A Finnish family is offering a wellness experience called 'Arctic cocooning' where they tuck customers into hammocks in a remote pine forest in the winter. Here's what it's like.
- In Finnish Lapland, a family offers a wellness experience called "Arctic Cocooning" where they tuck guests into hammocks and leave them in a remote pine forest for 20 to 45 minutes.
- Finnish Lapland is Finland's northernmost region, home to more reindeer than people and some of the world's cleanest air.
- Founder Riitta Raekallio-Wunderink told Business Insider she believes Arctic Cocooning is the first experience of its kind in Finland.
- Designed to help guests reconnect with nature, the experience lasts for a total of 2 hours and includes a guided walk, sensory relaxation exercises, and Swedish blueberry soup.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
In a remote pine forest in Finnish Lapland, people are paying to be tucked into hammocks.
The Raekallios launched Arctic Cocooning in fall 2017 to share the healing benefits of their HaliPuu Forest with visitors. The experience is the first of its kind in Finland, according to founder Riitta Raekallio-Wunderink.
Arctic Cocooning costs €98 (around R1,500) per person and includes a guided walk through the woods as well as sensory relaxation exercises.
Take a look:
HaliPuu Forest is located in Finnish Lapland, the country's northernmost region, near Levi, a well-known ski area.
The closest airport is Kittilä, which has direct connections to Helsinki, Finland's main international airport.
Lapland is home to more reindeer than people — and to some of the world's cleanest air.
Approximately 200,000 reindeer inhabit Lapland, compared to 180,000 residents, according to Lapland's tourism bureau.
Located above the Arctic Circle, Lapland experiences days of complete darkness in the winter and days when the sun doesn't set in the summer.
While only 6,436 people live year-round in Kittilä, some 750,000 visitors travel to the region each year to hike, ski, catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, and soak in spas, among other nature and wellness-focused activities.
Riitta and her husband Steffan designed the Arctic Cocooning experience to help visitors feel at one with Arctic nature.
For years, the Raekallio family has run a tree-adoption program on their land, naming the adoption site HaliPuu (Swedish for "tree-hugging").
In 2017, they decided to introduce Arctic Cocooning to share the experience of "being sheltered by the forest," Riitta told Business Insider.
Arctic Cocooning is the only experience of its kind in Finland, she said.
The Arctic Cocooning experience starts with a guided walk through family woodlands past century-old Lappish pine trees.
Upon reaching the hammocks, or cocoons, Steffan and Riitta lead guests through sensory relaxation exercises.
Guests are then introduced to their hammocks ...
... and tucked in with warm blankets.
The cocooning experience lasts between 20 and 45 minutes, depending on the outside temperature.
"In Finland babies take their naps outside, even in the wintertime. They get wrapped up warm and cozy, packed in their gently rocking prams," Riitta told Business Insider.
"We kind of do the same. We wrap our guests in warm blankets and tuck them in for a nap amongst the trees. They sway there in their hammocks, looking at the treetops and the vast Arctic sky."
Visit Finland's description of the experience underlines its lack of agenda: "There is nothing to accomplish, nothing to perform. You are free to just be."
After the cocooning, guests can sit by the fire and roast marshmallows made with local lingonberries.
Hot blueberry soup, a traditional Swedish dish, is served in the winter ...
... and guests can request artisan coffee and homemade cookies.
Riitta and Steffan lead the experience for 2 to 10 guests at a time.
Up to 20 people can be accommodated through a modified program.
In total, the experience last 2 hours.
The experience costs €98 (around R1,500) per person. Coffee and cookies are an additional €15 (R235).
Those who aren't able to make it to Finland can also experience the forest. On Monday, the Raekallios launched a mobile app called "HaliPuu - Forest in Your Pocket" on Google Play, which includes broadcasts, short meditative clips, videos, and stories.
"For us it is all about sharing that personal nature experience with people, reminding them of a connection that they maybe didn't even know existed," Riitta told Business Insider.
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