.

Igloo Room, Sky Suite, Hotel Levi Panorama, Levi, Lapland
The Igloo Room formed part of the stunning sky suite

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.

Activities:

Levi Golf: Enjoy a round of golf on Finland’s most northerly 18 hole golf course which is open for four months each year.

Levi Golf, Finland
The stunning setting of the Levi Golf course

The course is situated in the beautiful natural beauty between Levi Fell, the Ounasjoki river and the Taalojärvi lake.

Levi Golf, Lapland
Taking a lesson on the driving range

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.

The scenic Levi Golf course, Levi, Lapland
Scenic views from the Levi Golf Course

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’.

Driving a golf buggy at Levi Golf, Lapland
Taking a tour around the course at Levi Golf, Lapland

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.

Levi Gondola station
Levi Gondola station
Levi Gondola cabins
Levi Gondola cabins

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.

Stunning views from the Levi Gondola, Lapland
Stunning views from the Levi Gondola

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

Levi Bike Park
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.

Sign to Santa's Cabin, Levi
Santa’s Cabin, Levi
View from Santa's Cabin, Levi
View from the terrace of Santa’s Cabin, Levi

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.

Hiking the Peak Trail on Levi Fell, Finland
Hiking the Peak Trail boardwalk on Levi 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.

Reindeer roaming on the Levi fell tops
Reindeer roaming freely on the fell tops

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.

Levi Express Gondola station
Levi Express Gondola Station

Samiland Exhibition: located next to the hotel and forming part of the UNESCO Observatory Cultural Village programme.

Samiland Exhibition, Levi
Indoor exhibits at Samiland, Levi

The indoor galleries explore the Sami people’s thousands of years of history, culture, occupations and mythology.

Samiland, Levi outdoor exhibition
One of the recreated homes on the Samiland trail

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.

Summer Sled, Levi
Summer Sled, Levi

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.

Summer Sled, Levi, Finland
Summer Sled, Levi

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.

Midnight Sun Experience Cruise, Levi
Midnight Sun Experience Cruise, Levi

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.

Levi Midnight Sun Cruise boat trip
Midnight Sun Cruise boat trip

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

Midnight Sun Boat Cruise, Levi
Swimming platform and barbecue on board the 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.

Levi Husky Park
Levi Husky Park

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.

Levi Husky Park, Lapland
Levi Husky Park, Lapland

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.

Meeting the arctic foxes at Levi Husky Park
Meeting the arctic foxes at Levi Husky Park

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

Levi Husky Park Cafe Cabin
The wooden cabin where we had coffee and gingerbread

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.

Immeljärvi lake, Levi, Lapland (Saunabaari)
The idyllic beach at Immeljärvi lake, Lapland (Saunabaari)

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.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Saunabaari, Levi
Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Saunabaari, Levi

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

Idyllic views from Saunabaari across the Immeljärvi lake, Levi, Finland
Idyllic views from Saunabaari across the Immeljärvi lake, Levi

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.

The picturesque Levi village centre, Lapland, Finland
The picturesque village centre

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.

Reindeer relaxing outside the Hotel Levi Panorama Hotel, Levi
Reindeer resting outside the hotel

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.

Levi midnight sun lasts for 45 days each year in Finnish Lapland
Still sunny at midnight outside the hotel in Levi
Temperature at midnight in Levi, Lapland in late June
Temperature at midnight in Levi, Lapland in late June

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.

Midnight sun in Levi, FInland
Midnight sun in Levi, FInland

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:

Helsinki – A guide to the perfect weekend break

Helsinki – Free things to see and do

 

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Summer in Levi, Lapland

 

61 thoughts on “Summer in Levi, Finnish Lapland

  1. Absolutely love the igloo room and the reindeer rule for the golf course. This is a fantastic post, and I will come back to it when I travel there. Went to Finland a few years back, but only had a few days as we were passing through. Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for taking an interest in this puts Suzanne and for your kind words. I do hope you have an opportunity to return to Finland before too long and to visit Lapland as I’m sure you will like it just as much as me.

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  2. I have experienced the white nights when it doesn’t get dark in St Petersburg, Iceland and Canada of course, but I have yet to actually see the midnight sun. I think I would like it as I always feel that the day ends too early. Thank you for this refreshing trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve only ever seen pictures of Lapland in the winter when the landscape is covered in snow. I had no idea that it was equally as beautiful in the summer. Congrats on being asked to become one of the Lapland Midnight Sun Ambassadors!! How fun to see so many reindeer. Sounds like there’s a nice range of activities throughout the day (and evening).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely gorgeous and what an incredible opportunity to be sponsored to go to Lapland! I’ve only ever been to Helsinki in Finland, but it’d be the dream to venture up north to check out more of the country’s beauty. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures there!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is really fun to see how much you travel. I haven’t been outside Canada since December 2019. We stay in BC and explore new areas but in 2023 I am planning on going to walk the Camino Porto-Santiago-Finisterre ( we had to postpone because the pandemic. This year we were not ready to fly anywhere).

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  5. WOW- fantastic post Marion! I loved seeing all the the summertime has to offer here in Lapland. Incredible scenery, animal encounters, and a unique look at culture and history all rolled into one amazing experience. Putting this on my list of places to see 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Awesome post and destination Marion. So much to see and do that is vastly different from other places. I would be worried about trying to get some sleep in the Igloo Room. I spent time in Yellowknife at 62.5 degrees longitude on the longest day of the year and found the midnight sun just about as bright as that at Noon. Sleeping without blackout curtains was challenging. It is a bit troubling to have the Northern areas so warm, due to the thawing of the tundra. This year, our North has been warmer at times than we are. Thanks for sharing Marion. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly Hannah, Lapland is beautiful all year round but absolutely gorgeous in midsummer with the non stop sunlight. Whizzing down the summer sled track was fun and the midnight sun boat cruise so relaxing. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ThingsHelenLoves

    What a place, I read the whole post with a smile on my face. There’s so much to love here. I think the foxes and huskies would have me a bit emotional! Also hats off to Hotel Levi Panorama for the rooms that sleep up to six. We travel as a couple, or up to a family of six if all the kids are around and getting rooms- especially premium rooms- that allow us to stay together can be a challenge!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sure you would love a visit to Levi Helen. I just loved everything about the trip. It was a magical experience and I felt really energised with 24/7 daylight. The air felt so fresh; it’s uncrowded, unpolluted, scenic plus a super range of activities.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Nightless nights where the sun never sets” … it almost sounds unreal! Lovely hotel – that Igloo room is stunning. And I’m so happy you showed me now where Santa is (really) living 😊 … he has quite a view from his terrace! Great to see the reindeers roaming freely and the summer sled looks like a lot of fun! And a midnight sun cruise, visiting foxes, wolves and huskies – wow, it really sounded like you were in Wonderland!
    Oh, and Marion … you do look quite professional with that golf club in your hands 😉.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words and interest in this post on my visit to Levi. Lapland is a truly wondrous place with its nightless nights and stunning scenery and whizzing down the summer sled was a fun experience. I’m not sure I’ll make the golf progression from pitch and putt though but it was fun trying Corna.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. This certainly was an inspiring post. We have a waterpark near here where we often took the grandchildren when they were younger. The park also had one of those sleds and it was my favourite thing to do. The park was safe enough to let the kids roam while nonna kept zipping up the gondola and down the sled long after they’d lost interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amazing Marion. I did not think th a that Lapland would get warm at all. Loved your interesting post and I think Lapland will be added to my list. Your hotel looks fantastic such a treat

    Liked by 3 people

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