We spent 3 days in Rovaniemi as a part of Finnair’s Stopover Program, a no-additional-cost way to break up a long flight and spend up to 5 days in Finland. After a few days in Helsinki, we made our way up to the arctic circle to the home of Santa Claus: Rovaniemi. Check out our full video, “10 Things to Do in Rovaniemi in the Summer” for a full list of everything to see, do, stay, and eat! Hope you enjoy this photo highlight of our trip.
To Do: Santa Claus Village & Petting Reindeer
Rovaniemi is probably best known as the home of Santa Claus and we couldn’t possibly pass up the chance to meet the big man in red. Santa is here every day of the year and he is just as nice as you can imagine. Tell Santa what you want during the summer so you have the hookup early in the year and be set for Christmas! For animal lovers, reindeer are behind Santa’s place! We got to pet the reindeer and feed them their favorite birch tree. We met a reindeer named Polar Bear (SO CUTE!), but no sight of Rudoff. In the village, you can also find Santa Claus’ main post office where the elves are busy reading and replying to letters from children around the world. It’s a working mailroom where you can send your own postcards – there’s a mailbox for mail now and a mailbox to send in time for Christmas if you want to send some festive Christmas mail while you are visiting in Santa’s very mail room! Check out our video to see more!
This was definitely the most unique experience we have ever done! Rovaniemi offers tours to allow you to see the Northern Lights or Midnight Sun all while floating in a lake in the middle of Finnish nature. The red dry-suit provided keeps you warm and allows you to peacefully float while looking up at the fly. It was unbelievably relaxing and a special experience unique to Rovaniemi. It was a very entertaining and funny experience for us personally, as Leo can’t swim and despite taking college swim classes, he cannot float. Watch our video to see him overcome his fear of getting in the water and experience floating for the first time!
To Do: Catch the Midnight Sun
Because of Rovaniemi’s position in the Arctic Circle, they experience 6 months of almost no sunlight during the winter, but in the summer 24 hours of light! It’s a mind-boggling phenomenon to witness. Find a comfortable and beautiful spot to relax and see the midnight sun in its full glory! We visited a bit before the season of true midnight sun, but we got a beautiful preview of what it would be like.
To Do: Sauna
Rovaniemi is a part of Finland, of course, and sauna’s are just as important to their local culture as in Helsinki. We had a sauna experience here in the middle of the woods, completely away from the city. We sat in the sauna and from there ran out to the freezing lake. It felt amazing and is definitely a must do!
To Do: Learn about the Local Culture
To learn more about Rovaniemi we spent an afternoon at the Arktikum Museum and later spent half a day with a Lappish local. The museum highlights northern nature, it’s culture, and the city’s history. As a plus, it’s also a beautiful building! Perhaps our favorite part of the trip was meeting Irene and Ari Kankaanpaa! We were warmly welcomed into their workshop, Hornwork
, where they specialize in making Lappish jewelry and other handicrafts. She not only showed off her beautiful handiwork but helped us make some of our own all while telling us about the Lappish way of living. Afterward, we were invited into their lovely home for a local meal. It was our favorite part of the trip! You must watch Irene in action and hear us talk about the experience in more detail in our video!
Where to Stay
The Arctic Light Hotel
We had an amazing stay at the Arctic Light Hotel. A contemporary hotel directly in the city center, nothing is further than a 10-minute walk away. We loved the cozy vibe of the room while still being very modern, slick, and beautiful! Some hotel rooms come equipped with their own private sauna! It doesn’t get more Finnish than that! The hotel also had a delicious breakfast with endless choices and an amazing restaurant.
What an insane and luxurious hotel! Surrounded by Arctic nature and boasting a modern design, the windows provide a panoramic view over the forest and sky. The rooms have been built in a way that ensure you have a fantastic view of the forest and night sky. From the comfort of your bed, you can admire the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights, depending on what time of the year you are visiting. We were so impressed by the thought and design that went into these stand-alone nest rooms.
All Other Highlights
To see our full list of things to see, do, and eat watch our video “10 Things to Do in Rovaniemi in the Summer” at the top of this blog post! Let us know what you think.
Source: FS – Fashion