For most, Arctic winters are only idyllic figments of the imagination. The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are a phenomenon we have read about in books or seen in movies, but cannot picture experiencing in real life. This is largely due to the fact that, in the past, travel to the Arctic was only for the most adventurous people– the Ernest Shackleton types. But now, the world is smaller, and the magic of the Arctic is accessible to travelers seeking adventure as well as those looking for relaxation, fun, and luxury.
Located just 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is set amidst the beauty and wonder of the vast Lapland region of Finland bordering Norway, Sweden, Russia, and the Baltic Sea. The region has been home to the indigenous Sami people for over 100 years, and while the Sami still inhabit the beautiful area today, they coexist among several resorts that invite visitors from around the world to experience the raw beauty of this previously uncharted vicinity. Though this Subarctic region may seem like a world away from the bustle of the tri-state area, Kakslauttanen Resort is surprisingly accessible (only a 30-minute car ride from Ivalo International Airport), thus making it a must-see on your travel bucket list.
The luxurious Kakslauttanen resort is a family-run property established by the current owner, Jussi Eiramo, in 1973. One summer, when Eiramo left his home in central Finland to embark on a fishing trip to the northern village of Utsjoki, he attempted to drive back home only to realize he was out of gas. Stranded in the middle of a frozen abyss, Eiramo had no other choice but to set up a makeshift camp and stay the night in the province called Kakslauttanen. What should have been a nightmare situation turned into a dream come true, as Eiramo took in the beauty of his surroundings. With the purest drinking water running through streams and lakes, the crisp air filling his lungs, and the unobstructed views of the Northern Lights, it became apparent he was “stranded” in paradise.
Knowing he had stumbled upon something special, Eiramo decided to spend a summer camping in Kakslauttanen. When he returned for his next visit, he set up a cafe in a small chalet where he served visitors en route to North Cape. Each year that he returned, Eiramo developed the region a little more, adding amenities to serve passersby and draw visitors. Today, Kakslauttanen is a world-class, family-run resort, recognized as Finland’s premier travel business. The unparalleled natural beauty of the Arctic region and the unique accommodations and activities offered attract visitors from around the world looking for an unforgettable visit to the Arctic.
Whether you are planning a romantic honeymoon, a family vacation, or a getaway with friends, Kakslauttanen has the perfect accommodations. For those in seek of romance, book a Glass Igloo where you and your loved one can snuggle up watching the Northern Lights from the comfort of your cozy, glass-roof igloo. The resort caters to couples on their honeymoon, those renewing their vows, and even to those who wish to have a marriage ceremony on-site. They have incredible wedding packages that make for a distinguished experience from start to finish.
For a family vacation, try out one of the rustic Log Chalets. With room for up to 10 people, these cabins built from kelo pines will impress family members of all ages. The in-room fireplace and sauna will compel your entire party to relax and unwind. Be sure to take a stroll outside to one of two distinctive property restaurants serving authentic Lappish cuisine, and enjoy some quaint and cultural family meals.
For a friends’ getaway or reunion, experience one of the Kelo-Glass Igloos. A combination of the Glass Igloo and the Log Chalet, these hybrid guest quarters allow friends to enjoy the rustic ambience of a log cabin while taking in the Northern Lights through the glass roof.
All of the seasons bring new and exciting adventures to Kakslauttanen. Guests visiting during the summer will be surprised to find that there are 24 hours of daylight in Lapland from mid-May through early August. While this may seem daunting, it creates the perfect weather for hiking by day or by night. Some other summer activities at the resort include gold panning, hiking with huskies, horse safaris, and cruises down the local river to watch reindeer herding and visit the Sami cultural museum.
As the sun goes down in autumn, visitors will have a new array of activities from which to choose. During the newly darkened nights, guests will gain a clear view of the famous Northern Lights. Additionally, hiking is beautiful this time of year amid the foliage of “ruska” (Finnish for “the season of fall leaves”). Guests can also forage for mushrooms and berries during this prime harvesting time, or embark on an ATV safari or mountain biking excursion.
Though summer and fall are both exquisite times to visit Kakslauttanen, our favorite season there has to be winter. During the winter months, the Arctic resort transforms into a wonderland that most of us have only experienced in cozy dreams and Hallmark movies. At this magical time of year, guests can head off into the wilderness on a reindeer-drawn sleigh and view the Northern Lights glistening off of the dark blue sky and snow-covered grounds. Or they can pay a visit to the most authentic of Santas at his red chalet set deep in the Kakslauttanen forest. He awaits his visitors (who must cross a wooden bridge to enter his rustic home) with presents, hot cocoa, and festive merriment.
A visit to the world-renowned Kakslauttanen Resort is one that will not soon be forgotten. The hiking, fishing, and boating of the warmer months and the magic of the Northern Lights and Santa’s chalet in the winter will imprint upon your heart the incomparable beauty of Finnish Lapland.