Levi is one of the largest winter sport resorts in Finland. It is in the Kittilä municipality in Lapland, by the village Sirkka. Levi is a very popular place among young people, and in addition to being a ski resort it is a significant nightlife centre for people from rural Lapland.
As a very prominent peak, the Levi fell was already known for its impressive views in the 19th century, but the area was completely roadless and hard to access. Lake Immeljärvi between the fells Levi and Kätkä has been a sacred place for the Sámi people for ages. Small-scale tourism to Levi started in the 1930s when the road from the south was completed. In those days, the visitors had to coach-surf; residing in the homes of the villagers was the only option. The first cottages for rent were built in 1950s, and the first hotel, now called Hotel Levitunturi, was opened in 1981.
In the 1960s, downhill skiing became popular in Finland, and Kittilä municipality built the first piste with a ski lift on the northern slope of the Levi fell in 1964. When a small airstrip in a forest near Kittilä village was enlarged for military purposes during the 1970s, making the strip large enough for commercial flights as well, things truly started to happen. Regular flights to Kittilä airport started in 1982 and the first international charter flights arrived in 1993, giving Levi a substantial customer potential. The great economic depression in the 1990s enabled a group of entrepreneurs in Levi to buy skiing resort equipment extremely cheaply from the bankrupted skiing resorts in southern Finland, prompting a boom in local business. In 2004, Levi hosted the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup for the first time, making it definitely a world-class winter sports resort.
While in 1980 there were just six people working for the municipality-owned ski lift company, in 2014 there were about 200 companies serving more than 600,000 visitors a year. Today, the resort has over 24,000 beds, making the tiny Sirkka village (fewer than 900 permanent residents in 2018) the second most populous place in Finnish Lapland during the winter (after Rovaniemi).
Summer activities in Levi are still of a small scale but the business is growing. For example, a full 18-hole golf course was opened in 2006.
1 Kittilä airport (KTT IATA) is some 10 km south from Levi. The airport has daily connections from Helsinki, and during season also a few regular services from elsewhere, and charters from the British Isles and Central Europe.
Most coaches coming from south visit the airport on their route to Levi. Tunturilinjat operates a shuttle bus between Kittilä airport and Levi (price €8/adult) scheduled after the departures and arrivals. You may also use a taxi.
There are several daily trains from southern Finland to Rovaniemi. From the railway station you need to transfer to a bus, which waits next to the station. Overnight trains with sleeping cars and car-carrier wagons operate from Helsinki and Turku to Rovaniemi and from Helsinki to Kolari (getting from Turku to Kolari requires a transfer in Tampere, no car-carrier option). Tunturilinjat has a shuttle bus connections from Kolari railway station to Levi (€24/adult). The trip to Levi takes 2½ hours from Rovaniemi and 1 hr 15 min from Kolari.
Coaches operate from Helsinki to Levi via Lahti, Jyväskylä and Oulu, but the trip takes over 16 hours! You must change coaches in Rovaniemi, but there is plenty of time for that. The regular connection leaves Helsinki at 01:20 and arrives in Levi at 17:55. In the other direction the coaches can be used to get in from Kilpisjärvi, Hetta and Muonio, and in summer there is also a service from Tromsø. See Matkahuolto for timetables.
A ticket from Helsinki to Levi costs about €100/adult and from Rovaniemi about €32/adult.
From southern Finland you can drive E8 or E75 to Oulu, from there either road E75 to Rovaniemi and national road 79 to Levi or via E8 to Kolari and via national road 80 to Kittilä. The distance from Helsinki is about 1,000 km. If you start fairly early in the morning you can drive up to Levi in one day. During the winter season the traffic on the road 79 between Rovaniemi and Levi might be surprisingly high.
The best way from Denmark or further south in western Europe is the road E4 to Luleå, then road E10 to Överkalix, and then Swedish road 392 to Pajala and road 403 to Kolari. From Kolari the Finnish road 80 intersects with Finnish road 79 about 10 km south of Levi.
If you drive back to the south in winter, make sure you have have good sunglasses and have windscreen and wipers in good condition, as the sun will shine in your eyes most of the time it is above the horizon.
Levi has a bus system called Ski Bus [dead link] with two routes marked R1 and R2. A Ski Bus ticket is included to the ski lift pass for €3/day; otherwise, a one-time ticket costs €4. In the Levi centre you can easily walk or ski around.
For longer trips to the forests in the winter, you can use cross-country skis or hire a snowmobile. A driving licence is required (one for car or motorcycle suffices) at least on snowmobile "routes" (reitti – counted as public roads), while a permit must be bought for the snowmobile "tracks" (ura – the permit counts as landowner permission for the specific track network). Driving on rivers and lakes does not generally require licence or permit, but is restricted in many areas around Levi. Get directions and mind ice safety. Regardless, you must be 15 years old and sober, and use a helmet. You can probably get the permission via the rental business, but check. Be careful: it is easy to make fatal mistakes. Riding a snowmobile on a road is forbidden, with some minor exceptions.
There is an assortment of maps [dead link] and directions, including info on current conditions on the routes. The skiing track and snowmobile route networks extend far from Levi – the latter to Koli in North Karelia and to Kilpisjärvi and Inari in the north. A map on snowmobile routes in Kittilä can be bought.
See and doEdit
Being a ski resort, Levi is much more about doing than seeing. The thing worth seeing is the landscape including Mt. Levi (Levitunturi).
Winter sports. There are 230 kilometers of cross-country skiing tracks and 886 km of snowmobile routes. For alpine skiing Levi has 45 pistes totaling 37 km length. The longest piste is 2,500 m long and maximum vertical drop is 325 m. Piste information is available at the resort's web page. Levi is known for organizing an FIS Alpine Ski World Cup [dead link] in November.
- 1 Front pistes (Eturinteet). The oldest pistes right by the Levi centre.
- 2 Street. Snowboarding
- 3 Northeast pistes (Koillisrinteet).
- 4 Southeast pistes (Kaakkoisrinteet).
- 5 South pistes (Etelärinteet).
- 6 Snow Park. Snowboarding
- 7 Gondoli2000 lift (Gondoli2000 -näköalahissi).
If you want to take a break from winter sports, you can go on snowmobile or husky safaris and reindeer rides. These are arranged by tour operators, most of whom arrange summer activities too.
See also Kittilä.
- 8 Fintravel Levi, Leviraitti 2, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 9 Wolverine Fell Wilderness and Nature (Kätkätunturin Erä ja Luonto), Kätkäjärventie 400 (3 km from the Levi fell south to Kätkäjärventie, then 4 km), ☏ . Summer and winter activities. Reindeer safaris, snowshoeing, ice fishing, fox snare hunting, or rounding up of reindeer are available in winter, fishing trips, marking reindeer calves, bog hikes, cycling, sauna evenings and goose hunting in summer. There is also a restaurant; you can enjoy home-style delicacies, such as reindeer casserole or salmon soup in a Lappish hut.
- 10 Levi Golf, Golfväylä 9, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The northernmost full-sized golf course in Europe. Restaurant. Levi Golf Week in the end of July. daytime green fee €30–55, night game €30.
- 11 Cinema Levi Summit, Tunturitie 205 (on top of the Levi fell). 436-seat 3D cinema. Adult €10, child €7.5.
Activities in Köngäs, some 10 km north of Levi, and its surroundings.
- [dead link] Katkan Aija (Kätkän Äijä), Lakkakuja 3 (4km north from Levi), ☏ . Snowshoeing, guide services, lappish ceremonies, Santa Claus visits
- Lapin Luontoelämys (Lapland’s Nature Experience), Ounasjoentie 810 (in Köngäs, 10 km north from Levi), ☏ . Snowshoeing, kicksledding and skiing in winter, hiking, canoeing and mountain bike riding in summer.
- [dead link] Levi Huskypark (Levin Huskypuisto), Inarintie, Sokkapora, Köngäs, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 11–16. Siberian Huskies, Movie Wolves, Reindeer, Arctic foxes, Spitsdogs, Husky safaris, Christmas with Huskies. History about huskies and sled dog races. guided visit (30/60 min): €10/5, husky and reindeer tours (60/150 min) €41–76/26–48, separate prices in Christmas season; longer tours by request; children's fares for 2–11-year-olds.
- 1 K-Supermarket LeviMarket, Levinraitti 1, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M–Sa 07:00–21:00, Su 09:00-21:00. Groceries, cosmetics and hardware. Pharmacy.
- 2 K-Market Levin Poro, Tunturitie 2, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M–Sa 09:30–18:30, Su 12:00–18:30. Groceries.
- 3 S-Market Levi, Levinraitti 18, ☏ . M–Sa 08:00–22:00, Su 10:00–22:00. Groceries. Mail service. Gasoline.
- 4 Alko Kittilä Levi, Levinraitti 18. M–F 09:00–21:00, Sa 09:00–18:00, Su closed. Alcoholic beverages.
- 5 Shopporo, Hiihtäjänkuja 10 (in the shopping gallery at Levi center), ☏ . Daily 10:00–18:00. Fashionable clothes for women, men and children.
- 6 [dead link] ZeroPoint, Hissitie 8, ✉ email@example.com. Winter daily 09:00–19:00, summer daily 10:00–18:00. Shopping mall with several brand stores.
The restaurants offer a good variety of local delicacies. Especially worth trying are reindeer (poro) in all its forms, willow grouse (riekko) and several varieties of fish such as salmon (lohi), arctic char (nieriä) and common whitefish (siika). These are usually fried or smoked and eaten with mashed potatoes. In addition to local specialities, hamburgers, pizzas and kebabs are also available.
Many restaurants and bars are inside hotels.
- Luvattumaa, ☏ . IceGallery: Snowcastle with ice chapel, snowhotel and icebar. Underground sauna and ice sauna with warm and cold baths outdoors. Teepee restaurant.
- 1 Wanha Hullu Poro, Rakkavaarantie 5, ☏ . peak season: daily 15:00/18:00-04:00, off-season F Sa 22:00-04:00. "Poro" is the oldest and best known bar and nightclub in Levi. Serves as a bar and restaurant at the afternoon and evening.
- 2 Bar Ihku, Keskuskuja 3, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. top-season: karaoke bar daily 21:00-04:00, nightclub Th-Sa 22:00-04:00. Very popular nightclub and karaoke bar. Live music every now and then. Age limit 22.
- 3 Narran, Hissitie 3, ☏ . restaurant & bar daily 12:00-00:00, nightclub F-Sa 22:00-04:00. Restaurant, karaoke bar and nightclub.
- 4 Panimo, Levinraitti 1, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. daily 12:00-02:00/04:00. Pub with food. Sports on the screen.
- 5 British Pub Old Mates, Tähtitie 4, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Su-Tu 14:00-02:00, W-Sa 14:00-04:00. British style pub. Age limit Su-Th 20, F-Sa 22.
- 6 Pub Hölmölä, Hiihtäjänkuja 10, ☏ . winter season: daily 10:00-02:00. Pub with fancy details. Bar food.
- 7 Café Kota & Bar Kämppä, Torikuja 3, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. winter season: café daily 11:00-02:00, pub W-Su 17:00-02:00. Bar and lunch café. Pub in the cellar.
- 8 Crazy Reindeer Arena (Hullu Poro Areena), Hissitie 12, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. open at the event evenings from 21:00. A concert hall with famous artists. Ten bars and a dance floor. VIP lounges.
Being one of the largest resorts in Finland one could think there will be no problem to get bed in Levi. However, during the holiday season it may appear surprisingly difficult to find one! Most popular times are around Christmas and New Year, Easter and the Finnish winter holiday held during the three-week period from mid-February to early March. Right after the New Year when local people get back to work, skiing resorts get crowded with Russian tourists. Accommodation alternatives vary from camping to luxurious cottages and spa hotels.
- 1 Hotelli K5 Levi, Kätkänrannantie 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Hotel is open at the winter season, villas available around the year. in season: €150.
- 2 Spa Hotel Levitunturi (Kylpylähotelli Levitunturi), Levintie 1590, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The first and the most traditional hotel in the area. Spa. À la carte restaurant and fast food restaurant.
- 3 Lapland Hotels Sirkantähti, Levintie 1630, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. open October-May. Another old and traditional hotel in the area. Restaurant.
- 4 Levi Central Booking Office (Levin Keskusvaraamo), Myllyjoentie 2, ☏ . Over 900 apartments and a large number of hotel rooms.
- 5 Hotel Hullu Poro (Hotel Crazy Reindeer), Rakkavaarantie 3 (in the village), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 11:00. Also restaurant. Cheaper hostel accommodation available 2 km away. in season: €150.
- 6 Break Sokos Hotel Levi, Tähtitie 5, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. Hotel in the middle of the village. Restaurant and bar. Sauna and jacuzzi available every evening.
- 7 Hostel Hullu Poro (Hostel Crazy Reindeer), Sivulantie 2 (2 km north from the village), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. reception 08:00-22:00. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 11:00. Hostel by the road E75 some 2 km north from the center. Apartments have 2 bedrooms, 2 separate beds in each. No cooking option. Reception at Hotel Hullu Poro. in season: €35/bed/night, off-season: €30/bed/night; linen extra €18.
Caravans and campingEdit
In emergencies, call 112 (who probably can alarm the ski patrol etc.).
First aid staff at rentals of Zero Point and South pistes. Ski Patrol (red jackets) and volunteers with first aid skills ski daily at the pistes. Phone +358 44-367-4278 (8.35 cent+17.17 cent/min). Can also be alarmed via lift personnel.
There are two private medical services in Levi (Sirkka) itself. Check prices or your insurance.
- Bene Finlandia, Levinraitti 6, ☏ . 24 hr daily. Acute health care, including illnesses and fractures.
- Pihlajalinna Levi, Levintie 1590 (at Levi Hotel Spa), ☏ . Winter season: M–F 08:00–19:00, Sa–Su 10:00–19:00; May–Oct M–F (Sept also Sa) 08:00–16:00. Also dentist.
- Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, some 20 km away by ski. The park is the third largest and the most visited one in the country, with many more services than in most national parks in Finland.
|Routes through Levi|
|Ends at ← Muonio ←||N S||→ Kittilä → Rovaniemi|