Rovaniemi, Finland on this virtual tour

Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland and Official Home of Santa Claus, sits just five miles south of the Arctic Circle.

Retreating Nazis destroyed much of Rovaniemi in 1944, but the city bounced back. Finnish architect Alvar Aalto planned much of the modern city, including roads, in the shape of reindeer antlers.

Lumberjack's Candle Bridge spans the Kemijoki River. It opened in 1989 as the first cable-stayed road bridge in Finland and ranks among the most recognizable landmarks of Rovaniemi.

According to local legend, Santa's original home is in a secret location in Finnish Lapland. His Rovaniemi office opened in 1985, and the city became the official hometown of Santa Claus in 2010.

Santa maintains an office in Santa Claus Village, where more than half a million people visit him every year. While exploring the village, visitors can even cross the Arctic Circle.

It should come as no surprise that the city with a road plan shaped like a deer head has an affinity for animals. No trip to Rovaniemi would be complete without taking a reindeer sleigh ride.

Winter (December to March) in Rovaniemi can be dark and cold, with day temperatures below freezing and polar nights where the sun never makes it above the horizon.

The cold and dark don't stop locals from enjoying the snow landscape. Snowmobile, ice fishing, snowshoeing, skiing, ice climbing and fat biking represent a few winter adventures.

Dog mushing has long served as an important means of transport in Lapland. One can experience dog sledding or visit the Sled Dog Farm.

Spend an evening dining on Lapland cuisine inside the Snowland Restaurant. The igloo restaurant features tables made of ice and two ice bars.

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