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Igloo hotel Finland: ice magic at the Kakslauttanen Resort

By , 29th October 2018

The snow-covered forests and mountains of the Lapland region are an unmissable experience, and what better way could there be to see them than from the Kakslauttanen resort, Finland’s igloo hotel? Whether you choose a traditional snow igloo, a spectacular glass one or a cosy log chalet, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking wilderness.

This is the land where reindeer roam free and the spellbinding Northern Lights glimmer overhead. It’s the ideal place to be inspired with the spirit of adventure, heading on outdoor excursions such as cross-country skiing, husky safaris or even panning for gold in the river. Whether or not you discover any gold coins, this igloo hotel will leave memories to treasure.

Igloo Village Kakslauttanen: a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Finland’s igloo hotel

[stars number="4"] Igloo Village Kakslauttanen | Saariselkä
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Stargazers, Northern Lights chasers and wilderness seekers – prepare to be enchanted. Set in Lapland, Finland’s remote northern wilderness, the Igloo Village offers an opportunity for an intimate encounter with an unspoilt corner of the world. Imagine lying back in your bed and admiring crystal-clear views of glittering constellations through your glass ceiling. Beyond your door are acres of ancient snow-capped pine forests, tranquil rivers and the rolling hills of nearby Urho Kekkonen National Park, where golden eagles soar above prowling wolves and bears. That’s just the beginning of the adventures that this extraordinary 4-star resort has to offer.

How to reach the Igloo village in Finland?

The igloo village is located 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle and far removed from the hustle and bustle of urban life, but getting there is easier than you might think. Less than half an hour’s drive away is Ivalo, the nearest airport. With several flights a day from Helsinki, it’s ideal for a two-centre holiday exploring the Nordic cool of Finland’s cultural capital as well as the country’s vast, isolated expanses. A shuttle bus connects the airport to the resort, effortlessly whisking you into the peaceful heart of Lapland. Alternatively, thanks to free parking on site, it’s easy to drive yourself and head along the region’s well-developed road network, across the undulating landscape and through evergreen forests.

What to bring with me to the igloo village?

On arrival, leave the 21st century behind and live like one of the indigenous Sami people with a night in the resort’s signature snow igloos. The resort provides a warm sleeping bag filled with down as well as a hat and woollen socks. To prepare for the igloo experience, where interior temperatures hover between minus 3 and minus 6 degrees Celsius, you’ll want to pack a layer of thermal underwear, too. Thanks to Finland’s extensive mobile phone coverage, you don’t have to completely abandon modern technology: you can share your adventure on social media with friends and family as it happens. Or simply curl up as the blissful silence of an enormous landscape blanketed in snow lulls you to sleep.

Seeing the Northern Lights from the Igloo Village Kakslauttanen

If you’ve been lured to the Arctic Circle by the magic of the Northern Lights, then the glass igloos at Kakslauttanen offer the chance to experience them from within your own hotel room. From the outside, these transparent domes dotted around the snowy forest glow from within, a welcoming haven from the chills outside. Inside the heated room, they have beds for two or four people and toilets. The larger igloos have showers inside, while saunas and showers are available in a separate building for the smaller ones. It’s worth bringing a small overnight bag with you, as your large suitcases will have to be stored in the main reception area during your stay in the glass igloo. But all the focus is on the view of pristine skies as you lie back and watch the stars glimmer and the mesmerising illuminations dance overhead.
Part of the magic of the Aurora Borealis is its unpredictability, with everything from cloud cover to magnetic fields affecting the chances of a spectacular show. But heading to Kakslauttanen offers you the opportunity to see the full majesty of these lights, thanks to the dark skies of its unpopulated region. Book your trip between late August and late April to arrive in peak season for the Northern Lights. Sightings can last anywhere from five minutes to a whole night. As they can’t always be predicted in advance, ask the resort’s multilingual staff for advice or check the forecast to make sure you don’t miss a moment.

Choosing your accommodation at the Igloo village

The Igloo Village Kakslauttanen is also home to a number of classic log cabins, which present an insight into typical life in the Arctic Circle. Built from rustic kelo pinewood – the ancient, slow-growing timber that has provided Laplanders with building materials for generations – they can sleep up to ten, making them just the spot for larger groups and family holidays. Wooden sledges help you carry your luggage through the snow to your cabin. Step over the threshold and admire the beautifully carved wooden furnishings and imposing stone fireplace of the living room. Instructions inside tell you how to light the fire and to tend it, but if you’d rather relax and leave it to the experts, a member of staff will be happy to get a roaring blaze going for you. (There’s central heating too, so you’ll stay warm even when the fire goes out.) Your cabin also features its own sauna, if you’d like to take the chill off in true Finnish style.
For extra authenticity, you can also stay in a two-person traditional house. This restored Lapland home has stood in the wilderness for nearly a century, and comes complete with a rocking chair and old-style wood-burning stove. If you can’t decide between the comforts of a log cabin and the views of a glass igloo, you don’t have to. The resort also offers a hybrid kelo-glass igloo, which combines a pine cabin with a glass dome for watching the skies. Like the cabins, these igloos have their own sauna and are fully self-catering, with a kitchenette where you can whip up a dinner for two to eat under the stars in your private hideaway.
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Explore Finnish Lapland with activities at the Igloo Village hotel

Once you’re settled in, explore the many amenities and activities offered by the Igloo Village Kakslauttanen. The complex is separated into two villages, with a restaurant in each where guests can sample some timeless flavours of Lapland. In the East Village, you can settle into the Kelo restaurant’s log cabin, while the West Village is home to the Aurora restaurant, where a glass-roofed bar allows you to sip drinks such as cocktails made with blackcurrant wine as you watch the celestial spectacle unfold. The cuisine draws inspiration from the Arctic landscape: expect dishes such as reindeer, charcoal-grilled salmon, Arctic crab and cloudberry cake. If this taste of Lapland has inspired you, head out on a foraging expedition in summer or autumn, when you can pick your own ripe cloudberries or tasty mushrooms – staff will help check your discoveries on your return to make sure that everything is safe to eat.
No trip to Finland is complete without the time-honoured tradition of the sauna. As well as the private saunas in the cabins, the Igloo Village Kakslauttanen has three riverside smoke saunas, one of which is the largest of its kind in Europe. In this, the oldest form of sauna, wood is burned in a huge stove with no chimney. When it reaches the right sweltering temperature, the fire is put out and the smoke ventilated while bathers bask in the residual heat. Afterwards, anyone feeling brave can end their sauna as the Finns do – by plunging into cold, clear spring water. In winter, they cut a hole in the ice for these daredevils.
The rest of your adventures will depend on the season. In summer, take a trip to Mount Kaunispää to watch the midnight sun, pan for gold in the clear-flowing streams, canoe down the gentle Lutto or plunge into the white waters of the Juutua river. As winter brings its blanket of snow, explore the frozen landscape: follow the call of the wild on a husky sled, get in touch with Sami traditions on a reindeer-driven safari or cover the rolling fells in adrenaline-pumping style on a snowmobile. Learn how to fish on the ice with a local guide, and enjoy lunch prepared over an open fire. Or practise your cross-country skiing along 124 miles of trails, starting right outside your chalet.
Of course, Lapland also has one famous resident that most children dream of meeting, so make Christmas truly magical with a visit to Santa Claus. Head deep into the forest, and cross a wooden bridge over a narrow river to arrive at his idyllic red log cabin. Inside is a festive tree glowing with lights, wooden toys built by the elves and, sitting on a chair, St Nick himself ready for a meeting that little ones will never forget. Do remember to book an appointment in advance – surprises are something that Santa prefers to give rather than to receive.
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