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With fresh snow under your feet and a night sky illuminated by the Aurora Borealis, Nordic winters are like no other. And the best way to enjoy it is to stay in an igloo in a thermal sleeping bag and thick blanket. Here’s our pick of the best ice hotels in Europe.
The Arctic Snow Hotel is an inn in a remote village in Finnish Lapland that features suites made of snow and ice. Guests can relax in the snow sauna or outdoor hot tub, then ask to be woken up to see the stunning Aurora Borealis. There’s even an ice chapel and bridal suite for those looking to get married in an unforgettable location. Or, you can also sleep under the stars in a glass igloo. With an insulated glass roof, this modern igloo offers expansive views so you can admire the Northern Lights from your bed. For the full Arctic Circle experience, dine at the ice restaurant or try local activities such as snowshoeing, ice sculpting or ice fishing.
The glass-roofed igloo at Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi features luxurious interiors, thick robes and a rain shower in the en suite bathroom. With a breakfast box delivered to your room, you can dine casually in bed looking out at the Arctic sky. And with attractions like Santa Claus Village, Arctic Golf Finland and Ounasvaara Ski Resort a short drive away, you’ll never run out of activities.
At the Kirkenes Snowhotel, you can choose between a large snow suite or a small wooden cottage in the style of a traditional Sami hunting lodge. Both options include breakfast and dinner in the restaurant, as well as access to a sauna. The friendly staff will arrange activities such as husky strollers and snowmobiling. Kirkenes is not just a winter destination. In summer you can hike, fish and raft for king crab in the surrounding countryside.
The room at the Icehotel at Jukkasjärvi is made of ice carvings from the water of the nearby Torne River and features ice sculptures by international artists. There is also an la carte restaurant and lounge with board games, ideal for spending the evening. Those wishing to explore the Swedish countryside further can head to Mount Luossavaara and its ski resort 20 km away.
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel’s restaurant in the Norwegian coastal city of Alta serves local specialties, such as trout, king crab, cloudberry and game, and a variety of fresh local vegetables. Visitors can also book a snow safari or dog sled tour, or choose to just relax in the onsite open air hot tub.