finland - reindeer - santa claus - travel - adventures - blog

Santa Claus Village in Finland | A Christmas Wonderland

A last minute trip to Finland had us staying with the fat man himself at the Santa Claus Village in the Arctic Circle. We only stayed in Finland for 10 days but it was long enough for me to know I want to get back there one day. Flying over the country is super beautiful. Snow covered mountains and valleys, and lakes that have already frozen over for the winter.

Just magical.

We had a few days in Ruka Village staying in an apartment on the ski fields. We hadn’t even got to the Santa Claus Village yet and it already felt like a winter wonderland.

finland - ruka - santa claus - travel adventures - blog

ruka - finland - santa claus - blog - travle - adventures

After a few days jam-packed with skiing, delicious fireplace meals and the biggest snowflakes we have ever seen, we were off.

Oh, and how can I forget the display of northern lights from our balcony one night!!

I am still kicking myself I didn’t learn how to photograph them properly before we went!!

We now had a 3 hour drive through the Finnish countryside to get to the Santa Claus Village. 

ruka - finland - adventures - santa claus - travel - blog

ruka - finland - santa claus - blog - travel - adventures

ruka - finland - santa claus - adventures - blog - travel


Let’s just talk about reindeer for a second. I still seems surreal to have been driving along and just seeing a herd of reindeer grazing. Sometimes they would also walk clumsily close to where the cars were. For some reason reindeer always seemed like a fictional character to me, not a real animal.

Not only were we driving towards the Arctic Circle… but now there are herds of reindeer surrounded by snow covered pine trees and massive frozen lakes. 

I mean, COME ON!

Felt like a bit of a dream.


finland - reindeer - santa claus - travel - adventures - blog


Arriving at the Santa Claus Village

The Finland Santa Claus Village is actually right beside a main road outside the city of Rovaniemi. Not the location I was expecting but once you have driven in, it feels like another world. For someone who loves Christmas as much as I do, it is all a bit overwhelming!

How is this place even real?!

We collected the keys to our Christmas Cottage (which was a pretty reasonable price if you ask me) to get settled in. Now, you are staying in the Santa Claus Village so of course your accommodation is in little red cottages, donning a Christmas Tree on the porch decorated with fairy lights.

Needless to say I was in heaven!!

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The Santa Claus Village itself obviously had Christmas Carols playing everywhere. It is a village of Christmas/Finland inspired souvenirs, gifts, decorations and cafe’s. As you can imagine all I wanted to do was sing and dance around like a child! After we crossed the line into the Arctic Circle, we stumbled across the toy factory and before we knew it we were waiting to see the big man himself.

santa claus village - finland - adventures - travel - blog

If anyone was going to make you believe in Santa Claus, it was this man. Visiting him made you feel like a kid again. He was so gentle and jolly, and had the biggest shoes and beard. He also seemed to know more about Australia than we did!

Finland definitely nailed it with their choice of Santa!


As we didn’t have many days left in Finland we were so lucky that the Santa Claus Village was also home to reindeer and huskies!

Reindeer are just hilarious.

Very cute but also look very clumsy. So if you are holding food and one is running antlers-first at you, it can be a little unsettling. Patting a reindeer is something I didn’t think I would ever be doing, at least on this trip anyway!

santa claus village - finland - reindeer - adventures - travel - blog

The huskies were just beautiful. You could tell how much they loved running with the sled. The dogs that didn’t get to run would get jealous and start howling, making the loudest voice imaginable! I would have taken each and every one of them home if no one was looking.

santa claus village - finland - travel - blog - adventures

Our stay in the Santa Village was nearly over. We sent some postcards from Santa’s official post office, bought some Christmas Decorations and played in the snow.

How else would you spend you time in a Christmas wonderland??

santa claus village - finland - travel - adventures - blog

If you ever end up in this part of the world there is a restaurant in Rovaniemi you must try.  Restaurant Nili is the perfect place to have a lapland feast. Such a cozy little restaurant with the most delicious food on the menu.

Since we visited in October, we were so lucky to have had as much snow as we did! But boy am I glad we made this last minute decision to fly up north.

Finland is such a beautiful country filled with beautiful people.

Ruka Village is home to this perfect little ski resort and if you love Christmas as much as I do, or feel like letting your inner child loose, Rovaniemi is the place to go. Our two experiences in Finland were pretty memorable. We can’t wait for the day we return to explore more of the amazing country.

ruka - finland - santa claus - adventures - travel - blog


Every year at Christmas time, I bring out our photo with the real Santa, just to remind us we need to go back. Basically, take it from me.

If you are ever in Europe and make your way to lapland, the Finland Santa Claus Village is definitely worth a stop over for a dose of pure Christmas magic.

santa claus village - finland - travel - adventures -blog


Until next time.


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