Arctic Spring at ICEHOTEL
Springtime in the Arctic is probably the locals’ favorite season. Snowmobiles are roaring and bustling through the sweeping landscape, sausages are sizzling over sparkling fires and floats are bobbing softly in the small man-made ice holes. The days are getting longer and brighter with the effervescent return of the sun, which also brings mild weather – delightfully welcomed after months of sub-zero temperatures and short days. The northern lights are slowly fading away when the light arrives, so this is the last chance to catch the Aurora Borealis the season.
For outdoor adventures – bring sunscreen
This season offers typical winter activities such as snowmobile tours, dogsledding and cross-country skiing; and the comfortable temperature and warmth from the sun invite to longer tours and expeditions. Ice fishing is one of the locals’ favorite pastimes and is easily combined with an adrenaline filled snowmobile tour or cross-country skiing that gives your muscles a match – a perfect contrast to the tranquility that unfolds while waiting for the perfect catch. Multiple layers of clothing that you can take on and off depending on the outdoor temperature and activity should still be at the top of your packing list – but remember the sunscreen! The snow is reflecting the bright sunlight and the risk of sunburn increases. Apply liberally and head outside for fresh air, wilderness adventures and a healthy boost of vitamin D.
For a multidimensional Arctic experience, step into the heart of Icehotel’s culinary temple – Icehotel Restaurant. With the locally sourced and exquisite produce, the Michelin-trained head chef Alexander Meier and his team creates artistic twists on traditional Northern-style food. Book the chef’s table where you are seated in the middle of the kitchen – a creative kettle where the pulse is high, or savor the bespoke ice menu with multiple delicacies served on ice plates in the dining room. Icehotel Restaurant is rewarded best dining experience in Kiruna by White Guide 2017, Scandinavia’s most comprehensive restaurant guide – Arctic cuisine at its best.
The spring season also means harvest season at Icehotel when thousands of tons of natural ice is extracted in big blocks from Torne River. March and April are the best months to harvest; the ice has grown thick after several months of snow and sub-zero temperatures. The huge ice blocks are cut and lifted from the river using special machines and tools, and is then stored in the ice storage during the summer months for the making of new ice rooms, bars and ice products come fall. In late April, when the winter season is over and Icehotel slowly starts to melt back into Torne River, Icehotel 365 is still open, with 20 suites and Icebar, offering an ice experience year-round.