USEFUL TIPS ON ROVANIEMI
Have you heard of the village of Santa Claus in Lapland? Well it is located in Rovaniemi, in the midst of forests, snow and a suggestive Christmas spirit.
Rovaniemi is the main city of the Finnish Lapland and is a charming place to stay especially in winter, but let us just learn a few useful tips on Rovaniemi.
USEFUL TIPS ON ROVANIEMI
To arrive to Lapland you must stopover in Helsinki and then continue towards Rovaniemi, but do not be afraid because in Lapland the planes land also with two metres of snow and the arrival precisely to Rovaniemi is really impressive because all you see is snow, snow and more snow. The airport is small and cozy and outside you will immediately find the shuttles to the various accommodations and also this time if you imagine that something here works badly because of snow, you are completely on the wrong road because people walk on slabs of ice, the children go regularly to school also by bike and everything works regularly, obviously with their timetables.
Rovaniemi is practically constituted by a couple of streets and a main square where all the major hotels and shops are concentrated that however close at 18:00hrs in winter; always talking about Rovaniemi in winter, the daylight hours are really little more or less two or three hours a day about from 11:00hrs to 14:00hrs approximately, after which there is a sort of perennial sunset and then total darkness. For anyone who deals with this particular feature for the first time in their life, I have to tell you that it is not easy, I was taken by a sort of laziness and tiredness, a little as if the body had a necessarily need to rest more; however in Rovaniemi in winter there are plenty of things to do in nature, therefore make an effort, strive and off we go…..
Excursions in fact are not a few and our advice is to schedule maybe only the first excursion, the rest once you get there and decide after checking out the various agencies which propose different tariffs and cheaper than those found online.
I personally loved the walk with the snow shoes (sort of rackets), it was tiring but really exciting: finding ourselves in the middle of the Woods , hardly able to walk and enjoying to the full the snow, the little light, the panorama, this had no price for me and I enjoyed it very much, and considering the temperature of minus 40°c, feeling sweaty was rather shocking.
With regards to the temperature in January we it went from -30°c to -40°c of the night passed in the ice hotel and I must say that it is not easy to endure the cold, prepare yourselves with the right equipment but also know that those who organise the excursions will also provide thermal suits, gloves and shoes, but if you can always bring with you hand and foot warmers because they become almost necessary if you are not accustomed to such intense cold.
As I have already written we also spent a night in the Ice hotel about an hour from Rovaniemi, an adventure certainly extreme but fun…The hotel is completely made from ice with sculptures and rooms, even the beds are made of ice and on top there are reindeer hides, they give you a sleeping bag and everything here…. start the adventure knowing that obviously inside there is no bathroom, therefore you either adapt and go into the woods or walk towards the main wooden building which is about 200 metres distant….only try not to do like I did having to go out in the complete darkness of the freezing night to find a toilet…even if I have to say that in the end it was an adventure in the adventure and i also enjoyed walking in the dark, with the snow that fell down and the sounds of the forest, I do not think that it will happen again in my life 🙂
Apart from the snow shoes, the ice hotel, you can rent snowmobiles, drive a slide with dogs, visit the Artic museum, take pictures at the point were you cross the arctic circle, listen to the natives tell their stories, spend the night in search of the aurora borealis in the middle of the woods in front of a fire and with many new friends just known and obviously visit the Santa Claus Village and meet him in person.
The Santa Claus Village is located right on the line of the arctic circle, a quaint village built just for tourists with also the post office from which you can send postcards, the office of the cheerful old man and you can even take a picture with the original Santa Claus for the price of 30 euro…..but obviously you cannot miss out.
In Rovaniemi the typical dishes are those of the Nordic culture, for which reindeer, elk and even bear meat, meatballs in various flavours, dressings with forest fruits and potatoes. The fruits of the forest are very tasty, there are really so many and so different from the ones we know.
Rovaniemi is a wonderful place, in time it surely has adapted itself to the tourists but still mantains the charm of the extreme Lapland, have fun and enjoy every moment in the midst of nature.
If you are interested take a look at the useful tips on other cities and countries.