Ever progressive, it’s no surprise that 2017 has seen a host of new holiday experiences spring up across Scandinavia, especially in Finnish Lapland. From luxury Arctic treehouses to New Years Eve in an ice hotel and whole villages dedicated to Santa, these are our picks of this year’s finest winter offerings.
As Finnish Lapland’s first adults-only retreat, Beana Laponia brings a touch of class to the region. It’s beautifully intimate, host to just 11 immaculately designed rooms and found north of the Arctic Circle, 60km from the nearest town. As such, it’s ideal for aurora viewing. Then, after exploring with everything from snowshoes and toboggans to dogsleds and snowmobiles, you’ll return to the likes of gourmet dining, private saunas and outdoor Jacuzzis.
Put simply, this is the most comprehensive Santa experience. Other than meeting the man himself, you can earn your reindeer driving licence, visit the elves in their workshop and even send a letter from Santa’s very own post box. That’s not to mention the igloos and snowmen. It’s also positioned right on the Arctic Circle, offering the chance to spot the Northern Lights and earn your Arctic certificate! It’s all combined with stays in idyllic log cabins, complemented by roaring fires and a sky restaurant with sweeping views over the winter scenery.
Tucked away in a forest near Rovaniemi, this is Lapland’s latest wilderness retreat. But, draughty tents and rickety cabins this is not. Instead, you’ll stay in a luxury treehouse, all blonde wood, cosy armchairs and log-burning stoves. It’s ideal for both couples and families. And, with each treehouses’s floor-to-ceiling window inviting in pretty forest views, you’ll want to head out and explore. Choose between reindeer sled rides, dogsledding trips and even visits to Father Christmas himself. Inspired? Take a look at our Lapland in Style itinerary.
As the world’s first getaway to combine an ice hotel with glass igloos, this is your chance to tick off two bucket-list experiences in one. Sleep on a frozen bed among ethereally lit snow sculptures before warming back up with an underfloor-heated igloo, its glass dome showcasing stunning displays of the Northern Lights. It’s all served up with drinks from the Ice Bar, Lappish delicacies taken around a roaring fire and a full range of activities, from snowshoeing to ice sculpting and fishing. What’s more, with direct flights from the UK, this unique escape can fit into a long weekend.
You don’t often associate luxury with Finnish Lapland – a region custom-built for snowshoe hikes, husky safaris and snowmobiling under the Northern Lights. But, with Levi Spirit, the wild remotes are contrasted by the likes of private Jacuzzis and saunas, found in gorgeous villas. Each of the nine is resplendent in cutting-edge design, from timber accents to exposed-stone walls to. Don’t worry, though, there’s still a crackling fire to warm up by. But, for something truly indulgent, book a guest chef to cook you a tailor-made meal in the privacy of your villa, complete with butler service and the option of an exclusive bartender.
There’s something delightfully magical about ringing in the new year in Lapland. There are visits to Santa for the kids, while snowmobile safaris, the Northern Lights and husky adventures appeal whatever the age. It all culminates in New Years Eve celebrations held in the Arctic SnowHotel – its stunning ice sculptures the ethereal backdrop to fireworks, drinks and dancing. There are even toboggans and mini snowmobiles for the kids.