Lainiotie, Kittilä, Finland
Dutch courage to brave the coldI believe in conquering my fears. Fear of the cold is easily fixed by embracing it in a magical environment that only exists in freezing temperatures.
Close to Kittila, Levi and Ylläs, the Snow Village is rebuilt every year and welcomes day trippers as well as those ready for the ultimate challenge: a sleepover in one of the hotel 'rooms' (or rather, igloos).
We went for the whole experience and upon arrival (optional by snowmobile or reindeer sled) dined at the Ice Bar, after the tour and sleeping 'instructions'. We made friends at the bar where a few shots of local and international favourite liqueurs in an ice glass really help warm you up before turning in with a double sleeping bag and the soft lighting to soothe you.
Anyone who camps knows how good it is to sleep in fresh air, but also how you want to avoid a midnight pee at all cost! We stepped out only to see if we could catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, and slept 'till the wake-up call of the staff bringing warm berry juice.
The Snow Hotel is truly magical and the sleeping experience one we will never forget.