We left the car and walked into a fairytale world of glittering ice, of rearing dragons, fighting swordsmen, and colours which seemed to vibrate within the ice. We were warmly welcomed into the frozen caverns of The Snow Village. Famed throughout the world as a stunning example of ice sculptures created from an immense imagination.
It is called The Snow Village, but really it is the ice which is the star of the show. Each year in late November at Lainio, in Finnish Lapland, about one thousand truck loads of 20 million kilos of snow and 350 000 kilos of crystal clear natural ice are used to create The Snow Village. The Village changes shape and size every winter as it demonstrates the artistry, handicraft and breathtaking constructions and sculptors.
The year I visited the theme was 'Game of Thrones' which provided inspiration for mythical ice creatures which were stunning
Perhaps the best well known fact about The Snow Village is its grand snow hotel. Each year a snow hotel with around thirty rooms is constructed. As well as standard snow rooms there are also individually decorated suites each with a different theme and design.
I can already hear you ask "But isn't it cold?" The rooms are usually between -5°C and -2°C ( 23°F and 28°F) a little on the chilly side indeed. But you can warm up with cocktails or hot chocolate in the ice bar, dine at a table made of ice in the ice restaurant, and explore tunnels and galleries filled with painstakingly carved ice sculptures.
There’s even an ice chapel, where couples can brave the cold for a truly unique winter wedding before checking into the ice hotel’s honeymoon suite.
A romantic evening in The Snow Village anyone?
The Snow Village at Lainio is open each year from December to March, and visitors can tour the site daily from mid-morning to late evening.
Each winter we take our guests to visit The Snow Village as part of our week of cross-country skiing in nearby Äkäslompolo. It is here that we base our tours around the mountains and lakes of the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.
Knight in shining armour