Husky Sledding, Ice Fishing, Snow Sauna And Other Incredible Winter Activities I Did In The Arctic

Tripoto
17th Feb 2017

Winter wonderland

Photo of Husky Sledding, Ice Fishing, Snow Sauna And Other Incredible Winter Activities I Did In The Arctic by Deepa Subramanian

The Arctic region in the winters has always been one of my places to go to before I die! Having never experienced snow while growing up in Mumbai, the winters in the Arctic sounded like one helluva of a plan.

The Arctic region includes the Arctic Ocean, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Russia, Canada and parts of Alaska.

I chose to go to Finland for a couple of other reasons too, like to stay in the Kakslautatten Igloo Resort and to visit the real life Santa Claus in the year-round Christmas vibing village in Rovaniemi. Yes, you heard me right! Also, the Arctic circle runs through the Santa Claus village. There are numerous reasons as to why I fell in love with the magical place, but in this blog, I am sharing the various winter activities that I absolutely enjoyed in this haven.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Many of us try to avoid the colder regions and head to tropical and warm places for vacation. But I urge you'll to embrace the winters in places like these that know how to enjoy it the most.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Kakslauttanen, Sodankylä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

When to go to Finland:

It totally depends on what you would like to experience. The winters and summers in the Arctic are really contrasting.

If you want to enjoy the spectacular winter landscape, experience the winter activities and watch the stunning display of the Aurora Borealis, you should definitely head in the winters. February and March are the best winter months to be in the Finnish Lapland.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Summer too is breathtakingly gorgeous with fresh blooms, more daylight hours and the weather conducive to hike and enjoy the Lapland wilderness. Berry picking is something the Finns enjoy doing in the summers. I really look forward to experiencing the midnight sun sometime in the future. The months of June, July and August are great to visit for the summers.

Winter Activities to experience in Finland:

* Husky Sledding

Husky dog sledding is something you should definitely try in the Arctic wilderness. We booked the husky safari online through Lapland Safaris in Saariselkä, Finland. You will be taken to one of the huge Husky farms in the neighborhood where you will be greeted and instructed on how to ride your own dog sled in pairs. One person can sit cozily on the sled inside warm reindeer skins and the other will have to ride and control the sled which is oh-so exciting and you can switch roles too. You will also be given information about the everyday life of the dogs, how they train them to run and pull the sled which they absolutely love and enjoy. You might even get a chance to play with husky puppies if any in the farm. The ride lasts approximately about an hour where you'll pass through pristine snow covered forests.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

* Reindeer Sleigh Ride

Reindeer is an iconic animal in the Finnish Lapland. You can do the reindeer sleigh ride either at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi or by visiting a reindeer farm through tour operators like Lapland Safaris etc. One of the perks of visiting a reindeer farm is that you get a deeper insight of the life of the reindeer herder and Sami culture. It is absolutely magical to sit back and relax in a wooden sleigh whilst enjoying the scenery gliding through the winter wonderland. The ride is pretty slow compared to the husky ride which gives you the opportunity to grab amazing pictures of the surroundings and also enjoy it leisurely.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

* Snowmobiling

For those seeking an adrenaline kick, snowmobiling is the one for you! It is also one of the best way to get around Lapland in winters. It is an exhilarating experience to ride through the snowy forest trails and frozen lakes whilst enjoying the breathtaking scenery of Lapland. You will be given driving lessons at first which is pretty straightforward. You can speed up to 60 kms per hour on the forest trails and up to 80 on frozen lakes. You can also combine your snowmobile safari with a husky ride or the reindeer sleigh ride. We booked our snowmobiling activity through Lapland Safaris in Saariselkä.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

* Horseback Riding

Riding a horse in winters through snowy forests is like a fairytale come true. You will be introduced to the gorgeous horses in the Ranch at first and will be taught how to communicate with the horses. They will also give you details as to how to ride the horse through the forest trails. Sit back and enjoy your magical ride through deep snow and the winter magic.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Kakslauttanen I, Sodankylä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Kakslauttanen I, Sodankylä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

* Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is one of the favorite past time of the Finns in the winters. First, you get to the middle of the frozen lake either by foot or with the help of a snowmobile and then drill a hole in the ice, dip the fishing lure and wait patiently for the gear to catch the fish! If you're lucky you will definitely catch some fish. Catching a fish is a bonus here, the experience itself is so comforting and serene in a peaceful and silent environment.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

* Chasing the Northern Lights

Experiencing the northern lights is the main reason people head to the north in the winters. No doubt, it is one of the best sights I have ever seen and experienced in my life. Chasing the aurora borealis and waiting patiently in the silent snowy forests or marsh lands or frozen lakes for the lights to show up is absolutely thrilling. And boy, what a feast it was to our eyes and soul! We were lucky enough to watch an impressive display of Aurora Borealis on two nights of our stay in the Finnish Lapland. We camped in the deep woods for 6 hours in -25 degree Celsius on day one & on a frozen lake for a couple of hours on day two in -15 degree Celsius. We got rewarded with a magnificent and intense dance with green swirls all over the sky. Also, you do see billions of stars, shooting stars and the milky way on a clear starry night. There are a plethora of northern lights tour available in the Lapland. I would highly recommend All About Lapland for the northern lights tour.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: All About Lapland

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

* Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing the best way to pummel through even the deepest of snow without much difficulty. Winter hiking with snow shoes is the way to go. There are multiple combination tours available through Lapland Safaris. The astounding beauty of the snow-draped trees and the silence that bestow you will leave you spell-bounded.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Saariselkä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

* Snow Sauna & Outdoor Jacuzzi

The Finns absolutely love their saunas and it is a big part of the Finnish culture. There are different types of saunas that you can take in Finland, the smoke sauna being the most common. Snow sauna is something which I really enjoyed at the Arctic Snow Hotel in Rovaniemi. The tiny sauna rooms are made of thick ice walls and the thick steam from the stove keeps the temperature warm inside. The outdoor jacuzzi has a relaxing and gorgeous set up overlooking the snowy surroundings. You can book the snow sauna, smoke sauna and the outdoor jacuzzi experience at this property even if you are not a hotel guest.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Arctic Snow Hotel, Lehtoahontie, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Arctic Snow Hotel, Lehtoahontie, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

* Dining in the Ice restaurant

Dinner in the Ice restaurant at the Arctic Snow Hotel certainly is one of a kind experience. The restaurant offers an appetizing three-course meal which you'll have to select and book prior to your visit. The entire set up and the designs of the restaurant and the Ice bar is made out of Ice every year right from scratch. The beautiful style of the Ice Restaurant tableware set on an ice table and frozen glasses used in the Ice Bar are simply mind blowing.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Arctic Snow Hotel, Lehtoahontie, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Arctic Snow Hotel, Lehtoahontie, Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Where to stay in Finland:

* From my experiences and research, I would highly recommend spending at least one to two nights at the Kakslauttanen Igloo Resort in Saariselkä.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Kakslauttanen Igloo West Village, Sodankylä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Kakslauttanen Igloo West Village, Sodankylä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Kakslauttanen Igloo West Village, Sodankylä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Kakslauttanen Igloo West Village, Sodankylä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Kakslauttanen Igloo West Village, Sodankylä, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

* If you wish to spend any additional nights in Saariselkä, then Holiday Club Saariselkä is a pretty good option.

* Whilst visiting the Santa Claus village in Rovaniemi, you can either stay in the Santa village hotels itself or in one of the numerous Airbnb apartments available to rent at the city center. Most of the Finnish apartments have an attached sauna which is very relaxing in the winters.

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Rovaniemi, Finland by Deepa Subramanian

Winter Activities can also be done in Rovaniemi, but the snow cover on the trees and surroundings increases as you go further up north. To enjoy the activities in an absolutely gorgeous setting head to the northern areas of Finland like Saariselkä, Nellim, Ivalo, Levi, Yllas.

Which one of these winter activities are on your bucket list???

Picture Credit: Deepa Subramanian

Photo of Kakslauttanen, Finland by Deepa Subramanian
2 Comment(s)
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Thanks for the post... I am planning to visit in December essentially for the Northern lights. I am just worried about the cold (Like you said you camped in like - 25 degrees). I read the tour companies provide clothing like jackets and all for those temperatures. Is that true? Coz am not so sure we would that kind of winter clothing in India easily to withstand those temperatures. Any suggestions would be valuable..
Fri 08 11 17, 21:57 · Reply (1) · Report
Hey, most of the tour companies do provide warm jumpers which is the outer layer. You can even rent it from the tour companies and pay rentals on a daily basis. But I will highly recommend you to get your own thermals and fleece jackets. You need to wear layers to keep yourself warm and enjoy the activity. For instance, I wore two pairs of thermals top & bottom, sweatshirt, fleece jacket and their warm jumper only during the activity since I bought my own waterproof down jacket which is the outer layer made with geese feathers. You could have a look at amazon.in for the jackets.
Sat 08 12 17, 09:59 · Report
nice
Sat 07 22 17, 14:06 · Reply (1) · Report
Thanks
Sat 07 22 17, 21:44 · Report