Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
One of the world’s most magical Christmas towns, Rovaniemi is in Lapland, Finland, and this also happens to be the official home of Ole Saint Nick. Rovaniemi is a jaw-dropping arctic destination with reindeer and local animals roaming about. And then there’s Santa’s Village. When he’s not delivering presents, he’s working on the naughty or nice list in his quarters. The elves are hard at work, and shopping and tasty foods are calling the names of all travelers. But Santa Claus is certainly the focus, and we are here to tell you about some of the best Santa experiences in the area.
YOU'RE ALL SET!
Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.
Santa Claus Village resides in Rovaniemi, which is best known as being the official hometown of Santa. The village is a place of magic for both adults and kids, with precious cafes, a really busy post office, beautiful decorations and the big guy’s chambers where he resides every day (except Christmas Eve of course). A guide will take believers to the village, offering tips and fun facts throughout the drive. Plenty of free time lets folks explore solo, so you can pick and choose the things you would like to spend the most time doing. The village is an amazing place.
When at Santa Claus Village, one thing most want to do is cross the Arctic Circle, officially. Certificates are issued after the monumental moment. But how cool would it be to take a snowmobile drawn sleigh ride through a large portion of the Circle? Snuggle with provided blankets, and just sit back and relax. There will be time to browse the village and see Santa.
We love this excursion because it incorporates major highlights of Santa’s terrain. Snowmobile through the forest, then stop by a farm to experience both husky and reindeer-drawn sleigh rides. Then it’s time to go to the heart of it all. You guessed it. The village. Conveniences include a local lunch and pick up at nearby hotels.
Want to be sure nothing is missed on your ultimate Santa vacation? Opt for this guided tour through the village. Well-versed locals know the best shopping stops, and where one could spot elves working hard to make Christmas toys. You won’t miss any of the best local craft souvenirs. Guests will also participate in the Arctic Circle crossing ceremony, and hotel transportation is provided.
Another tour that incorporates so many aspects, you’ll be scooting around on a snowmobile before hopping on a sleigh. Expect to be catered to through the entire adventure, with lots of hot drinks to keep tummies nice and toasty. The lunch buffet is solid and is followed by a jaunt in the village. Guests go on and on about the scenery.
With a refreshing take on Santa tours in Lapland, travelers will start out on a river cruise through the stunning waters of the Kemijoki and Ounasjoki rivers. After the scenic and different trip, the boat will stop at a farm where folks can greet real reindeer. As the grand finale, kids can visit Santa in his home, which sure beats the mall!
The guides of this outing really elevate things—they can answer detailed questions while adding a sense of Christmas flare to the snowmobile trip around Rovaniemi. Lunch and snacks are provided throughout the day, and you’ll meet Santa and some reindeer of course. We can’t guarantee you’ll meet the actual team.
So by now, you’re probably getting the drift that the ultimate way to experience Santa Claus culture in Finland is to see the surrounding forests, drink lots of hot coffee and juice, eat local food, while topping it all off with a visit to Santa, and his village. And that’s exactly what this tour delivers as well.
Adding a few twists to a typical day touring Rovaniemi, guides take guests by a couple of super intriguing museums, that focus on snowmobile history and such. The Arktikum Arctic Museum is also on the list, so get ready to dive into some pretty neat memorabilia. Huskies and reindeer will be ready to welcome you on the farm.
Seeing the Northern Lights is a once in a lifetime thing, and you’ve at least got to give it a shot while in Lapland. Venture out to a warm campfire while waiting in anticipation for those beautiful lights to appear. Then the icing on the cake—Santa will be showing up to sit by the fire and stargaze with you! It’s such a fun, personalized experience.