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Having skied in Ruka tried Levi this year. Skied cross country in Levi a long time ago and it remains excellent for this. As for downhill split into two distinct areas not linked without a long trek along a flat run due to a number of slopes not open. Two areas linked by ski bus but this is not included in lift pass price so mounts up. The runs that were open were well prepared and quiet. Runs good for beginners or early intermediate skiers. Stayed in hotel k5 which was very good. Most people used sledges to transport skis etc but beware they do get taken. Good pizza restaurant across from main slopes. Temperature as expected in Finland in January. Would go back to Ruka in a heartbeat but Levi probably not. Travelled with husband and six year old son. There was a nice little freestyle park which he appreciated both on skis and on his board.
In a nut shell a great trip.
Convenient access from airport, nice hotel, great resort setup and many off piste activities (snowmobiling, Dog sledging, reindeer sleigh, icefishing, northern light spotting etc..)
Nicely groomed slopes and so for a family with smaller children perfect ...
Ski quality is good for beginners and intermediate.... slopes not that challenging and little proper off piste availability..
Either way for a week it was enjoyable and a tick off on my bucket list.
(we used Crystal Ski operator and trip was well organized)
Well, what are you looking for in a winter holiday ? If the whole family likes to ski downhill and you have a couple of weeks of experience then I would stick to the Alps as there is little here to challenge you and it's a smallish ski area dominated by T-bars. If on the other and you are looking for a range of activities then Levi could be for you. We managed Cross-Country Skiing, Husky sledding, Snowmobiling and Ice Karting along with approx 3 hrs a day of downhill each day - all on fantastic snow. Great fun for the whole family, including the non-downhillers and the scenery is spectacular too in a stark way. Didn't manage to see the Northern Lights as it was too cloudy but overall a great holiday - just don't expect an Alpine challenge.
We are now looking forward to our fifth visit to Levi in February 2015 having learnt to ski here five years ago. In that time we have also skied several other European resorts but keep coming back to Levi for the fantastic combination of perfectly groomed pistes, friendly people, lovely food and fantastic resort facilities. We are now intermediate skiers but still always find something to challenge us here. If you are looking for a well managed resort with perfect snow conditions, 15 minute transfer and something for all the family off piste, look no further. Did I mention the perfect pistes?
It's on most people's bucket list - "See the Northern Lights". Skiing without friends or children for the first time, we looked for a resort where it might happen. Settled on Levi with Inghams as no other operator flies to Finland out of Manchester.
If we'd just gone for the skiing, we probably would have come back disappointed. There's not a lot there, the lifts are nearly all T-bars (one of which takes over 7 minutes to get you to the top). The runs are short but characterful, plenty of rollers and pitches, with nothing too challenging, even the World Cup slalom run is pretty gentle. The layout is odd too, with the most learner-friendly slopes at the furthest point from resort. (Word is they are swapping the one chairlift over to the south pistes, but it will still mean taking the skibus over there, which at one every half hour could be a serious drag).
Where the resort gains huge brownie points is with the other activities on offer. We took in the husky sledding, the snow village and a night in a glass igloo sky-watching, but could also easily be tempted by the cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing, the ice driving, the reindeer safari, the snowmobile trips, the hot air ballooning... Staying in the Levitunturi Spa hotel also gave us free access to 17 different pools, Jacuzzis and hot tubs.
Did we have a great holiday? Yes. Would we rush back? Not necessarily... plenty of other places to visit before we hang up our boots. Would we recommend it to friends and families? Yes, unreservedly, particularly for learners or for people wanting more than just skiing.
Oh... did we tick the Northern Lights off the bucket list? And how. Sheer magic.
We have just returned from a week in Levi hoping to ski & see the Northern Lights. As it snowed lightly all week, we didn't see the lights but skied on the best snow we have skied on in 12 years of skiing. As the daylight is limited to under an hour each day in December, they floodlight 50% of the runs which means there is no flat light even in blizzards (great), and the t-bars keep running even in high winds. However, relying on floodlights also means that half of the runs are closed as it is too dark to see without the lights: 1 blue, 2 blacks and 15 reds open. Apart from Kids Land, all the pistes near the town of Levi are reds, so in December/January blue run skiers can only take the ski bus to lift 8 and ski 8.4, then return on the green run from the top of the 'Fell' (snowboarders have to walk a lot). To move off the Front Pistes, red run skiers had to take lift 3, turn left onto 14.3(play on the 13s & 14s - 3 reds & 1 black) then G3 to the gondola which takes you up to the top of the Fell and you can then zigzag up & down around the open lifts G, 11, 10, 8, 7 & 6, before returning on the green run. It would be so useful if they showed those open in Dec & Jan on a piste map in addition to listing them on their excellent website: www.levi.fi or the mobile version m.levi.fi. The pistes were beautifully groomed and we benefited from 4-12cm of fresh powder each day. Zero Point, at the bottom of the Front Pistes, had fantastic facilities for storing & hiring skis/boards/boots and it looked very well organised.
Up on the "Fell", the (4) mountain restaurants have free, fast wifi and their toilets are the best I've ever seen in a ski resort: no steps to go down, high quality & clean.
We stayed at the Hotel Levitunturi which has great accommodation and spa facilities but the food was disappointing but we had excellent food and service at the Restaurant Narran, the Hullu Poro Steakhouse and Ammila Restaurant.
I went to Levi in April 09 with my family (we have two kids aged 13 and 10) and friends with children of a similar age who had not skied before.
We had skied for one week in Italy the year before but enjoyed Levi so much more. It is clean, friendly and uncomplicated. Getting the boots was stressful but then I think it allways is but there was plenty of help with fitting. You can also store them if you like for 5 Euors a day.
We skied from 10am-7pm most days. On the slopes, the queues were short for what are mainly drag and T-bar lifts (I didn't mind as I hate heights!). The buses to other slopes were regular and easy to use.
We went self-catered as it was very expensive to eat out due to the poor exchange rate but we were too exhausted to go out anyway! There was lots of Reindeer on offer as well as Salmon. The beer was a bit dear 6 Euros, but not so bad from the supermarket. Our favourite place was on the South Slopes at the top of lift 5 I think , where you could get a pancake with Jam for 2 Euros cooked on a skillet outside or a nice bowl of Fish or Reindeer Soup.
We will be returning as will my friends - Levi is a great place for all levels of skiers (though some more experienced may find it a little limiting) and good for families. Definitely 10 out of 10 from us!
My wife and I first visited Levi in 2007 and immediately fell in love with it - it is a truly magical little town. The pistes are exellant and the snow quality amazing - better than any of the european resorts I have visited.
We tried the snow mobiling safari to the Lanilo snow village which was great, but don't have too much to drink the night before as our whole group got breathalized on the way back by the Finnish police!
We liked Levi so much that we returned in 2008 and got married at the ice hotel with a group of friends and relitives watching. Its a fantastic place for a relaxing holiday and the kids loved it.
I visited Levi in April 08 and really loved the place - it has such a unique atmosphere and the snow was perfect! I have skied all over Europe and the Rockies but enjoyed all the activities which Levi had to offer. We went on a snowmoblile trip and went ice fishing.
Our hotel had a sauna in the room which was a welcome treat after being out in the cold all day. The ski area is not the biggest but we only had to queue a few times and so that kept us happy. Most of the tows are T-Bars but are easy enough to ride. The best thing is the tepees' on the slopes with a log fire to keep you warm!
Having been to the highest resorts in europe the low altitude the skiing in Levi might seem a bit limiting, but few places inspire an appreciation of nature the way Levi does. Skiing in the half light of a Lappish winter is a truly magical experience, although be prepared for temps of -30 in jan. So much to do besides skiing and despite the 3899 meters of the Kleine Matterhorn I feel the need to go back to the 500 meters of the Levi fells.
Had a weeks hols at end of Jan/begin of Feb. with family of all ages and all novices.Some done ski,some boarding,husky sledding,walking, snowmobiling.Tuition was very friendly and patient with results by end of week.Kids loved the huge amounts of snow in resort.Stayed in Hotel K5 chalets, top result.Could not have asked for better accomodation or half board food.Slopes were top notch for us beginners and had us learning at a good rate without scaring anyone.Lift queues were non existent all week, albeit low season.Very magical and surreal surroundings, especially if hiring snowmobile and going off on your own into wilderness off the beaten track.So quiet.Weather was cold(between -9/-18 and warm according to locals) but didn't really notice as long as one dresses ok.We all decided that we were going on a winter holiday as opposed to just a ski holiday and it was top for that.The only reason I would hesitate to go back is that there are so many other places to try.But would recommend for families or those beginners/early intermediates wanting something a bit different to everyone else who goes to the Alps.And when you see Northern Lights, you'll know why.
Have just returned from Levi on 25th Jan. Had an excellent weeks skiing there. The slopes are very good, and I am pretty much a beginner. Nightlife is what you make of it, but usually by about 8pm you are ready to hit the sack. Daylight is only 6hours in Januay, and gets light aout 10am. Would certainly return there again. Take a visit to the Ice Hotel in Sweden if yo get chance. 4 hours each way, but worth it.
I have been a few times to Levi from a few days with my 8 year old son to a large group including an 18 month old toddler. It is great for familes as it is easy to get to the slopes, there are excellent ski-kindergarten and classes,and although the skiing isn't extensive it does offer variety in that you can try cross-country and other activities. The local Finns are all very friendly,and the accommodation much better value than France. Not good for experienced skiers who want excitement.
We went to Levi in January 2003 2 adults our son and our sons' friend. It was superb value for money. Stayed at Hotel Sirkantahti half board, excellent room complete with en suite sauna, satellite tv, minibar and a heated drying cupboard that was worth its weight in gold! The hotel food was hot and cold buffet style for breakfast and evening meal, the choice was fantastic and very good for vegetarians. The resort is small but has plenty of lovely shops selling traditional lappish goods with something special to suit everyones wallet. I was concerned about what I had read regarding temperatures reaching well into the minus figures but this turned out to be no problem if you are well equipped. Most days it was around -17 to -22 degrees; the coldest we experienced was -37 degrees one morning (a record according to the reps) and our dog sledding trip had to be cancelled and refunded as it had been -44 degrees overnight. We still went skiing and strangely enough the only people on the slopes on such an incredibly cold day were British! even the Finns had given up. The ski area in January is good but maybe a little limited as only about half of the lifts are open. Lift queues were non-existent, the snow was plentiful, and pistes were well groomed every night. An excellent resort for beginners and intermediates - we were a mixed ability group. Other activities are a must, I can highly recommend going snowmobiling and ice karting. Snowmobile safari lasted about 2 hours, we went through forest trails, over frozen lakes and stopped at a traditionl Sami Reindeer farm for coffee and cakes - a magic experience. Ice karting was just so much fun and very cheap at 10 euros. The spectacular arctic tundra scenery, snow laden trees and the Aurora Borealis were breathtaking. Levi is an excellent resort all round, the people are very friendly and helpful, one week was not enough time for us to do everything we wanted to so we will be returning. One last thing, if you buy a Finnish phrase book and find it an incredibly difficult language don't worry, Finns speak English, Swedish and a host of other languages; they also understand that not many people apart from themselves can pronounce Finnish words, if you can master 'Hello', 'Goodbye' and 'Thank you' you have made their day!!!
5 women, married, single widowed and divorced, ages from 26 to 52,all beginners, stayed in beautiful Matkalumaija chalets, experienced wonderful views,food and quiet slopes, not to mention the snowmobiles and huskies. We wil all go again, such a friendly and welcoming place.
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