What is the first animal you think about when it is about Santa Claus and Christmas? Needless to say, we are talking about the reindeer– Santa’s little helpers and companions. Locating on the Arctic Circle, known as Santa’s official hometown, with the harsh winter which is full of snow and ice, Rovaniemi has become one of the best homes for the reindeer as well. Reindeer herding has been an important tradition of the indigenous people in Lapland since the beginning of the Common Era. Let’s visit the reindeer farm there and learn more about this beautiful creature!
Our destination on this trip is a local reindeer farm. You will get to meet the real reindeer herders and their children- the real reindeers as well. There you will know about the professional reindeer herding- a way of life in the Arctic region. The image of Rovaniemi, Lapland is closely connected with the reindeer. You can see the reindeer image everywhere in the city from the banner, the local handicrafts as well as the daily utensils. Visiting these local farms, you will understand how Lappish people appreciate and protect the reindeer.
Watching these reindeer herders taking care of the reindeer, they will tell you how to train a reindeer the right way. These Santa’s furry helpers are very strong, they have huge antlers and can carry really heavy loads. Reindeer are semi-domesticated, and every animal is owned by a herder. There are around 200 000 reindeers in Finland and in Lapland, we have about 6500 reindeer owners. Take your time watching these beautiful creatures in their daily life, taking photos with them and love nature more.
After getting familiar with Santa’s friends, you will start your adventure, which is 1-hour safari with reindeer into the wild forest. Traveling on a reindeer sled is a very traditional way of traveling but very Lappish in Rovaniemi. Different from husky ride, reindeer sled seems more chilling. Despite having to hold yourself and be careful during the husky ride, you can just sit comfortably and calmly in a reindeer sleigh and lay back, filming the nature around and listen to the sound of the reindeer caravan under your feet. Reindeer safari is also the best way to feel the mystical winter nature of Lapland. The sound of nature, of the trees, the animals in the forest, the snow underneath your sleigh, the reindeer’s tambourines, they will all bring you to a peaceful world of the mind. The smell of Arctic herbs and pines will please your nose. The reindeer caravan will bring you closer to the mystical beauty of Arctic forests.
After the sleigh, there is nothing better than a hot drink with some snacks around the campfire with the reindeer herders. In Lapland, the reindeer herders are those, who live closest to the nature, they born in nature and grow up with it day by day. They will tell you many stories about the reindeer such as how the reindeer adapt to their environment and find the food from the frozen land. Interestingly, you will know whether reindeer will eat carrots like the one in Frozen movie or how to choose reindeers who pull the Santa’s sleigh 😉
At the end of the adventure, you will get yourself a reindeer driving license as a special reward for yourself. Now, get ready to meet these friends, they are very friendly!