When you were watching "The Fellowship of the Ring," did you sigh longingly at the scenes in the Mines of Moria? If so, you may want to book your next vacation to Sweden, where you can stay in the world's deepest hotel suite, located in an old silver mine.
For four centuries, the Sala Silver Mine cranked out precious metal, but its last strike came in 1908. Today, it's a popular tourist destination. The mine goes 300 meters (984 feet) deep with over 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) of tunnels. The hotel suite is 155 meters (500 feet) deep, because a third of the mine is underwater.
The experience begins with a private tour of the mine. Then, you're given wine, cheese, chocolate, and biscuits. After that, you're left to bask in your candlelit, hollowed-out hideaway. The stone walls frame plush armchairs and a very cozy-looking bed, and there's a bathroom right outside the door.
In the morning, you're served breakfast, then brought back up to the top floor so you can use the showers. One night for two people costs a little over $500, but considering there's only one room and you'd have ultimate privacy, it may be worth the splurge.
A Room With No View
For adventure seekers, you can go scuba diving in the underwater portions of the mine. Swim down pitch-black tunnels (lit only by your headlamp) and stumble upon mining carts and tracks, wheelbarrows, and other tools; sunken reminders of the mine's illustrious history. Fair warning: the water is a frosty 35 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius).
If scuba isn't your thing, you can embark on classic spelunking tours, including a firsthand look at hundreds of years of silver mining, a ropes course, and even a treasure hunt for the kids. They do events with actors taking you back to the early days of the mine for full immersion. If you're claustrophobic, they offer above-ground tours, and even a pub crawl. At the restaurant, you can chow down on delicacies like the wild-caught boar burger.