Fact number 1.
Did you know that you can play golf in Rovaniemi even in the winter? Players can enjoy a game of golf on snow and ice, playing on whites rather than greens, with white golf balls replaced with bright orange balls that can easily be spotted in the snow, and golf club carts replaced with the kind of sledges more commonly seen whizzing down snowy hills. Should this be on your bucket list?
The lowest recorded temperature in Rovaniemi was -47.5 degrees Celsius. The highest temperature on record was 31.2 degrees Celsius. The difference between the two is a whopping 78.7 degrees!
The safari companies based in Rovaniemi have so many snowmobile overalls, shoes, helmets, socks and mittens that they could kit out the entire city at once. Lapland Safaris alone has enough winter gear for 12,500 people!
The people of Rovaniemi are keen snowmobilers. The city can be explored on the marked snowmobile tracks spanning over 600 km all across Rovaniemi. Skiing is also a favourite activity for many locals. There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to ski tracks: the city offers 800 km of tracks, of which approximately 100 km are lit.
There are almost 100 lean-tos dotted around the Rovaniemi area. Called ‘laavu’ in Finnish, these wooden shelters come equipped with campfire spots for grilling sausages and other treats. The lean-tos are open to anyone as a place to spend time with friends and family, enjoying a shared snack or even staying the night.
The longest river in Finland, the Kemijoki, runs through Rovaniemi. The river stretches 550 km, making it 2.5 times longer than the total length of the Arctic Lapland Rally.
Rovaniemi features 1,055 lakes and a number large rivers with rapids. The City of Rovaniemi owns 6,000 hectares of forest and the city's carbon sinks are three times greater than its emissions.
Rovaniemi is the biggest city in Europe! It’s true. In terms of surface area, it is the largest city in both Finland and Europe (8,016.75 km²).
Rovaniemi is home to approximately 63,000 people and provides grazing land for 12,450 reindeer! There are approximately 200,000 reindeer in total in Finnish Lapland, meaning they outnumber the region’s human residents. Reindeer is indeed a very iconic animal of the area – and that is why the city of Rovaniemi is also shaped according to reindeer’s head and antlers. The town plan was designed by a famous architect, Alvar Aalto, in 1945. Aalto’s genius vision has central Rovaniemi wrapped inside the reindeer’s head, with the Keskuskenttä sports stadium as the eye. Roads leading north, west, and south make up the antlers.
In Rovaniemi, students get to school by a whole range of means of transport, from bus, taxi, car, foot or bicycle, to kicksled, ski, moped, snowmobile and even quadbike.