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Rovaniemi: Santa’s home airport

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Rovaniemi Airport is situated in a unique location in Finnish Lapland: at the Arctic Circle, right next to Santa Claus Village. Another unique characteristic of the region is that Lapland is home to some 182,000 people and over 200,000 reindeer.
Santa Claus and the Arctic Circle. White, glowing snow and northern lights. Husky safaris, reindeer rides, and snowmobile excursions. Those who love Christmas, pristine nature, and winter activities are arriving at Rovaniemi Airport from everywhere in the world this year, as always.
‘Rovaniemi offers visitors top-quality services, accommodation options, and activities’, explains Martti Oinas, Finavia’s regional director for Lapland.
‘We are also near to wilderness: passengers can hop on a snowmobile, or a reindeer or husky safari right at the airport, should they wish to’.
Santa’s workshop close to the airport
Santa Claus loves Rovaniemi too. His home is at Korvatunturi mountain, but he spends his days in his workshop at Santa Claus Village.
You can meet him there any day of the year, so no need to wait for Christmas to visit.
‘Some very important people have visited Santa Claus, such as the Presidents of India and China, for instance.  Although the latter was still “only” a Vice-President at the time’, Oinas points out.
Arctic Circle at the airport
The Arctic Circle – the southern border of the midnight sun in summer and polar twilight in winter – is very visible at Rovaniemi Airport. The ceiling of the terminal features a 40-metre-long sliver of skylight aligned with the actual Arctic Circle.
The light passing through the skylight illuminates a line on the floor indicating the location of the Arctic Circle in 9648 BC, 1958, 1962, 1974, 1984, and 1990.
This is because the Arctic Circle moves back and forth between Ivalo (67.9°) and Kemi (65.5°). The greatly simplified explanation for this shift of nearly 300 km is the fluctuation in the Earth’s axial tilt.
At the moment, the Arctic Circle is slightly above Rovaniemi, on its way further north. However, it will still stay near Rovaniemi for the length of a few more human lives, as it takes it roughly 25,000 years to travel from Kemi to Ivalo!
All culture and history enthusiasts should visit the Arktikum centre and Rovaniemi city centre, rebuilt in accordance with the town plan drawn up by Alvar Aalto.
Stop at Santa Claus Village
The village has been a favourite destination for years, and all who love Christmas should certainly visit it.
The Village offers plenty of services and activities. Among other things, you can find the Main Post Office, events, cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops – and, of course, Santa Claus’ Office, where he meets visitors every day of the year. Entry is free of charge.

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