Home Blog 6 of our Favourite Experiences to have in Arctic Europe

6 of our Favourite Experiences to have in Arctic Europe

Monday, 31st August 2020

nellim aurora bubble view

To visit Arctic Europe is to stand on the edge of a towering cliff at the northernmost point on mainland Europe. It’s about sleeping on a bed of ice or navigating frozen lakes with reigns between your fingers. Here are 6 of our favourite one-and-only Arctic experiences you can have in this unique place…

1. Husky sledding through the frozen landscapes

finland nellim husky sledding winter

Energetic huskies, a sled, pine trees, frozen lakes, and plenty of snow and cold air to kick your body into gear — really, that’s all you need. A camera is optional, but recommended. After all, when’s the next time you’ll be caught sitting on a reindeer hide behind two to four thick-coated dogs running through the winter wilderness of Lapland?

At places across Lapland and Northern Finland at resorts such as Nellim Wilderness Hotel, you can arrange short excursions or even multi-day expeditions. You’ll cross lakes and rivers and will experience a true adventure in a stunning winter wonderland.

2. Stay in an aurora cabin

finland inari wilderness hotel aurora cabins

Up in the northern reaches of Finnish Lapland, Inari Wilderness Hotel has a handful of glass-domed cabins where guests can watch the northern lights – visible almost 200 nights a year – while sheltered from the -22°F winds outside. Feast on traditional Lappish cuisine like reindeer meat and smoked fish at the on-site restaurant, then retire to your igloo-like room, with decor inspired by indigenous Sami culture. Whilst there’s no guarantee you’ll see the aurora, the anticipation is itself a thrill and you’ll be assured a comfortable and cosy night sleep.

3. Watch out for the northern lights at wilderness Camp Nikka

malangen resort nikka camp people watching aurora

Situated on the shores of picturesque Lake Nikka in Northern Norway, Camp Nikka is Malangen Resort’s very own wilderness camp. Neither of the camp’s lavvus have electricity, making it the perfect place from which to view the aurora, unobstructed by artificial light. Wrap up warm beneath reindeer skin rugs and sip coffee brewed on an open fire while you wait for the northern lights to make their riotous appearance.

4. Sleep in an igloo

sorrisniva igloo hotel ice chapel

A normal hotel is where you sleep and nothing more…but this is no normal hotel. You’ll lie in bed staring at the ice ceiling, snuggled deep into your sleeping bag (that can handle temps down to -15°F), spending ages totally transfixed by the steam coming out of your mouth. You’re not dreaming — this is the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel (27,000 square feet of ice and snow), located just outside of Alta in Northern Norway and it’s the northernmost ice hotel in the world.

5. Journey to the North Cape in Norway

norway northern globe sunset northcape istk

Breathe in the Arctic wind as you stand on a cliff 1,007 feet above the sea at North Cape, where the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans meet. Situated on the island of Magerøya, this is the northernmost point in mainland Europe. Visit around the summer solstice to watch the sun (never) go down.

Excitement bubbles will start in your tummy as you walk up to the globe that marks the most northerly point of mainland Europe. Looking out across the cliff top, the panoramic views are breath taking. If you can resist the urge, however, head to the visitor centre first, watch the 20-minute film about the history of the North Cape, and then stroll outside to the globe. Chances are, it will be much quieter and better to capture fantastic photos.

A cruise along Norway’s famed coastline provides one of the best opportunities for accessing the North Cape.

6. Sleep in a room made entirely of ice

swedish lapland icehotel30 art suite white santorini ak

Bring your warmest long underwear, lie down on a mattress over a reindeer hide, and zip up the sleeping bag… spending the night in a room at the original Icehotel in Swedish Lapland (the world’s first hotel made of ice and snow) means you’ll be falling asleep while watching the steam of your own breath. The Art Suites at the Icehotel are uniquely designed and built entirely of ice and snow whether you stay in the seasonal winter hotel or the permanent Icehotel365.

This solar-run hotel is situated in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, about 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle. And because of 365, you don’t have to wait till the middle of winter to feel like Elsa — the hotel’s open throughout the year.

The very first Icehotel was the result of friends Par Granlund and Yngve Bergqvist’s vision to build an igloo that would be a meeting place which would cross cultural boundaries and symbolise local traditions, nature, history and the environment. The little town of Jukkasjarvi, which actually means ‘meeting place by the lake’, has been a centre for trade and commerce amongst the native Sami for around 400 years – now it would attract ice artists and visitors from around the globe. Their vision has been brought to life, year after year, on the banks of the frozen River Torne. The first igloo, a simple art gallery, had just 50 square meters of floor space, visited mainly by curious locals. Growing in size annually in a never-to-be-repeated design, ice rooms were included in the late nineties and the Icehotel remains one of the most spectacular art galleries in the world.”

Feeling Inspired?

If you have any questions about any of our Arctic experiences or want to get your own holiday underway, call us on 01737 214 250 or you can contact our travel specialists to start discussing your options.