We are warming up for Christmas and exploring the potential destinations to visit. Although winter holidays are all about family, it is nice to step out of the routine every now and then. Waiting for Santa Claus in Scandinavia can be an unforgettable experience. Above all, life in the Arctic is very specific and intriguing.
Positioned in the very Arctic circle, Lapland is the magical place. And a very unique one, being the home of Santa Claus for example. If you ever decide to go on a genuine Christmas adventure, consider visiting the village of Rovaniemi.
Although Rovaniemi seems like a distant place at the end of the world, it is actually quite well connected. In case you are visiting from abroad, the easiest way is to take a plane to Helsinki and then catch a train, another plane or rent-a-car. Finish roads are one of the best in the world, so the ride to the Arctic circle should be joy ride.
Chasing Aurora Borealis
The high season is December to March. Visiting Santa is definitely the most intriguing experience for some. However, if you are more into exploring the nature and like to spend time outdoors, Rovaniemi offers plenty activities to enjoy. Northern Lights tour is by far, the most memorable adventure you can think of.
Rovaniemi is one of the rare places where you can see Aurora Borealis from late August to mid- April. And not just see it, but chase it by car, snowmobile or a reindeer sleigh. If you search the Internet, you will see that there are many tourist agencies organizing this chase. Furthermore, Rovaniemi offers picnics and BBQs on snow, under Northern Lights, a Reindeer safari, private tours, quad bike rides, and even Aurora Arctic ice floating!
Should you decide to visit this place in the Summer, the chances are you would enjoy various activities under the midnight Sun. This phenomenon is visible from June 6th to July 7th every year. It provides for a whole month of constant daylight. In Lapland, people can enjoy jet skiing, horseback riding, hiking, river cruises, etc.
Reindeer Farms, Santa & Eleanor Roosevelt
Reindeer is everyday thing in Lapland. The farmers are skilled and willing to give any kind of information. They let visitors feed the animals or they organize the sleigh rides.
Once you get to know the reindeer, meeting Santa Claus is the next logical step. The Finns believe that Santa’s original home is in Korvatanturi in Finnish Lapland. This place is under the veil of mystery, as only few people know its exact location. Therefore, the village of Rovaniemi has been set up as Santa’s official home back in 1985.
The most famous place in Rovaniemi is Santa’s official post office. It is located some 8 km from the center of Rovaniemi. The reason this post office is so unique is the fact that you can meet elves who work there and are ready to serve you in several languages. Also, the post features many Christmas products all stamped with Santa’s official stamp mark. This is also the place where you can order the letter from a real Santa Claus to be sent before Christmas.
You may be asking what the connection between Eleanor Roosevelt and the Santa Claus Village is. Well, this place was completely ruined after WWII. Eleanor Roosevelt visited Rovaniemi in 1950 in order to see how works on rebuilding the place are going. She also expressed the wish to visit the very Arctic Circle. In honor of her visit, the locals built the shack that still stands right next to the Santa’s post office. This visit from the 1950ies was the beginning of the idea to rebuild Rovaniemi, as a special place where legends become more vital and real than anywhere else.
Holidays in Scandinavia
In Finland, as well as in all other Scandinavian countries, people focus on gathering and good food during holidays. The Finns are a bit different in a way they have special traditions in festive seasons. It may sound strange to foreigners, but they have the habit of visiting cemeteries at Christmas time. The explanation is quite simple – remembering the loved ones and honoring them in times of family gatherings.
The food they serve in winter is usually pork roast, fish, salads. And when you meet the delights of the Finish cuisine, the next stop should be experiencing their saunas. Or, maybe not in that order? Either way, visiting Finland during holidays and waiting for Santa Claus will provide for an unforgettable experience and a unique adventure. Would you like to visit?