Well-equipped modern cottage with pine interior, located in a complex of about 20 similar cottages, 2 km from centre of Levi ski resort. Electric/underfloor central heating, built-in sauna plus traditional wood-burning fireplace for cosy winter evenings at home. Large open-plan living/dining room with modern kitchen, two private bedrooms, mezzanine plus balcony, spacious deck with outdoor picnic table, ski-drying room, own parking space. View of the quiet north side of Levi fell (the resort's main ski mountain). Located 150 km north of the Arctic Circle, but only 16 km from Kittilä airport, Levi is Finland's premier winter resort. It offers sports activities to suit all tastes and skill levels, ranging from easy winter-walking trails in the forest to snowboarding runs sufficient to terrify the mother of any teenager, as well as wilderness safaris in any season. It is also home to an 18-hole golf course, set amidst stunning scenery.
I'm British, and a permanent resident of Finland, working as a biologist in the University of Tampere. I've been here for 17 years and know the country well. I travel a lot, both for work and play, and can provide plenty of advice on how to make the most of a trip to Lapland at any season, even if you decide to stay somewhere else than my cottage - please just ask.
Howy Jacobs purchased this cabin in 2003
Levi ski- and golf-resort offers the following ingredients that are hard to find anywhere else in combination
1/ it is on the edge of one of Europe's few remaining true wildernesses, located beyond the Arctic circle, accessible on cross-country skis or by snowmobile (or by car) within minutes of the village
2/ nevertheless, Levi is easy to reach (has an international airport 10 miles away) and offers all the services of a modern town, including excellent restaurants, cafes, bars, night-clubs, extremely well stocked supermarkets and winter- or summer-sports activities to suit every taste
3/ it has five breathtakingly different seasons, offering also the midnight sun, the northern lights,the unique blue twilight of midwinter and an abundance of autumn berries and mushrooms
I use the cottage partly as a retreat - to write (science), often going there out of season. I also entertain friends and family at any time of the year, most often around the holidays and in the spring, when the light is fabulous (16-18 hour days already in early April), the temperature pleasant (typically a few degrees below, but feels warmer in the sunshine) and Levi has a real buzz to it. The cottage is part of a complex of about 20 similar cottages, but is always quiet and, because of the way the cottages are built, there is a surprising degree of privacy. I don't ski myself - apart from cross-country on a flat lake very badly, but I do go snowmobiling, for which the area around Levi is perfect.
Levi is well inland, but summer visitors might like to rent a car at the end of their stay, and drive all the way up to the Arctic Ocean (about a day's fairly leisurely drive), taking in the lush greenery and spectacular scenery of the city of Tromsö, the North Cape (Europe's most northerly point), the Sami (Lappish) settlement of Kautokeino, the ancient rock carvings at Alta and the desolate beaches, coves and fishing villages along the ocean - all of which are over the border in Norway.
Nearest airport: Kittilä (KTT), served by scheduled flights via Helsinki and Copenhagen, as well as direct flights in the ski season from Gatwick, Belfast, Manchester etc. Scheduled buses meet all incoming flights at the airport and will bring you more or less to the doorstep of the cottage, unless you prefer a taxi or car rental. Car rental is advisable, especially if you want to go out of town, but the ski bus and taxis would suffice for buying groceries and getting to/from ski lifts.
2 km to Levi village centre, with many restaurants, shops and attractions. Kittilä (20 km away) is a 'real' town, but services in Levi resort itself are invariably better. Lapland is sparsely populated and desolate, but there are many places worth visiting by car (or snowmobile), described in the next section.
Levi has many restaurants, ranging from fine-dining to family-friendly pizza and burger joints. Especially recommended are the microbrewery (Panimo), which has its own restaurant serving hearty platefuls of authentic local food, and the Asia brasserie in the alpine village centre, which serves a combination of Japanese, Indian, Thai and other dishes. But the best part of a cottage holiday is that it's self-catering, and Levi has excellent supermarkets where it's possible to get almost anything you want. Prices are obviously higher than in the UK, but when you consider that you are nearer to the North Pole than to London, this isn't so surprising. As well as a vibrant apres-ski culture and night life, Levi has a a fantastic spa including an outdoor pool and hot tub usable even in the depth of winter, and bars to suit most tastes. Other ski-resorts at Ylläs (50 km) and Luosto or Rovaniemi (150 km) have little to offer that isn't better in Levi. However, Rovaniemi does have the Arctic Circle village, where the kids can visit Santa year-round, and the award-winning Arktikum museum. The Kittilä area has two very notable art galleries/museums. Other places of interest worth visiting, depending on the season, are the Snow Village and hotel at Lainio, the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, and Siida, the national museum of the Finnish Sami, at Inari. Driving distances in Lapland are considerable, but roads are well maintained, and much faster than in desolate parts of Scotland.