Mumbai: Travstarz Global Group organized a networking evening on behalf of Visit Levi recently in Mumbai.

Levi is a unique all year round holiday destination in Lapland. Finland’s northernmost region is a sparsely populated area bordering Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea, and known for its vast sub-arctic wilderness, ski resorts and natural phenomena including the midnight sun and the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). From Finland’s capital Helsinki, a 1 hour 20 minutes flight to nearest airport Kittilä and another 15 minutes drive is all it takes to experience Levi.

Levi is a unique all-year-round holiday destination in Lapland, Finland’s northern-most region known for its vast sub-arctic wilderness, ski resorts and the Northern Lights

The biggest ski destination in Finland, Levi has pistes available for downhill skiers and snowboarders, beginners or advanced skiers as well as children. For cross-country skiing Levi offers in total 230 km of skiing tracks and 886 km of snowmobile trails and 60 km of hiking routes. There are altogether 43 pistes with 28 lifts. For those who need coaching, Levi has an international Ski School that offers courses for all skill levels. The region is also home to 480 huskies and other sled dogs; 12,000 reindeers reside in the Kittilä area alone.

Levi welcomes 7,50,000 visitors a year and is a sought after winter destination in Europe especially for Northern Lights sightings – 111 times annually starting from August. UK, Germany and Russia are primary source markets and more than 25 per cent of all visitors to Finland, go to Levi. The average length of stay during winter is 7 nights and can go up to 2-3 weeks as well.

The sub-zero winter season is the best time to enjoy the frosty scenery of Levi. The snowfalls begin in late October or early November and last till mid-May, offering ample time to build snowmen, make snow angels and ski downhill or cross country across powder snow. Spending the night at an ice hotel is another special experience at Levi. At Luvattumaa Ice Gallery and Lainio Snow Village admire the beautifully illuminated snow castles, enjoy dinner in a unique environment and call it a day at an arctic suite. Ice fishing, go-karting on ice, snowmobile and dog sledding are other must try winter activities.

At Levi one can also stay overnight in an igloo which are traditional but made of glass instead of ice enabling guests to admire the bright stars and the Northern Lights through the glass roof – an experience that will stay on forever. And Levi is also one of the few places where one can get a ‘double view’ – the phenomenon in the sky and its reflection on the surface of the water!

“Though the trade has been selling Levi, it is a fairly new destination for India market,” said Papori Bharati, India Representative, Visit Levi. “Since June this year we have been active creating awareness about Levi. Northern Lights is the experience we are promoting. We have reasonable air connectivity between India and Helsinki and Indian visitors can experience the Northern Lights in Levi as early as August – it is not necessary to wait till winter when rates are high and securing rooms difficult as it is peak season warranting advance booking of at least 10 months.”

Visit Levi is focusing on FIT leisure segment in India and MICE is also on the radar but limited air carrying capacity has to be kept in mind. Weddings market is not a priority for now. Though Indian food is not available in Levi, vegetarian and vegan options are aplenty.