By now, pretty much everyone would’ve seen pictures of the glass roofed cabins that have become synonymous with Lapland, however, what is it actually like to stay in such a cabin?
Getting to Northern Finland is extremely easy. We hopped on a plane in Helsinki, and a few short hours later we had arrived in Ivalo, which is a kind of ‘gateway’ to Lapland.
Once we arrived, it was a short thirty or so minute ride to Saariselkä, which is where our hotel was located. We would be spending the next two nights at Northern Lights Village, a 3* hotel with beautiful glass roofed lodgings.
Upon arrival, we were initially a bit disappointed to learn that the snowfall was late and that most of our activities were to be cancelled due to the lack of snow. The weather forecast also predicted nothing but clouds and rain for the next two days – not exactly optimal weather for observing the Aurora!
However, despite having yet another run in with bad weather, we still managed to make the most of our time in Lapland and really enjoyed our time spent at Northern Lights Village.
Even with the grey and the rain, the appeal of the glass roof cabins could not be denied! I especially liked that the roof was only half glass, as it meant that they afforded more privacy than those domed glass igloos.
Each cabin comes equipped with a double bed, minibar, hairdryer and most excitedly, laser heated glass panels.
These glass panels can be turned on and off, and mean that if the windows were to be covered under a blanket of snow, you’d simply need to turn them on and they will heat up in mere minutes – melting the snow and affording you an unobstructed view of the skies above!
All stays also include half board (breakfast and dinner) and it is worth noting that activities will incur extra costs.
Given that the day had been very cloudy and rainy, we didn’t bother staying up to try and Aurora spot! I did wake up to pee at about 3am and found that the skies were completely clear, but there was no Aurora to be seen. I contemplated setting up my tripod and camera to take some long exposure shots of the starry skies, but decided that it wasn’t worth waking Dan up for!
I might have been a little annoyed that we didn’t seen any Auroras, but given my previously very good track record of Aurora spotting (multiple spots in Greenland, Iceland and Sweden) I really didn’t mind too much.
If you are heading to Lapland with the goal of seeing the Northern Lights, I’d recommend going in December/January and giving yourself at least 3-4 days to search for the lights, as you never know what the skies will decided to do.
When I woke up the next day, I had definitely been hoping to find a blanket of snow waiting for me.
Unfortunately, this hope did not become a reality.
However, the sunrise that morning was absolutely spectacular, and when I say spectacular, I really mean it!
Fiery oranges, bubblegum pinks and splashes of lilac were strewn across the sky, giving us an undoubtedly marvellous show!
Bad weather may have struck again (story of my life) but amazingly, it really didn’t ruin our stay. Lapland is the kind of place that is beautiful in all kinds of weather, which is something that I can only say about a small handful of places in the world.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Getting to Ivalo: This domestic airport is well connected to Helsinki with flights operating several times daily
Getting to Northern Lights Village: From the airport, NLV offers minibus transfers but these are quite expensive. If you are travelling as a single or couple, catching a taxi may be more cost effective
Northern Lights Village: One night in a glass roofed cabin starts at €349 for two persons on a bed and breakfast basis, click here to learn more
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses
Remember: Book for December or January to guarantee snowy weather! November is a bit of a wildcard month these days…