One of the most unique ways to see the aurora borealis (also called the northern lights) is to stay in an igloo at the Igloo Village in Finnish Lapland where you will be able to gaze up at the curtains of light as you fall asleep. Read on to find out more about the Igloo Village, what causes the aurora borealis, when the aurora borealis is most visible, and where the aurora borealis occurs.
Stay in an Igloo Under the Aurora Borealis
Have you ever dreamt of living life eskimo-style? Wonder what it’d be like to spend the night in an igloo, watching the northern lights work their magic in the sky above? This fantasy can become reality thanks to Hotel Kakslauttanen, home of The Igloo Village. The Igloo Village is located in Lapland, Finland, near Urho Kekkonen National Park.
In addition maintaining 40 beautiful log cabins, during the winter the hotel offers visitors the option of sleeping traditional igloos made of snow, or a more modern (and comfortable) version made of ‘glass’, where they can drift off to sleep watching the spectacular aurora borealis dance overhead. The glass igloos are constructed of a special transparent thermal material that maintains normal indoor temperatures and does not frost or fog up.
The hotel also offers a ‘snow’ chapel for weddings, four different themed restaurants (including a ‘snow’ restaurant housed inside a giant igloo) and a variety of on-site activities for winter sports enthusiasts
Visitors can entertain themselves ice swimming, ice and snow carving, ice karting, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing along forested trails. The hotel also organizes winter safaris for activities such as snowmobiling, ice fishing, day tours aboard icebreaker ships, and excursions into Norway and Russia.
What Causes the Aurora Borealis?
The otherworldy colors of the aurora borealis are caused when solar wind emits energetic particles that become trapped inside the Earth’s magnetic field. When these sun ions enter the upper atmosphere they collide with atmospheric molecules to create a beautiful portrait of energy emissions and light.
Different reactions occur and different colors are produced depending on the combination of ions and atmospheric molecules. Some particles will create pink and blue displays. Collisions in lower altitudes commonly appear as yellowish-green lights. The rarest aurora color is deep red, which is formed when ions from the sun collide with oxygen at a high altitude. Throughout history, the lights have had many names including “Dance of the Spirits,” as the Cree called it.
Where do the Aurora Borealis Occur?
The aurora borealis occurs in the northern hemisphere and is most frequently seen in northern Scandinavia, the southern tips of Greenland and Iceland, northwestern Canada, Alaska, and northern Siberia, so the igloo village in Finnish Lapland (the northern part of Finland) is a prime viewing area.
When is the Aurora Borealis Visible?
The northern lights are present year round, but the sky has to be fairly dark for people to witness the action. So, it’s best to avoid cities and areas with a lot of lighting to get the full effect. Since the igloo village is far from any major source of light pollution, the viewing conditions are ideal. The best time of year to see the aurora borealis is between September and mid-April, so this is the best time to go on northern lights holidays.
Aurora Borealis Photos and Igloo Village Photos
Aurora Borealis Video Clips
Trip Planning Tips
If you would like to stay in an igloo beneath the aurora borealis, you should know the following things:
Name: Hotel Kakslauttanen
Price: Igloos run about $500 USD per night for two people (single occupancy is only slightly cheaper).
Phone: +358 (16) 667-100
Fax: +358 (16) 667-168
Tips: Book well in advance. The Igloo Village is very popular and many dates are sold out early in (or even before) the season.
Don’ forget to book your trip when the aurora borealis is most visible (see above).