Travelling to the Ice Hotel in Arctic Sweden is truly an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience; but I've been lucky enough to have stayed there twice.
The Ice hotel is in a village called Jukkasjarvi, about 15 minutes drive from a mining town in Arctic Sweden called Kiruna. You can drive there from Stockholm in about 12 - 15 hours, or you may prefer to take the overninight train or fly there from Stockholm. The train and airport are situated in Kiruna. Scandanavian Airlines and flynordic both fly to Kiruna. You can either take a taxi to the Ice Hotel, or arrange for people from the Ice Hotel to take you there either by bus, dog sled or snowmobile. (The last 2 options are quite expensive.) Kiruna Airport even has it's own dog sled parking area.
The Ice Hotel is not as cold as people would imagine - it's quite cosy to sleep inside, but there are chalets or the Arora rooms to sleep in if you really don't want to sleep in the ice rooms. You sleep in a bed carved out of ice with a mattress covered in rendeer skins in a thermal sleeping bag - I was quite comfortable sleeping in my shorts and a T-shirt.. A word od advice though - go to the toilet before you go to bed.
There is a bar inside the Ice Hotel which serves drinks in an ice glass. The drinks get cheaper the more you buy because each drink melts out a bit of the glass and they always fill the glass to the top. Eating at the Ice Hotel's restaurant is quite nice, but expensive, a cheaper option is to walk about 10 minutes into the Jukkasjarvi village and eat at the homestestead restaurant there. it's a nice walk there, the sound of the snow crunching under your feet as you walk past the Swedish homes in the village.
What is there to do at the Ice Hotel? The Ice Hotel organises reindeer tours, snowmobile safaris, dog sleging, ice fishing, overnight wilderness tours, a chance to have a drive of a Saab on the Torne River (frozen of course). These activities are very expensive, but you can save yourself a bit of money by doing your research and organising these activities directly through the local companies before you get there. One company is Lapland Wilderness Tours.
It is worth visiting kiruna while you are in the area and having a look around. Also a trip to Narvik is an adventure as well. Narvik is about a 3 hour train or car ride from Kiruna and the scenery is spectacular.
January is a good time to go to the Ice Hotel because there is more daylight then. At Christmas it gets light at around 9am and it is dark again by 2:30pm. By the end of March, the Ice Hotel is closed and allowed to melt back into the Torne River and the Ice hotel staff begin their summer activities such as canoeing, fishing and wilderness tours. You can still stay in the chalets and the Arora Rooms.
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- Also Known As:
- Icehotel Hotel Jukkasjarvi
- Icehotel Sweden/Jukkasjarvi
- Ice Hotel Sweden