Northern Lights Village is located a ten-minute drive away from the centre of Levi, but it’s like a world of its own under the stars of the Milky Way. The entrepreneur couple Terhi and Sami Lappalainen describe how nature, peace and the northern lights work wonders on people.
Terhi: “When I was a child, I said that I wanted to be an innkeeper when I grow up. I was still super nervous at first. I suppose it was idiotic, in a way, to leave everything safe and familiar behind and take a plunge into the new and unknown.
We had run a cabin forwarding enterprise in Levi for 19 years when we got involved in opening Northern Lights Village. On the first day, 8 November 2019, I was anxious about how everything would turn out, when a large Chinese group arrived. They built snowmen and had just sat down to eat when someone came in the door and said: ‘I think there is aurora in the sky.’ Chairs toppled, coffee cups fell on the floor and everyone rushed outside. They jumped and screamed and hugged each other. That was a great moment and I realized, okay, this can be a really big deal.”
Sami: “We offer our customers nature and peace, time to admire the forest and the sky. We have 40 aurora cabins where you can see the night sky, two glass-roofed saunas and a restaurant where you can sit by a fireplace and enjoy good food. We built the village in a place where we’ve picked lingonberries with our kids, planted trees and seen elk. We wanted to do everything so that we could spare as much of the nature and trees as possible.”
Terhi: “When the reindeer fence was being built, Sami practically clung to an old pine tree, saying that it should not be damaged. We also instruct our staff not to leave any extra traces in nature. We just had a couple from Espoo staying here for a week. The man looked around at first, asking where the TV was. When I told him that there isn't one, he was horrified. The next morning, he said he'd never been without a TV for a whole day and night, but now he’d just laid in the hut and watched the trees swaying in the wind.”
Sami: “Under the streetlights you don't even realize how incredible a star-filled night sky looks. It's so dark here that you can even see the Milky Way. When you turn the lights off and sit outside in a hot tub, you see northern lights almost every night, if the skies are clear.”
Terhi: “We wanted to build a place where you don't have to leave to do things if you don't want to. There’s a nature trail and a ski trail right here in the forest, and reindeer and husky tours start directly in our yard. You can get a ride to the centre of Levi, if you want. Last year, almost all our customers were foreigners, but now it’s been great to see how Finns have discovered Lapland. One Finnish woman just told me that she hadn’t realized that there’s a place like this in Finland.”