Lainio Snow Village (Ylläsjärvi, Finland)

Finland's Lainio Snow Village, complete with a SnowHotel, Cabins and a wide-range of snowy activities, is a place like no other. By late November, 1,000 dump trucks are carting in snow and ice to create the complex Snow Village every year.

The icy facility is said to have a unique, magical feel that combines ice artistry, handicraft and breathtaking constructions made entirely of ice and snow. Covering an area of about 20,000 square meters, the Snow Village is equipped with lobbies, a bar, restaurants, hotel rooms and suites. There's also walls, slides and sculptures around the complex that are fun for kids and adults alike.

For more than 10 years, workers have constructed some 3,000 square meters of covered indoor spaces with snow and ice sculptures standing alone or carved into the walls and ceilings. The architectural design and interior decoration vary every year so returning guests never know what to expect. However, visitors can always expect to find Europe's largest ice dome and an à la carte restaurant with ice-carved tables and a frozen bar. Mixed in are snow galleries full of beautifully illuminated, handcrafted ice art.

The village is also equipped with a beautiful wooden chapel and separate ice chapel where many couples have entered matrimonial bliss together before spending a hot evening in an ice-entombed honeymoon suite. The experienced staff are known for hosting flawless, picture-perfect weddings where everything goes as smooth as ... well ... ice.

The SnowHotel

Guests love the overnight stay in rooms made entirely of snow. Well, almost entirely. The bedding and sleeping bags are designed to keep guests toasty warm but, really, the rooms aren't too cold. Because of the snow's natural insulating qualities, the indoor temperature of the Snow Village and its hotel always hovers between -2 and -5 Celsius, regardless of the outdoor temperature.

The SnowHotel has 30 rooms that are individually decorated with carvings, lights and more. There are also suites with different themes available. The shape of each suite is nothing like a standard square hotel room and they are all equipped with lighting, ice- and snow-sculpted art and other decorations. There are also round-shaped igloo rooms available.

A night in the hotel comes with a guided tour of the magical Snow Village, sleepover instructions and access to a shower, toilet and sauna facilities. Guests wake up to hot berry juice and a delicious buffet breakfast in a log-cabin-style restaurant. Best of all, each guest is awarded a diploma for spending the night in a SnowHotel. Other sleeping arrangements include log cabins, tepee cabins and more.

Activities in or around the Snow Village

Guests of Finland's Lainio Snow Village never run out of things to do as the surrounding arctic community is a wild winter wonderland full of fun activities that capture the imagination. Night or day, from the ice bar to the wilderness, vacationers get a chance to explore Finland's natural beauty. Guests are invited to go on late-night snowmobile tours where they can gaze into the star-speckled night sky or trek out during the day to fully take in the vast landscape. There is a nearby reindeer farm, fishing expeditions, dog sledding safaris, campfires, Lappish ceremonies, snowy go kart rides and incredible fireside dinners.

How to get there The Snow Village is about 25 minutes by car from the Kittilä airport, which can be accessed from Helsinki's airport. All the major car rental companies are found at Kittilä airport. It's a 40-minute drive from Levi and a 15-minute drive from Ylläs.

 

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