Begin your Finnish adventure by spending three days in Rovaniemi!
itinerary by Zarah Amen-Onglao of Travel Art
Rovaniemi is famous for its Christmas Magic—being a paradise that gives tourists the perfect way to spend this most-loved holiday. But beyond being the official hometown of Santa Claus, this capital of Finnish Lapland offers more for travelers. Even if it’s not Christmas season yet, if you’re traveling to Finland, give this place a chance. Let this itinerary show how you can enjoy the town in just 72 hours.
Arrive in Rovaniemi, the capital city of Lapland, located in the northern part of Finland. It is also known worldwide as the official hometown of Santa Claus.
For a true magical Christmas experience anytime of the year (yes, it is open 365 days a year), come and visit Santa Claus Village. You can meet Santa Claus in his office and have a memorable photo with him and your family. Explore the village on foot and you can go inside the Santa Claus Main Post Office to send Santa Claus-stamped greeting cards, or maybe join an Arctic Circle crossing ceremony. Enjoy the souvenir shops, elves’ workshops, snow activities, cafés, and more.
Have dinner and check-in at your preferred accommodation. In Rovaniemi, almost everything is possible—you can sleep in a hotel room, a cottage in the wild, a glasshouse, or even an igloo!
At night, keep a look out for the Northern Lights. It has been reported that the elusive Aurora Borealis has shown itself even in the summer months so you might get lucky. The Northern Lights usually appear between 9 PM to 2 AM!
In the winter months (December to April), you cannot miss the experience of hopping aboard an Icebreaker Cruise.
The clash between the massive bulk of steel and the thick coat of ice is simply astonishing.
Day excursions for the Icebreaker Cruise normally include lunch and round trip transfers from your accommodation to the port where the cruise is docked. Some cruises even take you to the Sweden border, which is only around 120 kilometers away from Rovaniemi.
In the cruise, you will have a guided tour of the ship, complete with visits to the engine room, all the way up to the captain’s bridge. But the most interesting thing to do is to swim in the frozen water of the open seas! Don’t worry, you will be wearing a special suit to keep you warm and cozy.
After returning to your accommodation, you can have dinner at the restaurant of your choice, but a must-try delicacy is the local reindeer meat which they serve pan-fried, grilled, or stewed. Again, you can keep a lookout for the Northern Lights if the forecast is good! Thankfully there are now mobile apps to aid you in your hunt for the lights.
Visiting Rovaniemi is not complete without trying the best of Lapland safaris or their snow activities. With Santa Claus Village as your starting point for this day, you can:
Go to a local reindeer farm and book a Reindeer Safari. You will enjoy the beautiful view of the forest in winter, and will be given the chance to take photos during the short stops made during the ride. As a gift, you will be awarded with a reindeer driving license after the safari.
After that, you can continue with a Husky Safari where you can pet the adorable huskies, and ride a sleigh pulled by the dogs.
a snowmobile through frozen lakes, rivers, and forests. You can choose between Snowmobile Safari tours that last two or up to six hours, and they are suitable for everyone—whether you are a beginner or a professional. The safaris are led by professional guides to give you a safe and unforgettable experience.
Head to the city center of Rovaniemi and have breakfast at the restaurant of Arctic Light Hotel where the famous Finnish TV chef Sara La Fountain created the healthy and energizing breakfast spread that includes fruit and berry shots, fresh bread and pastries, and reindeer longganisa.
For some last-minute shopping, you can visit Sampokeskus or Rinteenkulma. The local boutiques offer quite a ordable winter clothes and shoes. There is also a supermarket where you can buy canned reindeer meat.
Say hard goodbyes to Rovaniemi for your onward flight to Manila.
About Travel Art
An affiliate of renowned pilgrimage tour operator Journeys of Faith, Inc., Travel Art offers unique themed tours to different destinations around the world. Based on the owners’ more than 15 years of travel agency experience, Travel Art places a premium on value and customer satisfaction—as proven by its sought-after tour packages.
For information about tours in Rovaniemi, phone (+63 2) 929 0144, (+63 2) 929 0155, (+63 917) 637 9060, email <[email protected]>, or visit <travelart.com.ph>