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The original

The ICEHOTEL® at Jukkasjärvi has the impressive claim of being the world’s first ice hotel and was developed from a concept beginning in 1989. A local businessman by the name of Yngve Bergqvist who ran a thriving tourism business in the summer decided to attract tourists in the winter by offering ice carving workshops and creating a small ice igloo as a gallery to showcase these designs.

This igloo grew in scale each year until one night a group of guests, equipped with reindeer skins and sleeping bags asked to spend the night, creating the concept of the ice hotel in the process!

Although Ice and snow hotels can be found across Lapland, the ICEHOTEL® remains the original.

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An artistic marvel of ice and snow

When planning the ICEHOTEL® the creative team receive over 100 applications each spring from artists, photographers, engineers, architects, sculptors and craftspeople who offer incredible designs and themes for the hotel’s suites, chapel and ice bar.

Themes vary from year to year – with past examples including spring, chess, a dragon’s nest, polar bears, the big bang, origami, the London Underground, forest fairies, time and renaissance.

The Torne River, from which the artists’ natural materials are sourced, originates from northern glaciers and Lake Torneträsk, one of Sweden’s largest bodies of freshwater. The water here flows at a steady pace and is free of pollutants ensuring that the ice is crystal clear and entirely natural.

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The creative team here specialise in ephemeral art – installations that exist only for a limited period of time. Light design is also an important part of the finishing touches of the ICEHOTEL® with light designers working closely with the creators of each element to ensure their remarkable work is enhanced as much as possible.

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The Aurora Zone was born out of our love of all things wintery. We were already regular visitors to the likes of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland thanks to a fascination with winter activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling and the Scandinavian way of life. Many of our visits coincided with sightings of the Northern Lights and The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with as many people as possible. We have all been held in the Aurora’s thrall and our mission is to do our very best to ensure that our clients can experience that magical moment on their Northern Lights holiday.

Learn more about our experience
  • Specialist

    Aurora knowledge and experience

    Unique holidays, in the very best destinations

    Expert guides – exceptional local knowledge

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

  • Comprehensive

    We include more in our holidays than any other Aurora operator

    Price Comparison guarantee

    No ‘from’ prices, everything you see is included in the price

    No hidden extras

  • Independent

    Proudly Independent

    The original and still the only dedicated UK Northern Lights tour operator

    Personal, hands-on service

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

  • Trusted

    100% ATOL and ABTA protection

    Peace of mind promise


    Responsible relationships

    Over 16 years’ experience

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