A wintry aerial of Rovaniemi, the Official Hometown of Santa Claus in Lapland, Finland

Important notification!

It is dangerous and forbidden to walk on the river ice in Rovaniemi. The ice is very thin and the current underneath is extremely strong. Falling through ice can be life-threatening.


What if the river and ice looks white and there is no water visible?

The arctic nature can be beautiful, but misleading. Sometimes something that looks completely safe or has been before, changes dramatically when weather changes. Temperature, the amount of snow and rapid changes in the weather can make the surface of ice and snow change completely. It might look, for example that there is ice on the river or lake, but then there is a layer of snow on top of it and it looks ticker than it actually is.

What is different this year with ice than before?

This year the temperature has been changing a lot and the strong cold period what we usually get around December and January, has been missing. It has been warmer temperatures than usually at this time of the year. There has been also need to run the water at the river more than usually, in order to prepare for electricity needs. For that reason as well the ice hasn’t been getting thicker

Is the ice safe in some places and not safe in others?

It is impossible to know is the ice thick enough and you should never try it. Due to the changes in nature, the safe spots can also change during the days and weeks. The same uncertainty goes to the locals living in Rovaniemi, even though they know the area and might be more equipped to test the thickness of the ice. In other words, one step on top of the ice might be safe when the next is unsafe.

Can I go to the ice with local guide?

We recommend everyone, both locals and visitors to avoid the ice area this winter in certain areas and be extremely careful everywhere. There is though safaris and guided tours, such as snowmobile trips through icy lakes or ice fishing trips that local companies safely organize. The local companies and tour operators are aware of the ice conditions and you can trust that responsible companies always keep you safe. Browse the activities here.

How can I safely experience the ice?

Never, in any circumstances go to the ice by yourself or let your kids play at the ice if you are not familiar with the area. Please book a tour with a guide, the local guide knows where is safe.

Read our tips and articles about the activities:

Stay safe on your holiday while enjoying the winter!