If you are wondering which place to take your kids and family for this Charismas, then worry no more. I have THE perfect place for your Charismas holiday destination. Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland is called as the ‘official residence of Santa Claus.’ Located geographically well at the latitude on the cusp of the Arctic Circle right under the ‘Aurora Zone’ where the Northern Lights are often visible.
This makes Lapland a must see winter holiday destination. Lapland is also known as ‘the land of 8 seasons’, as it offers 8 seasons around all year with each of them emitting sparkle and star shine. Winter is the time of magic in Lapland, resulting in tourists flocking in huge numbers every year.
Things to do in Rovaniemi
Cross the Arctic Circle and Meet Father Christmas himself.
The Santa Claus Village – The world renowned Santa Claus village in 8kms away from the city center right on the Arctic Circle. The village of Santa Claus upholds a Christmas atmosphere all year round, only raising its magnitude during December.
Here you can find ‘the post office of Santa Claus’ where you can send a letter to Santa. The place preserves millions of letters sent around the world through the years. While here, you can also take your kids to Mrs. Santa Claus’ Christmas cottage. A very nice-warm and cozy day trip!
Did you know?
The Santa here receives thousands and lakh together fans from around the globe. One such admirer was Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who visited in 1950.
Go Husky Sledging
Husky sledging is the most popular activities in Lapland. You can find numerous places around the whole stretch of Lapland. There are many places offering family tours and solo rides. Make sure to optimize you needs and enjoy the day!
Experience a Thrilling snowmobile ride.
One of the best things to do in Lapland would be snowmobiling. Many snowmobile excursions are found around the region. An adrenaline pumped experience in the most northern part of the world.
Take a look at the Frozen waterfalls of Korouma Cayon
Lapland offers many sightseeing options. The Ranua Wildlife Park (1h away), Levi ski resort (2h away), the Luosto amethyst mine (1h30 away) are all the worth the effort.
The most popular place to see is the frozen waterfall of Korouma Cayon. The place pushes you gently towards from soft hike, making the best attraction in Lapland.Place a visit to a Reindeer Farm.
The iconic animal of the far north. Reindeers can be spotted easily in Lapland. There are many reindeer farms scrambled across the country. There are many in and around Rovaneimi as well. In the farms you can feed the animals and go on short reindeer sleigh rides & safaris. The staff will share the husbandry lifestyle of the people.
Remember : Santa’s Reindeers in Santa Claus village is not a reindeer farm for example, and the sleigh ride safaris they offer may clash with your ethical principles. So, make sure to choose an authentic reindeer farm based on your needs.
Learn about the Lapland culture.
The famous museum of Arktikum in Rovaneimi is a must-to- do things while you are there. Located in a exquisite building designed by the world famous architect Alto, this museum is all about the Life of Arctic people, living conditions , believes , folklore & local culture.
The Sami people
The Sami people are the tribal people who have lived here for thousands of years. They are known to be experts in semi-nomadic reindeer herding, the Sámi people also practice coastal fishing, shepherding and fur trapping. This native nomadic tribes’ faith is based on numerous spirits and mainly shamanism.
Visitors can also meet ‘Arctic Shamen, who practice spiritual healing and dive into deep trances. These indigenous people go back in time to way before the legend of Santa Claus began. It is their belief in magic that sets both apart and makes it all the way easy to be enchanted.
Stay in the snow hotel and dine in the ice restaurant
Imagine sleeping in a snowy room where the arctic lights illuminates the sky with its spectacular green aura. Located 30 km away from Rovaniemi, in the little village of Sinettä, is the Arctic Snow Hotel.
This is a hotel made entirely in snow. Even if you don’t want to stay overnight, its worth paying a visit here. The hotel offers an ice restaurant, ice bar, an ice chapel, fifteen ice rooms and you can find artistic ice sculpture decorations during the Christmas time every year.
Experience the Finnish Sauna
Sauna is a part of the Finnish culture. Hence , this is a must-to-do experience in Lapland. Rovaneimi offers saunas from luxury, basic, steamy, traditional, lakeside, wooden smoked and plenty of other options. Located just outside Rovaniemi next to the Ounasjoki River, there is a private floating sauna center.
You can find many organization offering plenty of curated activities such as, aurora floating, ice floating in the fresh waters of the Arctic, a cruise ship that takes you on a an ice breaking adventure and many more. Nevertheless a lifetime experience.
Did you know?
Reindeers are more than people in Lapland.
A Popular destination to stay in Rovaneimi
The Arctic Tree House Hotel – A luxurious hotel that is almost 3.5 kms from the airport. This property is close to everything.
The Santa Park and shopping complexes and activities etc. this hotel is famous for its wide windows that open towards the dazzling dance of the aurora! Sleeping under the stars is understandable but sleeping under the eternal Aurora Borealis surrounded by the slow clad pine trees is something you should seriously think of doing.
Award winning Arctic Tree house Hotel is located right on the Arctic Circle. It was recently made famous by the popular TV stars of the show ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians.’
How to reach?
Take a flight from your place to Finland. From there you can take a flight to Rovaneimi airport called as the official airport of Santa Claus which is 8kms away from the city. It’s also possible to travel on road from Helsinki and other Finnish cities to the south, but the journey to the North might get too long.
If you are up to it then well and good! There are regular buses and trains from Helsinki to Rovaniemi route, with the journey taking 9 hrs of your time.