Our fantastic trip to Finnish Lapland in search of Santa Claus and the Northern Lights that aim? not ? appeared ... but we made up with reindeer, sledges and snowmobiles in a fantastic fairytale landscape!
We head to Fiumicino airport and from there with Norwegian we take the Rome-Helsinki flight. Unfortunately there are no direct flights to Rovaniemi except in December from Milan and so we decide to make a stopover in Helsinki.
Our Hotel? the Cumulus Hakaniemi (a double for one night 85 euros with breakfast). The hotel is not? very far from the center and allows us to take a ride in the center despite our plane? landed at 15:00. We take a tour in the Senate square with its Cathedral, some shots of the frozen lake and a tour of the narrow streets. We eat a bite on the fly and? already? time to return to the hotel.
This morning we have breakfast at the hotel and checked out we head to the airport where we have our flight to Rovaniemi. We land at 14:00 and immediately go to take the car we have rented for the next few days or with which we will drive.
After taking our car we head to our hotel, the Hotel Rantasipi Pohjanhovi (two nights for the price of 238 euros). It is very cute with Santa Claus puppets everywhere, chocolates on the bed and a beautiful view of the frozen lake. Lapland? just magical! After the check in we decide to go out immediately to explore the city? that ? very small and runs smoothly in no time. Once we have made a first ride we decide to go and see the famous Santa Claus village. The attractions inside are already closed and so we take a ride in the snow with Christmas music in the background. After a while we decide to go home why? the sky ? completely covered (as it will unfortunately be the whole week) and so no aurora.
This morning we wake up early and after having breakfast we head to Ranua Zoo about 80 km south of Rovaniemi. The entry price? of 15 euros. The zoo ? pi? similar to a park ,? immersed in the snow and we can also see several animals including the undisputed king of the Arctic, the polar bear. Surely to see it in its natural habitat? quite another thing! Once we leave the zoo we realize that next door c '? the shop of Fazer the famous Finnish chocolate and so we decide to take a look inside. We find a lot of chocolates at very low prices and so we decide to buy something to take to friends and relatives as a souvenir of Lapland.In the late afternoon we return to Rovaniemi and decide to have dinner in the hotel where they offer a buffet at a very good price for the standards Scandinavians. Even this night no aurora and so after a walk on the lake we decide to return.
Today we will finally meet Santa!
Arrived in the village we immediately go to queue to meet him. While waiting a nice elf makes conversation and just before entering he asks you where you come from and the names. After about an hour it's up to us, we go in and there they are ... despite 30 years, the thrill of hugging and seeing him? very strong. I plan to return in the future with children why? the magic that c '? here you can not? explain in words. Once out, you can? decide whether to buy the photo or the video, we took the photo for the modest sum of 30 euros. I know, there are many, but you don't go to Santa Natele every day in Lapland!
Once out we decide to take a little ride with the reindeer in the woods. The figures are also high here, 1 km of walking costs about 50 euros for two but the experience? it was beautiful.
Yes ? made lunch time and so we decide to go and eat at the "Lappish Tepee Caf?". In reality? not ? a local but a small Sami tent with few places and why? really advisable to book. Here we can say that we have eaten one of the most popular salmon. good of our life!
After lunch we did a few more tours to buy some souvenirs and take some photos in the snow. Around 16 we decided to go on the road why? we have to face about two and a half hours by car to reach Levi.
We arrive at our hotel, the Levitunturi Spa around 20:30 pm and we discover that we can enter the Spa for free until 23:30 pm So we immediately go to change and jump into the pool. After a few baths in the hot indoor pools we decide to go out in the outdoor pools immersed in the snow. Was it a wonderful experience that we had also tried in Iceland only this time? midwinter and outside there are several degrees below zero!
This morning after having had a great breakfast we head to the snowmobile rental. We decided not to join an organized tour but to try to guide them on our own. We paid around 130 euros for three hours completely immersed in the wilderness, an incredible experience that we highly recommend despite being quite expensive! Finnish Lapland has wonderful unspoiled nature that makes you feel tiny.
In the afternoon we took a stroll for Levi,? a very pretty town where? present a very important ski base but beyond this c '? very little. After eating a pizza we realize that the kp index of the aurora? very strong and so we decide to try to move more? north to try to see the Green Goddess. Although we have driven for many km for? the sky ? it was almost always cloudy and after about three hours of driving tired and disconsolate we decide to go back to the hotel.
This morning after breakfast we head to the Lapland Safari headquarters to join the husky tour. They offer us thermal suits and boots and then we head to the farm by bus. As soon as we arrive they make us familiar with the dogs and then off quickly with the sleds in the middle of the snowy woods. I think it was an even more experience? beautiful than that of the snowmobile, you feel catapulted into another world! After the ride they showed us the puppies from the farm and then in a tepee we drank a great apple juice with ginger biscuits while we were told some fantastic Sami stories.
After lunch we took the car and headed to Rovaniemi where for this night we will stay in a beautiful hotel, the Artic Light Hotel (we got a great deal at 119 euros for one night). This hotel? new, beautiful, spacious rooms with chocolates, tea, hot chocolate, fruit juices, organic soaps, plus breakfast? phenomenal.
Even this night no aurora so we decide to go out for dinner, we found a very nice little place where we ate an excellent salmon risotto with ginger.
This morning after a terrific breakfast, last stroll around the town before reaching the airport to return to Helsinki.
Here we will sleep in a hotel near the airport why? tomorrow morning we have a very early flight so what? really useless to sleep in the city center ?.