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.
More experienced drivers may even get to try a racer sleigh or hang on to a running reindeer on skis. The latter is a sport often seen at various events in Lapland – Arctic drag racing, for lack of a better term.
Spot Them Anywhere
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.
Reindeer live out in the wild and are rounded up two to three times a year. 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.
In just a few minutes, you can leave behind the hustle and bustle of a ski resort or a city and arrive in the peace and quiet of the wilderness.