Father Christmas lives in Lapland, don’t you know? No, he really does. He and his reindeer entourage are in Rovaniemi, to be exact – an Arctic circle outpost that springs to life each winter as families from across the world fly in for a sprinkling of Saint Nick’s magic in the snow. Here are the most festive things to do in the Finnish town.
Meet the big guy
Set yourself up for a bumper haul of presents with a visit to Santa himself at his official office – the Santa Claus Village. It’s 8km north of Rovaniemi, right on the Arctic circle and surrounded by snow-tipped forest for added wintry appeal. Expect a giant fairy-lit tree in the village square and a supporting cast of raring-to-go reindeer and magical elfin helpers.
Take a sleigh ride
While Rudolph and co get warmed up for the big night, you can take a jaunt across the twinkling snowy wilderness with a morning husky safari – a kid-friendly adventure with snacks and protective gear provided.
See the lights
Because it lies above the Arctic circle, Lapland is one of the best places in Finland to see the Northern Lights. Light pollution in Rovaniemi itself is likely to make the dancing colours hard to see, but take a winter night tour into the Arctic wilderness and your chances of seeing this skittish, once-in-a-lifetime display are strong.