Northern Lights display is a natural phenomenon caused when the gaseous particles of the Earth’s atmosphere collide with the charged particles coming from the sun’s atmosphere. These collisions create bright dancing lights in the sky which look exceptionally beautiful and are spectacular to watch. Different gases interacting with the charged particles emit different colors of light. The most common ones are yellowish green which are formed by oxygen molecules while the red auroras are quite rare. These red auroras are formed by height altitude oxygen. Also known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south, these are one of the world’s seven natural wonders. The Northern lights can be seen over the magnetic poles of Northern and Southern hemisphere but the place should not be subjected to light pollution. Since Earth’s magnetic field is weak at the poles, the charged particles easily enter the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with gaseous particles giving rise to these unique dancing lights. One can see the magnificent view of Northern lights in the southern parts of the western hemisphere like New Orleans while the best ones can be seen in north-western Canadian parts like Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Alaska. At the Southern tip of Greenland and Iceland also one can see the phenomenal Auroral display.
How about having one whole night cozying inside a luxury igloo under this spectacular natural light show? Sounds like a dream right? Well, good news! You can experience such a night in the Igloo Village of Finland. In north east corner of a cultural region of Finland, Lapland, there is situated one Kakslauttanen Igloo Village. This Igloo village has several glass as well as snow igloos in which the guest can spend a night and view the spectacular Aurora display. In Lapland, the northern lights can be seen on around 200 nights especially when the sky is clear and the best time to watch these is at midnight. The sky over the Lapland is also free from light pollution which makes millions of blinking stars visible to the human eye all throughout the night.
At the Igloo Village one can get a snow igloo which has space for up to 5 people. The insides of the snow igloo maintain a temperature of -3 C to -6 C even when the temperature outside drops to -30 C. In these igloos, the guests are provided with a warm down sleeping bag, a hood, and woolen socks which help them stay warm inside. The glass igloos maintain a normal room temperature inside and two people can live in one glass igloo. They are made up of special thermal glass which insulates the interiors and helps in keeping the insides warm and is also frost preventive so that the guest can get a clear view of the lights. There are also luxury beds and toilets in each igloo so that the guest can have a comfortable stay. The whole igloo gets illuminated whenever there is an auroral display in the sky.
The Hotel Kakslauttanen doesn’t guarantee a light display but they alarm the guests with a signalling bell whenever the lights are visible in the sky. Also the hotel keeps an eye over the weather conditions so that they can predict the visibility of the northern lights. These color outbursts can last for less than a second or can be as long as two minutes. Though the Igloo Village is open from August to April the best time of the year is during peak winter months when the Auroral display is more prominent and clear.
Besides the snow and glass igloos there is also one of a kind ice restaurant which is the largest Ice restaurant in the world. There are ice sculptures, an ice chapel and an ice bar and all these are made fresh every winter. To showcase their talent in the international ice sculpting week, ice sculptors from all across the world visit this area. This sculpting week takes place in the month of December and the different sculptors made by the participants are kept on display in the Ice Gallery for the rest of the winters. A little away from the restaurants are located log cabins. These cabins in form of small cottages are far apart from each other so that every customer can enjoy their own space and tranquility. There are 31 such log cabins which come with an attached toilet, a kitchenette and a fireplace.
After having a night under the beautiful lights, guest can enjoy world’s largest smoke sauna and also dip to a hole and swim in the ice hole nearby. There are also showers available which are open every morning. Winter Safari by a reindeer, a husky, or snowmobile also attract the guests and leave them exhilarated. Some of them also get excited to take part in the ice/snow rally held over here.
While traveling to Finland and booking a one night stay at Kakslauttanen, the package for one adult person will cost £929, where minimum of two people can share a log cabin and an igloo. For children below 15 years of age there are discounts available too.