Visit Ranua – Arctic Wildlife Park and Arctic Fox Glass Igloo
26th December, 2022.
We had a fun drive in our hire car to Ranua but arriving at Holiday Gulo Gulo, was quite a relief. We had had a busy week, full of excitement and adrenalin, great activities and incredible experiences. Our visit to Ranua, the Arctic Wildlife Park and Glass Igloo, was to be a slower pace and a time to rest somewhat. This turned out to be a blessing because Finn and I both became unwell, both experiencing fevers and chills and I was requiring day sleeps.
Our accommodation in Ranua was the perfect place for a relax. It was very comfortable and warm.
We had an early dinner in and made sure that we were all in bed at a reasonable hour ready for the next days adventures!
Visit Ranua Arctic Wildlife Park
27th December, 2022.
We woke up with a plan to have breakfast (our first buffet of the trip) and then head straight into the Ranua Arctic Wildlife Park. We took our time getting to breakfast as the Park didn’t open until 10am, so we wanted to finish breakfast around that time, which we did.
We are staying at Holiday Gulo Gulo, across the road from the Park. With our accommodation we are able to purchase a Golden Ticket, which gives us access any time during our stay, in opening hours.
We were some of the first people in the Park which was fantastic. There were hardly any people around which meant that it was like we had the place to ourselves to some degree. We never had to wait to see anything, it was quiet and we could enjoy as much time at each enclosure as we wanted. We walked around for about two and a half hours.
Ranua Arctic Wildlife Park is everything we imagined it would be! It was a magnificent place to visit and the arctic animals were spectacular. It was pretty exciting being able to see arctic and northern animals in their own conditions. We saw the most incredible array of owls – snowy, eagle, great grey owl, beaver, otter, golden eagle, white tailed sea eagle, wolves, lynx, wolverine, polar bear, American mink, wild boar, muskox, moose, reindeer, white tailed deer, ducks and Arctic foxes.
Following our visit to the Wildlife Park, we spent the rest of the day at the accommodation, resting and relaxing. We really did need the break so it was nice to be able to do it in such a nice place.
Ranua reindeer sleigh rides and Wildlife Safari Snowmobile ride
28th December, 2022.
We planned for a relaxing morning prior to our Wildlife Safari Ranua snowmobiling trip. We had breakfast then headed back to the cabin. On our way back, we saw that Vaaranporotila were setting up their reindeers and sleighs immediately outside our cabin.
Just before lunch, we decided to go out and have a reindeer sleigh ride. It was only a short ride, five minutes, but it was really great. They are such calm creatures and they moved so slowly, it was actually very relaxing.
After that, the boys needed a change of pace so got their sleds out and went to the underpass where we walked through to get to breakfast. There were decent hills that they could slide down, as long as no one was walking or riding on the road at the bottom. At one point, a truck came along the road above us clearing snow and dumped it all off the side of the bridge, right on top of Finn. He was covered from head to toe in snow, it really was very funny and completely unexpected!
After lunch we geared up to go out snowmobiling through the forest! We went on the two hour tour, which was perfect! Only licenced drivers were able to drive the snowmobiles and we had to have a licence with us to prove eligibility. We also had the option to pay a little extra to cover insurance and had to sign a waiver to say we would cover the cost of any damage. That made me a little nervous but I was ready to have a go!
Geoff and I were on one snowmobile and the boys split up and travelled one on the back of each of the guide’s vehicles. We both had an opportunity to drive, which was great and we were able to enjoy a nice little rest halfway way, to reunite with the boys who were both having a great time and were being really well taken care of. They had an absolute ball!
Our incredible stay at the Arctic Fox Igloos, Ranua
29th December, 2022.
We went back to the Arctic Wildlife Park for another look at the Arctic animals before we made our way to the Igloos for the night. We loved walking around again, although it was far more busy. It certainly made us appreciate our first visit so much more. We saw a wild squirrel bouncing around the place which was kind of fun. He was a fluffy little thing!
Once we left there, we stopped at ‘bakery’ in Ranua for lunch. It was more like a roadside restaurant. We paid 11 Euros each and had a buffet lunch. It was more than we had planned to have for lunch but it actually worked out perfectly as it meant there was less pressure on dinner. The order was for the boys to eat up at lunch and to make sure they got their veggies in!
Before we went to the Igloo, we popped into the supermarket and got the boys a reheatable bowl of spaghetti each, for dinner and for Geoff and I, some bread, to go with the ham and cheese we had in the fridge. Our easy dinner was ready!
Arctic Fox Igloos – dreamy, magical, perfect!
Staying in a glass igloo was always a dream of ours, one we never really thought would be a reality. When the pandemic hit and we had to cancel all of our original plans, I made a commitment to myself that when we finally did do this trip, we weren’t going home with any regrets. We weren’t going to get home and say “I wish we had done…” When it came time to rebook, a night at the Arctic Fox Igloos was at the top of the list of things to do!
I’m so glad we did it!
We arrived right on check in time and left at check out time, making the most of our time there to soak up as much as we could! We self-catered our dinner in our kitchenette, we enjoyed the sauna, lazing on the beds gazing out our surrounding windows at our remarkable views.
It was a particularly cloudy evening but as the boys were going to bed we thought we started seeing the clouds turn green from the activity of the Northern Lights. Next thing, the Aurora app pinged on my phone and we then knew we were in fact seeing nature do its thing.
I was in and out of the igloo until midnight taking photos, it’s so hard not to!! Between 11pm and midnight the lights got stronger. We watched them flicker and move, come and go across the sky (all behind the clouds). The photos do this experience no justice; it was truly mesmerising! We couldn’t believe what we were seeing!
It was so hard to go to sleep, we didn’t want to “switch off” in case we missed something, but we knew we had to. Fortunately, I woke up again at around 3am and they were at it again. Taj woke as well, so we watched for a little while but then forced our eyes closed so we could get some required sleep.
Honestly, one of the most exceptional experiences of my life.
Morning views from our Arctic Fox glass igloo, Ranua
December 30th, 2022.
We woke to magnificent views across the frozen lake. We were still pinching ourselves! We’d had a late night because we were up and down like yo-yo’s looking at the Northern Lights!
We wandered up to breakfast at reception which was lovely. We got a window seat and enjoyed taking our time eating our breakfast. After breakfast we wandered to the edge of the lake to gain a different perspective and looked back on the line of igloos. We were lucky that we got the first one in the line so we weren’t looking into anyone else’s. Really exceptional and such beauty!!
Dreamy stays at the Arctic Fox Igloos.
Situated directly next to Lake Ranuanjärvi, each igloo has a private sauna, kitchenette, and bathroom. This evening, we’ll sleep under the stars, surrounded by snow.
Unfortunately, we did have to leave our beloved igloo! We were next heading to the Arctic Snow Hotel for the night.