Sue Mcdonald

Sue Mcdonald

Aurora Bubbles and Glass Igloos

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Witness the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed

There are many ways you can search for the Northern Lights, from night-time snowmobile safaris and husky sledding to reindeer sleigh rides and cross-country skiing.

However, one of our favourite trends is the innovation of Aurora accommodation, which allows you to gaze up to the inky night sky and watch the Northern Lights hypnotically dance, all from the comfort of your bed.

Aurora accommodation takes many forms including Aurora Bubbles or Glass Igloos. These wonderfully designed structures give you a distinctive location in which to sleep, ensuring you can enjoy warmth and comfort, all whilst giving that all-important sky view.  

From experiencing one unforgettable night in this specialist accommodation to spending each night of your holiday searching the skies as you are tucked up in bed, there are a range of options to suit every trip! 

Scroll down for our Aurora Zone destinations that will allow you to experience a night under the Arctic stars. 

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Sue Mcdonald

Ice and snow hotels

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The coolest place to stay

To spend the night in a room or igloo crafted from snow and ice is a long-held dream for many and somewhat of a bucket list item.

Despite what you may think, you can keep surprisingly warm and cosy inside the rooms as you're protected by the elements and have plenty of Arctic-grade bedding to wrap up in.

For many people, it is the chance to marvel at the incredible talent displayed in the sculptures and carvings which is a highlight. For others, it is the knowledge that you will be amongst only a handful of people who get to spend the night in one of these stunning rooms before they melt away in the summer months.

Regardless of your motivation, there are few better ways to complete your winter adventure and few hotel experiences in the world that are this remarkable - we highly recommend an upgrade wherever possible.

There are ice hotels and rooms available in Finland, Sweden and Norway. Learn more about this exceptional experience below!

 

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Sue Mcdonald

Ice fishing

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Fishing in the winter months

Ice fishing is a tradition which dates back centuries. Essentially it is the practice of fishing of drilling through a thick layer of ice and snow to reach the water below and the fish that may be lurking. 

Its history is rooted in survival, when ice fishing was essential for sourcing food in such remote locations.

Whilst modern ice fishermen use sonar and powered drills, the popular pastime which is enjoyed by so many locals remains relatively unchanged and wonderfully simple. It is this experience that many of our holidays allow you to enjoy. 

When ice fishing, you not only get an insight into some of the traditions of the region's past but you can also enjoy the delights of your natural surroundings, as you spend time in a wild winter landscape. 

This back-to-nature experience is a wonderfully peaceful addition to your winter holiday, whether you have been fishing before or this is your very first time!

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Sue Mcdonald

Torassieppi Winter Village

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Exclusive accommodation

Torassieppi Winter Village enjoys an idyllic setting close to the borders of Pallas Ylläs National Park in the north-west corner of Finnish Lapland.

Inspired by world-famous ice and snow accommodations, the village is constructed annually to showcase local talented artists and to provide a memorable and unique night's sleep for adventurous travellers.

The rooms here will only ever be enjoyed by an exclusive few during the season as come summer the rooms will return to the rivers of Lapland as the temperatures melt them away. 

The winter village is part of Torassieppi Reindeer Farm, which is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the region, dating back to 1847. The reindeer farm has its own accommodation and guests at the village will enjoy their breakfast here. 

A night's stay in one of the ice and snow rooms is a fitting way to complete your unforgettable winter adventure.

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Sue Mcdonald

The ICEHOTEL®

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The world's coolest hotel

The ICEHOTEL® is one of those places where even if you are not knowledgeable about Swedish Lapland or indeed Lapland at all, you will likely have heard of it or perhaps even know someone who has slept there. It is an accommodation option that we get asked about frequently and remains a bucket list experience for many.

The hotel is constructed each season in the small village of Jukkasjärvi in Northern Sweden on the banks of the Torne River. It is from this river that the hundreds of blocks of ice are harvested to form this hotel. A truly breathtaking spectacle, the ICEHOTEL® develops each season, changing its scale and design but always boasting some truly amazing sights.

It usually covers around 5,500 square metres and utilises 1,000 tons of ice and 30,000 cubic metres of 'snice' (a combination of snow and ice).

The ICEHOTEL® is a large scale operation, yet still retains its magic through its incredible and ever more complex designs and by offering adventurous visitors a very special place to rest their head!

The minds behind The ICEHOTEL® also created a new year-round experience - the ICEHOTEL 365. Complete with 20 beautiful ice suites, an ice bar and ice gallery, this hotel has been created like the original ICEHOTEL®, with inner walls made from ice blocks, but has some extra help to keep it at a perfect -5°C throughout the warmer months, too! Combining exterior concrete walls, steel pipes drilled into the permafrost below, powered by solar panels, and then thoroughly isolated, this is the world’s first permanent Ice hotel.

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Sue Mcdonald

Treehotel

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Spend a night in the treetops

The spectacular Treehotel is a must-see location for visitors to Swedish Lapland and in our opinion, it is one of the most unforgettable places to stay in Europe. 

The concept rooms here have all been created by some of Sweden's top architects and represent the bringing to life of some remarkable ideas. From a carefully camouflaged mirror cube to an out of this world UFO - these rooms are guaranteed to make a lasting impression.

Each room is effectively a sophisticated tree house, either suspended in the treetops or built on platforms that set the room amongst the bows of the trees. 

The scenery which surrounds these rooms is idyllic and, as they are situated within the Aurora Zone, your chances of witnessing the Northern Lights from your treetop retreat are excellent if the conditions are favourable. 

The Treehotel is the perfect way to make your stay in Swedish Lapland even more unforgettable and can be added to the majority of our trips based in the Lulea region.

Scroll to learn more about the innovative rooms.

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Sue Mcdonald

Snowmobiling

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A way of life

In the far northern reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway, snowmobiles have become part of the way of life during the long winters. The machines are now a cornerstone of everyday life here, not only as they keep remote communities in contact with one another during winter but, they are also a key element in the local economy. 

Their introduction has transformed the lives of many locals and when they are used for recreation or by visitors, the environment is treated with a great deal of respect. 

Snowmobiles offer guests an exciting chance to experience the wilderness of these regions and to gain a better understanding of it as a result. It puts you directly in the driver's seat, allowing you to explore areas of the winter landscape that would otherwise be inaccessible.

As darkness falls, snowmobiles also become a handy mode of transportation to help you outrun any localised cloud cover. Imagine speeding along the Arctic tundra to reach a location with a break in the clouds and as you turn off your engine, the Northern Lights start to appear overhead. 

Please note, to drive a snowmobile you must be over 18 and have a full driving licence.

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Sue Mcdonald

Reindeer

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A symbol of Lapland

Reindeer are wholly synonymous with Lapland and are very much a part of the history, culture and tradition of the region. Excavations here have revealed hunting pits and stone carvings which highlight that reindeer have been herded here since the Stone Age.

Herding and reindeer husbandry are primarily roles occupied by the Sámi people, the indigenous people of Lapland, with the animals raised for their meat, hide and antlers.

The practice of herding has been updated to fit with a more modern Lapland but herding would not be possible without the maintenance of traditional knowledge and skills that are passed from generation to generation.

During your visit to Lapland, experiencing a day with a reindeer herder and their animals is a brilliant way to gain an insight into life here. During some of the activities, you will also be able to try your hand at some of the reindeer herding practices including feeding the animals and lassoing.

Scroll to learn more about the reindeers of Lapland.

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Sue Mcdonald

Photographing the Northern Lights

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Capturing the Lights

We know that as well as seeing the Northern Lights in all their dazzling glory, a goal for most of our clients is also to capture their remarkable beauty on camera. Over the years we have seen such truly beautiful Aurora photography that it is easy to see why. Whilst a picture or video can never quite be the same as a live show, an image which shows the spectacular colours or a time-lapse video that shows the shimmering, dancing and swirling movement of the lights is something to be treasured forever.

As the local guides and suppliers in Lapland become aware of this desire to view the Northern Lights on film, more of our trips are moving towards helping our guests achieve this aim.

We offer a popular photography evening on our Abisko trips, organised by renowned photographer Chad Blakley and operated by one of his expert guides. This is the perfect excursion for those who may have the enthusiasm to capture the Aurora but may not have the correct equipment, as you will be issued with a camera and tripod. All you need is an SD card so you can take your photos home with you!

With our trips to Menesjärvi and Nellim, the guides are growing ever more experienced in photography and will be happy to offer advice and guidance on how to get the ideal photo should the conditions be in your favour.

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Sue Mcdonald

Luosto Arctic View Rooms

Written by Sue Mcdonald
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Sleep under the Northern Lights in Luosto

A wonderful feature of our hugely popular trips to Luosto is the chance to stay in one of the luxurious Arctic View Rooms.

Ten of these wonderful concept rooms have been created, within easy walking distance of the hotel, to offer guests an alternative nights' accommodation with stunning panoramic views of the night sky.

Each room is self-contained, offering large windows and a partially glass-roof to ensure you can keep an eye on the sky at all times. Whilst we can't guarantee the Northern Lights, we can give you the best possible chance of witnessing them as you stay tucked up in bed. 

These rooms are part of a growing trend across Lapland in providing a warm and comfortable setting from which guests can enjoy the night sky at their leisure.

At Luosto though, they really have given great attention to the detail and comfort in these rooms and we are thrilled to be able to offer these to our guests as an add-on to some of our most popular trips.

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The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with our clients. We’ve explored the destinations, researched the science, and fallen in love with the Scandinavian way of life. It’s our mission to pass this knowledge on to you, providing you with the very best chance of experiencing the magic for yourself on your Northern Lights holiday.

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