You may not believe it, but Levi, Finland is not just a ski resort in the winter. Summer in Lapland is just as beautiful!
The Levitunturi mountain offers breathtaking 360° views of Lapland and slopes in all directions even in summer and fall. Best of all, Levi is a true paradise for active people and families in the warmer months as well!
Unfortunately, this is not so well known outside Finland. But now you know, and you can look forward to a great summer vacation in Levi.
Experience summer in Levi with mountain biking and hiking! Discover the best routes for beginners and advanced bikers, experience the adventure of the bike park or hike through breathtaking scenery. There is also a lot to discover for families with small children.
In our article you will learn all about the services in the village, where to stay and how to get to Levi.
So grab your hiking boots or mountain bike and let’s go!
After reading this article, you will have all the information you need to make your summer vacation in Lapland unforgettable. And who knows, you might even meet a reindeer on your way through the Finnish wilderness.
Our Finland expert, Hendrik, visited Levi with his family in the summer.
Here is an overview:
Levitunturi – “Fjell of Levi” in Finnish – is a majestic mountain in Southern Lapland, standing alone and proud.
Once you climb a few hundred meters, you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape: the impressive Pallas Mountains to the northwest, the Ylläs Mountains some 35 kilometers to the west, as well as lakes, small fjells and countless forests. At the foot of the mountains lies the charming village of Sirkka, which serves as a base for adventure and exploration.
Take the gondola up the mountain, where you can either race down the summer toboggan run or explore the area on one of the many hiking trails.
A true paradise for nature lovers and explorers!
Mountainbiking in and around Levi
Not only does Levi have a famous bike park, which I’ll talk about later, but there’s also plenty to discover for those who aren’t necessarily looking for the adrenaline rush of downhill riding.
With a large network of mountain bike trails that allow for adventurous day rides on single trails and through picturesque forests, less risk-averse bikers will also find their money’s worth.
For my test, I tried the Levi Tunturi Trail, a roughly 18km route that circles Mount Levitunturi, and I was really impressed with the excellent maintenance of the trail. Some may feel it is more like a highway than a trail, but I have seen many trails that have destroyed the nature around them due to the high number of visitors.
From my experience I can say that well maintained trails are much better for the environment in these situations.
Especially for young mountain biking beginners, these trails offer a safe way to improve their off-road skills.
Experienced riders will also have fun doing the loop around Levitunturi Trail in competition style and testing their speed. But there are many other trails in the area, such as a ride to Ylläs and back, or exploring the lesser-known places around Levi.
You don’t need a car in Levi, as the village is quite small. However, if you want to get around faster, you can switch to a bicycle and get around town. We used four rental bikes to get to the Levi Bike and Activity Park, which is only 3 km from our accommodation and was easily managed even by our five year old.
Levi with small kids
Levi Adventure Park
Speaking of our five year old, Levi is not only a pro at steep descents, but also has a lot to offer the younger kids!
Have you heard about the Adventure Park at Gondolintie? There are lots of free things for toddlers and small children, such as an awesome playground, a small zip line parkour near the ground, and pedal cars, which our daughter just loved.
When the weather is warm and sunny, this is a great place to go – but don’t forget to pack plenty of sunscreen, as there is very little shade!
For kids over 115 cm tall, the big zipline parkour is an absolutely brilliant activity – my son and wife loved it.
Before you get started, there’s an introductory course where you learn all about climbing and the different features. After that, you get to choose one of several routes – everything from ziplining for almost 1,000m to climbing over fun obstacles.
I’m telling you, this looks so much fun! I’m already excited and can’t wait for our daughter to be big enough on her next visit to Levi so we can all experience this adrenaline rush together.
Tonttula Elves Village
On the last day of our vacation, we visited the elven village of Tonttula, which is located a bit away from Sirkka. A short taxi ride took us there.
Here we were able to take a guided tour, make Christmas decorations and bake gingerbread cookies – our children especially enjoyed this.
We also visited the big cave and got to pet some farm animals. We ate lunch here and took a short hike on the forest trail.
Despite the fact that it was July and a little out of season for us parents, the visit was overall very nice and fun for all of us, especially our children.
Levi Bike Park
A couple of years ago I watched my friend Kaddi go downhill mountain biking and thought, “Wow, that looks pretty cool!”
Thanks to Jesper, who I met on my vacation in Åre, I got to experience what it was like to ride down steep hills. It was really exciting and I had a lot of fun.
In fact, it’s much easier and safer than you might think. That’s why I was even more excited when I had the chance to ride downhill with my son at Levi Bike Park, one of the oldest bike parks in Finland.
It was an unforgettable experience and we both had a great time!
First, we picked up our downhill bikes at the Levi Bike Park store and equipped ourselves with our protective gear. From POC knee pads to body harnesses and helmets to gloves and shirts, it was all there.
Then we met our instructor Pieto, who is not only a trail builder in Levi. Our group consisted of six people with different skill levels, but Pieto was able to cater to each of us. Even I, as an experienced rider, was able to learn something.
After an introduction to our bikes, we took the gondola up the mountain and started our tour on the Village Trail.
The green trail is perfect for beginners and also offers great views and exciting features. We are sure this trail will be very popular in the future!
We did the trail in stages, taking breaks to practice different skills. For example, we learned how to make turns and ride waves.
After mastering the Village Trail at the Levi Activity Center, we took the gondola back up to the Blue Groove Trail. This is one of the most popular trails in Levi and has lots of exciting berms and features – all at an easy Blue Trail level.
We had a lot of fun!
In the afternoon, my son and I rode the Village Trail and the South Route with Pieto. We had the trails to ourselves and could really put the pedal to the metal.
Even though there were a lot of riders and bikers coming up the mountain, the trails were quiet. Even on the popular Blue Groove we could easily stop and take pictures without anyone getting in our way.
What a feeling!
With more than ten trails of varying degrees of difficulty, the riders were spread out very evenly. This also means that slower riders don’t feel like they’re holding others back. Top!
We had some really cool days at the Levi Bike Park!
My son and I rode a lot of trails and he did it all without fear and with great technique – and that’s after only one lesson! He told me that he really enjoyed the experience and since we are back home he has been riding his Woom OFF Air on the trails near us and he is having a blast.
As a side note, many ski resorts around the world are deserted during the summer months. This is of course not ideal for the local communities. That’s why I fully support the idea of villages where you can live all year round.
Fortunately, there are services like the Levi Bike Park that ensure that hotels, restaurants, and even the expensive gondola and lift infrastructure don’t have to shut down when the ski season is over.
Services like these and others keep the small village of Sirkka bustling year-round and allow its residents to make a living from January to December. How cool is that?
Hiking in Levi
Almost every evening I made a short or longer hike up Levitunturi.
In summer in Lapland there is an incomparable golden hour that makes my photographer’s heart beat faster every time. The great weather and magnificent views make every hike an unforgettable experience.
Although there are some marked trails leading up and around the mountain, I mostly just walked around and explored the surroundings. I especially enjoyed visiting Santa’s Cabin, climbing to the top, and just following little trails that looked promising.
If you want to learn more about how these mountains were formed, you should definitely visit the Ice Age Trail. There are also many other trails to explore around Levi – a quick search on Retkikartta will help you find and explore them all!
Services in the village
In Sirkka, with its well laid out center, you will discover a variety of shops and services.
A fantastic experience for the kids and me was the summer toboggan run, where you can ride alone or with a companion on a 2-person sled.
The attraction is very popular and it is recommended to come in the early morning or early afternoon to avoid long waits. After 4pm it can get very crowded and you can expect to wait up to an hour to get up and down.
We rented four bikes from the Zero Point shop down by the slopes in Sirkka and it was an absolute blast!
We told them our size and needs online beforehand and when we arrived all we had to do was try the bikes on. What can I say? They fit like a glove and we could start riding right away. We also got our rental helmets. It couldn’t have been easier!
Best of all, the store has bikes for kids of all ages. Our daughter was thrilled to get her pink Trek bike!
The Tourist Information Center makes it easy to book activities, get lift tickets, and even find a cozy place to stay. If you lose something along the way, no worries – there are several sporting goods stores nearby.
For the small hunger in between there are a few cafes and a coffee shop, but if you are really hungry there are several restaurants to choose from. We chose an apartment with a kitchen and went shopping at the S-Market supermarket in the center to prepare our own meals.
I don’t drink alcohol anymore, so I didn’t go to the bars and nightclubs in Levi, but if you feel like a cold beer after an action-packed day on the downhill trails, you can!
Where to stay
Our spacious apartment at the Hullu Poro Hotel was our home away from home during our stay.
It is a short walk to the city center and the bus stops right outside the door, which is very convenient. The small spa with sauna and hot tub was the perfect place for the kids to relax after a long day.
Our apartment accommodated up to six people and had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchen, and a nice dining and living area. We even had our own sauna, but the weather was so warm that we didn’t use it.
All in all, it was a very comfortable stay and the included breakfast was delicious.
How to get to Levi
We especially liked the Angry Birds playground, which is also free! With our kids, we spent several hours playing on the various installations lovingly designed by Lapses.
There was also a football field and we borrowed balls to play a few rounds.
Bus and train
Bus and train are great!
We decided to take the train from Vaasa to Rovaniemi and back and it was really cheap – especially if you book early. Our train tickets cost us a total of only €75.00.
Granted, the trip takes between 6 and 8 hours and you have to change trains twice along the way, but with some cool card games, audio books or a movie on your tablet, the trip can be super enjoyable for everyone.
Flying to Kittilä
Alternatively, you can fly to Kittilä with Finnair, which is the fastest way.
However, the flights are a bit more expensive and there are limited connections. If you decide to fly to Levi, be sure to book well in advance.
There are local buses that take you from the airport in Kittilä to Levi and back – they run at the same time as the flights, so it’s super easy!
As usual, we traveled light, using only the Arc’teryx V110 Duffel and our Eagle Creek Cubes to store our four outfits and belongings. My camera gear and MacBook were safely tucked away in my trusty Peak Design Travel Backpack, while I used my HUCKEPACKS Phoenix Lite for hiking and the Vaude TrailSpacer 18 for biking.
But I especially liked my Luna Sandals OSO Flaco and my Houdini Daybreak Shorts, which I always like to wear in the summer. We got our mountain bikes and downhill bikes including protection gear at the Levi Bike Park Shop (for the downhill) and at Zero Point in Sirkka (for the MTBs), so we can travel relaxed without bikes by public transport. 🙂
Should you go and visit Levi?
Levi really wowed us!
There are exciting and fun activities for kids and adults alike, which we really enjoyed.
It was especially great that there were lots of free things to do around the Adventure Park and that we could explore the area on bikes – our kids especially loved that. So if you’re looking for an active vacation destination with plenty of room to relax, you should definitely check out Levi.
With an abundance of different activities, accommodations for every budget, and stunning views from Levitunturi, it’s definitely a destination to put on your list for your next summer or fall vacation!