Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel (Near Alta, Norway)

Situated on the banks of the Alta River in Norway's far north, the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel provides guests with an unforgettable experience. One of the most distinguishing features of the beautiful 2,000-square-meter ice palace are the reindeer hides draped over the entrances and beds. Reindeer are raised as livestock in the area and their hides are useful for keeping people warm, but also beautiful against the icy backdrop of the intricately carved igloo.

Everything from the walls and bar to drinking glasses and beds are made of ice and snow. Open from mid-January to mid-April, the amazing construction has 30 bedrooms, suites, an ice-chapel, an ice-bar and several lounges. Guests enjoy locally crafted liquors while lounging on velvety soft reindeer fur before falling asleep in ultra-warm sleeping bags provided by the hotel. Between the sculptures and the wall carvings, guests never run out of things to see or do and many come back every year to experience the adventure again and again.

Though the ice hotel's interior never drops below -7 Celsius, there is a warming hut next door. The neighboring building is equipped with toilets, a sauna, wardrobes and a souvenir shop. Also, there are two hot tubs adjacent to the icy igloo so people can take a warm dip in the hot, bubbling waters while soaking up the cool landscape of Norway's arctic north with their eyes.

From weddings to snowmobiling

Couples come from all over the world get married in the Igloo Hotel's ice chapel, which is annually consecrated by the bishop of Nord-Hålogaland. Decorated, like the rest of the hotel, in ornate ice carvings and sculptures, the chapel is said to deliver excellent acoustics and a traditional feel of ancient times. The local parish conducts the ceremony, wedding parties are held in one of the two adjacent restaurants and the newlywed couple is welcome to stay in the igloo's romantic bridal suite.

Newlyweds and every other guest are then welcome to spend the morning warming up in the sauna before settling in for an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. From there, the arctic north awaits with adventures ranging from guided snowmobile tours and ice fishing to cross-country skiing and relaxing by a crackling fire. Don't forget, the area is prone to northern lights. Aurora Borealis dance across the skies in vibrant hues of green, pink and purple, creating everlasting memories for people of all ages. It's a site to see!

A small dog-sledding facility is located on an island in the middle of the frozen Alta River and guests are invited to meet the dogs, cuddle with the puppies, learn how to attach the gear and eventually drive their own sled. It's an amazing way to experience the countryside, the Alta Canyon and see the northern lights.


For a shuttle service from Alta town, an overnight stay at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, sauna and breakfast buffet, the cost $1,995 NOK ($362USD) per person and $995 NOK ($180USD) for children under 12. To simply visit and tour the ice igloo, open to the public only during certain hours, it costs $300 NOK ($54USD) per person and $100 NOK ($18USD) per child under 12. There are extended packages available.

How to get there

There is a shuttle bus from the Rica Hotel Alta in Alta town. Alta town does have an airport with flights to and from Oslo. To drive from Oslo would take at least 25 hours, so flying is recommended.


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