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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > January 2018 > Unusual winter experiences

Unusual winter experiences

It’s a season that tries hard to keep you indoors, away from a world of beauty and adventure – push back with these new and unexpected ways to enjoy the colder months to the full
WORDS: JESS COLE, OLIVER SMITH. PHOTOGRAPHS: BERTHIER EMMANUEL/HEMIS.FR/SUPERSTOCK, ANDREAS WÄLITALO

HAVE DINNER BENEATH THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

Lapland is a place where the world conducts its business on two skis – from cross-country skiing and skidoos to Father Christmas and his sleigh. A notable first in these parts, however, is the Aurora Hideaway – a tiny private restaurant that looks like a garden shed mounted on two skis, meaning it can be conveniently towed to beautiful, remote locations in the wilderness of northern Sweden. Diners take a chauffeur-driven snowmobile journey through the forests and frozen lakes near Luleå to arrive at this wilderness eatery. They’ll then taste Lapland-sourced dishes, like foraged mushroom soup, reindeer steak and blueberry, all prepared over a roaring campfire. All being well, the food arrives with a side order of aurora borealis lighting up the skies above your table.

• Off the Map Travel offers Aurora Hideaway dining as part of four-night itineraries, also incorporating snowmobile journeys and hovercraft tours; £1,399 for four nights; offthemap.travel

PHOTOGRAPHS: CANADASTOCK/SHUTTERSTOCK, SAS ASTRO, STEVE ROWLEY, COLIN RUSSELL, SAFARTICA.COM

FLY TO THE HOME OF SANTA CLAUS

This winter it’s even easier to get to Lapland, with new direct flights from Gatwick to Kittilä and Ivalo, operated by BA and Finnair from 12 December to 31 March 2018 (from £174; finnair.com). That means you can set up a northern lights watch from a private luxury glass igloo (from £475 per night; leviniglut.net); or – inevitably – take the kids to Santa Claus Village to meet the big man himself and spend the night next door to him.

• From £90 per night; santaclausvillage.info

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About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

In the January issue… Find your dream winter amid Yuletide cheer in Vermont, fire festivals in the snowbound Japan Alps and a selection of seasonal experiences out of the ordinary, from the Cairngorms to Lapland; also, head off on a Great Escape to the east of Germany, taking in Berlin, Dresden and classic scenery around both cities; take a food tour of Mexico through five great recipes; and much more
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