Of the amazing things that exist in Finland, one that catches the eye is the Snow Village with a hotel made completely of ice. Read on to see what we made of this day-tripper Lapland experience activity.
The Magical Journey Begins
I had heard stories about Finland’s ethereal winter charm, of a village carved from ice and snow, as if ripped straight from the pages of a magical tale. Nevertheless, nothing could prepare me for the spectacle that unfolded as I stepped into Lainio Snow Village in Lapland, nestled amidst the frost-kissed landscapes and whispering pine forests.
The journey to Lainio Snow Village from our base at Levi felt like a voyage into another realm, as we cruised through snow-dusted roads, under the vast, piercingly clear blue sky, starkly contrasting the stark white scenery. As we moved further into Lapland’s heart, the ethereal silence of the arctic wilderness instilled an inexplicable sense of tranquility.
Then, looming out of the white vista, I caught my first glimpse of the Snow Village.
Incredible Ice Art
It wasn’t just a structure but an entire icy hamlet – a work of art and architecture carved from over 20 million kilograms of snow and 350,000 kilograms of crystalline natural ice.
Each year the village offers a unique visual feast as its theme changes annually, inspiring awe and wonder in every corner. It’s amazing to think that this whole place melts away and is then reborn the following year with a completely new theme!
Stepping into the village was akin to stepping into a fantasy land, where art, hospitality, and nature collide in a dazzling symphony of ice and snow. The details etched into the walls of snow and ice were stunningly intricate, revealing scenes from Nordic mythology, fantastical creatures, and captivating abstract patterns, all illuminated by the soft glow of embedded LED lights.
Snow Hotel – Yes, You Can Sleep Here!
At the heart of the village lay the magnificent Snow Hotel, where the rooms were ornate icy chambers, each with a unique design and illuminated with soft, glowing lights that cast long, dancing shadows.
Despite initial apprehensions, I was pleasantly surprised to find the thermal sleeping bags comfortably warm, keeping the biting arctic cold at bay.
Sleeping in this place was not on our agenda, but I can see the appeal of having notched up such an experience. See the photo above of a bedroom.
Ice With That?
Perhaps the most enchanting part of the whole experience was a visit to the IceBar. There, clad in borrowed furs and sipping a cocktail from a glass carved from ice, I could revel in the magic of the moment. The walls adorned with mesmerising Santorini ice sculptures added to the surreal ambiance, further highlighted by the subtly changing lights.
The Ice Hotel Restaurant
The Ice Restaurant offered an extraordinary gastronomic experience, where meals were served on ice plates. The tantalising Lappish cuisine, with a focus on local ingredients like reindeer, fish, and berries, was a delightful exploration of the region’s culinary landscape.
One thing that I will say about the experience is that it’s cold! I know that should not come as a surprise but if you are going to eat dinner at the restaurant in the Ice Hotel, then be prepared for a cold bum.
Probably also a great idea to eat relatively fast and get yourself into one of the warmer rooms afterward to thaw out a bit.
The Lainio Snow Village is more than just a tourist destination. It’s a testament to human creativity and resilience, a place where the wild beauty of nature is harnessed and celebrated in a truly extraordinary way.
As I bid goodbye to this frozen wonderland, I was left with not just stunning photographs, but also memories of an arctic journey that warmed my heart in the coldest of surroundings.