Rovaniemi, Finland – Where Santa Claus Lives

Rovaniemi-SantaSituated close to the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is the administrative capital and commercial center of Finland’s northernmost province, Lapland. However, tourists typically visit Rovaniemi for one reason: Santa Claus. The Santa Claus Village, located just north of Rovaniemi, is quite a tourist trap. Who though can resist the chance to meet Santa himself? The village includes various Santa Claus themed attractions, beautiful ice sculptures and a sledding hill for kids. An underground amusement park known as Santapark is also located within walking distance of the Santa Claus Village.

Our favorite travel activity in Rovaniemi is going for a sleigh ride led by reindeer. Travelers can visit a local reindeer farm where they can experience the traditional way of travel in Lapland: in a reindeer sleigh ride through the snowy forests. The evening sleigh ride is the best as participants might see the Northern Lights in the sky overhead. In Finnish Lapland, the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) can be visible as many as 200 times a year. After the sleigh ride through the snowy forest, participants return to the farm for a hot drink around the campfire and a chat with the reindeer herders of the Arctic Lapland.

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IMAGES VIA: [charlie_cravero] on flickr, Ulla on Wikimedia Commons and OlegM on Picasa