Modernist-looking Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland and there’s one reason for its fame
It’s not its reindeer antler-style town layout. It’s not its month-long midnight sun in summer or aurora borealis in winter. It’s Santa. There are few better places on earth to meet the great man than here – and few other reasons to come this far north and experience weather this cold!
|Time zone:||GMT +1 hour (GMT +2 hours in summer)|
|Flight Time:||3 hours|
|Holiday type:||Arctic short break|
|Weather:||Average maximum temperature: 0.4░C
Rainfall: 565.5mm a year
|Airport Name||Code||Distance to City|
Santa lives bang on the Arctic Circle (where else?) in a village about 5 miles to the north of town. Santa Claus village has everything you’d expect in addition to Father Christmas, including sledging, ice sculptures and your chance to go on an organised snow safari deep into the wilds of Lapland.
Must eat at:
Doris, in town, is one of the places to see and be seen, with an upmarket crowd for an upmarket drink.
Must be there for:
The winter darkness descends in earnest in November, and the gloom stays permanent until late January, with total dark for a long stretch. If you’re lucky, the Northern Lights will put on a show, but the sky must be clear.
- While you’re at Santa Claus Village, take a walk to Santapark, which is a whole theme park built, it seems, underground.
- For winter sports of all flavours, head over to Ounasvaara, just a few miles away. You can even partake in a little Arctic golf, with 9 holes of wintery frustration in prospect.
British citizens do not need a visa to visit Finland.