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9 Life-Changing Excursions In Lapland | Ice Hotel Northern Lights

ice hotel northern lights

If you’re heading to see the Ice Hotel northern lights in Lapland, Finland prepares yourself for equal parts adventure and luxury.

This is a bucket-list destination and this post will make sure you don’t miss a thing when traveling to the world’s finest winter wonderland.

In this post, you will learn about the Ice Hotel northern lights, Lapland Finland, the Lapland northern lights package you can purchase, what to do in Lapland winter, where to stay in Lapland, the best time to visit Lapland for northern lights, what to pack for Lapland, Lapland tips and more!

This post is all about the Ice Hotel northern lights.

How To Get To Lapland

Lapland lies within the Arctic and Scandinavia or the Northernmost part of Norway. It is considered one of the most unique places to travel to for a winter getaway.

You can easily travel to Lapland by car, train or airplane. The nearest airport is Kittila (KTT) if you choose to fly or you can take the night train which is sometimes called The Santa Clause Express.

This is the option we chose when leaving Norway for Christmas to head North for a New Year in Lapland. The train departs from Helsinki, stops in Rovenami (Santa Clause town), and ends its journey in Kemijarvi.

Book your train or flight ahead of time to ensure you have a comfortable seat, depending on where you are coming from you may have multiple layovers and a long flight duration.

when to travel to lapland

When To Travel To Lapland

For a snowy escape journey anytime between November to March. If you’re traveling to see the northern lights they can be seen as early as September.

They are best viewed between 9 pm to 2 am. During the summer it is sunny for 24 hours a day. The opposite occurs during winter months and the sun will only make an appearance for several hours a day total. This was the case when we were there and it felt as though we were on an eternal night, it was a very cool experience!

What To Wear In Lapland

If you are headed to the north in the winter you can expect it to be cold to the point of freezing. Obviously, you will want to dress warmly. Use this as a guide on your winter packing list essentials.

These winter ware must-haves will get you through the coldest of cold so you can stay focused on having the time of your life!

What To Do In Lapland

Visit A Reindeer Farm

reindeer farm lapland

There are reindeer farms all over Lapland and you will want to make sure you check at least one of them out. Reindeer are very majestic and depending on where you decide to go you can usually hear all about the history of the Sami people and why the reindeer were so important to them.

The Sami people were mainly reindeer herders and used them for furs, traveling, and meat. Feed the reindeer at the farm and read up on their fascinating history. You can even eat reindeer if that’s your thing as you will find it on the menu all over Lapland.

Stay In The Ice Hotel Lapland

ice hotel northern lights lapland

This place was massive and should be on everyone’s bucket list. It doesn’t matter if you are an adventure traveler or you are more into luxury travel, this unique destination ticks all of the boxes.

What exactly are The Ice Hotel northern lights? Well, technically they are two separate things but most people who travel there will go for both and often will group the two.

The Ice Hotel has been around since 1989 and is open from December to April. The art is different every year and carved by an ice artist. Every year the artists are hand-picked to create a completely new design that has never before been seen. So cool! There are around 20 standard rooms and twelve art suites.

Each suite is a work of art. You can stay in them for an extra price, although the doors are open to the public to look at before its guest goes to sleep for the long cold evening. Every room is completely made of ice. From the slab of ice called your bed (don’t worry it’s covered in thick furs) to the cocktail glasses made of ice to the structure and decor of the hotel itself.

ice hotel northern lights

Most often people will book a few nights at the hotel (with a real bed, heater, and a shower) before staying the last night in the actual Ice Hotel. This enables you to see the entire property as there is a lot to do and save the best part for last. Plus, you probably wouldn’t want more than one evening in the Ice Hotel as it is cold!

If you do choose to stay in the Ice Hotel plan to dress incredibly warm. They do provide you with a sleeping bag (you can sleep in a single or double if you’re staying with your partner) and a certificate of completion at the end that says how cold it was at night. I believe the night we stayed it was negative 7 degrees Celcius.

Give yourself time to wander before bed to visit the ice hotel chapel, the ice hotel bar, and of course to visit the ice installations.

Remember to book early if traveling for the holidays as the rooms get booked up. Around April the sun begins to return (during the winter it is dark for 22 hours a day), the ice sculptures melt and the Aurora Borealis begin to fade.

Purchase a Lapland Northern Lights Tour

There are many reasons to book a Lapland Northern Lights Tour when visiting this bucket list destination.

The main reason is that if you are staying in town the lights can pollute the sky so much your chances of seeing the beautiful aurora borealis can be rare. Keep in mind that the northern lights are unpredictable and even when you go on a tour you might not see them depending on the weather and location.

Your guides are most likely from the area and will know the best spots to hunt them down. The hunt for the northern lights itself can be super fun! Dress warm and choose between a more adventurous tour like a snowmobile or stay warm inside a car and get out only when you have found the lights.

Again, the northern lights are unpredictable. I was lucky enough to see them on new years eve, on a rooftop, with fireworks exploding as everyone in Norway was counting down to the new year. Pretty magical, right?

Book your next trip to see the Ice Hotel Northern Lights as soon as you can! It is a journey you will never forget!

Try a Lapland Snowmobile Tour

There is nothing more freeing than cruising on a snowmobile in Lapland. Not only is it a snowy perfection as far as the eyes can see but it is filled with many moments to pause, take a photo and admire the untouched landscape.

The tour is led by the locals and depending on which you purchase can take you straight to Santa Clause town, a reindeer farm, or see the northern lights. You can ride one or two at a time and will provide extra coverage for the really cold days. At the end of our tour, we got to warm up with homemade stew and hot chocolate.

Take your time when driving as most of the “snow” is ice and stay with the group. Strap in! This is one of the best tours for adventure travelers and one you won’t want to miss!

snowmobile lapland

Dog Sledding Lapland Tour

This tour is an absolute MUST! There are many to choose from but the one we experienced happened early in the morning. Our guide had around 40 dogs (and knew all of their names and personalities) and explained how much they loved to get up and mush through the thick snow every day.

A funny fact he shared was that they often put the female dogs in the front which motivates the male dogs behind her to run faster. Makes sense, right?!

Plan to bundle up in extra layers (you will also be given a blanket) and bring your camera! We saw a ton of reindeer and the sun was just coming up over the snow-dusted trees which can make you feel as if you are right inside a postcard.

Get excited! The dog sledding tour in Lapland was one of the best experiences of the entire trip!

Santa Clause Village

Santa Clause Holiday Village is a cute little amusement park in Rovaniemi, just off the Arctic circle. This is a family-friendly spot or a great place to hang with friends. You can stay in one of their cottages if you book ahead of time, meet the man in red or have a magical experience with the Christmas elves in the village.

santa clause village lapland

Ski In Lapland

There are plenty of options if you ski or snowboard, but Levi is considered the most popular place to hit the slopes. Levi has a wide variety for any level of skier, so feel free to try it out even if you are new to the sport. There is plenty to see so plan to spend the day skiing or snowboarding at Levi resort!

At Levi, you can snowshoe, cross country ski and even rent bikes. Check out their many restaurants throughout the resort when you need a break from the cold and a hot drink at the bar.

Arctic Bath Hotel

The Arctic Bath Hotel is a unique spa experience and a must for anyone who likes both luxury and adventure. Many of the rooms are floating on the water and are perfectly designed to cozy up by the fire and relax.

Chances are you won’t have to book a northern lights tour while staying here as the entire hotel is surrounded by a quiet landscape of northern skies, the arctic sea, and of course, snow.

Feel free to book a Swedish massage, check out the sauna, or indulge in the full spa ritual. If you want to escape the hotel for a bit of fun, check out their ice fishing experience or the moose safari!

Lampivaara Amethyst Mine

Head to the Pyhä-Luosto national park and book your tickets to check out the amethyst mine at the cafe near the bottom of the hill. You must walk the mile and a half to the mines and up some stairs or you can arrange transportation as taking your car is not allowed.

The tours are super fun and the guides are very knowledgeable. They allow you to keep the amethyst you dig up as long as it fits in your hand. This is a great daytime excursion for anyone who loves crystals and wants to see the national park.

travel lapland

Whichever route you choose you will have an amazing time. This post has highlighted the 9 life-changing excursions in Lapland.

This post is all about the Ice Hotel Northern Lights.

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