Boasting attractions that range from the official post office of Santa Claus to hundreds of miles of snowmobile tracks, from saunas that end with...

Boasting attractions that range from the official post office of Santa Claus to hundreds of miles of snowmobile tracks, from saunas that end with nerve-jangling dips in ice pools to being made an honorary reindeer by a Sami shaman, and from competition-standard ski slopes to rides in dogsleds and reindeer sleighs, Finnish Lapland is truly a winter wonderland.

In the photographs below, we try to convey some of the beauty and variety that make Lapland such a special place to visit in winter ― especially as Christmas approaches and Santa and his reindeer prepare for their exciting annual ride through the night skies all over the world.

Santa Claus has his oficial post office at Taivaanvalkeat, near the town of Levi in Finnish Lapland. This is the desk where he looks at all the letters children send him to tell Santa they have been good and please could he bring them some gifts at Christmas-time

Santa Claus has his official post office at Taivaanvalkeat, near the town of Sirkka in Finnish Lapland. This is the desk where he looks at all the letters children send him to tell Santa they have been good and please could he bring them some gifts at Christmas-time

In Europe, the oficial post office and workshop of Santa Claus is at Taivaanvalkeat, near Levi in Lapland. These are the bunks in which some of Santa's elves sleep when they're not working hard on making presents for children

In Europe, the official post office and workshop of Santa Claus is at Taivaanvalkeat, near Levi in Lapland. These are the bunks in which some of Santa's elves sleep when they're not working hard on making presents for children

In winter, the trees on Levi fell create a beautiful, lace-like tracery of snow-covered branches

In winter, the trees on Levi fell create a beautiful, lace-like tracery of snow-covered branches

This is the view from the top of Levi fell in Lapland, in December twilight at about 2 p.m.

This is the view from the top of Levi fell in Lapland, in December twilight at about 2 p.m.

Sirkka is the official name of the town at the foot of Levi fell, Lapland's best-0known and largest winter-sports resort. This is Sirkka's winter market, situated right at the foot of the front ski slope

Sirkka is the official name of the town at the foot of Levi fell, Lapland's best-known and largest winter-sports resort. This is Sirkka's winter market, situated right at the foot of the front ski slope

Dogsleigh safaris are a popular wintertime pastime in Lapland and can be hired for anything from a couple of hours to a week

Dogsled safaris are a popular wintertime pastime in Lapland and dog teams and sleds can be hired for anything from a couple of hours to a week

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