This post is in partnership with the Levi Tourism Board.
I’m SO excited to share this post with you guys today, because it’s hands down the most incredible place I’ve EVER visited. And the time of year we visited (December) made it even more special. Levi, Finland is located north of the Arctic Circle, in a region called Lapland, which also happens to be where Santa calls home!
Day 1 // 12:15 – 2:30 p.m.
As we descended into Kittila Airport, we found ourselves in a true winter wonderland. We deplaned ON the tarmac (meaning straight on the runway – not into a gate leading to the inside of the airport), which was a pretty cool experience! Since we had our carry on bags we were able to bypass baggage claim and head straight for the charter bus, which would take us into the main town area.
Since check-in at our hotel, Levin Iglut, wasn’t until 4, we dropped our bags in the main resort area and decided to explore the base of the ski mountain, where several restaurants and shops were. We stopped in at a pizza place to fuel up, wandered through a small Christmas market, and even ended up picking up an extra fleece jacket and mittens because we certainly underestimated how cold it would be!
Day 1 // 3:30 – 9 p.m.
We couldn’t wait to check into our glass igloo hotel (read all about our stay here), so hopped in a cab to get there as soon as check-in time rolled around! Once we got into our igloo, it was time to relax for a bit, and take in the dark night sky, while waiting (hopefully) for the Northern Lights and enjoying some traditional Finnish Christmas treats we picked up in town.
Day 1 // 10 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Our first big excursion took place late in the evening, but was one we couldn’t wait for! We made our way back into town to meet our tour guide for the Snowcat Northern Lights excursion. Our guide drove us over to the ski mountain area, and we hopped into the Snowcat and began to make our way up the mountain, in search of the Aurora Borealis.
After driving around the mountain for a while and not seeing any more hints of green in the dark night sky, the group collectively decided to call it a night. And while we were bummed the lights hadn’t come out for us again (they’re never guaranteed, but the chances of seeing them in the winter are high), we still had a blast chatting with the Italian family of 4 also on the excursion and our hosts (who brought some delicious Finnish treats for us). Swapping cultural stories and just taking in the beautiful snow-filled scenery was wonderful!
But alas, just as the group piled back into the van to go back into town, a tiny streak of green appeared. And the hosts were kind enough to turn the car around (even though our excursion time had technically ended) and go back up the mountain to chase the lights. I tried to capture video and took SO many pictures, but nothing I did gave what we saw with our eyes any justice. The green streak grew across the sky and some pink/purple coloring appeared as the “lights” LITERALLY danced around in the sky. While it was totally freezing (we hopped out of the car to watch in awe), it was SO worth it, and one of the most incredible things I’ve ever witnessed. It almost seemed like there was a special effects person controlling the sky – too amazing to even recount!
Day 2 // 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
We slept in a bit after our late night hunting for the Northern Lights (and wondering if they’d appear again above us in the igloo), and were surprised to wake up and see that it was around 9, because it seemed more like 6/7 with the lack of sunlight. Such a crazy adjustment!
After grabbing some breakfast in the main lodge, we wandered around the area for a bit, taking in the scenery. We absolutely loved how peaceful it was, and of course, all of the snow. It truly was a winter wonderland!
Day 2 // 1 – 4 p.m.
The next big adventure on our schedule? Snowmobiling to a REINDEER FARM! As many of you know, I’m 110% obsessed with Christmas, so this was next-level excitement for me, being able to see reindeer in real life!
We were a bit concerned about not having extreme winter clothing, but were assured we’d be good to go with the gear the excursion company provided. When we arrived, we were already dressed in thermal leggings, jeans, an undershirt base layer, sweater, and winter coat. In addition to that, we were given a hefty (Michelin Man-style) suit to step into and zip up, thick boots, and a face mask to block the wind. We were good to go!
This excursion was family-friendly, so kids were able to be pulled in a sleigh behind our excursion leader’s snowmobile. My mom and I shared a snowmobile and switched off on the driving (me going out, her coming back) and it was quite the adventure! Neither of us had even driven (and I’d never been on a) snowmobile, so there was a bit of a learning curve, but all that was needed was a valid driver’s license. Our guide was incredibly helpful and looked out for us since occasionally we were trailing behind – those things are hard to maneuver!
After snowmobiling for a bit, we came across the cutest little cabin, which happened to be the reindeer farm! Here, the group stopped in to warm up and have some delicious treats and juice, while learning more about reindeer and life on the farm. My mom and I also opted to do a reindeer sled ride, which was SO cool! I wish we weren’t in our jumbo suits when we photographed this memory, but hey, I’m happy to have been able to experience it!
Day 2 // 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
After our big afternoon, we popped into a cafe for some food and spent some time wandering around town one last time to pick up some souvenirs to bring home and to explore more of Levi’s resort area before heading back to spend some more time in our incredible glass dome igloo for one last night.
Day 3 // 8:30 – 11 a.m.
In terms of adventuring, day two was the end to our dream trip to Levi. But for anyone interested in traveling there (which I absolutely recommend!!), I wanted to include a note about the airport. While the Kittila Airport is small, we experienced it at full capacity when leaving. There were a few tour groups from the UK plus other visitors, so we were SO glad we got to the airport a little over 2 hours in advance, since the lines for the check-in counter and security were incredibly long. I’ve never seen an airport so packed!
We hated that our magnificent adventure in Levi had to end so soon. There’s just something so magical about the Lapland region of Finland, especially in December when the Christmas magic is in the air! I can’t wait to get out there again one day!