Since 2014, Original Travel has seen a 20% average annual increase in winter Lapland enquiries across FinlandSweden and Svalbard.

With an ever increasing number of amazing experiences available, here's a handy guide to several other ways to enjoy the white stuff in destinations other than the Alps…

Fat biking in Sweden and Iceland

As if cycling wasn't popular enough already, some bright spark invented the concept of fat biking, where the mountain bikes in question have comically large tyres. It might look rather ungainly, but the greater surface area of the tyres means that the rider can then pedal across fine sand or – more pertinently in this case – snow. Given the icy nature of the environment there's still an element of sliding around, which gives fat biking on snow/ice a unique sensation, but it's great fun.

Spotting the Northern Lights

Possibly the most magical wintry experience of all is spotting the elusive Northern Lights, something that should be floating around near the brim of everyone's bucket list. Sadly, sightings are never guaranteed, but there are certain places in Lapland where they seem to have the right mix of climatological and topographic conditions to make seeing the fabled Aurora Borealis far more likely. In terms of times of year, it's best to be there in February or March, because the nights are still long, but it's not quite so nippy.

Snowshoeing in Lapland

Slow travel (ie: taking your time) is something of a 'thing' at the moment and snowshoeing certainly fits this particular bill. Available across Lapland (so in Sweden, Norway and Finland), snowshoeing is a lovely way to explore an arctic forest landscape in virtual silence, meaning there's much more chance of seeing wildlife such as reindeer in their natural habitat. It's great exercise too because it's a surprisingly tiring way to get around!

Hovercraft on frozen sea in Sweden

You might imagine that when the sea freezes in Lapland (yes, it's that cold in winter) it would freeze flat. Not so. The wind sculpts the pack ice into bumps and troughs that are sometimes several feet high/low. All the better for this next activity – hovercrafting. Enjoy (if that's the right word) hurtling across the ice, occasionally taking off before landing softly on the cushion of air. You may spot a seal or fish eagle as you speed by before returning to shore for a well-earned and warming mulled wine.

Snowmobiling on a glacier, Iceland

You don't even need to go in winter to enjoy snowmobiling on Europe's second largest glacier, the wonderfully named and year-round Langjökull. After a safety briefing you'll don a helmet and head off at speed across the glacier at high speed. Stop near the side of the glacier for jaw-dropping views across to other Icelandic ice fields and the Kerlingafjöll Mountain range. Then head back to nearby Reykjavik for a fun night out in the Icelandic capital.

Dog sledding in Swedish Lapland

Mushing a team of super-enthusiastic huskies through the snow-heavy forests of Swedish Lapland is a completely magical experience. The huskies themselves are bundles of energy who howl with excitement when they know they're about to be strapped into their harnesses. You stand on the heavy wooden rails of your sledge and you're off, gliding along the trail following your guide, the only sound a gentle hiss as the sledge slips across the snow at pace. Should you ever want to stop, jump with both feet onto the spring-loaded plate with spikes on it that dig into the ice. The dogs will – eventually – get the message.

Stay in an Igloo or Treehouse in Sweden

Scandinavia is home to an ever-growing number of extremely quirky places to stay. The longest standing is the original Ice Hotel (in Sweden), where you can enjoy a night cap vodka in an ice (of course) 'glass' before sleeping in arctic sleeping bags on a reindeer mattress in an igloo surrounded by extraordinary ice sculptures. Meanwhile over at the Treehotel, you can sleep – as the name suggests – in one of a series of bizarre treehouses. Choose from a UFO or a mirrored-cube for one of the most original night's sleep imaginable. 

Driving on Ice in Sweden

As anyone who has had the misfortune to hit ice on a wintry British road will know, it's an alarming sensation as you lose control of the steering. Multiply that sensation by ten and you'll be coming close to the feeling of driving a high spec rally car across a frozen lake in Sweden. Learn the techniques of powersliding and drifting from your expert guide and enjoy the thrill of putting a supremely powerful car through its paces. 

Ice Fishing in Swedish Lapland

Rewind back in time and learn traditional ice fishing skills used by the local Sami people for hundreds of centuries. Reach the remote frozen lake by snowmobile, taking in the breath taking peaceful surroundings on the way. This is a great activity for keen fishers looking to get back to nature and enjoy some slow-paced solitude while trying to catch the fish of the day.