Looking for an alternative for your ski trip in the Alps? Then Levi is definitely an option. Read this blog for some great tips on how to get in this small, cosy village in the north of Lapland. It does not only come with excellent ski slopes, there are also reindeer farms, husky’s safaris, winter hiking and the magnificent Northern Lights. A holiday in a true winter wonderland.
A lot of travel agents offer trips to Levi, the full package included (flights, accommodation and local tours). It’s however very easy to organize this trip yourself. Some tips below. And as for inspiration on what to do, read my blog ‘5 fantastic things to do in Levi‘.
How to get to Levi?
Levi is easy reachable by flight. The nearest airport is Kittilä, about 15 minutes drive. In the peak season, there are several flights a day, from Belgium, the Nederlands and Germany. The price for flights in the high season can rise, so it’s good to book as early as possible. Also, some flights in economy only include hand-luggage. Make sure you have sufficient checked luggage, since ski and other warm clothes take up quite some more space then summer outfits.
As usual, we booked our flights with Connections.
From the airport, you can take a taxi to Levi, no need to book upfront. Alternative is to take the airport shuttle bus. For a family of six, a taxi turned out to be cheaper and more convenient.
And as a plus, the flight to Levi offers splendid views from the airplane …
When to go?
We stayed a week in Levi end of February, beginning of March. For us, this was ideal. There is more or less a full day of daylight and it’s a bit less cold, although we still had temperatures up to -11°C. This period seemed to be very busy due to school holidays in Finland, but we never had the impression to stay in a fully crowed place, nor in the restaurants nor at the slopes. And certainly not in the countryside -:). You only have to take this peak season into account when booking accommodation and extra’s (such as the husky safari’s). The latter are in small groups and quickly fill up.
There is an excellent website bundling all information on Levi, ranging from accommodation over skiing and reindeer and husky safaris. Everything you need to know is is there. Also, we found the local tourist information very helpful. They are reachable per mail and respond quickly. Locally too, they provide good information on a.o. the Northern Lights.
There is plenty of accommodation in and around Levi in all types (apartments, hotels, …). Here too, you can find a lot of information on the general website. You only need to decide whether you want to stay in the village or outside.
If you stay in the village, you can do everything on foot. The village is pretty small and everything (shops, ski rental, supermarket, lake, …) is within walking distance. You then only need transport to and from the airport and, depending on the trip you book extra, to the starting point of your trip. Some tours also organize a pick-up at Levi’s tourist information center, which is in the village.
Alternative is you opt for a cottage or an hotel outside Levi. This is probably in a more remote area, which means you have to arrange additional transport to, for example, the ski slopes or restaurants in Levi village.
We booked the apartment ‘Tieva’ for 6 with Levi Alppitalot apartments. We thought to have booked an apartment in front of the ski slopes but in the end it turned out to be a cottage just outside the center of Levi, about 600 meters from the slopes. There are apparently some apartments further down the village and this is only indicated in tiny letters on the booking form … In the end, it didn’t really matter.. The house was OK – including a sauna, washing machine and dryer – and within walking distance of the supermarket, the tourist information center and the lake.
It can be cold, freezing cold, up in the north. We experienced it ourselves. Temperature ranged from +3 during the day to -11°C end of February. So you definitely need some warm clothes. Question is whether your ‘normal’ ski clothes, which you also use when skiing in the Alps, are sufficient. In our view, they are, but of course, you need layers. While Aurora hunting, it was -11°C, we wore two sets of gloves, shawl, cap, two pairs of socks in warm winter boots, ski jacket and trousers, thermal underwear and a double fleece vest and it still was freezing cold when standing still on top of the mountain …
Should you not have warm clothes, you can always rent a clothing set with warm high-quality winter clothes for a day or per week. Some travel agencies include them in their price.
So, mainly we took
- decent winter boots (with a fur inside)
- ski trousers
- ski jacket
- ski stockings
- warm shawl, cap
- winter gloves, more then 1 pair each
- thermal underwear
And don’t forget: a flashlight, to go Aurora hunting at night
Local tours (reindeer, husky, …)
Due to corona, we were a bit late in booking the local tours, leaving us not a lot of options any more. So, book well ahead. Mostly, the safaris are in small groups, for examples 4 sleighs with 2 persons, so 8 persons mean already a full party. The general Levi website offers a lot of options. Read also our ‘5 x to do in Levi’ blog for more inspiration.
There are quite some restaurants in Levi but, in our view, not so many reasonably priced for families. We were a big fan of the Classic Pizza Restaurant, just outside town, offering very good pizza’s: big, tasty and for a reasonable price.
We also tried the Northern Cowboy restaurant, offering Mexican street food with a Laplandic twist. Tacos of reindeer with lingonberry and pickled cucumber, yummy.
And of course, there is always a Burger King for a quick meal in between, always good to go with teenagers.
A trip to Levi is pretty expensive, mainly because of the flights and the extra’s, such as the reindeer, husky or snowmobile safaris. Prices for restaurants and groceries in the supermarkets are more or less the same as in Belgium. It’s hard to compare the costs for ski rental and ski passes with these in the Alps, since also in the Alps prices may vary depending on the ski resort. And of course, prices depend on how long you want to ski. Some indications below.
Flight Kittilä (Brussels – Münich – Kittilä): 2300 € (5 adults, 1 child, checked-in luggage for everyone)
Taxi Kittilä – Levi: 55 € (6 persons)
Reindeer safari (6 kilometer): 119€ per adult, 69€ per child (4-12 year).
Husky safari (5 kilometer): 115 € per adult, 65 € per child (4-12 year) – transport included
Husky safari (10 kilometer): 150 € per person (+ 10 euro per person pick-up)
Snowshoes including poles: 30 € per day
Classic Pizza Restaurant, 115 € (6 pizzas including drinks)