Reindeer & Saunas, Sweden

We woke from a cosy and surprisingly satisfyingly long sleep, on the ice.

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Utterly ravenous and ready for breakfast.

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Closely followed by a hot shower, a quick change and we were off again!

Ready for a new Swedish adventure.

Ready to meet some reindeer.

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We snuck off into the woods, to meet a few reindeer from a herd of thousands.

While the rest spend the winter out and about in the mountains, the littles and the elders are brought in to be fed and looked after.

So, much to our delight, we helped give everyone their morning feed.

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Which consists largely of moss and nuts.

Much like most January “detox plans”.

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We fed them, stroked them and let their fuzzy muzzles nuzzle our mittens. (Say that three times fast!)

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Even in the process of shedding this year’s antlers, they still all looked incredibly fine and proud.

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Though some are naturally shyer than others, just like any party, there’s no better ice breaker than a fist full of food.

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Our guide hopped on a sled and gave us a rough idea of how to drive.

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“Hold on tight, because there are no breaks!”

And we were off!

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Racing through the woods, with nothing but reindeer power.

(Thankfully they don’t fly until Christmas eve. Might have been tougher to hold on for take off.)

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Having thanked our trusty steeds, we snuggled up in the tipi for tea.

Sneaking out to watch the mid-day sunset over the frozen river.

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Nature in all her glory.

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We played in the deep powder and couldn’t help but just stare in amazement at our surroundings.

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Being swallowed up by the vast, silent beauty of it all.

And just feeling so lucky to be able to experience it together.

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We hiked back to The Ice Hotel just as the sunset reached its final blazing glory.

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And then, all of a sudden, it was gone.

Plunging us into darkness for the rest of the afternoon.

Just the excuse we needed for a serious pampering session.

We booked the “Sauna Experience” which turned out to be one of the best parts of our trip. Out on the river, flaming torches are lit, guiding you from the ice and into the warm.


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Huskys race by, their sleds heaving with waving passengers.

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Inside, you strip off, scrub yourself (or each other – you get the whole place to yourself, you see) in the shower before baking yourself silly in the wood-fired sauna.

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Once you’re hot and bothered, you race outside and roll in fresh snow.

Shouting and swearing as you go!

Hopping back in to the comfort of the sauna once more.

There waiting for you is a bucket of water and some birch branches, which you whip each other with. It increases circulation and makes your skin feel incredible!

Then once you’re really hot… the big challenge comes.

You wrap up in a robe and little wellies, and follow the fires back down to the river. Here a hole has been cut in the ice, leaving nothing but a dark, bottomless flowing river beneath…

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You just about have time to whip your robe off, kick off your wellies before jumping in!

The ice hits you like a ton of bricks and a million needles all at once, completely taking your breath away.

Totally stunned you swim to the slippery wooden ladder and haul yourself out. Hurridly wrapping your robe around you before sprinting back up the hill and leaping into the wood-fired hot tub!

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Still somewhat giggly, delirious and slightly unsure of what you’ve just done!

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But with a couple of glasses of wine to sooth your nerves, you soon relax into the spirit of things.

The place is yours to keep for the rest of the evening, so you can go full prune if you like (so of course we did).

In my rather exciting (and flattering) new one piece…

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From here, and I’ve popped a few other options below.

After a few hours soaking in the steam and the stars, we headed home for supper.

Served in the same restaurant as lunch and breakfast, though the food was unrecognisably excellent.

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Plump scallops with truffle.

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Sashimi on ice.

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A type of Nordic fish I have never heard of and have now completely forgotten… it’ll come to me.

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All polished off with exquisitely good frozen puds.

The glazed cherry on top of an incredible trip.

Hard to believe we were only there for a weekend, it seemed like so much longer and the memories will last a lifetime. Thank you so much to Discover The World for having us.

So what do you think? Is a life on ice for you?

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  • Wow you’re a lot braver than me…. I would have skipped the ice and been straight in the sauna!! xx

    Laura |

  • Wow! I can’t believe you were only there for a weekend, you packed such a lot into the trip. How cute were those reindeer! I must say how brave you were Rosie to go from a steaming hot sauna to the ice cold water. What an utterly fabulous experience. I’ve really enjoyed reading about it.
    Hugs Adele xoxo

  • Aw wow that looks incredible! The reindeer are so cute. I can’t imagine how cold it must’ve been!

  • I am just dying to come and visit here!! Looks amazing!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oh could it really be true, is that the first glance we’ve been allowed at Mr Londoner?? Fourth picture down, holding the reindeer feed?!
    Lovely post as always- love reading about your adventures!
    Farah x

  • Omg, I can’t imagine sleeping on ice! Looks idyllic though ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I need to see a picture of you in the ice plunge pool to believe you actually did that ha ha!! : )

    Looks magical x

  • Ashley Christabelle

    Sounds so fun! Won’t ever survive the cold though x

  • Heather

    looks incredible, I saw a programme on the Ice Hotel, how it was made etc.. really interesting.. You are so brave jumping in that cold water!

  • Cynthia

    What an incredible trip! That bathing suit is smoking

  • I’m so jealous that you got to pet a reindeer!! And those afternoon sunsets are gorgeous, although I can’t imagine spending having the day in darkness!

  • This all looks utterly amazing! That outdoor bath and indoor hot tub experience sounds so unique and really fun, I’d love to try it!

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

  • wonderful and whimsical

    Wow, looks like a really romantic trip!!! xo

  • Wow! Jumping into that river must have taken a lot of willpower!

    LEACH |

  • Meghan

    This looks amazing. Those reindeer are magical.

  • What an incredible day! Reindeer are just the cutest! And what a way to end an awesome day than with that outstanding sunset ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Take care,

    C |

  • Madison

    What a stunning sunset!! I don’t know if I would have been able to jump in that frozen lake…good for you for taking advantage! Amazing photos as always ๐Ÿ™‚

  • That sounds like it would give me a heart attack! Cannot get over how beautiful that sunset was, this trip just looks stunning x

    Martha Jane |

  • This looks incredible – a once in a lifetime experience for sure!!!


  • Jeanne

    Now that’s a weekend adventure – fabulous!

  • You are one brave lady for hopping in that river…would have gotten a swift “hell no” from me!

  • Ashlee

    Everything looks so amazing!

  • There’s no way I would’ve survived that ice lol. Way cool that you got to hang with the reindeer for a bit. I had no idea they shed their antlers?!

  • This is an incredible post! My favorites are always from when you go on holiday!! (Which sounds so much cooler than “going on vacation” like we say in the US lol!) thanks for sharing your experience !

  • This looks absolutely incredible but there is no way I am deep freezing myself voluntarily–maybe when I find the perfect companion to keep me warm I’ll think about it!


  • emma

    I grew up in Finland and we went ice-swimming weekly as a child, followed by sauna and then a few more trips to the lake again. It feels amazing and is so good for your health!

  • It’s a fab boost for your skin to jump in the ice, I always have a hot and cold shower become massages as it helps detox the body ๐Ÿ™‚ I would love to experience this myself what incredible views!

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • I’ve done the whole rolling in snow before/after a sauna thing in -6ยฐc and it was bad enough – can’t imagine doing it in up to (or is it down to? :/ ) -20ยฐ’s! Must have literally taken your breath away (and makes me cold just thinking about it!) xo

    PS) That swimsuit is perf on you!

  • Wow! Incredible posts from this trip. Really enjoyed to read all your documentation!

  • This looks magical!

  • No way were you there for just a weekend. Good on you for utilising your time!

    Nadine xx

  • Queenie Lee

    I’d love a sleigh ride pulled by deer! The views look incredible, especially that sunset!!

  • Those pictures are incredible. I’ve just put all the things you did that day on my bucket list. Thank so much for sharing this uttery amazing adventure!

  • Oh my goodness, this does sound like quite the experience! That dinner looks delicious though!

  • Leigh-Anne Marie

    DANG Rose, that was really brave of you! I definitely didn’t expect the “sauna experience” to entail all that haha!

    Leigh-Anne (

  • Oh my goodness, those reindeer are so cute! And that sunset is gorgeous!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • How Incredible – absolute hats off to you for getting into that ice cold river, bloomin ek! Immy x

  • Kari Guastella

    What an amazing experience! Jumping into the river seems so terrifying!

  • Anne-Catherine

    Amazing pictures! I have always wanted to visit sweden. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sounds like you had a great time.
    xxx Anne-Catherine

  • Your time in Sweden looks so amazing! You’ve made me want to go for sure!
    Xo Holly

  • This trip looks absolutely epic! The photos of the scenery are absolutely epic and that sauna experience looks so unique and amazing! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

  • wow this looks so magical. The sunset is beautiful. Looks like you’re having an incredible time

    Mel x

  • Seriously want to go there ๐Ÿ™‚ Looks awesome!