21.11.2019 – 24.11.2019
Welcome to the real life Winter Wonderland.
Lapland is Finland’s northernmost region, an incredibly sparse populated yet completely breathtaking area of the world bordering Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea. You may know it for Santa’s home, the land of Reindeers, the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun! I was able to visit the Ski town Levi, situated in the beautiful Kittilä – 1.5 hour flight North from Helsinki.
Before we jump into this blog posts, here’s a few facts about Lapland that I learnt whilst I was there:
– In Winter the temperatures can go as little as -50 degrees!
– The number of Reindeer in Lapland roughly equals that of people.
– One of my favourite facts is that Lapland has the cleanest recorded air in the world so take lots of deep breaths when you’re there!
– For 73 days each year, the sun is visible around the clock, this is where you will get to see the Midnight Sun – many people actually go hiking or skiing at this time as there’s not many other places in the world that you would get this opportunity! Visit in June and you will expect 21-24 hours of light a day.
– Lapland makes up roughly one third of Finland’s total area, and it’s a region, not a country.
If you’re thinking or even slightly contemplating visiting Lapland, I really hope this post gives you that extra push. It’s one of my favourite places I’ve visited, offering so much beauty both in the landscape and also the Finnish people. I was lucky enough to experience this magical part of the world by working with FinnAir and Levi Tourism.
Here’s the itinerary of what I got up to the 2 days I was there:
Travel and Arrival day: Thursday 21st November
Departing from London I took two flights to Kitillä. The first was from Heathrow to Helsinki and the second being Helsinki to Kitillä. Both flights were with FinnAir. FinnAir were such a great airline to travel with, the staff were so friendly and they really went out of your way to make you feel special and welcomed on every flight.
Situated a short 20 minute drive from Kitillä airport is the Ski Resort and town of Levi. We checked into our beautiful Ski Chalet Alppilevi B6 – our accommodation for the whole duration of the trip.
As we arrived in the evening, we dropped our luggage and went straight to dinner at Restaurant Ämmilä – a restaurant that bases itself on Grandma’s recipes from the comfort of a Ski orientate Finnish cottage.
DAY ONE: Friday 22nd November
Straight up and into a day of adventure! We started by having a wonderful buffet Breakfast at Sokos Hotel, Levi (a short 10 minute walk from our accommodation). The town of Levi is pretty small yet compact with lots of activities – meaning there’s always something you can do!
Our first activity for the day was visiting Sammun Tupa – a Reindeer Farm and Sleighing centre. It’s family run and first opened in 1982, offer coffees for skiers. It’s one of the countries oldest cross – country cafes and programs providers in the area of Levi. We, of course, were there to visit the Reindeers and have a Reindeer ride through the beautiful Lappish snow covered landscape. Sammun Tupa also has a traditional sauna and a smoke sauna in the farm area, plus a hole in the ice for you to dip in!
After a magical ride with the Reindeers, we headed back to Levi for lunch at Zero Point – perfect place if you want to watch some skiers on the black slopes and also if you fancy hitting the slopes as this is one of the places you can grab your Ski pass and hire! This is exactly what we did after lunch…
This is actually my first time skiing and what a place to do it! I’ve done around 5 indoor slopes beforehand so I knew the basics and felt pretty comfortable. I did, however, stay on the blue slopes at South Point (the other side of the Fell). The time of year we were visiting Lapland (November) meant there was 4 hours of daylight (10am – 2pm). As it was around 4pm that we jumped on the slopes, it did mean it was completely dark but lit up by the slope lights.
After heading back to the Chalet to freshen up, we headed for Dinner at Stefan’s Steakhouse. I’m a Vegetarian so initially I didn’t think it would be the best place to head but there were actually a lot of non-meat dishes that were super delicious! After a few drinks and a tasty meal, we headed to Hullu Poro Areena which is the main nightclub in Levi – it has two levels and a main stage. The night we were there, it was the Levi World Cup so there was a Finnish artist playing along with a DJ set after!
Day Two: Saturday 23rd November
Another wonderful buffet breakfast at Sokos Hotel, we headed to visit Maglelin Experience for a Husky ride and to visit their Husky Farm there! This Husky ride was absolutely mind blowing – one of the best activities I’ve done for sure! It was a 10km ride through the Lappish scenic landscape where the only thing you could see for miles were snow covered pine trees and frozen Lakes. I would highly recommend coming here if you get the opportunity to visit Levi! It’s run by a lovely family who take care of their Husky’s and treat them so well!
We were lucky enough to meet Husky puppies whilst we were there, who were only a few months old!
After a magical morning spent at the farm, we headed for lunch at Gondola Restaurant at Levi Black Slope to watch the Women’s Slalom 2nd round and Award Ceremony. Such an amazing experience getting to see the Women’s Slalom and the speed the super talented skiers come down the slope at!
Another afternoon was spent on the slopes at South Point after picking up our ski equipment and passes at Zero Point.
They have 27 stunning Igloos overlooking a wonderful view of the Lappish Landscape and snow covered pines. It’s family run and that’s the feel you get when you walk around the site and restaurant, everyone is so super friendly and always has the time to stop and chat. The restaurant is called Aurora sky because, yep you’ve guessed it, it’s one of the places you are able to see the Northern Lights whilst dining at the restaurant, staying in the Igloos or just sipping some drinks in the upstairs lounge area (they even have extendable chairs where you can lean back and look fully up through the Igloo glass roof! The menu at Auoroa Sky is based on seasonal ingredients so if you visit at different parts of the year, you can expect a different meal!
Day Three: Sunday 24th November
We left early morning as it takes almost 6 hours in total to get back to London!
What a magical adventure in what truly felt like Winter Wonderland. I didn’t really know what to expect before heading to Lapland as I had seen so many images and also heard so much about the area but wow was I blown away, completely and utterly blown away. It has to be one of the most magical places i’ve ever visit and I would head back in a heart beat.
If you are thinking about heading there, I hope i’ve persuaded you to book your trip. I promise it won’t disappoint!
Until next time, Lapland.