The Article Circle: the most northerly line of latitude, an invisible boundary steeped in lore and mystery. It sits atop the globe like a wreath, separating the habitable from the inhospitable, the temperate from the tundra. Home of the midnight sun and the polar night, where electrons collide with the Earth’s atmosphere in a display aptly known as the Northern Lights.
Chances are, when you think of the Artic Circle, you don’t think ‘luxury’.
One man did, however; a man by the name of Jussi Eiramo, of Lapland, looked to the land of the midnight sun and saw gold. That gold would be Kakslauttanen, one of the world’s most northerly resorts.
Kakslauttanen’s origin story is seemingly the stuff of myth, as quaint as its concept. In 1973, Eiramo was traversing the northern regions of Finland on a summer fishing trip. He headed for Utsjoki, the country’s northernmost village, where the river Teno is bountiful with salmon. On the return drive to central Finland, his car ran out of fuel, leaving him stranded on an isolated roadside in the region of Kakslauttanen.
Resourceful Eiramo set up camp in this area and promptly fell in love with the landscape. He would return, summer after summer, to spend time in this place that so unequivocally felt like home. He spent his first summer in Kakslauttanen in a tent, and the second summer in a newly erected chalet; he eventually opened a tiny café and accommodations that would over time expand in scope and vision.
Today Kakslauttanen is a year round mecca for the northern traveller, a resort designed to honour the environment and culture of Lapland.
Let’s take a look at some of Kakslauttanen’s whimsical accommodations:
These cozy structures offer uninterrupted views of the Northern Lights.
For those in search of a more rugged experience, snow igloos are the perfect retreat for getting cozy under fluffy down blankets.
These cozy suites are made of kelo wood — that is, wood harvested from an already dead or dying tree. It is a material coveted for its silver, weathered appearance.
Marketed as the Wedding Chamber, the Earth Lodge is built with a turf roof, an ancient Finnish style of architecture.
The amenities at Kakslauttanen are plentiful. Guests can eat local fare at the restaurant and bar before retiring to the smoke sauna or toughening up for an afternoon of ice swimming. And while the latter might not sound like your idea of holiday fun, it’s a practice increasingly receiving attention for its health benefits. (The waters in Kakslauttanen are also clean enough to drink from.)
Intrigued? Well, as they say, winter is coming (or, depending on where you live, it might be here already) – and suddenly it’s looking a little more tolerable.