The official home of Santa Claus, Lapland is the ultimate festive holiday getaway. The northernmost region of Finland is a winter wonderland, with snowy forests, frosty fields, star-speckled skies, and herds of free-roaming reindeer. Here’s how to celebrate Christmas in Lapland.
Visit Santa Claus Village
No visit to Lapland would be complete without a visit to the man who put the region on the map: Father Christmas. Stationed in Santa’s Grotto in Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, he wishes visitors a Merry Christmas year-round. After you meet Father Christmas, head to the Santa Claus Main Post Office where you can mail Christmas cards to loved ones back home. The complex also features souvenir shops, ice sculptures, and Christmas-themed restaurants.
Go to a Reindeer Farm
Finland’s Arctic Circle is home turf for reindeers, and while Rudolph and friends may be busy preparing for their Christmas Eve odyssey, there are still have plenty of other opportunities to view these magnificent creatures up close during the holiday season. Take a trip from Rovaniemi to a functioning reindeer farm, where you can meet herders who will tell you all about these Arctic animals and the integral role they have played in rural life in the region.
Try Traditional Modes of Transportation
A white Christmas is pretty much guaranteed in Lapland, and the snowy surfaces are well suited to an array of thrilling modes of transportation. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can zip around the Christmas tree–dotted terrain during a Lapland safari by snowmobile. For something a little slower paced, consider a husky sled ride or a reindeer sleigh ride through the snow-sprinkled forest. Some tours depart at night, giving passengers the opportunity to scan the night skies for the Northern Lights.