Skip to Content

Ice Swimming in Äkäslompolo, Finland

Ice Swimming in Äkäslompolo, Finland

Ice swimming in Finland is something I have wanted to do forever.

I am that person.

I love water, and when we are out in the campervan we always look for campsites with a seaview, or near to water for the paddleboards. I love cold water swimming, and I knew that when we returned to Lapland over new year 2024, this would be the time to tick ice swimming off my list.

My Instagram feed has been filled with cold water swimming for weeks, and in my mind it looks exhilarating ….so of course swimming in an ice hole in sub zero temperatures (-26 °C to be exact) was always going to be top of my list for our family trip to Lapland.

Full disclosure – my husband outright refused to participate in this activity and offered to enjoy coffee in the nearby café with the kids. I can’t think why he didn’t want to join me?

This article contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, but I receive a small commission.

Swimming in Äkäslompolo, Finland

Things to do near Äkäslompolo

We were staying in a traditional log cabin, in the village of Äkäslompolo, near to Yllas in Finland.

Click here for more on Ylläshilla log cabin.

We have visited Lapland for a Christmas break back in 2021, and loved it so much we instantly booked to return for New Year in 2023.

We flew directly from Manchester airport to Kittilä airport. We arranged our airport parking with APH Manchester park and ride, and hired a car from Kittilä airport for our week holiday. There is so much to see and do in Lapland with kids, with plenty of excursions on offer. What I would say is don’t think that you have to jam pack the days with activities. The kids love nothing more than sledging or building a snow man. And don’t forget to factor plenty of downtime in too.

The temperature during our week varied from -17 °C to -30 °C. It was cold, and in all honesty a few hours out in the snow each day was plenty. Layering is key during Winter. Pack all the layers. And don’t forget the hand warmers (or the swimming costume!)

Anyway, I digress – let’s get back to why you are probably here… how to book ice swimming. Ice swimming in sub zero temperatures in Lapland.

Ice Swimming in Finland

Ice Swimming in Äkäslompolo, Finland

So I booked this excursion whilst at home in the UK. It gets booked up and there was limited availability for our week in Lapland.

I had talked about ice swimming to my friends before we left for Lapland and with the promise of a toasty warm sauna and a fire, I am so happy that they were fully onboard.

So on arrival we were greeted by a beautiful golden retriever and a lovely couple who showed us around and gave us our instructions. It’s not really recommended to jump in, (or put your head under) to my relief. Start off with the sauna, and then head out onto the heated path to submerge into the iced water, then slowly warm up with a fire before hitting the sauna. Then head out to the iced water again.

We had been told that within seconds of getting out of the ice cold water we would want to do it all over again.

I needed a bit of convincing on that one.

Swimming in Äkäslompolo, Finland

Ice swimming in Lapland

I can’t actually decide if the extreme temperature of the sauna, makes the extreme temperature of the water feel SO MUCH COLDER. But it was genuinely FREEZING.

The pins and needles and pain I felt after that first dip. Wow. I couldn’t wait to warm up in the sauna. But then I wanted to get back out in the ice water.

That is the absolute truth.

I was completely hooked after just ten minutes.

Ice dipping in Lapland

Each time we went back out into the water, we got a little braver, stayed a little longer, and plunging in a little deeper. I even managed a selfie. We went in up to our shoulders and it felt euphoric! I am absolutely not exaggerating.

I have read about the benefits of ice swimming. Improved mental clarity, a reduction in stress, improved mood, and increased circulation, but for me, it boosted my confidence and self esteem and promoted a feeling of accomplishment. My skin definitely felt tighter too. We all honestly loved it.

So if you are on the fence, or wondering if to try out dipping in an ice hole. I can’t recommend it enough. But be warned……you will definitely want to do it again…and again…and again.

Sauna and ice swimming in Lapland

If you want to give swimming in an ice-hole in Lapland a go, head over to the lake in Äkäslompolo and you will find the sauna with incredible views of the lake.

Swimming and sauna is by reservation only and the minimum reservation is 2 hours, 200 euros (Additional hours 80 Euros and hour)

For more information and to book

Ice swimming in Äkäslompolo, Lapland

This article contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, but I receive a small commission.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.