Top picks for Rovaniemi in the summer

3 minute read
Canoeing under the Midnight Sun.

Credits: Visit Rovaniemi

Here’s everything you need to know for an exceptional summer holiday in the capital of Finnish Lapland.

Located right on the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi offers authentic experiences and the magic of Santa Claus. In Rovaniemi, nights are bright throughout the summer from late May until early August. September kicks off the short but sweet weeks of autumn foliage, as well as the spectacular Northern Lights season. Known as the capital of Finnish Lapland, the city of Rovaniemi has great connections for travel by plane, train, and car.

Credits: Visit Rovaniemi

Top things to do in Rovaniemi in the summer 

When coming to Rovaniemi, there are many good reasons to visit the Santa Claus Village. Open every day of the year, you can meet Lapland's most famous citizen, Santa Claus, and cross the iconic Arctic Circle in your own style for a memorable photograph.

Rovaniemi offers vibrant culture and great Finnish design. Arktikum, a museum and science centre, offers an experience of northern culture, history, and nature. You can also explore northern contemporary art at Korundi or admire the architectural legacy of the famous Alvar Aalto.

Sauna bathing is a must during your trip to Finland, and Rovaniemi offers plenty of options. In the summer, you can enjoy the Lapland Hotel Kesärafla summer sauna, where you can take a dip in the Kemijoki River straight from the sauna and even stay for a bite to eat. You can also rent the sauna boat m/s Erkin Arkki for a unique sauna experience from June to October. Check out these 10 sauna tips for beginners if you're unfamiliar with Finnish sauna culture.

Credits : Visit Rovaniemi
Take a trip to Korundi to admire northern contemporary art and beautiful architecture.
Credits: Visit Rovaniemi
Credits: Visit Rovaniemi

Must see nature in and around Rovaniemi

Take the scenic lift to the top of Ounasvaara hill to enjoy the scenery and perhaps take a hike along the trails. For those looking for more speed, there are bike rentals and opportunities for downhill biking. 

Along the Ounasjoki river, next to Arktikum, you can enjoy the beautiful Arctic garden – perfect for an evening stroll in the Midnight Sun. The rivers of Kemijoki and Ounasjoki also offer lots of fun activities such as wakeboarding and kayaking. Head to the Ounaspaviljonki pavilion for these services. 

A short drive from Rovaniemi city centre, you can find the locals' favourite spot known as the King's Lean-to. This scenic destination has is a campfire site, so bring a few sausages to grill on the open fire. 

To capture the beauty of the midnight sun and the surrounding nature, Beyond Arctic offers amazing photography tours.

Credits : Wild About Lapland
For an adventure on two wheels, rent a bike or an e-bike and explore the trails of Ounasvaara.
Credits: Visit Rovaniemi

Places to stay in Rovaniemi

Wherever you decide to stay, the locals will welcome you with open arms. For a boutique experience in the city centre, book a room at Hotel Haawe or Arctic Light Hotel. Another great place to stay is Scandic Rovaniemi City Hotel

If you're ready to embrace the wilderness more closely, try Metsäkolo for a night in a tree tent or a log cabin. Ollero Eco Lodge – a Sustainable Travel Finland labelled company – offers unique cabins for six to eight people. At Lapland Hotels Sky Ounasvaara, you will get a high-quality hotel experience with nature right outside the large windows. For a truly unique visit, stay at Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, a design hotel with beautiful views and exceptional food made from local ingredients. 

Prefer to stay close to Lapland's most famous citizen? Try a unique accommodation experience in Santa's Igloos Arctic Circle.

Credits : Visit Rovaniemi
Stay by Santa’s side at Santa's Igloos.
Credits: Visit Rovaniemi
Immerse in Lapland's beauty at Arctic TreeHouse Hotel.
Credits: Arctic Treehouse Hotel

Unique experiences in Rovaniemi

For a unique dinner experience, book a table at Savurafla Kotisaari island restaurant. The experience includes a boat ride to the island of Kotisaari where you will be served a beautiful BBQ dinner with a local twist. Kotisaari has an interesting history as the stronghold of the lumberjacks in the Kemijoki River – the friendly staff will surely tell you more on site. 

Bet you’ve never golfed with reindeer before? At Santa Claus Golf Club, you can play golf around the clock under the midnight sun. But don’t be surprised if the freely roaming reindeer decide to join you on a round. The summer golf course opens in May. 

Credits : Visit Rovaniemi
Credits: Visit Rovaniemi

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