The Nordic countries can get quite cold, but northern travelers often embrace the frigidness as part of the experience. If you’re a visitor who wishes to take things up a notch and actually indulge in the Arctic weather as well, ice hotels in Norway were created for you.
Most ice hotels have to be rebuilt every year (due to ice thawing from warmer weather), but they continuously to provide a place to stay like no other.
Read on for our selection of ice hotels in Norway (plus a few bonus spots from elsewhere on the Scandinavian peninsula).
Tromsø Ice Domes
If you’re looking for a high-end ice hotel, Norway’s Tromsø is where you should be headed.
The Tromso Ice Domes are nestled in the beautiful Tamok Valley of Norway right alongside the Finnish border. This ice hotel complex sits just an hour and a half away from Tromsø’s city center.
The domes opened during winter of 2017 and feature a range of igloo lodgings, ice hotel rooms, and more.
This ice hotel in Norway, like others, must be rebuilt every year due to warm-season weather melting the ice. Therefore, the Tromsø Ice Domes are always full of new surprises; their layout varies every year.
Parts of the original Tromsø Ice Domes include an igloo large enough to fit two bars (where shots in ice glasses are offered!), a restaurant where you’re served a Norwegian hot meal, and a movie theater where you can learn about the ice domes’ construction.
All of the decor is ice-themed, of course.
Since the 2017-2018 winter season, all amenities listed above have remained (with different designs), and more ice rooms and perks have been added.
The Tromsø Ice Domes are open from December to March.
This straight-out-of-Frozen ice hotel is on the pricier side – one hotel room costs around NOK 12,500 per night and fits a maximum of two people.
Included in the cost, though, are a guided itinerary, transportation to and from Tromsø, and a tour of the entire hotel.
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel
If you’re lucky enough to visit Sorrisniva, you can brag – and rightfully so – that you’ve been to the world’s northernmost ice hotel.
Snorrisniva is located just 20 minutes away from Alta’s city center.
The ice hotel at Sorrisniva has two seasons which determine its prices: a December season and a separate winter season.
During the December season, this ice hotel offers a NOK 2560 double room, a NOK 3080 single room, a NOK 2560 family room, and a NOK 3070 suite. All options come with warming reindeer hides in tow, a trend prevalent across Nordic ice hotels.
The prices also include thermal sleeping bags designed to withstand as little as -25 degrees celsius (though it never gets colder than -6 degrees celsius in the rooms), morning sauna towels, and a breakfast buffet with locally sourced ingredients.
The winter season at award-winning Sorrisniva lasts from January 1 to April 7. During this period, the hotel offers a NOK 2360 double room, a NOK 2690 single room, a NOK 2360 family room, and a NOK 2870 suite. Reindeer hides and all amenities provided during the December season are also offered in the winter season.
This open-year-round ice hotel is located in Bjørnevatn, just a 13-minute drive away from central Kirkenes, Norway.
What makes Snowhotel Kirkenes especially unique is that each of its 20 rooms has its own distinguishing theme. For example, there’s a maritime room with nautical decor, and a very appropriate Frozen-themed room, complete with carvings featured in the movie.
Snowhotel Kirkenes’ perks include northern lights excursions, activities with huskies and reindeer, an ice bar, and a restaurant serving food with ingredients sourced locally year-round. Many of these perks are included in the price of your stay, depending on which of the Kirkenes ice hotel packages you choose.
The constant -4 degree Celsius temperature in the hotel may seem daunting, but once you experience how comfortable sleeping in this ice palace is, you might just want to move in permanently.
When it’s time for bed, snuggle into the cozy thermal sleeping bag included in your room.
Prices for Snowhotel Kirkenes can range anywhere from NOK 1,550 to 3,100 per person.
Among the ice hotels in Norway with a larger capacity, Hunderfossen Snowhotel fits up to 24 guests in its one-of-a-kind rooms which feature ice sculptures and images from Norwegian folktales.
The design of this ice hotel also changes every year as it literally melts into the surrounding fjords during the warmer months.
If you’re visiting as part of a larger group, it’s possible to stay at the magnificent Hunderfossen Ice Cathedral. The cathedral is part of the overarching Hunderfossen Hotel and Resort which offers additional recreational activities and accommodation beyond wintertime.
In both the ice cathedral and snowhotel, Bergan (a Norwegian company specializing in high-quality winter gear) sleeping bags designed to withstand a whopping -30 degrees celsius are provided along with a mattress topped with sheepskin.
Among Hunderfossen’s Snowhotel cheapest prices, a single room or a double room goes for about NOK 5,500.
Bonus #1: Icehotel in Sweden
For a chance to stay at the world’s oldest and largest icehotel, clear your schedule between December to April because that’s when the original Icehotel is open.
Similar to many other ice/snow hotels, this ice hotel near Kiruna melts in April and is rebuilt from fresh ice and snow in early December.
The ice hotel hosts twenty ice rooms and fifteen art suites, all hand-carved by artists from around the world.
A stay in a standard Icehotel ice room consists of a bed with a wooden base, mattress, reindeer hides, and a thermal sleeping bag.
For practical reasons, curtains replace doors, while changing rooms, bathrooms and saunas are located in the heated building, the Riverside Lobby, adjacent to the Icehotel.
Prices vary depending on the season, package, and room type.
Getting to this Swedish ice hotel is easy. The 1.5-hour flight from Stockholm to Kiruna is an option, but you can also arrive via car or the 12-hour train ride from Stockholm to Kiruna.
Bonus #2: Igloo Village in Finland
Located in Finland’s northernmost region, this Finnish Igloo Village is part of the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
The snow huts are so popular that you can choose from three options: real snow igloos for an arctic experience, glamping-style heated glass igloos to watch the northern lights from, or kelo-glass igloos which combine the feel of a log cabin with a glass igloo.
Real snow igloos isolate you somewhat from frigid outside temperatures; igloo interiors range from -6 to -3 celsius. While that may still sound chilly, sleeping bags, animal skin, and your own thermal clothing will keep you snug throughout the night.
Heated glass igloos are another fantastic option. Two-person glass igloos include a toilet and enough room to fit an extra bed, while four-person glass igloos include their own toilet and shower. Glass igloos are available almost year-round – from late August to the end of April.
Kelo-glass igloos are truly a winter wonderland luxury experience. These log cabins slash igloos fit up to six people and include a private sauna, fireplace, and kitchen.
During the December winter season, prices per night for a single kelo-glass igloo range from EUR 600 to EUR 800. Glass igloos are typically EUR 525, while the snow igloos are the cheapest at about EUR 400.
No matter which ice hotel you choose, you’re sure to leave shivering – with glee, of course!
Source: Norway Today