The reindeer is an icon of Finnish Lapland, and there’s a good reason for that: the number of reindeer in the province roughly equals that of people. So, when in Rome… jump on a sleigh and ride them like Santa!
Reindeer sleigh rides are a popular way to get close to the fabled animal. Eco-friendly holiday activity at its best, the sleigh ride is not a tourism industry innovation, but an ancient Sámi way of getting around. Rides usually last from 10 minutes to a few hours. Speeds stay moderate, which makes them suitable for all ages. A reindeer ride is rather something of a spiritual journey; gliding through a snowy forest in a wooden sleigh IS that magical experience travel agents keep trying to sell you.
In Lapland, swapping the hustle and bustle of ski resorts and cities to the peace and quiet of the wilderness takes mere minutes.
Reindeer are semi-domesticated, and each and every animal is owned by a herder. In Northern Lapland, reindeer husbandry is still a major source of income for many. Twice a year, all reindeer are rounded up for earmarking and counting heads. Lasting for several days, the event definitely does not lack in action.
The Sámi are known for reindeer husbandry, and the animal is ever present in Lappish life.
A Day at the Races
Some people race cars, but up north we like to keep it environmentally friendly.
Lapland’s exotic charisma in a visual nutshell.
When in Lapland – any time of year – not spotting a reindeer is close to a miracle, as they often feed close to roads and dwellings. Spotting them while skiing is not unusual, either.
Going Back Home
Yes, the Internet has reached Lapland.
Some people just like real life socialising and treat “paying someone a visit” as an occasion.
Old Porvoo is one of Finland’s most idyllic districts. The cobbled streets are lined with old, doll-house-like houses and on top of the hill a white stone church looks over the river valley. Wonderful in the summer, magical during wintertime. Only one hour East of Helsinki.
We all have problem pigs in our lives, nasty little things that make us angry, tired or stressed out. But no problem, here’s a perfect retreat. The Finnish winter calms down even the world’s angriest birds, so it will surely work for you too.
Take a look at the geographical shape of Finland and you’ll see why people call her “The Finnish Maiden”. At the tip of her thumb is the only part of the country where peaks rise 1,000 metres above sea level. Nestled in those peaks you will find a tiny village called Kilpisjärvi, home to roughly a hundred year-round residents.
One of them is 25-year-old snowmobile guide Jussi Rauhala.