Over the years I have spent Christmas in many different parts of the world. To get everyone into the spirit this holiday season I have decided to write a series of short posts on my Best Christmas Holiday experiences. I hope you find one that inspires you to travel and see the world this holiday season!
VISIT SANTA CLAUS AT THE ARCTIC CIRCLE
Far to the north, in the Lapland region of Finland, lies the small village of Rovaniemi. A frozen, snow-covered, winter wonderland in December, the town straddles the Arctic Circle and is home to Santa Claus. Nestled in the trees, Santa’s Village is everything you would want from a visit to Santa’s home. From the post office you can mail a postcard back home and get an Arctic Circle stamp in your passport. Enter Santa’s Workshop for the opportunity to have a picture take with the man himself. The entire time I was in the village I felt like a child again, eagerly awaiting my chance to meet Santa!
Of course, no visit to see Santa would be complete without reindeer and Finland has reindeer to spare. The Sami people, a tribe native to Lapland and the Arctic regions, are probably most well-known for their reindeer herding. While it is possible to drive through the remote back roads in search of an elusive reindeer herd, I recommend heading to the Salla Reindeer Park. The park is a two to three hour drive east of Rovaniemi near the Russian border in Salla. Here you can board a reindeer-drawn sleigh and head out into the frozen forest on safari.
I absolutely loved the reindeer safari! Gliding through the snow, enjoying the few hours of fleeting light that never moves much past twilight-purple, I fell in love with the stillness of the forest and the vastness of the frozen lakes we encountered.
We spent four days in Finnish Lapland at Christmas time and I loved every minute of it. Everywhere we looked there was something magical and festive. From the perfectly illuminated trees laden with fresh snow to Santa’s Village with all of its family orientated fun to the raw and remote beauty of the Arctic, I am so happy I had the chance to spend Christmas in Finland!
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