A reindeer safari in Lapland is one of the most magical experiences to be had. It’s a peaceful, story-book experience that will certainly leave a strong imprint in your memory.
After the most wonderful trip to Finland, this has to be one of my favourite things that we did.
In this guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know ahead of booking a trip to a reindeer farm in Lapland. We’ll also take you on a virtual trip so that you can get a feel for the experience, and let you know what you need to wear to keep warm!
WHAT TO EXPECT ON A REINDEER SAFARI IN LAPLAND
Upon arrival, you’ll likely see many reindeer grazing in the nearby snow-covered fields. Instantly, you’ll feel a sense of magic as your inner child tries to pick out which ones look like they belong to Santa – which of course, the owner of the reindeer farm will tell you that they all do!
You’ll quickly head into a tipi or log cabin and huddle around a fire with your group. You’ll be provided with a warm drink such as hot juice while a member of the team walks you through how they prepare for the winter season. In addition, you’ll also learn some interesting facts about the reindeer. This should take around 30 minutes before you move on to the reindeer sleigh ride.
Following your introduction to the life of a reindeer, you’ll disembark the tipi or lodge and head towards the reindeers who are ready to take you on your magical journey through the snow-laden trees. Depending on your group size, you’ll find 4-5 rows, each with around 10 reindeer and 10 sleighs.
Once everyone has climbed into their sleighs, the group leader will guide the reindeer through the forest. At this point, all you’ll need to do is sit back and relax and enjoy the experience as your get pulled through the snow.
Overall, the reindeer sleigh ride lasts around 20 minutes and is utterly beautiful from start to finish.
Once you have arrived back at the base, you’ll have the opportunity to take some pictures with the reindeer and ask any further questions to the guide before heading to a feeding centre nearby. Here, you’ll be able to help yourself to the bucket of food pellets and hand-feed the reindeer.
REINDEER SAFARI IN LAPLAND FAQ
HOW MUCH IS A REINDEER RIDE IN LAPLAND?
It will vary by company, but typically this is £100 per adult and £75 per child.
ARE THE REINDEER WILD?
The reindeer in Lapland roam free during the summer months and are kept on the farm during the winter months – this makes them semi-wild. Most of the time, the reindeer find their own way back to the farm. However, if it is the job of the staff to herd the reindeer back where needed. The staff identify the reindeer by small shapes which have been cut into their ears at birth.
ARE REINDEER SAFARI’S ETHICAL?
This was a question that we had during our trip. As many of the reindeer return to the farm each winter by themselves, it gave us the confidence that they are well looked after. After all, why would they return if they did not want to?
Throughout our experience, the reindeers appeared to be well looked after and happy in themselves.
HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO GO ON A REINDEER SLEIGH RIDE IN LAPLAND?
There is no age limit to go on a reindeer sleigh ride in Lapland. The only requirement is that those under the age of 16 travel with a responsible adult.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON THE SAME TRIP?
The number of people on the same safari as you will depend on the company you choose to go with. However, having a lot of people doing this activity at the same time doesn’t really matter as much as it does with some of the other activities. We did this experience with a coach load of people and if anything, it made it more fun as there was a great atmosphere.
WHAT TO DO REINDEER EAT?
Reindeer graze on various different plants and grass all year round – that is, once they’ve dug through the snow of course! As mentioned earlier, they’re also fed pellets from tourists too.
CAN YOU TOUCH THE REINDEER?
As the reindeer are semi-wild, they do not like to be touched.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN FIT IN A SLEIGH?
Typically, you can fit the below combinations in a sleigh:
- Two adults
- Two adults and one small child
- One adult two small children
- One adult and one child
WHAT TO WEAR FOR A REINDEER SAFARI IN LAPLAND
During the winter months, temperatures in Lapland can reach lows of -40. As the reindeer safari takes around 2 hours and it is mostly outside, you’ll want to dress appropriately in order to get the most out of the experience.
Below is a list of clothes I’d recommend packing for a reindeer safari in Lapland.
You’ll need a good pair of thermals for your entire trip to Lapland. These NOOYME thermals are super warm and a really comfy!
- Thermal Jumper
A thermal jumper is an essential item for any activity which means you’re outside for a while. This Helly Hansen Base Layer is marino wool – a magic material that keeps you cool when your warm and warm when you’re cool.
- Wind-proof Gloves/Mittens
Even though you won’t be going so fast that you’ll need protection from the wind, you’ll need a solid pair of winter gloves or mittens. Personally, always go for mittens as I find they’re warmer. My exact pair are no longer available, however these Roxy Mittens are a similar design.
A snood is a great invention. It takes away the bulkiness of a scarf that constantly gets caught it your zipper and still manages to keep you nice and warm. This Heat Holder Snood is specifically made for freezing cold temperatures and is made from specific material that holds heat. I will never go on a snow adventure without one!
There is no point adding all of these layers if you’re going to let all of the heat escape out the top of your head! This cableknit hat that I bought ahead of the trip is lined with fleece and is one of the warmest hats i’ve ever owned.
Any snow boots will do the trick, however I absolutely swear by my Moon Boots for keeping my feet warm in cold temperatures. It feels like you’re wearing a pair of slippers rather than a pair of bulky boots and I love the style. Plus, I was the only one from my travel group who didn’t complain about having cold feet!
- Thermal Socks
Regardless of your footware, you’ll definetly need to pack a pair of thermal socks. These are even more important if you don’t own a pair of super warm Moon Boots!
With temperatures dropping to -40 in Lapland in winter, a snowsuit will be your best friend. If you’re heading to Lapland with a tour company then these are normally provided.
WHERE TO GO ON A REINDEER SAFARI IN LAPLAND
As one of the most popular things to do in Lapland in winter, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to booking a reindeer safari in Lapland. As long as there are tourists, there are excursions to a reindeer farm!
Some of the most popular towns and villages in Lapland include:
REINDEER SAFARI TOUR PROVIDERS IN LAPLAND
FINAL THOUGHTS ON A REINDEER SAFARI IN LAPLAND
To summarise, a reindeer safari in Lapland is an incredible bucket list activity that should not be missed on any trip to Finland in the winter.
Not only is it interesting to learn about the life of the reindeer, but it’s also utterly idyllic to be pulled through the snow by such magical animals.
As always, if you’ve got any further questions then feel free to drop a comment down below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for further information on Lapland, then the below posts may be of interest to you.
- Snowmobile Safari in Lapland / A bucket list adventure activity that should be on everyones itinerary for a trip to Lapland
- Husky Safari in Lapland / An amazing adventure through the snow and surrounded by insanely cute huskies!
- Lapland in Winter / The complete guide to visiting Lapland in winter, including best things to do, where stay & what to pack
Millie and Tom x
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