Igloo village guarantees the best view for a northern lights spectacleView gallery - 16 images
The Igloo Village, which is part of Hotel Kakslauttanen, is guaranteed to give guests a prime position for viewing the northern lights display during the winter months. Located in the Arctic Circle near Finland's Urho Kekkonen National Park, guests can stay in a glass-roofed igloo or brave the cold in a traditional snow igloo.
The Igloo Village offers a serene atmosphere, surrounded by snow and woodlands, creating an idyllic setting for viewing one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The night-time light display of the Aurora Borealis is caused by the collision of gaseous particles from the earth's atmosphere, with charged particles released from the sun's atmosphere. It usually occurs during a geomagnetic storm, and is commonly viewed during the colder months of the year.
The 20 glass igloos are built from a special thermal glass that allows the temperature inside the igloo to remain constant and warm. This thermal glass also prevents frosting, and maintains a clear view even when outside temperatures drop below -30°C (-22°F). However, temperatures inside the traditional snow igloos aren't so cozy. Kept between -3°C and -6°C (27°F and 21°F), guests will need to snuggle into a warm down sleeping bag, wearing woolen socks and a hood to keep the cold out.
Each igloo features a private toilet (shower facilities are shared) and guests can also enjoy an array of hotel facilities including: the world's largest smoke sauna, equipped with its own restaurant; a "refreshing" ice hole; snow restaurant; ice sculpture gallery; Santa's resort; snow chapel and an ice bar. Village activities include cross-country skiing, husky safaris, reindeer sledge, snowmobile hire, ice fishing and day excursions on board the world's only tourist icebreaker ship.
A night in a Glass Igloo under the starry sky and northern lights display will set you back €340 (US$458) per couple. The Igloo Village is open all year round and 33 new glass igloos will be completed by autumn 2012.