What is the ICEHOTEL? Besides being a cool place (ok I just had to) it is the first and largest snow and ice hotel in the world. A friend of mine mentioned it recently which inspired me to check the website for some virtual travel. I thought it would be simple igloos and snow shelters similar to what mountaineers create when climbing in Alaska, Antarctica, etc. When I saw the pictures I was stunned!
This winter is the 20th anniversary of the concept. Every year team of snow builders, architects, designers and artists from all over the world gather in the little town of Jukkasjärvi far north of the Arctic Circle in the Lapland area of Sweden to create a temporary masterpiece out of ice from the nearby river.
Visitors fly into the nearby town of Kiruna from Stockholm or London. You can also arrive via an overnight train from Stockholm. Transportation to the hotel is then by bus, snowmobile or dogsled. Once at the hotel accommodations are either in an ice room (temps stay about 23 F/ -5 C) or in a hotel that is much warmer being constructed of wood and stone.
Activities, besides hanging out at the Icebar—yup made of ice also—include snowshoeing and snowmobile tours which should be no surprise during the winter. For other activities I leave it to you to explore their website and photos.
Get out and Explore the World!
Picture Credit: Åke Larsson, Mikael Nille Nilsson & Sofi Ruotsalainen, Sweden.
Map Credit: ICEHOTEL.com