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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

Ready to trade in the city slush and rain for something a little different? Finland in winter is nothing short of magical and Santa’s hometown of Rovaniemi is just the spot. Just make sure you bundle up!

Send a holiday postcard from the Arctic Circle, sealed with a special postal stamp to your friends and shop all things Christmas in the town stores and workshops. Already looking for flights to Helsinki? Keep in mind it’s an awfully long drive north from Helsinki to reach the Arctic Circle and Rovaniemi, more than 800 kilometres!

In winter the roads can also be unpredictable so it’s best to catch flights to Oulu, the largest city in northern Finland. From there it’s only another 160 kilometres by car to reach of Santa’s homeland. From London Gatwick it’s a direct trip onboard Norwegian Air.

Santa’s Village

It seems that Santa Claus spends most of his time in the village workshop, where he devotes himself to his calling: to maintain the well-being of children by travelling around the world spreading the “love and benevolence of the spirit of Christmas.” Up here in Finland though, you can meet Santa every day of the year, even Christmas Eve before he takes off in his sleigh!

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Santa Park

A must if you’re with kids, this underground amusement park is all about Christmas and Santa Claus. It sits right on the Arctic Circle, north of Rovaniemi. Between rides, stalls and activities this place creates the atmosphere of Christmas down to the finest details. Stop by Santa’s Office, post a letter at the Elves’ post office, visit the Gigantic Snow Globe, shop at the toy factory and take your photo with one of Santa’s prized reindeer.

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We particularly recommend stopping by Mrs. Claus’ kitchen to taste some of her delicious gingerbread. Enjoy a glass of eggnog or a cup of mulled wine too.

  • Opening dates: from November 23rd to January 11th, 2013.
  • Admission: €31 adults, €25 for children (free for tots under the age of 3)
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There’s no place as magical to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights too!

Imgs: Tarja Mitrovic / Flickr cc.

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