Ditch the modern ice hotels and glass-roofed igloos for a more traditional way to sleep in the snow. Cosy, snug and unforgettable, spending the night in an igloo is a must for your Lapland holiday.
Quite literally one of Lapland’s coolest places to stay, these igloos are completely rebuilt each year with the approach of winter. These aren’t your luxurious ice hotels with ice bars or fancy sculptures but a real Sámi experience. Don’t let the basic features put you off. Resembling the shape, size and style of a traditional igloo, you’ll understand how these typically nomadic people once lived. The internal temperature hovers around a cool 0°C no matter what the temperature is outside. However, you’ll remain warm and comfortable inside wrapped up in thermals and sleeping bags atop reindeer hides all night long.
Sleeping in a private, glistening igloo is an experience unlike any other and should be included on your Lapland holiday itinerary. This extraordinary experience is available as an Optional Excursion on several of our holidays inside the Arctic Circle, including our Santa holidays and Arctic Spirit breaks.
Sleeping out in the snow is not a new idea. Sámi tribes people have been living this way for centuries. Reindeer herders needed to travel vast distances and build temporary shelter quickly. With lumber in very short supply, an igloo provided the solution. The dome is a very strong structure and can protect against the elements. Although it is made of snow, igloos are surprisingly warm and comfortable inside.
Back in the 1980s, Swede Yngve Berggvist developed the concept for a hotel built of ice to highlight this indigenous way of life, its traditions and culture. The idea was also to reinforce the beauty of the natural environment and surroundings. Originally an art gallery, today his ICEHOTEL attracts up to 50,000 every winter. As a result, sleeping in an igloo or visiting the ICEHOTEL has become a must on Lapland holiday itineraries.
1. Manage expectations - This is a unique place to stay, not a luxurious one. Whilst hides and an ice bed are included in your ‘room’ to keep things cosy, note that it will be basic. This is all about the experience of sleeping in an igloo - don’t expect the Ritz.
2. Keep the layers light - It may feel like the wrong thing to do but layering up won’t keep you warm. Wearing too much will mean you’ll overheat in your sleep, work up a sweat, which will cool and make you damp. Keep your layers light with high-quality materials: think merino wool thermals. You'll be provided with a sleeping bag for Arctic use. But don't forget your warm gear too - for any toilet trips during the night.
3. Eat a good size portion at dinner - Eat a warm and plentiful meal at the hotel beforehand - your body needs fuel to keep warm.
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