Have you ever dreamt of sleeping in the middle of the forest, and waking up to enjoy your morning cup of coffee while feeding a cute reindeer straight from your bed? In Nuuksio National Park, just a 30-minute drive out of the Helsinki city center, this absolutely magical hideaway accommodation makes dreams come true for those who love the nature and fluffy noses. We spent the night with the reindeer on the last summer day, going in to the first day that felt like autumn – so a cozy getaway was the perfect way to give summer a proper send-off and welcome the feeling of autumn in the air.
*sponsored stay – thank you for the invitation*
Igluhuts in the Nuuksio Reindeer Park
In Nuuksio, there live 6 reindeer. Lumi, Usva, Niila, Taika, Tähti and Nella are at home in the Reindeer park, where they are on a perpetual summer holiday, here in the South. Two little igluhuts in their home invite guests to stay overnight with them, and experience this absolutely unique place and an experience that I will never forget!
The Igluhuts are handcrafted: the design is combining the centuries-old shingle technology with modern knowledge and craftwork, that makes it so unique. The exterior is covered with spruce shingles, aspen has been used in the interior, in total over 2500 units. The two huts NAAVA and PIHKA feel tucked in perfectly amongst the woods of Nuuksio National Park.
They provide a cozy bed for two people, a small fridge and its own little bathroom as well, the shower is shared by the two huts. But the best part: you have six cute flatmates that come to get snacks all the time.
During your stay, you get an evening snack basket for dinner, which you can enjoy in the hut or outside on the little terrace – you can also bring your own BBQ food to grill. In the morning, you also get a breakfast box and there’s a kettle for tea and coffee in the hut.
You also get the chance to join the reindeer in their home, while helping the herders feed them. Besides the lichen, reindeer mainly feed on different leaves (such as willow). In the end of August, their antlers are just absolutely magnificent, they are still wearing their summer fur coat and are in a calm and relaxed mood.
The antlers are never cut: Reindeer lose their antlers every year – the girls drop them in the spring, boys drop them in the autumn – except the reindeer baby boy of the group forgot to drop his antlers last season and they were just enormous! They can grow visibly up to a centimetre per day, and as they grow they are covered in very soft fur, which is shed before the antlers come off.
The best part of the visit: waking up in the morning, and while you’re still in bed – feed the reindeer some breakfast. I don’t know what it is, but their presence gives me such peace of mind. There aren’t many things these days that manage to take my mind completely off everything that’s happening all the time, but the reindeer and their cute fluffy noses are definitely one of them.
The Finnish Nature Center Haltia, that also has a restaurant, is a short walk away, and if you feel like a hike, there are several trails surrounding the reindeer park so it’s great if you want to go berry- or mushroom picking.
But since the huts come with a coupld of buckets of lichen, staying in bed and treat the reindeer is the best thing to do.
Spending the night with the reindeer is an experience I’ll never forget. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a special escape into nature surrounded by the National Park and a cozy night in a unique place – I can’t recommend this more. Thank you to the lovely team at Nuuksio Reindeer Park for making this possible and a truly memorable night away from home.
All photos by Kristof Minnaert & Kathrin Deter