Inghams winter experiences tour to Lapland - Part 2
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The Main Course
There is so much to do around Levi. No-one
will EVER be bored.
A few minutes’ walk from the hotel took us
to the ski centre where beginners like me can take to the nursery slopes, or
the more experienced can take the ski lifts and gondolas further up the fell.
The instructors are all experienced, friendly and patient. I took to the
nursery slopes for a refresher and my encounter with the Finnish children. My
instructor tried to keep a straight face but largely failed. He did get me
nervously down a red run by the end of the session and left some time for
a few unaccompanied runs down the slopes.
An evening snowmobile trip to Luvattumaa
Snow Castle saw me, after a short tuition stage, speeding along woodland tracks
and across frozen lakes. Headlights on the machines added to the James
Bond-like glamour as they illuminated the trails. These machines are powerful,
but easy and safe to drive. They even have heated handlebars for comfort.
At the half-way point we reached the Snow
Castle. The hotel has ice-sculptures, an ice-bar, a lovely wedding
chapel with rooms at a cool 5 degrees C. Good job the sleeping bags are
As we got more confident, bursts of up to 60kph
became the norm across the frozen lakes on the return journey. You do need to
have a driving licence to drive one, though passengers do get an equally
Polar lights huskies allow you to take
charge of your own teams of husky dogs for a trek across the tundra and frozen
lakes. After an introduction to the intricacies of dog-sledding, and a talk
about these lovely creatures, I was introduced to my friendly team of five
adorable and lively animals. I had a five dog team, comprising of a pair of
Siberian and three Alaskan dogs.
Whoosh! We were off. These dogs are workaholics and simply love their jobs.
Following the trails, we rollocked along,
stopping only for poop-stops, something the passengers in the sleds found
hilarious for some reason. The driver stands at the back and controlling the
team only by weight distribution and a foot brake, we travelled eight
kilometres along trails through wonderful countryside. Picture postcard
At the conclusion, we petted the dogs and took
photographs. These were our new best friends.
Ice Karting is another adrenaline filled activity nearby. All the safety kit was provided for this exciting adventure around a specially created ice track in a woodland setting. Snow banks provide the safety run offs, though these were not needed on our trip.
The lively carts have studded tyres to
provide grip around the twisty ice track, so at full throttle you can
power slide your way around the corners. Two race sessions in opposite
directions around the track were interspersed with a relaxing session around an
open fire whilst hot berry juice warmed the innards.
Larger groups can be accommodated in the
form of a championship with elimination rounds and a podium photo opportunity.
Great fun. A driving licence is also required for this activity.
Awwww! Real live Reindeer! Well, 100 to 200
to be precise. A trip to Ounaskievari reindeer farm is an educational treat for
adults and children alike. Owned by a Lappish family who wore traditional
Lappish clothes, they obviously loved and took great care of these animals.
The old and modern methods of reindeer farming and welfare were
explained in detail. We were also given instruction in how to drive the
reindeer sleighs, single or double passenger affairs pulled by a lone
reindeer. We followed woodland trails around the farm and had a great time
before feeding the animals by hand and leading them to their corrals.
Warm berry juice and home-made cakes to
The trails vary in length depending on the
number in the party.
Ten kilometres away from Levi on the
hillside of Utsuvaara Fell is the family owned Golden Crown Lapland Igloo
Village. Here you will find twelve luxuriously
appointed and centrally heated glass igloos. With every modern convenience, including an
en-suite shower room and kitchenette. Romantics will be glad that there is no
Wi-Fi (except for emergencies) or television. Many a proposal has been made here and it
is also a popular honeymoon night venue. The beds are comfortable and have
electronic controls to raise and lower them to take maximum advantage of the
stunning views of up to sixty miles, on clear nights, over the
twinkling village lights and countryside far below.
When the skies darken and the Northern
Lights make their eerie appearance, I swear that you will stare,
slack-jawed in wonder and delight as I did, lying in your bed
gazing to the heavens at the unbelievably beautiful light-show. There
is something almost spiritual about the experience. The night I spent here was
one of the highlights of my entire life.
Most people stay in the igloos for one
night, though there is also a modern, Northern Lights Kammi House on site for
longer stays. The huge lounge has picture windows to take advantage of the long
distance views. One bedroom is a take on the Traditional Lappish style, whilst
the other has a somewhat quirky and lavish 'Palace of Versailles' decor
There is also a sauna and an outdoor
Jacuzzi with superb views over the countryside below.
There is no restaurant here, people self-cater
in the igloos or Kammi or eat at Levi before an evening arrival. There is
also a 'grill hut' to cook your own meal if you wish. A continental breakfast awaits in the
fridge for the morning after.
A stay at the igloos is an optional extra
for Inghams guests.
So, Appetiser and Main Course
completed, on to Dessert in the forthcoming and final Part 3.
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Inghams
- Inghams winter experiences tour to Lapland - Part 1
- Inghams winter experiences tour to Lapland - Part 3
108 people found this feature helpful