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Kirkenes Snow Hotel

Kirkenes, Norway

Kirkenes is a remote town in the northernmost part of Norway. The Snowhotel is rebuilt every year and every room is individually modelled and decorated with snow and ice sculptures. Warm accommodation and a range of fun activities are also on offer.

At a Glance

  • As well as the Snowhotel, there are also cosy cabins to sleep in here, so ideal for a two or three night stay

  • Close to the remote Northerly town of Kirkenes

  • Don't miss the chance to fish for and eat King Crabs, introduced to the Barents sea by the Soviets, there are now thousands of them!

  • Fun and friendly young staff offer an informal welcome for all

  • Northerly location means there's a great chance to see the Northern Lights during the winter months

Adventure, Family,

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Description

A visit to Kirkenes is a very special experience: here you really feel like you are at the frontier of Europe! Just outside the isolated town of Kirkenes, surrounded by Arctic tundra, is the Kirkenes Snowhotel.

Rebuilt from blocks of ice from the neighboring lake every November since 2006, the Snow Hotel is different every year.

Here you can experience sleeping in a room made of snow, on a bed of ice! There might not be under-floor heating, but snow is a very good insulator, when it is minus thirty degrees outside it will still be relatively warm inside the Snowhotel, a stable minus five degrees celsius.

Every room in Kirkenes Snowhotel is different. The rooms are five meters in diameter, and although the beds are framed by ice blocks and they do have comfortable mattresses with thermal insulation on top. You sleep inside a sleeping bag especially made for sub-zero camping. The rooms have curtains instead of doors, so air can circulate and the rooms do not melt. Each room is decorated with sculptures made from ice and snow, created by artists from China no less!

Accommodation

The Snowhotel has 20 snow rooms and three new and well appointed cabins for guests who would rather stay in warm accommodation. The cabins have en-suite facilities. They are located above the snowhotel and each has a large floor to ceiling window ideal for Northern Lights viewing.

Facilities

The Snowhotel has a cosy and welcoming restaurant serving local specialties, like freshly caught arctic charr or king crab or locally produced reindeer meat.

Activities

There are a range of activities on offer based at the Snowhotel. These tend to take place as regular, scheduled small group tours, but it is also possible to arrange private excursions in advance. There is a husky farm on site, as well as snowmobiles, so dogsled or skidoo safaris are very popular. Something you can do here that you don't tend to find at other Arctic destinations is the King Crab Safari - travel to a frozen fjord, drill into the ice, then fish out huge crabs, which will then be served to you at a traditional Norwegian lakeside house!

Location & Directions

Kirkenes, Norway

The Snowhotel is located just outside the harbor town of Kirkenes.

When to go

As construction of the hotel is subject to the whims of Mother Nature, an exact time frame cannot be guaranteed, but the Hotel usually remains open to guests from December through to April when the hotel closes to allow the thaw back into the Lake. The hotel accepts both overnight guests and visitors between 10am - 6pm each day during this period.

With the recent addition of the Ice Hotel's little sister which houses three art suites and an ice bar, you can also experience the feeling of sleeping on ice during the summer months, albeit on a much more modest scale. The summer season usually starts at the beginning of June and lasts until the end of August.

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