What to do in Rovaniemi:
Sports complex Santa Sport
Science and Education Center Pilke
Husky Farm Ride
Ounasvaara Ski Center
Riding a deer farm
Santa Claus Village
Santa Park - Santa Claus Theme Park
Angry Birds Park in Rovaniemi
Ranua Zoo 80 km from Rovaniemi
Amethyst mine 130 km from Rovaniemi
Hunt for the northern lights
Snowshoeing in the forest
Evening in the ice sauna
Excursions to deer farms and riding deer
Lapland is the largest European region in which Finnish deer are bred. The field of reindeer husbandry is clearly structured and includes more than 5 thousand participants and is almost the only way of earning local residents.
A trip to a deer farm in Finland will be one of the best entertainment for the whole family.
Visiting a farm is not only a good way to get to know the real reindeer, but also a fun ride in reindeer sledding. In winter, this type of entertainment is in great demand, so you will have to wait in line for several hours. At this time, you can enjoy the fabulous scenery, bask in the fire and get to know the local staff who are dressed in traditional costumes.
Finnish deer is a symbol of Lapland. Each has a name and its own owner, who first tells a lot of interesting facts about the life of the animals themselves, about the features of their breeding and nutrition, and then allows you to pet your pets, feed and take beautiful pictures for memory.
Many interesting facts about them will open when listening to a theoretical lecture, which is an obligatory part of the tour.
After the theory, you can safely proceed to the most interesting part - riding a deer. Sled teams are not trained instructors, but ordinary visitors. This does not make any difficulties, since Finnish animals are very obedient and remember the whole route very well, as they have to trample the trail several times daily.
The duration of the tour is approximately three hours. After riding reindeer sledding it will be offered to have lunch.
Visiting Husky Farm and Dog Sledding
Despite technological progress, the Finns are still committed to the good old traditions of movement - husky dog sledding. Of course, now dog safari is a fascinating and unusual entertainment, and not a way to travel.
Husky is a breed of sled dogs. The most popular are Siberian, most often they have blue eyes and gray hair, however, there are brown-eyed, and even with different eye colors. The teams are: Alaskan husky (obtained by crossing the Siberian husky and a race breed, this is not a separate type of dog, but a kind of husky), Alaskan Malamute and Samoyed. Often, "husky" is translated into Russian, like a "like".
What awaits you at the husky farm? Every day, this type of vacation is growing among tourists around the world, not only Russian. Camps are built on which sled dogs are bred, where you can ride, learn management skills, try to harness animals, and of course, find out the story about them. Farms are scattered throughout Finland, but most are concentrated in the northern edge - in Lapland. This is due to weather conditions, dogs of this breed were born for low temperatures. In each kennel, as a rule, there are about 200 dogs. The farm owners carefully look after them, despite the number of dogs, they remember everyone’s nickname. The best from the farm go to international competitions.
Eight active males and females are selected for riding, you are put in a “carriage”, an instructor stands up behind (this is the case if you are not driving) ... and an exciting journey through the forest begins and, of course, interesting stories from the guide. On average, you will move at a speed of 50 km / h. You can not worry - these dogs are not hard, one animal easily pulls a load of about 20 kilograms.
To visit Lapland and not to ride a snowmobile? That would be a big omission! Today we will ride a snowmobile around Rovaniemi, like real Finns, and at the same time we will tell you about the rules for snowmobiling in Finland.
Finns are passionate about winter sports in their blood, and snowmobiles are no exception. For some, it’s a hobby, sport, lifestyle, and for others, despite the high price of snowmobiles, it’s not a luxury, but a means of transportation.
Usually, snowmobiles are rented only by locals, and foreign tourists must be given a guide. This is done because local people more or less know the routes or at least know how to navigate, and also have driving experience. Even southern urban Finns prefer to take a guide. After all, getting lost on a short winter day or moving a half meter off the road and putting the snowmobile head over heels in the snow is very easy. Tourists, especially European ones, are even less adapted to skiing and sending them into the forest without a guide is irresponsible and even dangerous. The safaris of the company offer not only skiing and accompaniment, but also interesting family safaris on deer or husky farms, ice fishing, visiting Santa Claus, and hunting the Northern Lights at night - and so on. There is no shortage of routes; more than 100,000 km of them are laid throughout Finland, most of which are in northern Finland. You can ride a snowmobile all over Lapland, for example, from Rovaniemi to the town of Sodankylä to the north.
To drive a snowmobile, you must be over 18 years old and have a standard Class B driver license. The Finns also have special driver licenses for the snowmobile and tractor (class T), which even teenagers can get. In the presence of such rights, they have the right to drive from the age of 15.
Lampivaara Amethyst Mine in Lapland
This is the only mine in the world where tourists themselves can find their lucky amethyst, using only manual labor, and take their find with them.
The amethyst mine is located in central Lapland between the cities of Sodankylä and Kemijärvi.
The distance to Rovaniemi is 130 km, to Sodankylä 40 km, to Kemijärvi 90 km.
Amethyst is a variety of quartz, which is usually purple or pinkish. Amethyst is a gem.
Amethyst mine is used exclusively for tourism purposes, and not for industrial mining. Mining an amethyst in an industrial way, an amethyst would end in 5–10 years and a large hole would remain in its place. Mining amethyst by hand, it will last here for 500 years!
At the foot of the hill of Lampivaar there is a small cafe where you can purchase tickets to the amethyst mine.
You can take with you only one amethyst found that fits in your fist. If you want more, you will have to pay separately.
Interestingly, the exact price of the additional amethyst will be determined by the head of the mine or a guide - it all depends on their mood.
After a fascinating tour, it's time to go for a snack in a cafe. Here they give tea, coffee, buns, sandwiches. In the high summer season, during the lunch they give a very tasty soup. The price is about 8 €.
Santa clause village
Among tourists, Rovaniemi is known primarily as the birthplace of Santa Claus: it is here that the official residence of Joulupukki is the main character of the Finnish New Year and Christmas. The first honorary guest of these magical places was the wife of the President of America, Eleanor Roosevelt - it was in honor of her visit in 1950 that a fabulous village was opened.
Today in the residence of Santa Claus there is an Elf School, Mrs. Klaus Gingerbread Kitchen, Santa’s Office, Calligraphy School, Seasons Train, Ice Gallery, Huge Snow Ball and Post Office. There you can learn how to bake and decorate fragrant gingerbread cookies, look at graceful ice statues, send a magic letter, get elven skills and do many other amazing things.
This arctic zoo is open all year. There are no exotic animals and tropical birds, but you can observe the inhabitants of the polar latitudes almost in their natural habitat. In total, there are about 50 species of animals and birds contained on the site of the zoo, you can familiarize yourself with each of these species, as well as read information about it in Russian.
The Arktikum Center, located on the picturesque bank of the Ounasyoki River, is both a scientific center, a museum and an architectural landmark of the capital of Lapland. The expositions located here will tell a lot of interesting things about the life of the indigenous peoples of the north and about the history and culture of the inhabitants of Lapland: you can get acquainted with the ethnography, flora and fauna of the severe polar region, as well as learn how different scientists study it and what interesting they have learned for everything this time.