Finland’s great, uninhabited expanses define inhospitality. It’s surprising, then, to learn that its snowy blankets, pine forests and jutting crags are home to some of the most welcoming luxury log cabins and timber lodges, where roaring fires are the perfect foil to the winter wilderness and summer adventures are just on your doorstep.
Set in the depths of Finnish Lapland, accommodation at the lodge ranges from traditional log cabins, complete with fireplaces, to an Aurora Bubble where beds are set under curved glass domes for spectacular night time views of the Northern Lights. Meet reindeer and huskies as you traverse the wintery climes on snowmobile, returning to relax in the sauna. Of course, there’s also everything from snowshoe and cross-country ski treks to dogsledding trips.
Tucked away well within the Arctic Circle, the Nellim Wilderness Hotel is ideally positioned for spotting the Northern Lights. A family-run escape, hearty dinners of warming soups and stews are served buffet-style while timber-panelled rooms are bright and welcoming. Look to the chic cabins that come furnished with a private sauna for the best stay. Outside, all the usual Scandinavian pastimes are on hand to entertain with dogsled safaris, snowshoe trekking and cross country skiing; you’ll be able to mush across the frozen expanses of Lake Inari to partake in a spot of ice fishing. For something a bit more unique, jump into an Aurora Sledge. These glass-roofed, heated cabins are pulled by snowmobile for an ultimate Northern Lights experience.
The serene Lake Inari high above the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland is the scenic backdrop for Hotel Nangu, and it’s truly the emblematic log cabin. Each ultra-cosy wooden lodge features delicate lighting, alpine touches and oversized windows, and one even features a private sauna – it’s all enough to make you want to stay snug by your open fireplace. But it’s outside where this region comes alive, and winter's canopy is perfectly explored with husky safaris, sledding and snowshoeing. A local Sami reindeer herder offers the chance to discover their traditional way of life, but as with many Finnish Lapland itineraries, it’s hunting the Northern Lights that really steals the show here. Head to the intimate log-walled restaurant in evenings, enjoying Lappish stews and fresh salmon, before an aurora safari. Summer has its perks, too, though, affording a whole new host of activities bathed under the midnight sun, such as hiking, kayaking and fishing.
The sister lodge of Wilderness Boutique Hotel Nangu, on the same lake shores, Wilderness Hotel Inari also offers scenes straight out of a story book. Picture-perfect cabins are dwarfed by the surrounding white wilderness, and inside, dark log walls and fireplaces adorn snug rooms alongside en-suite saunas, deep armchairs and oversized windows, affording panoramic views of outside’s frozen firs. Dinners are held in the impossibly cosy onsite restaurant, offering a seasonal Lappish menu, sampled while overlooking the frozen Lake Inari, or in the summer, its midnight sun glow. Both seasons present wonderful exploration opportunities, but it’s winter that holds the magic, largely due to the famous ballet that is the Northern Lights. Head on snowmobile safaris to spot the ethereal aurora arcing among the dark, clear skies, after thrilling days spent husky sledding, ice fishing and cross-country skiing.
For something extra special, look no further than L7. With just seven suites, it’s delightfully intimate, with guests returning from summer hikes and wintery fun to the likes of full-board fine dining, Jacuzzi soaks and complimentary afternoon teas. And, life back at the lodge revolves around a giant roaring fire, best enjoyed from the comfort of one of the plush armchairs set among the great logged walls. Then, come the evening, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that greatest of natural phenomena – the Northern Lights. This really is the finest in Scandi luxury.
Simply, the Arctic TreeHouse offers something of the unique. Here, stilted designer suites are heated by log stoves and Lapland’s magical forest scenery is showcased with giant floor-to-ceiling windows. They’re ideal for couples, while the Arctic Glass Houses are perfect for families, with their private saunas and cute alcove bunk beds for the kids. You’ll also be able to indulge with modern takes on regional classics in the restaurant, before exploring with husky sleds, snowmobiles and the nearby SantaPark.