A once-in-a-lifetime trip is not about simply ticking off a ‘bucket list’; it’s about travel that can impact you as a person. Embark on a one-off experience to Lapland you’ll never forget, one that will leave its imprint on your soul long after you return. Words: David Taylor
Out of all the possibilities, there’s one adventure that is worth the planning, worth saving up for: Lapland. With its powerful and mystical pull, the Arctic Circle remains isolated from civilisation with spellbinding nature as far as the eye can see. Time here takes you away from the crowds for an experience as enchanting as any child, or any parent for that matter, could wish for. And now the most exclusive lodge in Lapland could be yours – a haven of privacy, wellbeing, adventure and experiences you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
At Octola Lodge you can escape the crowds and immerse yourself in forests and folkore within 300 hectares of private wilderness. Marvel at the breathtaking Aurora Borealis or receive a private audience with Father Christmas himself. A journey of inspiration, relaxation and complete wonder, this is an escape unlike any other, and it all comes with access to every conceivable private service and comfort you could imagine.
LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE: AURORA BOREALIS
From August through to April, the Arctic Circle is the home of Aurora Borealis, the ethereal Northern Lights. A world away from crowded modern life, the best way to see them is to journey into the wilderness. Take a guided snowshoe adventure to a private performance of nature’s greatest show or watch the lights dance and flicker across the cosmos from the comfort of the lodge. You’ll be perfectly placed here for epic views of the Northern Lights because the lodge has floor-to-ceiling windows in every bedroom to guarantee the best front row seats to the spectacle.
SLEIGH BELLS RING: REINDEER RIDES AND HUSKY SLEDDING
A special connection with nature is guaranteed in the Arctic as you slalom your way around snow-tipped trees and across pristine snowy landscapes on a reindeer sleigh ride. Sámi reindeer herders will regale you with stories over a roaring fire and hearty lunch: the Sámi way of life has developed around their reindeer over thousands of years, and you’ll get to see first-hand the amazing partnership between human and animal and how this strong bond has evolved throughout time. Deeper into the woods, jump on a sledding trip with your own team of huskies – the only sound you’ll hear is the light padding of the dogs’ paws as they pick up speed with you at the helm.
SAVOUR THE HEALING QUALITIES: SPA FOR THE SPIRIT
Downtime for grown-ups is found in the serenity of nature. Indulge in the obligatory ritual of a Nordic spa by alternating between the heat of the wooden sauna, immersed in the scents of pine wood, and invigorating dips in the private lake’s crystal-clear ice water. Nothing will awaken your senses quite like this. After you’ve taken the plunge and felt the tingling afterglow, reward yourself with a leisurely soak in a steamy outdoor hot tub, or a much-deserved spa treatment. As the evenings draw in, it’s time to get cosy; tuck into locally-sourced cuisine prepared by your in-house Michelin-starred chefs in the main cabin or inside a wooden hut deep within the forest.
ADVENTURE AWAITS: DISCOVER A SNOWY PARADISE
Each day is an opportunity for exploration, and there’s no place more suited to this than the Arctic. Snowshoeing expeditions are a must. Venture onto virgin snow to spot rare wildlife, such as the majestic brown bear or maybe even a spotted lynx. For a more high-octane buzz, take a snowmobile for a spin and push further than ever into the wilderness, speeding across frozen lakes and up mountains of snow where hardly a soul has explored, before strapping on your skis for an invigorating cross-country adventure. Isolated from civilisation, and overlooking miles of unspoilt nature, you’ll never feel closer to planet earth.
SANTA, BABY: FATHER CHRISTMAS BY INVITATION
If being met on arrival in Lapland by one of Santa’s elves (bearing gifts of gingerbread and mulled wine) isn’t enough, treat your younger guests – and reignite your own childish glee – with a magical search for the jolly man himself. Take a sleigh ride through the forest and straight into a fairytale to reach a hidden wooden workshop, a whisper of smoke coming from the chimney. If you wish hard enough, you might, just might, find Father Christmas waiting to greet you for a very private meeting. Just make sure you’ve been nice this year!