An Arctic Bucket List

Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit one of my favorite places on the planet – the Arctic Circle and cross of all the items on my Arctic Bucket List with Greenwich residents, Terri and Maria Haidinger.

If you have the Artic Circle on your bucket list, here are my top ten favorite sights and experiences you don’t want to miss!

Northern Lights - Photograph: Michael Curley
Northern Lights – Photograph: Michael Curley

The Lights!  Yes, the Northern Lights are truly majestic and captivating.  They should not be missed.  Also, the Kaamos Light; translated from Sami into “low light” is the kaleidoscope of colors that appear when the sun sits below the horizon during the winter months.

ICEBAR - Photograph: Maria Haidinger
ICEBAR – Photograph: Maria Haidinger
Peacock Suite - artist Tjsas Lucia Gusfors; Photograph: ICEHOTEL
Peacock Suite – artist Tjsas Lucia Gusfors; Photograph: ICEHOTEL

ICEHOTEL This winter wonderland includes ICEHOTEL, ICEBAR and ICECHURCH constructed entirely out of ice and snow.  Each year artists from around the globe gather to create unique “Art Suites” making ICEHOTEL an art experience unlike anything you have ever seen.
www.icehotel.com

The Cube - Photograph: Maria Haidinger
The Cube – Photograph: Maria Haidinger
Terri Haidinger UFO Suite - Photograph: Maria Haidinger
Terri Haidinger UFO Suite – Photograph: Maria Haidinger
Bird’s Nest - Photograph: Maria Haidinger
Bird’s Nest – Photograph: Maria Haidinger

Treehotel – Need to have the “child within us” awakened?  Treehotel owner’s Kent and Britta Lindvall commissioned 6 of the leading Scandinavia’s leading architects to design hotel suites to be built in the trees.  The results are pure magic.
www.treehotel.se

Glass Igloos - Photograph: Kakslauttanen Resort
Glass Igloos – Photograph: Kakslauttanen Resort

Glass Igloos – Sleep in an ice igloo and watch the Northern Lights dance across the Arctic skies in the comfort of your bed.
www.kakslauttanen.fi

Mary Gibbons, Terri Haidinger and Maria Haidinger after snowmobile tour to Laktatjakko
Mary Gibbons, Terri Haidinger and Maria Haidinger after snowmobile tour to Laktatjakko

Snowmobiling to Laktatjakko, Sweden – It is nearly impossible to feel completely “off the grid” in this modern world.  Laktatjakko in the Arctic Circle is Sweden’s highest elevation mountain lodge at 4,029’ above sea level.  Look in all directions and you will see – well – nothing – but the arctic horizon.
www.bjorkliden.com

Dog sledding
Dog sledding

Dogsledding – The physicality, vistas and natural sounds enveloping dogsledding make it instantly addictive.  Experience driving your own dog team through snow-laden forest and tundra.

Reindeer sledding
Reindeer sledding

Reindeer – Sami people of the Arctic Circle have lived in harmony with the reindeer for thousands of years.  Through most resorts in the Arctic Circle you will have a variety of activities with these majestic creatures. And just think, you’ll be able to tell your children and grandchild that you actually met Rudolph!

Skiing in Riksgransen – Imagine the breathtaking vistas you inhale while skiing back and forth off-piste (off trail) across the Norwegian and Swedish borders.  Having the Northern Arctic Ocean as your snow blower creates some of the best skiing in Sweden.
www.riksgransen.se

Maria Haidinger on Icelandic horse - Photograph: Mary Gibbons
Maria Haidinger on Icelandic horse – Photograph: Mary Gibbons

Icelandic Horseback riding – Want to go on a Big Game Safari?  Riding Icelandic horse with Kerstin Nilsson and Mats Berg through the Nordic forest in search of moose is just the thing to satisfy your safari dreams!
www.ofelas.se

Mary Gibbons ice sculpting at ICEHOTEL - Photograph: Terri Haidinger
Mary Gibbons ice sculpting at ICEHOTEL – Photograph: Terri Haidinger
Terri Haidinger ice sculpting at ICEHOTEL - Photograph: Mary Gibbons
Terri Haidinger ice sculpting at ICEHOTEL – Photograph: Mary Gibbons

Ice Sculpting Class – While visiting ICEHOTEL taking an ice sculpting class is a must! You will be mesmerized as the chisel moves across the ice, serenaded by the delicate music created as the ice crystals fall to the ground.  They say the sculpture is already within the ice; you just need to find it!
www.icehotel.com

 

Mary Gibbons will be leading a tour to Lapland next winter titled “An Arctic Bucket List.”  For more information, please contact Mary at marygibbonspresets@gmail.com

 

 

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