Story of Levi – how to turn downsides to advantages?

In November 2021 we joined a wonderful open doors -event at Levi and had a chance to shortly visit different service providers and hear some history about Levi by our amazing tour guide. True or not, this story is worth to tell.

Long time back people in Kittilä (municipal where Levi is located) were thinking the downsides of their home: it’s remote, it’s cold and there’s nothing to do. Then they started to turn these three big downsides to their advantage.

It’s remote

When Kittilä airport was opened in the beginning of 1980s, you can imagine that people in Finland thought they’ve gone crazy. Little did they know that time that Kittilä airport was serving over 360 000 customers in year 2019 before Covid and surely is one of the main factors of attracting people to Levi. It is only 1 hour flight from Helsinki airport but besides that several charter and direct international flights land regularly during the season.

Kittilä airport is nice and cozy with rocking chairs, log chairs and ’fireplace’. You can even do some last minute shopping in there. The airport is small, but please bear in mind that it can get busy if there are several flights at the same time. It is always a safe bet to book your taxi in advance or why not a limousine to start your vacation with style. VIP One is a good ride to VIP-rakka 4A 😎 From our cabin, it is only a 20-minutes ride to the airport.

It’s cold

Yes, it’s cold. For example between the years 1991-2020 the average temperature in January has been -12,1 Celsius. But cold means also snow. Whereas in Southern Finland we can’t be sure anymore will we have a white Christmas or not, in Levi you can be sure to have winter wonderland. Between the years 1991-2020 the most typical time for first snow is as early as 9th of October and the latest between these years has been in 1987 when the snow came 1st of November. This means that when rest of the Finland is dark and wet, Levi is descending already to white luxury. In Kittilä, it’s not only a bit on the surface but plenty. Actually in 2022 April, we hit the new record of 132 cm of snow, whereas usually it is 97 cm. So this means that the skiing season is actually all the way from the middle of October until the very beginning of May. If you are not huge fan of extremely cold season, head to Levi in March or April.

There’s nothing to do

The airport probably was the big thing making it possible for tourists to reach this wonderful destination in Finnish Lapland. ”Nothing to do” has turned to a ”Finnish Las Vegas”. You name it, we got it. Levi is one of the very few places worldwide where you can be in the middle of nowhere during the day but come back in the evening to have a dinner in a fancy restaurant. Obviously the traditional things such as husky rides, snow mobiles, reindeer safaris, northern light safaris, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice swimming, skating and so on can be found in Levi. But besides these you can spend your day in spa, go bowling, gym, yoga – again, what you can imagine, it most likely exists in Levi. Here is our personal top 3 places to visit:

Levi Husky Park

We’ve visited now twice this wonderful park. In the park you can have a tour and learn and see different animals, not only huskies or reindeers but wolves and arctic foxes too. If you are lucky, you might get to feed a fox. The owner is a wonderful story teller and has plenty of stories to share about movies that he has trained the animals to.

Elves Village

Rovaniemi is not the only place you can visit Santa Claus. Actually in our opinion (that might be slightly biased) Elves Village is even better. The partly outdoor and partly indoor activity park has plenty to do and explore. It is less artificial and it has a bit more Christmas spirit.

Loihtua

If you are looking for some magical experiences, we can warmly recommend Loihtua. Personally I have been there now twice and both times were full of emotions. Even just entering the hut, brings tears – whether they’ll be for joy or sadness – to your eyes. Loihtua organizes a variety of events, also for small groups. We had a small gathering with my best friends over the years and we wished to celebrate our long-lasting (20 years now!) friendships with Queen of the North. We decorated some branches, made a journey to our inner selves by listening drums and finally burnt out branches back at the cabin. May the Lappish force be with us.

So these three downsides of Kittilä – remote, cold and nothing to do – were turned to advantages over the years. Now Kittilä is one of the very few municipals in Finland where there is all the time more people moving in than out.

Do we have plans to move there permanently? Well, you never know what life brings. Meanwhile we will enjoy our cabin every time we have a possibility and let you enjoy it too!

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