Home Blog More Than Just a Place to Sleep. What To Do at the Icehotel

More Than Just a Place to Sleep. What To Do at the Icehotel

Thursday, 16th April 2020

Destination Specialist

northern lights over the icehotel in Swedish Lapland

The Icehotel is a truly unique place to stay, being the first hotel made completely from ice and snow it has paved the way for innovation around the world. Their legendary cold rooms have enticed people from all over the globe, and their range of unique excursions are guaranteed to fulfil all your Arctic wishes.

With so much on offer at this extraordinary location, it can be overwhelming when you’re trying to plan your perfect itinerary. To help we have asked our team and clients to select their favourite experiences, providing exclusive insights into all the excursions available. We’ll offer our first-hand experience to help you plan your own experience at the inspiring Icehotel. Read on to see what you can expect from a trip, and what activities need to be on your list for winter visit.


swedish lapland icehotel entrance kick sled2 gte

Sleeping on ice…

When you arrive at the Icehotel, ahead of your night sleeping in an ice room, you’ll be given brief introduction including tips and suggestions so you can ‘survive the ice’ and get the most out of your stay here. You will have time to explore the frozen palace, maybe finding your room in the process.

Travel in style… Start this Swedish trip the traditional way, and book a husky sled ride from the airport to the Icehotel. If you ask us, this is the best way to travel in this part of the world.

In the morning you will be awoken from your icy slumber and offered a glass of warm lingonberry juice brought to your bedside.

365 icehotel deluxe suite the victorian apartment ak

Experience a Wilderness Dinner…

Taste the seasons with this delightful dining experience in the woodlands. Your experienced guide will take you to a remote location in the forest, where you will find a secluded wilderness camp. Enjoy a 3-course dinner inspired by the current season, made from local ingredients and cooked right in front of you. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or a meat lover, you will be in awe of what can be achieved over an open fire. Relax around the warmth of the flames and gaze up at the night sky.

Keep your eyes peeled for the glow of the aurora.

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swedish lapland icehotel wilderness dinner inside lavvu rth

Head out Husky Sledding…

You will hear your new friends before you see them. Raring to go, you will meet these adorable dogs on the frozen Torne River before you start your adventure. Whether you relax as a passenger or try your hand at mushing, both of these experiences will fill you with an innate sense of oneness with the huskies. As you meander through forests and speed along open the frozen river, you will get a true sense of the beauty here. You will understand why people return to this remote location every year. Give your huskies a little love when you take a break, they’ll appreciate the affection.

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Marvel at how the huskies hydrate and cool themselves without stopping. They will eat the snow on the move and run their speeding body along the piles of snow.

swedish lapland arctic retreat husky team at rest

Skiing the Nordic way…

If you would prefer to go by your own power, then cross country skiing is the perfect way to explore the snowy surroundings. Travel along maintained tracks with a guide, take in beautiful views and venture amongst heavy fir trees. This is a popular and wholesome activity. Take a break and settle around an open fire while you sip coffee and gaze out in search of wild animals. If you fancy more time to hone your skills, the equipment is yours to keep for the day, so you are able to head out on your own after.

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swedish lapland arctic retreat cross country skiing

Hunt for the Northern Lights on a Snowmobiling Tour…

Take to the tracks on this exhilarating snowmobile tour, taking you away from the Icehotel and giving you the best chance of viewing the coveted aurora. Led by a guide, you will speed across Torne River and into the wilderness. Arriving at a woodland hut for a freshly cooked 2-course dinner, where you will learn all about the northern lights. Relax and enjoy the vast night sky, and see if that glimmer of green will grace you with its presence. An exciting and memorable experience, unique to this frosty part of the world.

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Keep your camera ready, as you can take shots to identify the first wispy signs of auroral activity. Colours may be captured on camera even if your naked eye can’t yet detect them.

swedish lapland brandon lodge snowmobile train with aurora gr

Or maybe capture the moment..

Be in with the chance of getting the perfect snap of the aurora with the Northern Lights Photography excursion. You will be provided with a camera for the duration and the expert knowledge to achieve the perfect picture. Wrap up warm, absorb the serene atmosphere, and wait patiently for the aurora to make an appearance. Ready to showcase your new skills you will leave with the ability to freeze time and remember this moment forever.

Recommended by Lauren Shorney, Travel Specialist

swedish lapland icehotel northern lights photography ih

Join a Moose Safari on Horseback…

It is time to venture out of the quaint town of Jukkasjarvi, and travel over to the neighbouring Ofelas Icelandic horse farm. Prepare your horse for an unforgettable exploration of the surrounding forest, keeping your eyes peeled for the shy moose. As you trot through the woods you will have incredible views over Sweden’s highest mountain range, Kebnekaise. Your expert guide will lead the way to foraging moose, pointing out tracks and teaching you all about the king of the forest.

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Icelandic horses have an exclusive gait that no other horse in the world can perform. This Icelandic sashay is called the tölt. We won’t ruin the surprise, so ask if your horse can strut the tölt before you head off to find out what this entails.

sweden lapland moose eating vs

Or jump on a Snowmobile for the fast paced version…

For a more exhilarating day join the moose safari by snowmobile, you will enjoy the incredible views of Kebnekaise and be lead to foraging moose. The adrenaline junkies will also have the chance to get their blood pumping as they speed along the lake as fast as they can (or the snowmobile will allow). Or relax as a passenger and take in the spectacular views surrounding you.

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You will enjoy a traditional home cooked meal at the Ofelas Farm, perfect after a refreshing morning. Now it is time to unwind and enjoy one of our favourite Swedish rituals…

sweden camp ripan snowmobiling

Relax in a Sauna Ritual…

The sauna is a long time tradition in Swedish Lapland and the contrast between hot and cold are said to have wholesome effects on the body. Make your way through the 10 step Jukkasjarvi Sauna Ritual, experiencing an ice plunge in the Torne River, rolling in snow, and a beautifully warm moment in the outdoor heated bathtubs. This is the perfect way to round of a unique and inspiring trip, and you never know you might take some of these rituals home with you. Cold shower anyone?

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swedish lapland solar egg at icehotel 30 akliger 1

Can’t leave without Ice Sculpting…

It would not be a trip to the Icehotel without channelling your inner artist. Join an ice sculpting course which will have you creating masterpieces by the end. Blocks of fresh ice are taken from the Torne River, and you will be taught how to work with this magical substance and use the tools to create a piece of art. Sadly these artworks do not travel well, so you are unable to take them home, but they will be displayed outside the hotel for all to marvel. You might even find yourself inspired to submit your own entry for an ice suite!

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sweden lapland icehotel sculpting rth

Venture out on your own…

Make sure you save some time to explore the little town of Jukkasjarvi. Originally occupied by Sami’s, Jukkasjarvi is roughly translated to ‘meeting place by the water’ which is extremely appropriate. Wander down to the other end of the village to visit the Sami café and museum. Here you can enjoy freshly prepared traditional Sami food, learn about the culture, and perhaps feed the reindeer.

As you make your way down to the Sami café pop into the local co-operative foods – unlike any you’ve visited before offering an array of Swedish treats that cannot be missed. Our favourites at Discover the World include cinnamon buns.

Feel Inspired?

Learn more about the incredible experiences and tailored trips we offer on an Icehotel holiday.