New Year in Lapland: Santa Claus Village, Northern Lights and Huskies
New Year in Lapland

New Year in Lapland: Santa Claus Village, Northern Lights and Huskies

It’s New Year’s magic to spend New Year’s Eve with the whole family next to the real Santa Claus. And if you celebrated New Year’s Eve differently last year, now is the time to plan a trip to Lapland.

Lapland is the northernmost and harshest region inhabited by the Sami people. The capital of Lapland is the city of Rovaniemi in Finland. It is in the vicinity of the city that you can see the northern lights, visit Santa and ride in a carriage with real sled dogs.

Santa Claus Village or Joulupukki (Santa Claus Village)

Joulupukki is the amusing name for Santa Claus, or Santa Claus, in Finland.

A few kilometers from the capital of Lapland — Rovaniemi, works the most real village of Santa Claus. He lives there not alone, but with his wife and helpers-elves, who run the whole household and adore visitors and tourists from all over the world.

Next to Santa’s residence there is a post office where letters from children from all over the world arrive. The envelopes are piled up in huge sacks waiting for their turn — Joulupukki tries to read every letter.

What to do at the Santa Claus Residence:

  • Take a picture with Santa.
  • Watch a performance at the puppet theater.
  • Buy a gingerbread house at the gift and bake store.
  • Cross the Arctic Circle and get an official certificate.

In the central square of Santa’s village, there are poles with a clear line of white paint between them. You can’t see it in winter, but each pole has the inscription «Arctic circle» on it. The invisible line is jumped over, walked over, driven over by a car — and you get a certificate. The ceremony costs 4,5 € and can be booked in advance.

  • The address of Santa Claus' residence in Lapland is JOULUMAANTIE 1, 96930 ARCTIC CIRCLE, Rovaniemi.
  • Visiting the village is free, open daily, all year round
  • How to get there: the nearest town to Santa Claus' residence is Rovaniemi. From Rovaniemi city center, Santa Claus Village can be reached by local bus number 8(schedule) or the Santa Claus Express(schedule).
Santa Claus residence
Santa Claus residence

Santa Park

Not far from the residence there is a Christmas amusement park. The holiday program includes reindeer sleigh rides, baking gingerbread in Mrs. Claus’s kitchen, learning at the elf school and really helping Santa!

In this fairy-tale atmosphere, even adults turn into children.

  • Unlike the free admission to the Village, admission here costs 28—30 € for children and 34—36 € for adults. Children under 3 years of age can visit Santa Park for free. The ticket price, which is valid for two consecutive days, includes all the attractions of Santa Park and can be purchased at the ticket office from the elf.
A house in Santa Park
A house in Santa Park

Husky safari

If you like speed and blue-eyed dogs — welcome to safari! During the walk you will ride in a real sled pulled by reindeer or huskies. For those who are afraid of freezing, there are organized breaks for hot tea and lunch.

  • The walk lasts 2—3 hours and costs 130—200 €.
Huskies in harness
Huskies in harness

Snow Village

We all used to build ice forts and castles as children, but in Lapland this childhood pastime has been turned into a tourist attraction.

The village of Lainio is 200 kilometers above the Arctic Circle. One of the most popular and beautiful ice hotels is located there, with a bar and restaurant made only of ice. In the evening it looks especially beautiful because of the illumination throughout the hotel, and the temperature does not rise above -5 ° .

Want to stay all night and spend the night in a special Arctic sleeping bag? A night in the Ice Hotel costs from 400 €.

Ice caves for games
Ice caves for games

Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis Northern Lights can be seen in these places up to 200 nights a year, but it is not easy to catch it — the Aurora hides from tourists.

In order not to miss the aurora borealis, you should check the special website of the Aurora Borealis — here the probability of aurora borealis is displayed in real time. You can download a special paid application on your smartphone, which will inform you in advance when the probability of aurora borealis becomes high.

For better visibility, you should get away from the city lights, preferably in the middle of the forest or in Levi, where the famous ski resort is located. While in Levi, you don’t have to travel far — just drive 8—10 km away from your hotel, where the night sky will be clear and impeccably dark — against such a background the Aurora plays with all its colors.

Mount Levy
Mount Levy
Levi ski slope
Levi ski slope

What you need to know before traveling to Lapland

  • Lapland is a beautiful and harsh region. The temperature ranges from -9 to -20C, at night it is cold, so you should take a lot of warm clothes and thermal underwear. It is desirable that the outerwear is waterproof and windproof.
  • For a relaxing vacation in Lapland, the optimal trip is 5—9 days. During this time you can have time to ski or snowboard, visit excursions, go sledding and catch the northern lights.
  • You can book a husky ride or northern lights hunt here and here.
  • How to get there. Santa Claus Village is located 2 km from Rovaniemi Airport and 800 km from Helsinki. It can be reached by regular bus and train services or by car: renting a car from Rentalcars and Economybookings costs from 25 € per day.
Ruhi Restaurant
Ruhi Restaurant