Rovaniemi in Lapland the city of Santa Claus
in order to understand the intensity of the experience of visiting Santa Claus’s country, you must see the bliss of a child’s gaze who, after having crossed the narrow corridor and climbed the wide staircase, crosses the threshold of Santa Claus’s Office . With bated breath, the fear of not finding what we hoped for, the excitement of really being in a magical place, and then … behold: the bearded good giant, dressed in red and there, in flesh and bones, with a good-natured salute, extending his hand and welcoming the children that come to find him from all over the world.
The joy that we see in children’s eyes makes us understand that a trip here to Rovaniemi is worth more than a thousand gifts. Rovaniemi is in Lapland, in Finnish Lapland to be precise, just where the Arctic Circle passes, and it is here, in the Arctic Circle, where the village of Santa Claus is situated. This place is really magical; here you will discover the secret that stops time the night before Christmas allowing the “good old man” to bring gifts throughout the world. But we won’t reveal anything else: you have to see it with your own eyes. Adjacent to the office is the Post Office: a real post office where a team of friendly Elves receives and reads mail from children all over the world.
We were privileged guests and were able to see the many letters that arrive with our very own eyes. All the letters are opened and read. They contain all the sweetness and tenderness of which children are capable of. Some ask Santa Claus to end all wars, others that he eliminate all illnesses, still others that famine disappears from the world. Some, with the help of their mothers, send their pacifiers stating that they are now big and don’t need them anymore. Between these walls, together with the Elves, heated by the fire of the fireplace, we breathe authenticity, freshness; a positive energy pervades us and for a while even we adults forget our problems and bitterness. Here at the Post Office you can send letters and sweet thoughts to your friends, as well as, in any season, your Christmas list to Santa Claus, together with a special stamp and very special postmark.
Outside the snowmobile awaits us for a joyride in the woods. Just think that there are even baby snowmobiles so even your children, starting from the age of eight, will be able to participate in this fantastic experience.
Everything about ROVANIEMI
Rovaniemi is a modern, clean and comfortable city. The temperatures in winter are rigid, we were at – 12 °C, but, as a chronically cold person, I can assure you that if you are well covered with technical material (normal ski clothes in layers) and with good gloves and a good wool, fleece or fur hat, you will be fine. It is, in fact, a dry arid cold.
In Rovaniemi children will be able to enjoy interesting culinary experiences: not everyone has tasted reindeer stew and bear meatballs. Its nature is a spectacle, beginning from the light which in winter turns blue. The true and real hours of the day are few, already at 1pm the sky is tinged with a pink light and a very suggestive languid blue periwinkle. With darkness it becomes possible to see the phenomenon of the polar lights. We were able to, despite being in the city, but in order to live this experience at its best its worth going on a safari with sled dogs, the beautiful Husky, and to go searching for polar lights in the woods accompanied by local guides. You must also try the reindeer sleigh ride tour.
In our view, the Ranua Wildlife Park is also worth a visit. It’s a very characteristic zoo that is only one hour from Rovaniemi. Here you will see animals of the North in their natural habitat: you will see ermines, mink, otters, beavers, red and arctic foxes, lynx, and, leaving you breathless, polar bears. You won’t see them in cages but in large spaces so that you will have an accurate sensation of how beautiful and wild these animals are. At the Wildlife Park it is also possible to stay in one of the new cottages, each one with a kitchen and private sauna, which is adjacent to the Gulo Gulo Holiday Village . The holiday village is called by the scientific name Gulo Gulo which suggests the sympathetic glutton (wolverine in English ), a very popular animal in these parts.
In Rovaniemi don’t forget to visit the Arktikum Museum which offers an interesting spitting image of human life and animals above the Arctic Circle. Here, with clarity and precision the phenomenon of polar lights is explained. You will find the colorful costumes and riches of the Sami people on exhibit, as well as a large hall that is dedicated to fauna of the Polar Regions.
Always in Rovaniemi you shouldn’t miss Santa Park, a park that is entirely dedicated to the theme of Christmas. You will enter through an underground route and find yourself in a magical world: The cookies laboratory, the home of the Ice Princess, a bar with sculptures, counters, table and chairs all made of ice. There is even a throne made of ice and, for a picture, the princess will give it up willingly. Then there is the Elves school, a stage for ballets and shows that at specific times during the day cheers up the young and old, Christmas themed merry-go-rounds, and bars and restaurants for sweet pauses and delicious snacks. In short, Finnish Lapland has much to offer. With a flight of 3 hours to Helsinki as well as another one to Rovaniemi, you will be transported to a magical, colored and cinnamon-scented world. We were won over, Santa Claus has enchanted us and we recommend it. We would return gladly!
Lapland in one click
What to see:
.:: Santa Claus Village: www.santaclausvillage.info
.:: Santa Claus Post Office: www.santaclaus.posti.fi
.:: Santa Park: www.santapark.com/en/santapark
.:: Ranua Zoo Wildlife Park: www.ranuazoo.com
.:: Museo Arktikum: www.arktikum.fi
.:: Pilke Science Center: www.sciencecentre-pilke.fi
.:: Lapland Safaris www.laplandsafaris.com/en/
Where to sleep:
. :: Hotel Pohjanhovi – Rovaniemi: www.rantasipi.fi/hotellit/pohjanhovi/
.:: City Hotel – Rovaniemi: www.cityhotel.fi
.:: Santa Claus Hotels – Rovaniemi: www.santashotels.fi
.:: Gulo – Ranua: www.gulo.fi/english/front-page