Witnessing the unearthly spirals of the Northern Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many, and Finland’s monopoly on the glass igloo ensures that Finnish Lapland remains one of the best sites in the world to see the famed aurora.
Its imitators have made it all the way to Canada, but what’s on offer here, high above the Arctic Circle, is unrivalled. Finland has it all and more, whether you want to see the lights in a mobile waggon after ice fishing on frozen lakes, soak in a private hot tub, or husky sled before meeting Santa in your private, heated igloo. And it’s not just in the winter; some hotels also have summer packages to take advantage of the wonderful midnight sun that bathes the landscape. We’ve found a few Dome resorts that you’ll love.
Wilderness Hotel Inari, Finland
In the extreme north, where the Sami and their reindeer graze across snow-covered fells and tundra, Finnish Lapland is at its most astonishingly white and wild. This nouveau-rustic retreat on the banks of Lake Inari is all about the northern lights during the deep chill of winter. For spectacular northern light shows and stargazing, retreat to glass-roofed, laser-heated aurora lodges. If you prefer understated Scandi elegance, the fire-warmed Arctic huts with private saunas are ideal after a day of snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or husky sledding.
Isbreen – The Glacier, Norway
Only from your minimalist-cool geodesic dome can you watch Europe’s sole glacier calving directly into the sea and the Finnmark Alps punching high above in ice blue and pearl white. Isbreen, in Norway’s Arctic north, bombards you with ferocious wintry beauty and brilliant northern light shows, which are best enjoyed while skiing, dogsledding, bubbling in the outdoor hot tub, or eating locally fished and foraged meals. The aurora domes are luxuriously warm, with ice-inspired colours, goose-down duvets, wood-burning stoves, telescopes, and large windows that maximise light-spotting opportunities.
Apukka Resort, Finland
Apukka Resort seems wonderfully secluded despite being five minutes from Finnish Lapland’s Santa HQ, Rovaniemi, with its snow-iced forest backdrop and dark night skies where the aurora routinely arcs and sways. With glass-roofed aurora igloos channelling contemporary Nordic architecture in monochrome tones and reindeer hides, this is a prime place for northern lights activity, sitting atop the Arctic Circle. Book the aurora waggon and be wheeled out into the forest or up to a frozen mountaintop for some at-one-with-the-lights time around a bonfire for additional fantasy. A lakeside sauna warms you up for an aurora hunt, whether on a snowmobile, reindeer-drawn sleigh, or horseback.
Wherever you choose to stay for this unique vacation, you can guarantee it will be a once in a lifetime experience. Hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to catch the mesmerising Aurora Borealis.
You might like to have a read of our guide to catching the Northern Lights before you go!