Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland, home to 62 000 inhabitants and, as legend has it, Santa himself.
Just 10 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is known for its beautiful nature and spectacular views of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. And while it only officially became a city in 1960, there is evidence of settlements here dating back to the Stone Age.
The Finnish Santa or Joulupukki has pagan roots but late 19th and early 20th century lore claim his origins are in Lapland where he launches his reindeer-driven sled each Christmas Eve for destinations south.
Santa Claus Village draws thousands of Finnish and international visitors each year and is in essence a giant Christmas market. With crafts, Finnish design, traditional cuisine and plenty of activities for kids including reindeer rides and excursions to the ‘forest of the elves’, a trip to Rovaniemi at Christmas is a one-of-a-kind journey to the original Finnish Christmas city.