Nestled in the wilderness near Finland’s Urho Kekkonen National Park, Hotel Kakslauttanen has one of the Arctic Circle’s best views of the Aurora Borealis. The sparse trees and complete lack of light pollution reveal millions of stars each night, and during the peak winter months the location offers incredible views of the Northern Lights.
Each glass igloo is fitted with thermal glass walls and ceilings, that insulate the interior to keep it warm and cozy at night. The glass also contains a frost preventative, maintaining crystal clear panoramic views even when temperatures outside drop to -22 degrees fahrenheit. Fitted for two people, the igloos are small enough to be efficiently heated without consuming too much energy.
One of the world’s seven natural wonders, Aurora Borealis results from the collision of gaseous particles from the earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun. The resulting burst of colored light can last from less than a second to nearly two minutes. Though the lights are visible from August to April, the peak viewing time is in the darkness of the winter months.
Although the hotel does not guarantee a view of the Northern Lights, they keep constant watch over the weather conditions and ring a signaling bell for visitors to look to the sky when the phenomenon is visible.
The main hotel also includes the world’s largest smoke sauna complete with its own restaurant, and an ice bar and snow chapel that is built fresh every winter. For the more adventurous, the hotel also offers lodging in a dozen traditional igloos made of ice. These ice houses have an internal temperature of only 21 degrees fahrenheit, so you better pack warm!
Images by Hotel Kakslauttanen