We couldn’t believe our eyes the first time we walked into this Northern winter hinterland called Aurora Village Ivalo. Both Harsh and I had entered into the realm of nothingness with our hearts content and kiddish faces wreathed in gleeful smiles. A gazillion stars illuminated the night sky. No cars. No noise. No traffic. The air felt like medicine (so pure, so fresh). Just the wilderness, and us, and of course, a dozen reindeer for our company… It has to be a one-in-a-lifetime experience in Finland as many claim, and we now know why!
The ultimate Arctic experience awaits you at Aurora Village, Ivalo. Here it is possible to take a sublime stroll through the secluded wilderness as it is to barrel down the snowy slopes at a crazy speed. In this part of the world, there are more reindeer than people. Imagine sheer silence around you. We were there for one specific reason, which was to see the Northern Lights dance like colorful ribbons in the sky from our glass cabin in Ivalo, but this place was more than just witnessing the lights!
Gone are the days when lodging meant just a comfy bed, a coffee table and even a minibar. An avant-garde range of new hotel experiences has taken the traditional lodging way above, a wave of accommodations that are irresistibly Instagrammable. In fact, I found out about Aurora Village, Ivalo through Instagram only. I was instantly drawn to the world of a transparent glass igloo offering the chance of watching Northern Lights in extreme weather conditions (20 degrees minus). Of course, this came with a hefty price but it was well worth every single penny.
The very idea of staying in a glass cabin, watching the Northern Lights whilst holding hands of my partner, enticed me to this world. This hotel is hidden within the Arctic realms in secluded frosty forests of Ivalo. I remember the exact moment we set our foots in the premises of this other-worldly destination and saw the beams of sunlight making way through Arctic trees and reindeer farms wrapped with glistening snow, it was love at first sight!
If you are traveling to Aurora Village, Ivalo then chances are you’ll definitely be coming through Rovaniemi. You have limited options available if you are coming to Ivalo via Rovaniemi. Aurora Village is approximately 300kms from Rovaniemi. You can either fly into Ivalo directly via Helsinki on Finnair or you could take a train as well.
The cheapest means to reach Aurora Village from Rovaniemi is the bus. It will take about 5 hours but take my word, the drive would be well worth it. We couldn’t sleep for a minute throughout the journey as it seemed like we were venturing in the world of Narnia. It isn’t as expensive as any other mode and costs about 1000 INR per person. You can easily reach Rovaniemi Bus stop from the centre and take a bus to Ivalo. It’s best to avail the free pick-up service of Ivalo, Aurora Village, Finland hotel, once you have reached Ivalo centre. Make sure you’ve booked the pick-up services with Aurora Village, Ivalo in advance.
I remember, the entire 2-3 km drive from the bus stop to the hotel really got us all excited and we had butterflies in our tummies. It surely didn’t look like anything we had seen in our lives so far. So picturesque, so dreamlike.
Self drive from Rovaniemi to Ivalo is also another option to reach Aurora Village but I wouldn’t recommend it higher, especially to someone visiting Finland in winters. Driving in snow in extreme temperatures might sound interesting but it takes away completely from the enjoyment. In a bus, you can chill and simply enjoy the scenic landscapes but in a car you’ll have to be attentive all the time. You have to ensure that the car doesn’t skid and you are going in the right direction at all times.
Nonetheless, if you think it wouldn’t be difficult driving the distance, simply rent a car. It will take you approximately 3 and a half hours to reach Aurora Village in a car.
We arrived at Aurora Village, Ivalo at 1 PM and were given a brief about the hotel and glass cabins upon arrival. Our excitement was pretty evident in our big, beaming smiles. The warm, wooden reception gave us a little relief from the otherwise cold temperatures (imagine minus 15 degrees) though we ain’t complaining. We loved the cold, nonetheless, for a change.
The dining area was adjoining the reception and we took our time to rest for a while as our rooms were getting ready! A fantastic view of the cabins and reindeer farm was visible from the dining area’s big, glass windows. We experienced the pure white snow and fresh arctic air – the magic unfolded each step of the way. I must give a special mention to the staff at the reception. They were so cordial and went out of their way to make our stay memorable. Whilst our rooms were getting clean, we enquired with them about the excursions available and made bookings then and there!
The biggest help, though, was their free Northern Lights App at Aurora Village, Ivalo. They gave us 3 days access to this app which sent us alerts when the lights were visible. It was so cool and each time the app sent us reminders, we got so excited and had butterflies in our tummies.
Coming back to check-in, we were then given room access keys and shown the way to our rooms. We then used the sledges to drag our luggage to the room and it was an enjoyable activity, nonetheless. Both of us giggled like innocent kids during our tiny journey approaching our little nest.
The cabins were remarkable. Cozy and beautifully laid out, to be honest. We had everything we needed available in the Aurora Cabin, and the experience gave us immense satisfaction, especially because we could see Auroras for 2 nights straight! Yes, we got really lucky during our stay here! The igloo cabins at Aurora Village, Ivalo look better in real life than the pictures available on Google. For some minutes after our check-in, we were literally dumbfounded by what we had gotten ourselves into.
The rustic igloo cabin had a comfortable bed, bathroom, a coffee maker, a huge, heated window looking out over the snow-filled trees. It would be difficult to put into words what exactly it feels like living in a heated glass cabin, lying below a heated glass roof and chatting about the sheer beauty of this place, waiting for the night to unfurl and show it’s magic by painting the sky green! The picturesque Arctic trees definitely made us feel like we had transported in the land of fairies and angels. We both spent a few hours simply gazing around at the beauty before venturing out to explore the hotel. We spent the next two days snugging into our cozy corner, venturing out for outwardly snow activities and feasting on Lappish delicacies.
Our only reason for booking a two night stay at Aurora Village, Ivalo was to see the auroras dance. As the temperatures are below freezing point and we are closer to the North Pole, chances of witnessing the Northern Lights are pretty high. The night sky must be clear and the stars should be visible.
Remember, the auroral display can begin at any time and vanish even before you might know. So, you need to be attentive. However, at Aurora Village, Ivalo, you don’t even have to worry about staying up all night, waiting for Auroras to appear. They give you an app during the check-in which sends you alerts as soon as the auroras appear in the sky. We were lucky to see auroras dance straight for two nights in a row during our stay, and our happiness knew no bounds.
These igloo cabins Aurora Village Ivalo offer you the perfect opportunity to stay indoors and warm, whilst admiring the blazing multi-colored displays in the sky. Anyway, we couldn’t hold onto our excitement and went outside the cabin to move further away from the city lights and make the most of wilderness. It was extremely chilly outside and taking pictures became wee bit a struggle but we enjoyed each every moment, nonetheless.
The postcard-perfect setting of Aurora Village, Ivalo makes it ideal for spending a quiet vacation in Finland. There are so many facilities and amenities in this all-inclusive hotel that you don’t really need to venture further out to look for anything. Yes, there are no shops or cafes around but so many other things you could do.
The main building features a small reception area and a restaurant namely Loimu. You get tea and coffee facilities plus a small fire place to chill by. Aurora Village has a sauna and hot tub facility which needs to be booked privately in advance. Other than that, they have separate hut where they have stored a huge variety of outer clothing to keep you warm during outdoor adventures. Trust me, they were so cozy and much needed for the extreme temperatures.
There are a lot of equipment that can be borrowed for enjoying ice activities at Aurora Village. There are snowshoes, fat bikes, sledges, skis, etc. All this and the endless panoramic views will ensure that you spend minimal time inside the cabins.
As already mentioned, there is only one restaurant in Aurora Village, Ivalo namely Loimu. Here you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner and devour Lappish meals. A lot of effort was made in preparing the meals and we loved the fact that they had vegetarian options as well. The wine, sub-zero temperatures, relaxing aroma, and the cozy setup got us all smiling and happy.
Surprisingly, there are a lot of snow activities to enjoy here in Ivalo. All of it is made easier as you can book some of the activities directly with Aurora Village. They had some awesome partner companies who operate all the tours ethically.
We booked our Northern Lights Lake Inari tour and Husky tour with Aurora Village, Ivalo. Gratified is the word that can describe our feelings as we loved both our tours incredibly. We did Northern Lights Lake Inari tour with Ivalo Safaris, and enjoyed each and every moment of it.
Other than these two, you can opt for ice kart racing. snowmobile safaris, snow fishing, reindeer feeding and snowshoe walks here at Aurora Village, Ivalo.
An experience to put in your bucket list of places to visit before you die. The landscapes are surreal and hard to explain in words. You’ll thank us later after your visit here!
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