Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort’s famous glass igloos aren’t the only reason to travel to this remote location, but they’re a good start. Throw in the Northern Lights, stellar saunas, and tons of intriguing activities available on-site or nearby, and you’ve got the ultimate winter retreat.
65 cottages. 65 glass igloos. 67 Kelo-Glass Igloos. A host of restaurants and saunas, access to nearby Sámi homesteads, and an on-site reindeer farm. There isn’t much that Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort doesn’t offer: though it’s found at the far north of Finland and squarely within the Sámi territory of Lapland, its remote location is a boon to nature enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy some of winter’s best qualities on a more intimate scale.
Modern Finnish conveniences infiltrate the Arctic oasis, from one of the largest smoke saunas in the world to two spectacular restaurants serving local Lappish cuisine á la carte. A glass igloo bar, a unique restaurant that can be found within the hotel’s smoke sauna, and the Santa Claus Celebration House also grace the culinary scene (the latter two need to be booked in advance).
As the Finnish tourist board itself says in their article, ‘Iconic Finnish Foods of All Time’, the Finns are fiercely loyal to their culinary roots. Cuisine is an important cultural element, and many dishes focus on the traditional: Poronkäristys (reindeer) is served with mashed potatoes, karjalanpiirakka pastries (Karelian pies) are filled with potatoes/rice/carrots, silli (herring) and new potatoes; also a favorite are leipäjuusto (Finnish squeaky cheese), lingonberries, and cloudberries. Sámi dishes in particular are known for fresh and local ingredients: creamy salmon soup, sautéed reindeer with Lappish potatoes and lingonberries, fried arctic char/salmon, and cheese bread with cloudberry jam.
Kakslauttanen’s restaurants serve up Lappish food like the local delicacies listed above in a variety of settings: Aurora, the world’s largest log cabin restaurant, as well as the attached Igloo Bar, the world’s only heated igloo bar; Korsu, a gorgeous woodland-style restaurant; and Santa’s Celebration House, a one-of-a-kind 2-story mansion with a colossal fireplace, Christmas trees, and all the charm of the North Pole.
Sleeping in a luxurious bed underneath the comfort of a warm quilt while the elements radiate silent bands of color above you in the middle of the Finnish wilderness: it’s one of the most unusual and incredible ways to spend your vacation. Kakslauttanen has built two different types of glass igloo (their traditional Glass Igloos and the brand-new Kelo-Glass Igloos pictured above, a combination of log cabin and glass igloo), as well as other great options: traditional log cabins, larger sivakka log cabins, Gold Digger’s Cabins by the river with attached saunas, gorgeous Queen Suites, and even a century-old 2-person traditional Finnish house (also with a sauna).
The sauna is a way of life in Finland, and there are many different types – smoke saunas, ice saunas, mobile saunas, Hot Cube saunas, and culture saunas, among others – but the smoke sauna is the most traditional. Between 2-3 million saunas exist in Finland, enough to fit all of Finland’s population simultaneously, and can be found in studio apartments, summer cottages, public swimming pools and gyms, hotels, aboard boats and buses, Finnish embassies, and even the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki.* Kakslauttanen has three separate smoke saunas located near the local river, each with a fireplace in the dressing room, which (combined) can hold up to 100 bathers at one time!
Visiting a team of friendly huskies, discovering the culture and lifestyle of local Sámi people, and pulling up the day’s catch from beneath a frozen Finnish lake are three unique excursions available at Kakslauttanen, and each is an incredible way to experience the Arctic landscape at the peak of its winter beauty. Kakslauttanen offers access to both excursions (two large husky farms and a Sámi reindeer farm are nearby).
Another great excursion available as an option on our tour of Kakslauttanen, ice fishing is an ancient practice that you can try on Lake Inarinjärvi with a local guide. You’ll cut a hole in the hard-packed ice of the lake’s frozen surface and lower a short fishing pole, waiting for a bite. You can even help search and empty the winter fishing nets!
With so many exciting options available in this natural setting, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to relax, experience the incredible Lapland scenery, and embark on heart-pounding excursions between November – April!