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5 reasons why you need to head to the Arctic

Red (UK) logo Red (UK) 4 days ago Alex McFadyen
© BublikPolina - Getty Images

The Arctic Circle is full of breathtaking landscapes, undisturbed wildlife and exciting adventures, with plenty of activities for thrill-seekers and nature lovers to try on a winter holiday.

While summer may be in the air, it's never too early to start planning a cold weather getaway and boy are there some incredible things you can experience in the far north of Europe during the winter months.

So that you can experience an Red-style escape to the Arctic, we’ve lined up two adventures for you to experience the destination just as we've done. The first is a magical trip to the glittering Icehotel, one of the world’s most iconic and unusual places to stay. While here, you'll spend the night in a hand-crafted ice room and visit the remote Abisko Mountain Station to see the Northern Lights, with plenty of exciting excursions thrown in.

The second trip combines two of the most desirable destinations in Finnish Lapland into one holiday where you’ll witness the beauty of the Northern Lights, staying high above the Arctic Circle in a glass-roofed cabin at the Northern Lights Village Saariselkä and on the shores of Lake Inari at the Wilderness Hotel Inari.

To show you just how superb a time you can have in the Arctic, we've picked the best experiences to try while you’re there.

1. Snowmobiling

If you want to cover huge swathes of Arctic snowscapes then a snowmobile is the way to do it. Popular in Norway, Sweden and Finland, a ride on a snowmobile is an exhilarating way to travel around the frozen regions of the northern hemisphere during winter.

a group of people on a beach: Arctic holidays © Lilly Husbands - Getty Images Arctic holidays

So if your legs are feeling tired from exploring the icy region on foot – hop on! BOOK IT: Go snowmobiling on a four-night winter holiday in Finnish Lapland.

2. Husky sledding

How adorable are huskies? The correct answer is extremely adorable, of course. They’re also one of the most immediately recognisable Arctic animals and have been acting as man’s best friend in the Earth’s northern reaches for generations.

a group of people walking in the snow: Dog sledding with huskies in beautiful sunset © kjekol - Getty Images Dog sledding with huskies in beautiful sunset

Working together in packs, they can pull along enormous weights despite their relatively small size and will whizz you through snow-covered landscapes and festive forests in no time. BOOK IT: Try husky sledding during a stay at the incredible Icehotel or on a huskysafari in Finland.

3. Sea kayaking

A fantastic way to navigate the Arctic’s quiet bays and really get in among the ice is on a kayak. Skirting the edges of vast ice planes and drifting past enormous icebergs, you’ll also have the chance to get much closer to all the wildlife that calls the Arctic home.

a small boat in a large body of water: Kayaking in Kabelvag in Lofoten, Norway © Alisha Bube - Getty Images Kayaking in Kabelvag in Lofoten, Norway

Many Arctic cruises now offer sea-kayaking as an activity; your boat will find a quiet spot to drop anchor and you can be your own captain for the day.

4. Whale watching

There are many different species of whale in the Arctic so your chances of spotting these incredible sea creatures are pretty good, wherever you are. The most commonly spotted whales are humpbacks, minkes and fin whales, but lucky travellers might also catch a glimpse of the majestic blue or beluga whale.

a body of water with a mountain in the background: Killer Whales © AndreAnita - Getty Images Killer Whales

Orcas are most commonly sighted in the Arctic’s winter months, when you’ll also have the chance to see the Northern Lights. In Greenland, the beluga, narwhal and bowhead glide through the icy waters all year round, while humpback, minke and fin whales can be seen in summer.

5. Skiing

Whether you’re up in northern Canada or Finland’s powdery, snow-covered ski resorts, the Arctic can be a great place for an exhilarating slide down a mountain. Experienced skiers will be especially rewarded by Sweden’s Riksgransen, which provides prime landscapes for off-piste adventures, while Are is a pretty town and large resort that boasts a chocolate factory and beer distillery.

a group of people walking across a snow covered mountain: Skiing in the street © The Cambridge Video Production Company - Getty Images Skiing in the street

Saariselka, meanwhile, in Finnish Lapland, where you can stay on our ultimate Arctic adventure, is an intimate resort with chic spa hotels that allows you to combine skiing with Northern Lights sightings. BOOK IT: Grab your spot on our five-day winter getaway.

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Gallery: 35 brilliant places to explore in 2019 [Love Exploring]

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