My first wish is to stay in an Ice Hotel. The original is the Ice Hotel in Sweden, and while it does offer both warm and cold rooms, I'd have to stay in one of the ice rooms for the experience, at least for one night. A standard Ice Room is -5 to -8 degrees Celsius, which does sound a bit on the chilly side, and you sleep on an ice bed with a mattress and wooden base covered in reindeer hides, sleeping in a thermal sleeping bag and thermal pajamas. The rooms have curtains instead of doors and are just for sleeping in, with bathrooms and luggage storage located in the warm part of the hotel. In the morning you are woken with a cup of hot lingonberry juice, and you can have a sauna and hot shower before breakfast.
The whole hotel looks pretty spectacular, and because it is rebuilt every year in November it's always changing. There are all sorts of activities that you can take part in, like ice sculpting, Northern Lights tours, and you can even arrange your transfer from the airport by dog sled, it all sounds amazing!
|Photo credit - Asaf Kliger via www.icehotel.com|
Of course a key reason to travel up into the Arctic is to see the Northern Lights. I have been lucky enough to see them when we visited Iceland a few years ago, but because we visited in April it was only a very small display, and we had to wait until about 11pm for it to get dark! Since I read Neither Here, Nor There (affiliate link) by Bill Bryson I have been fascinated by the idea of visiting Hammerfest, the northernmost town in Europe. Bryson wasn't that enamoured with his trip there, having to take a 30 hour bus journey from Oslo and spending several weeks in near constant darkness waiting for the best display of lights, but since I read the book the place name has stuck with me and I'd love to visit one day.
Another place that I'd love to stay is the Kakslauttanen Artic Resorts in Finnish Lapland, located 250km north of the Arctic Circle but with an airport just 30 minutes away. It's one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, and although there are a variety of accommodation options it's the Glass Igloos that really appeal.
|Photo credit - Valtteri Hirvonen http://www.kakslauttanen.fi/|
You can have a two or a four person igloo, and you can snuggle up and watch the lights through the ceiling. At the resort you can also stay in a snow igloo or a luxury log house, and you can even visit Santa's Home and meet him.
|Photo credit - Nelly Volkovich via https://unsplash.com/|
Talking of meeting Santa, I'm hoping that one day we might be able to take the children on a day trip to Lapland. It's tricky, because I think that it might be a bit much for them while they are very little. This blog post from Little Lily Pad Co gives a very honest look at the experience - Is Lapland suitable for young children? - and so I think it's probably one to leave for a few years yet, but I'd love to manage it one day before they get too old!
Finally, a bit closer to home, I do love a Christmas Market, and although I've been lucky enough to visit a few over the last few years both in this country and in the rest of Europe, I can never turn down a mug of mulled wine and a gingerbread heart, and so I'd love to visit a few more of the traditional markets!
|Photo credit - Carolin Mader from Mummy Alarm|
Are any of these on your travel bucket list? Or are you lucky enough to have visited already? I'd love to hear about it!