THE SERENE SPEC­TA­CLE

DES­PER­ATE TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL? HEAD TO THE FOL­LOW­ING DES­TI­NA­TIONS, WHERE YOU’RE MORE LIKELY TO SPOT A BEAR OR MOOSE THAN AN­OTHER HU­MAN

Australian T3 - - TRAVEL & GADGET GUIDE -

Some­times, the post-Christ­mas fall­out leaves you want­ing to get as far away from peo­ple as pos­si­ble. If that’s you, for­get the fairy lights and fo­cus on the North­ern Lights with a trip to La­p­land – but don’t worry, you won’t find an­noy­ingly perky elves or ruddy-cheeked San­tas at the par­tic­u­lar des­ti­na­tion we’re rec­om­mend­ing. At the Kak­slaut­ta­nen Arc­tic Re­sort in Fin­nish La­p­land, you can spend the night in a cosy glass igloo, al­low­ing you to ad­mire the North­ern Lights with­out step­ping out­side.

We’re also huge fans of Swe­den’s Ice­ho­tel, which be­came a per­ma­nent fix­ture in 2016. This year’s ver­sion will have 35 suites, an ice bar and an ice cer­e­mony hall, and you’ll be able to sign up for North­ern Lights snow­mo­bile tours and arc­tic yoga lessons. Although a word of warn­ing – a visit to the Ice­ho­tel might sound rather ro­man­tic, but it’s not. You’ll snooze in­side a dou­ble-lay­ered sleep­ing bag, and will be warned against show­er­ing be­fore bed to avoid ad­verse re­ac­tions to the sud­den drop in tem­per­a­ture. And if you de­cide you’re not cut out for sub-zero slumber, don’t panic, be­cause all guests get a ‘warm room’ in the ad­join­ing ho­tel as a backup op­tion. Sur­vive the night, and you’ll be wo­ken by a mem­ber of staff dis­pens­ing tum­blers of warm lin­gonberry juice from a spe­cial dis­penser.

If you love the moun­tains but don’t fancy sleep­ing on a block of ice, head to the beau­ti­ful Fair­mont Banff Springs in Banff Na­tional Park. This cas­tle-like ho­tel is one of Canada’s largest, and its lo­ca­tion, perched on the edge of a forested lake, means there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for long win­ter walks. When it’s time to dine, you can choose be­tween 12 res­tau­rants, although our favourite is the cosy Run­dle Lounge, with its spec­tac­u­lar views of the moun­tains.

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