Tucked away in the taiga, Muotkan Maja looks like the ideal picture of a luxury Lappish retreat – a wooden lodge surrounded by the drooping, snow-laden boughs and needles of a pristine pine forest
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Activity adventure | History & culture | Natural world | Northern Lights | Ski | Summer | Winter
This charming log-cabin-style lodge in northern Lapland is hidden deep in the taiga forest, next to Urho Kekkonen National Park, well away from artificial lights and light pollution. As such it’s perfectly located for viewing the Northern Lights, those shimmering arcs of dancing light that sweep their away across northern night skies when conditions are right. There are daily flights between Helsinki and Ivalo in Finnish Lapland. From Ivalo it’s about a 40-minute transfer to the lodge.
There are 26 rooms and suites to choose from, all imbued with the rustic, romantic spirit of Lapland. Standard rooms have twin or queen beds. There is also a suite with two cosy bedrooms, a living room, kitchenette, bathroom and private terrace. However it’s worth upgrading to one of the riverside suites, which have their own sauna, fireplace and king-size bed. Last but by no means least are the brand new Aurora Bubbles. These cosy wooden cabins come with comfortable queen-size beds, private bathrooms and a ceiling of domed glass specially designed not to freeze over or mist up, allowing you to lie in bed and gaze up at the stars or – if you’re lucky – the Northern Lights.
It’s no secret that the seasons have a big impact on life in Lapland. Summers are bathed in the perpetual glow of the Midnight Sun. Winters bring darkness, snow and the Northern Lights. Dining at Muotka is equally dependent on the seasons, with the chefs using only the freshest seasonal local ingredients to create their menus. Accommodation is on a full-board basis, with breakfast, lunch and dinner served either in the hotel restaurant or out on excursions.
The main lodge has its own sauna, and there’s an additional riverside sauna and small smoke sauna too. Activities are designed to offer you a real taste of life in Lapland. Ride a snowmobile to a real-life reindeer farm, learn the importance of reindeer husbandry in the local culture, and enjoy sleigh rides and lassoing practice. Learn how to manage your own team of huskies as you drive your own dogsled through the Arctic wilderness. Race snowmobiles through the fells, stopping for a fireside picnic lunch. Trek through the snow-laden forest on snowshoes or get cross-country ski tuition before venturing out on a morning’s ski tour.
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