First time I experienced proper snow was 5 years ago, I have always lived in tropical places and never had much desire for winter. Little did I know, I was missing out on so much beauty and the so called winter magic. Our trip to Finland was something out of a fairytale, no other way I can describe it. We knew very little about Finland, but after some research we could not believe we didn’t visit it sooner. We wanted to incorporate skiing into this holiday (Ogi insisted) and found Levi to be the best town for us to stay for the highest slopes in the country. With that in mind I started looking for activities and accommodations in the area. I heard that the climate was beyond cold, with temperature going below 35C on a sunny day, but I thought to myself how much worse can it be from below 10C ? How naive of me, I had to buy additional thermals and gloves because there is a BIG difference.
The end of February is when we made our way to Finland. I booked one night at The Northern Lights Ranch, where we stayed at a glass heated cabin. This cabin is minimalistic and perfect to witness the northern lights because of its glass ceiling and walls. The remote location makes it even more perfect, because it is far away from light polution. We were told by the hotel staff that most of their guests stays for a week hoping to see the northern lights and many times leaving without witnessing the magic. The dreamer in me stayed in high hopes.
We explored the ranch as soon as we arrived, the place is too beautiful for words. Surrounded by a forest covered in snow. There is so much to see and do there, that times passed by so fast. A highlight was feeding the reindeers and going inside their ice carved chapel!
As the evening approached, we got ready for dinner which was going to be delivered to our room. When the staff delivered it to us, she asked if we had already been out to see the northern lights. I swear we didn’t even get properly dressed, boots and a jacket over our PJ’s and we were out. We didn’t last long, thankfully we realised there was no need to rush. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner under the northern lights. The magical dance went on for hours.
Honestly it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen, the lights were dancing in the sky, sometimes weak and sometimes so strong. I highly recommend watching my video so you can see a little glimpse in to the night.
We left the next morning en route to Levi where we had a fully equipped Ski-in-ski-out apartment waiting for us. We rented our skiing equipment and off we were to our first day of skiing. The sloops are straight out of a winter wonderland book, cute houses covered in snow take little space of the vast mountains. We found some tiny cafes on hill tops to escape the cold weather, and enjoyed the beauty of winter in Finland.
Ski passes will cost you 39 euros per day. I just want to mention that gondolas and ski lifts are not heated and the majority of lifts are T-Bars so have some super warm gloves, because it gets very windy. And hey, it’s all part of the nordic experience, embrace it.
I love that we had a fully equipped kitchen and that we were able to cook our own food. I believe all the apartments in Levi are like this. We stocked up on groceries and I let Ogi take care of the rest. We did keep hearing about a pancake place Pannukakku Levi , we were not disappointed! You must try the smoked reindeer pancake, it is so delicious.
Levi offers a lot of winter activities, best place to find information is the tourist information centre. They are so friendly and helpful, eager to book any tour suited for you.
We went on husky safari, this was another memorable moment of the trip. Huskies are such amazing dogs and seeing them in their natural environment was something really special. Make sure you book this in advance since it is one of the most popular activities. One night we went on a snowmobile tour. I guess Ogi was not getting enough adrenaline from skiing, although I will admit I had a lot of fun as well.
Writing about our holiday will never do it justice. The north of Finland is something you have to experience for yourself. I know this country is not your usual bucket list material, but trust me, it definitely should be.
Here is both our videos from Finland!