For many, elaborate structures carved out of ice and snow are the stuff of fairy tales and fantasy. Seeing them with your own eyes might convince you they’re real, but it doesn’t make them any less extraordinary.
In Finland, there’s no shortage of materials when it comes to building out of snow and ice. As a result, there are no limits to what you can construct, and the size and detail of the creations often leave beholders awestruck.
SNOW HOTELS, ICE BARS, IGLOOS and… ICE SAUNAS?
The larger constructions are situated in the northern parts of Finland, namely Lapland. The Icium in Levi is something between a theme park and an art gallery, while the Snow Village in Lainio and the Snowcastle in Kemi offer accommodation, ice restaurants, bars and chapels among other attractions.
A number of hotels also build their own igloos to offer customers a chance for a true Arctic overnight experience, while ice saunas, a veritable oxymoron, are built all around Finland in the winter.
Snow slides and other playground attractions for children are common in or around every major ice and snow construction. However, it’s not uncommon to find adults enjoying them just as much.
The snow for building usually comes from the vicinity of the construction, and big blocks of ice are hauled from lakes and the Bothnian Sea. Machines do the heavy lifting, and skilled sculptors make sure every little detail is tended to with finesse.
In just a few minutes, you can leave behind the hustle and bustle of a ski resort or a city and arrive in the peace and quiet of the wilderness.