A guide to things to do in Rovaniemi

Famous as the home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi is a fascinating holiday destination all year round. It’s Lapland‘s capital in the north of Finland and many people book family holidays to Lapland just to visit Mr Claus himself. Whether you’ve come to visit Santa, spot an elf or simply to take advantage of the snowy landscape, you’ll soon become enchanted by this exquisite wintry wonderland.

Meeting Santa

The idea of meeting the famous guy in red is always exciting, especially since he’s ‘at home’ all the year around. That’s right – you don’t have to go for Lapland Christmas holidays to meet Santa. Rovaniemi was designated as the official home for Santa Claus in 2010 and since that time this revered gentleman has been graciously receiving guests at his office in Santa Claus village, just an eight-minute drive away from Rovaniemi.

Experience the snow, lots of snow

A holiday in Rovaniemi will give you the opportunity to really experience the pleasures of having fun in the snow and from October until May, much of Lapland is covered in the white stuff.

Travelling across the snowy landscape on a snowmobile is exhilarating. You’ll be able to get up all close and personal with a reindeer if you take a trip to one of the nearby reindeer farms, and the trip across the snow and wilderness is an unforgettable experience.

Sauna with a difference

Saunas originated in Finland and you really shouldn’t leave the Finnish region of Lapland without enjoying one. If you’re visiting during the summer you can take a trip down the river on a raft that’s got its own sauna on board.

Alternatively, there are companies in Rovaniemi that’ll take you on a horse ride through the snowy forest during the winter months and you’ll complete your journey with a sauna.

Enjoy an ice restaurant

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the ultimate in unusual experiences, then a drink in an ice restaurant should be on your ‘to do’ list. Rovaniemi is a fantastic centre to visit ice hotels, an ice bar and even an ice chapel. If you decide to head to Snowman World, you can enjoy the ice restaurant after building snowmen until your heart’s content.

Light up the sky

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are another reason why so many people visit this destination. If you come here during the months between August and April you’ll be in with the chance to spot nature’s very own firework display.

The lights tend to be unpredictable and you have a better chance to see them away from the centre of Rovaniemi. Many tours will take you out to the best spots though, where you’ll search for the beautiful lights. Once you see them, you’ll remember them forever.

Cycling at midnight

One of the benefits of being situated close to the Arctic Circle is that during the summer months the sun never sets. This means that many activities that you can usually only enjoy during the day can be extended throughout the night.

If you want to experience this phenomenon in Rovaniemi then a trip between the first week of June and the first week of July will ensure that you can enjoy daylight to the full. Whether you love cycling, horse riding or swimming in a lake, you’ll be able to indulge in these pleasures all day and night long.