Laura Marslen

LEVI

Laura Marslen
LEVI

Levi is a ski resort in the Finnish Lapland and is famous for its ski slopes. Levi was home to the Alpine Ski World Cup Competition this year so there is no doubt that its slopes are top notch!

How to Get There: We drove from Rovaniemi ,which took us just under two and a half hours. The closest airport to Levi is Kittilä Airport and there are a number of airlines that fly direct, or at the worst via Helsinki. Have a look on www.skyscanner.com.au to figure out your best route to Levi. Once there, a car will make life much easier, however as Levi is a very popular ski resort area, there are a number of buses and taxi options.We found having a car definitely easier as it meant we could explore the surrounding area on a whim.

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Where to Stay:

Levin Iglut - Golden Crown

When I think of Lapland and the Arctic Circle, I think of igloos, snow and reindeer. We had ticked off two of those so next step was to tick off the igloo. We spent two wonderful nights in a glass igloo at Golden Crown. Each igloo is surprisingly spacious, with the bed placed in the middle of the room so you can enjoy the best views from bed. We thought we would splurge and stay in a Premium Igloo, so we could have uninterrupted views of the valley and the northern sky. Each igloo includes a sitting area, kitchenette and bathroom. If you’re concerned about the snow/ice obstructing your view never fear! The glass of each igloo is heated meaning your views will remain unobstructed so you can enjoy the breathtaking views. The design was very well thought out, and the detailing and styling really added that extra Midas touch.

On arrival we were greeted with a welcome drink which we enjoyed whilst lounging in our sitting area and admiring the spectacular views. The service was impeccable, and I could not fault our experience here one bit. The next morning we woke to a pleasant surprise…..SNOW! A big dump of snow had occurred overnight which meant the previously green and lightly frosted scenery we saw was now white as snow woohoo! We ventured down to breakfast and enjoyed eating multiple courses of delicious goods. I’ve said it already, and I’ll say it again - the Scandi’s know how to breakfast! Post breakfast (insert food coma) we set off on an adventure and explored the surrounding area. We headed to the main part of Levi Ski Resort and ventured around some of the shops and admired skiers speeding down the hill.

I would definitely recommend staying here. The area is wonderful, the staff are friendly and the igloo speaks for itself. The price point is exxy but consider it a ‘treat yo self’ moment and think of an excuse to make it a celebration of some sort. Whether it’s with family, friends or your number one, I have no doubt you will enjoy your stay here.

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Northern Lights Ranch

I had heard and seen lots about this place during my research of Northern Finland. This unique accommodation is located 15km north of Levi Ski Resort, and 30 minutes from Kittilä airport. The main attraction to the Northern Lights Ranch is the sky view cabins, which feature large glass windows including the roof all of which are heated. Enjoy stargazing at night in the comfort of your own motorised bed too….winning!

 On arrival, we were provided our room keys by a grumpy receptionist, and once we got to our room we were severely disappointed. Our panoramic views we were expecting were obstructed by an active construction site, and as a result we had to keep our blinds closed for the last half an hour of sunlight so we didn’t have people looking in on our room. It was just prior to peak season and although it looked as though there were only two other groups in the venue with plenty to spare, we were still placed overlooking the work site.

We ended up having a word to reception, and a different staff member kindly swapped us in to one of their new suites that was due to open in the next coming weeks. We had a much better view and this room included a sauna too, which was fab. The owner felt terrible and came and apologised in person and provided us with some complimentary wine as well as allowing us the use of the neighbouring Jacuzzi. What started as a dull and disappointing arrival ended up finishing as a wonderful experience. Our experience was enhanced even more the next morning when it began to snow. It wasn’t a big snow dump like you may have seen on their website and social media, but it added enough light coverage to look and feel special.

We didn’t eat at the restaurant, nor did we select the included breakfast option as it was an additional 25EU per person (approx $40AUD per person). Quite frankly that is extremely expensive for breakfast considering similar accommodations all have breakfast included.

Overall, it was a nice experience, and the views of the stars were amazing, however I believe they could improve their breakfast costs, greeting on arrival, and management of site construction while there are paying guests on site!

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What to See & Do:

Autumn – Cycle, hike, golf, horse riding or paddling

Winter – Ski, snow mobile, husky or reindeer safaris

Aurora Borealis (northern lights) – try your luck at viewing the colour phenomena that is the northern lights.

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What are the Northern Lights?

Produced only when the solar wind carries charged particles from the sun to the Earth’s atmosphere. Once in the atmosphere, the particles strike with gas molecules which as a result makes them glow and shimmer. The Earth’s magnetic field protects against any particles entering from space. At the poles this magnetic field is weaker and therefore the northern lights are more visible in the polar regions of the world.

The colour is determined by the type of gas molecules that collide with the solar particles. Green is the most common colour seen however there have bene accounts of yellow, red, purple and blue also. The light green colour that is most commonly seen is produced by oxygen molecules at an altitude of 100-150kms. Red is the least common colour seen and that is because the colour is only produced by oxygen molecules at a much higher altitude compared to that of the green colour. The colours blue and purple are achieved by nitrogen in the atmosphere.

Knowing when the best time to view them is the million dollar question. The ideal conditions are dark and clear weather. The perfect conditions for watching the northern lights is on a starlit evening between September and April and between 10pm-2am.

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Where to Eat & Drink: Restaurant Aurora Sky (Levinglut – Golden Crown) – delicious, delicious, delicious! I could not have been more content after our meal at Restaurant Aurora Sky. All of the ingredients are seasonal, locally sourced and cooked in a Scandinavian style.

**If your accommodation has a kitchen, save some pennies and cook your own meal – alternatively, grab something takeaway to enjoy back at your accommodation so you can enjoy the starlit night sky. If you’re after a drink, head to the bottle shop and grab something to your liking. Most of the hotels charge an arm and leg for alcohol, so if you are wanting to save some pennies or after something particular, save yourself the trouble and $$$ and get it yourself.

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