Finland's Igloo Village
Wolf has been busy chasing the Northern Lights this winter. It has been freezing cold, but as luck would have it, an igloo village is found in Northern Finland, offering the aurora experience from a warm and comfortable bed. Wolf sat down with Ari Siivikko who tells the story of the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
The Story of Kakslauttanen
In the summer of 1973, Jussi was on a fishing trip in Utsjoki, Finland’s northernmost village. On the drive back to central Finland, he ran out of fuel. The young man really had no choice but to set up camp where he stood, on a roadside in the middle of the wilderness. The place happened to be called Kakslauttanen. For some inexplicable reason, Jussi felt as if he had come home. He spent his first summer there in a tent. In the second year, a small cabin was erected on the site, and Jussi began to run a café to serve passers-by on their way to North Cape. Little by little, year after year, Kakslauttanen has grown to become Finland’s internationally best-known travel business. It is still being run by Jussi, with great care and attention – the way it has always been.
Kakslauttanen is located 250 km north of the Arctic Circle, and right at the edge of the wilderness, along the road to the Arctic Sea. It is a mere stone’s throw to the Urho Kekkonen National Park, the largest of Finland’s national parks. The Sami have inhabited the region for over a century and the surrounding environment is one of the cleanest you will find anywhere in the world. The water is so pure that you can quench your thirst straight from a stream running down the mountain or the lake into which it flows, and the air is so fresh that you can feel it deep down into your lungs. Up here, winters are cold and summers comfortably warm.
The Igloo Village
The glass igloo was first built around 10 years ago and since this initial prototype was tested, the number of glass igloos has gone up to 53. By the end of this year, the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort will open another 12 glass igloos which all fit 4 guests, and have a toilet and a shower cabin.
Ari explains that the glass igloos are different from the snow igloos and because they are made of glass, it is possible to admire the sky with the Northern Lights or stars. The snow igloos have a comfortable bed covered with reindeer skin, while also having sleeping bags, woollen socks and a cap to keep you warm throughout the night.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort accommodates guests from all over the world, but primarily visitors are from Asia - Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand. There is an increasing number of guests who come all the way from Australia and Brazil, while US visitor numbers are also growing. European visitors come usually for a long weekend, and are mainly from UK, France, Holland, Spain and Italy. The peak season for visiting the resort is from the end of November until Easter.
The resort is opening 25 new log cabins, 12 new glass igloos and open a new restaurant and reception building to the West Village. The new building will have a unique Glass Igloo Cocktail Bar, perfect for enjoying a glass of champagne under the Northern Lights! A Sami Experience camp in the resorts activity area will also be opening soon, where we will have reindeer and traditional Sami houses and teepees.
Ari recommends to Wolf to experience the Aurora Borealis from a Glass Igloo, in a warm and comfortable bed with a glass of champagne, as a highlight of staying at Kakslauttanen!
Excited for an adventure? Check out their website www.kakslauttanen.fi
Words: Sharman Tanny