photo © Rovaniemi Tourist Information – www.visitrovaniemi.fi
Rovaniemi Finland – Rovaniemi Lapland Holidays
Situated at the junction of the majestic rivers of Kemijoki and Ounasjoki on the Arctic Circle, in the midst of a captivating and rugged wilderness, Rovaniemi is Lapland’s capital city, an energetic jewel of the North which lays claim to being the home of Father Christmas. Indeed, visitors from all over the world travel here to meet him, at the famous Santa Claus Village or at Santa Park, located in a deep underground cavern, while many other winter tourists arrive to holiday at the Ounasvaara Ski Centre & Resort. Rovaniemi Finland also has a rich cultural life for your Rovaniemi Lapland Holidays with its own orchestra, theatre, 6 fine art galleries, 4 excellent museums and 2 science centres.
Rovaniemi in Finland is also famous for having 8 distinct seasons, each with its own distinct type of daylight, temperatures, and natural phenomena. These seasons are known as Christmas, Frosty Winter, Crusted Snow, Ice Breaking, Midnight Sun, Colourful Autumn, and First Snowfall, and each seasonal variation gives the opportunity to experience the city in a different light, literally! With each seasonal variation comes differing experiences to be had here, from cruises under the midnight sun, to the many types of snow related activities of the snow seasons. Key to Rovaniemi’s fame are the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, which can be seen as many as 200 times a year in Finnish Lapland. Rovaniemi is a great destination for your Lapland Holidays.
Thanks to its average of over 180 days per year of having snow on the ground, Rovaniemi is very popular holiday destination with the skiing fraternity, and across the river from the town is the world famous Ounasvaara ski centre and resort. From atop the hill visitors can view one of Rovaniemi’s most prominent landmarks, the Jätkänkynttilä bridge, where the eternal flame burns over the Kemijoki river.
Much of Rovaniemi’s cultural life revolves around the Korundi House, which was restored by architect Juhani Pallasmaa. As well as housing the Rovaniemi Art Museum, Korundi is home to the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland and hosts other cultural events in the city. Rovaniemi has a well deserved reputation for the visual arts.
Visitors to Rovaniemi are most impressed by Arktikum which houses the Provincial Museum of Lapland and a permanent exhibition called ‘The Arctic in Change’ which allows visitors to learn more about ice caves, the arctic rivers, research stations, the arctic seasons and visit the northern lights theatre. Close by, the Pilke Science Centre’s permanent exhibition deals with sustainable forestry, and explores such themes as the ecology and biology of forests. A further treat for nature lovers is found at Ranua Wildlife Park, just 80 km to the south of Rovaniemi, with about 60 species of arctic and northern wild animals.
A little outside Rovaniemi, on the shores of Lake Lehtojärvi, lies the Arctic SnowHotel, fashioned entirely from snow and ice, where visitors can sleep snugly in rooms maintained at a steady -5ºC! For those who prefer to sleep in warmer environments, the SnowHotel is still worth visiting – enjoy a hot toddy at the bar, or dine in a restaurant adorned with ice sculptures.
Visitors to Rovaniemi who arrive in late March invariably enjoy the culmination of the city’s Spring Market Week, when the annual reindeer sprint race takes place – reindeer and their drivers race from Pohjanhovi to the Lordi Square! The city also hosts the Arctic Lapland Rally at the end of January.