Located in the Lapland municipality of Kittilä, Levi Resort is one of Finland’s most famous winter destinations and its largest ski resort. In recent decades Levi has also become a popular all year round destination, with a wide range of activities and adventures available for those visiting out of season. Of course, in Finnish Lapland locals notice not four but eight different seasons, which can be described as Polar Night, real Winter, season of crusted snow, Spring Thaw, Midnight sun, Harvest time, autumn colours, and First Snow. This region is renowned for its pristine, natural beauty, where visitors can experience the vastness of the surrounding arctic wilderness, while breathing the purest air in the world. This is particularly true while exploring nearby Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, which covers an area of 1,020 sq km, and boasts a total of 500 kilometres of marked summer trails in the area that are ideal for short day trips and long hikes, with many trails also suitable for mountain biking.
Summer in Lapland is a spectacular time of the year, where above the Arctic Circle the sun does not set at all from end of May to mid July. The colours of the landscape change as nature reemerges from under its winter blanket of snow, and the fells bathe in the light of the Midnight Sun. The most noticeable difference is the change in the nature of the light, with the sun taking on a reddish-orange colour, much like a warm sunset, and the landscape is bathed in a gentle, warm light.
With the Nightless Night under the midnight sun being almost as bright as the day, visitors can do all the same things regardless of the time of day, and there are many great activities to choose from. Levi Resort is based at Levi Fell, and where ski slopes dominate in winter, summer opens up the hiking and biking trails that both circumnavigate it and cross over it. A hike to the summit late in the evening is rewarded with sumptuous views over the open wilderness, with falling dew prompting fresh aromas from nature. Likewise hiking up Kätkätunturi fell, which is also close by. For those looking for the perfect Instagram shot, Santa’s Cabin is Levi’s most iconic photo spot, since it first was seen in the movie “Christmas Story”, and it can be easily reached by taking the gondola and descending to the Ice Age trail from the top of Levi or by walking up from the gondola lift station.
Bordered to the east by the Ounasjoki river, and to the north and west with other rivers and lakes, summer in Levi is perfect for canoe, kayak, and SUP-boarding trips. The Ounasjoki river is wide here, with a moderate current that is easy to manage, at one point making a tight loop which reveals an isolated paradise – a sandy beach is an ideal spot to take a break. Levi Resort is also close to the Levi Golf and Country Club, the most northerly golf course in Finland. This 18-hole golf course in Levi is set in a place of exceptional natural beauty by a glimmering lake at the foot of surrounding fells, where the midnight sun allows guests to play right through the wee hours.
Levi offers many options for mountain bike enthusiasts in summer, with trails in the forest along Levi fell, and others to the top where they can test their skills and courage downhilling at the Levi Bike Park. There are a number of trails of varying difficulty, all with wide, easy berms as well as narrow tracks for more technical driving. Levi Activity Park is the largest activity park in Northern Europe, and is packed with lots of children’s activities, and fun for the entire family.
Local Culture in Levi
In the Levi region you can dive into the rich Lappish culture and Lapland mysticism. For those who would like to learn more about the indigenous Sámi people, the Samiland indoor and outdoor exhibition at Koutalaki on Levi Summit explores the Sámi’s thousands of years of history, culture, and mythology.
South of Levi Resort on the banks of Ounasjoki near Kittilä village, the Särestöniemi Museum celebrates the work of the artist, professor Reidar Särestöniemi (1925–1981), one of the most famous Finnish artists and the most important Lappish artist of his time. The museum complex includes the estate of the Särestöniemi family – Old Särestö and the impressive log buildings Galleria and Ateljee-koti built by the artist.
HaliPuu is known as the tree-hugging company, bringing visitors experiences of pure and tranquil arctic nature in their private forest, where they can breathe the cleanest air in the world and feel the power of the ancient trees.
The guesthouse Loihtua, invites its guests to become a part of Northern saga sharing the magical experiences of a traditional Lapland courtyard, in the peace of nature and under the northern lights. A magical hut, a blacksmith’s workshop, a yoga hall, a forest restaurant, a sauna on the beach, a sacred site and the peaceful and spacious surroundings provide a setting for a wide variety of groups.
Autumn in Levi
Arguably the most beautiful time of the year, Autumn brings a wash of colour to both the landscapes and skies over Levi. As the nightless nights fade and the days shorten, arctic nature prepares for the winter. Known here as ruska, autumn sees the once green wilderness become a rich palette of yellow, orange, and reds, providing unforgettable moments in nature, whether hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding in the fells and forests, or canoeing and kayaking the rivers and lakes. There are also berry and mushroom picking excursions available, which are another fine way to spend a day in nature. Autumn is also perfect for fishing, too: the numerous rivers and lakes in the area invite you to try your luck in catching some fish.
Autumn sees the return of the Northern Lights to the arctic skies, with the season starting at the end of August and continuing through to April. In Levi, visitors can avail of a wide range of activities and trips to experience this magnificent phenomenon. Choices include aurora hunting expeditions on horseback, in canoes, on a ferry cruise, or simply on a guided trek. Experienced guides can also help clients to get the best out of their cameras, ensuring perfect images that make for lasting memories.