Kakslautten Arctic Resort, Finland
Kakslauttanen is located in the heart of the Lapland wilderness, two hundred and fifty kilometres north of the Artic Circle; this is a mystical part of the world that is illuminated by spectrums of Aurora Borealis through the winter. Unique igloo suites look up to this cosmic miracle from your bed, and reindeers roam free in the heart of the Sami Tribe homeland. Immersed in an area so pristine you can drink from the streams and feel the freshness of the air. An incredible ecological area next to the Urho Kekkonen National Park, this is a winter eco escape on the tip of the world.
The incredible artic design of the individual glass igloos suspended in the snow is a stunning low impact design that blends into this tundra wilderness. Sleeping two to four, you and your family can gaze through clear glass ceilings to the most miraculous light show on earth – the Northern Lights. Suites are illuminated with the supernatural spectrums of greens and pinks colours contorted into the most beautiful and mystical of rainbows. In Finnish they are called ‘revontulet’ which comes from the Sami and refers to the artic fox. Folklore in the region says the lights are caused by the fox running over the mountains and sweeping the snow up into the sky causing this amazing spectacle. In reality it is solar winds hitting the atmosphere a hundred kilometres and becoming ‘excited’ and therefore throwing of these amazing aurora that are visible from the end of August to the end of April. Best viewing is during the time of Kammos from mid December to January when the sun barely rises and it is light around five hours a day.
Kakslauttanen is definitely one of the most incredible places to witness this phenomenon in an environment so far removed from the world. Take a hike to hunt for the best shots or simply enjoy the show from your own room. The glass igloos are iconic and stylish in their design perfectly suited to this icy artic environment and shielded from the elements and sub freezing temperatures and winds. Shining like crystals under the multi-coloured skies they are comfortably cosy suites with a bathroom and a perfect view of the skies. Another incredible place to spend the night in the resort is the snow igloo suites. Sleep on a bed of snow laden with furs and cocooned in a down sleeping bag. This is the authentic experience of sleeping like the Sami have for centuries in houses of snow. Although it can get as cold as – 40 degrees centigrade outside, its around – 3 to – 6 degrees inside these snow suites. Although it is not as warm and a glass igloo, this is definitely a more adventurous and once in a lifetime night.
There is also a selection of wonderfully sumptuous wooden traditional sleeping suites and houses too. The Wedding Chamber is housed in a Kammi or earth lodge. Crafted out of trees from the surrounding forests with a turf roof, they blend in beautifully with the environment and myth rumours they are even built by trolls. Big comfortable beds, a private sauna and a regency bath are not very troll like abodes but are definitely a romantic and natural environment to hideaway during your stay after a day of exploration and exhilaration in the snow. For smaller guests the house built by elves or Santa’s House is every childhood dream come true. There are wood houses to suit every experience and cater to every comfort and childhood dream in this stunning stark snowy landscape.
Exploring this vast artic desert is an experience that is exhilarating and stunningly beautiful. Vast swathes of snow covered panoramas surround the property and into the national park, that can be discovered with all sorts of activities. For an authentic and alternative snow safari then traverse the trails by reindeer sleigh. Connect and learn from the land from the reindeer herders of Sami peoples who will guide through this unique experience. Take a traditional picnic in the snow and learn how to handle these gentle and agile animals. A slow and sustainable way to delve into this magnificent landscape using a timeless way of travel that does not impact upon the natural environment.
Skiing and snowboarding are the main activities at the nearby town of Sariselkä, Finland’s nethermost ski resort that has fifteen mixed ability slopes and a freestyle park that boasts lots of pipes and jumps. There is incredible downhill skiing and no shortage of snow throughout the long season that runs from October through until May and boasts some excellent packed snow powder conditions. This is an excellent place for beginners, but there are also some challenging runs for experienced skiers. It is also ranked as the worlds best cross country skiing destination, with over two hundred kilometres of tracks, with thirty being illuminated, this is an incredible way to traverse this great snowscape. From Kakslauttanen you can start from right outside your front door and guides are available to take you.
For an extraordinary artic excursion a trip on the Finnish Governments Sampo icebreaker ship is within easy reach of the resort. A day trip through the ice aboard will take you into one of the harshest and most mysteriously beautiful environments on earth. Cracking your way through the frozen sea of the Bay of Bothnia and even swim in the frigid waters wearing a dry survival suit. On the other end of the spectrum for the smaller and less active is the visit to Santa’s House here in the heart of Lapland. A cosy and warm you can meet Santa and spend a day with another of the main attractions of this part of the world. It is an utterly enthralling and wonderful childhood experience for your little ones.
Kakslauttanen is an exquisitely unique and remote artic resort for those who really want to experience all the marvels of this enigmatic part of the world in an environmentally sensitive way. Immerse yourself in this unique icescape and explore it with the indigenous Sami tribe, visit Santa or ski the slopes and sights in the surrounding area. This is the ultimate winter eco destination for a remarkable journey to Lapland.
For more information: www.kakslauttanen.fi
Images Courtesy of Kakslauttanen & Words by Electra Gillies