Ho, Ho, Ho! And welcome to the official hometown of Santa Claus. Rovaniemi is in the northern part of Finland. It is the capital of Lapland. The town was plundered and nearly destroyed after the Second World War. However, it was recovered and today its claim to fame is that its Santa’s own home.
Legend states that Santa Claus resides in Ear Mountain (Korvatunturi). But as this legend started garnering attention and the want of people to visit Santa Claus, Santa sought to protect the secret of his hidden home. Thus, he started to visit Rovaniemi, near the Artic Circle, about a century ago. This way his hidden place would continue to stay safe even as he would visit his admirers and friends in the Arctic Village. The myth is so strong that as the millennium turned, the village saw throngs of visitors from around the world, the numbers touching a staggering half a million. And if you are going to pay a visit to Santa, here’s a couple of things to see/do there:
Well, it isn’t Santa’s hometown just because Santa pays a visit. There’s the Santa Christmas House, Santa’s Office and Post Office, Santa Park, Mrs. Santa Claus’s Christmas Cottage, etc., i.e., it is a full-blown Santa affair!
You are in Lapland after all, so, an equally big attraction is an attempt to catch the aurora borealis, more popularly known as the northern lights. Lapland conducts a series of tours and has stays dedicated for sighting the incredible natural phenomenon. While it is purely luck based, you could keep a couple of days in hand to have a good shot at catching them, out of the world experiences deserve that sort of time after all!
Ranua Wildlife Park
Wildlife lovers will rejoice because this 1983 established park is home to northern and arctic species. Here’s a chance to spot the arctic fox, snowy owl, brown bear and who knows, maybe even the polar bear! Lapland’s natural beauty add to the beauty of the landscape just as one would expect.
In Rovaniemi there are more reindeers than human beings! You may have been singing about Rudolph the red nosed reindeer your whole life but here’s a chance to learn about his friends and species. Learn about how reindeers are an intrinsic part of the village here and about the Sami tribe’s culture.
Sledging and Snowmobile Rides
What’s a vacation without a little adventure? Go for sledging and sing out on the top of your lungs or maybe compete with your friend in a snowmobile race? Or just drive around to take in your scenic surroundings.