Where in Lapland is Santa Claus Village?
Famous for its year-round Christmas spirit, the Santa Claus Village is located about 8 km from downtown Rovaniemi and about 2 km from Rovaniemi Airport. Declared the official home of Santa Claus in 1985, the Santa Claus Village is open year-round and attracts thousands of visitors every month. Naturally, December is an extremely busy month and attracts the largest number of visitors. However, the Christmas spirit carries on all year, especially during the winter when you can experience all the Christmas lights at night and the snow falling at this Winter Wonderland.
How to get to Santa Claus Village from Tromsø, Norway?
Did you know that you can visit two countries – Tromsø in Norway (one of the best places in the world to experience the Northern Lights) and the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi (Finland) – by bus, at a very competitive price, during your holiday in the Arctic?
The Arctic Route operates a winter route (Tromsø – Rovaniemi – Tromsø) by bus between the two destinations daily from 1 December to 31 March. Travel from Tromsø to Rovaniemi – the last stop is the Santa Claus Village – or from the Santa Claus Village all the way to the “Paris of the North” – Tromsø in Northern Norway! This bus journey takes around 10.5 hours in each direction. Stops along the route (from Tromsø to the Santa Claus Village) include Hatteng (in Norway) where you can go snowmobiling and spend the night under the stars (and maybe even the Northern Lights) at the incredible Aurora Huts (with the option of using the sauna and jacuzzi), Kilpisjärvi (where you can go snowmobiling and stay at the prestigious Cahkal Boutique Hotel), Levi Ski Resort, Kittila Airport, Rovaniemi Railway Station and Rovaniemi Bus Station.
All buses have toilets onboard, free WI-FI access, charging points, and English-speaking drivers. You can either bring food and drinks with you or buy some along the way at various stops.
Don’t be put off by the duration of this route. We have tried it and promise you that you will be mesmerized by the amazing Finnish landscapes, including trees covered in shining white snow, which will simply take your breath away. As the expression goes, time flies when you are having fun!
What to do at Santa Claus Village, Finland?
The Santa Claus Village is full of activities, excitement, Christmas lights and Christmas spirit everywhere you go! There are some things you simply can’t miss such as the official crossing of the Arctic Circle (there are several red lamp posts marking the line – you can also share this moment with your family by sending them the URL link of the live webcam there, so they can experience that moment! How cool is that?). Other highlights include Snowman World (a mini ice park with activities such as incredible ice slides, an ice bar and several other rooms all made of ice), meeting Santa and having your photo taken at the Santa Claus Office (if you tell him which country you are from and he will say a few words in your language!) and visiting Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, where you can send your family and friends a letter or card with the official postmark.
There are also many nice souvenir shops as well as restaurants and cafés to enjoy a meal or a coffee.
What to do in Rovaniemi?
Rovaniemi is one of the most popular places to visit in Finland! You can explore the city centre and local history, visit attractions such Arktikum, Science Centre Pilke and Korundi House of Culture (NB: All three are closed on Mondays) and lose yourself on the Lumberjack’s Candle Bridge on your way to the walking trail that leads to the Ounasvaara observation tower for a panoramic view in the middle of the forest.
You will find many delicious restaurants in Rovaniemi, most of which have gluten-free and vegan-friendly options. We recommend trying Cafe and Bar 21 for some delicious salty waffles, Gustav Kitchen Bar or Monte Rosa restaurant.
Hope to see you on the road soon!