Excavations across Scandinavia have revealed hunting pits and stone carvings of reindeer, confirm that herding of reindeer has been used in this remote region since the Stone Age. As well as being an important part of the region's history, reindeer herding remains of the utmost importance to the area to this day.
The animals are raised not only for their meat, but their insulating hides and valuable antlers. Due to its historical, cultural and political significance as a form of employment, reindeer herding is reserved as an occupation for the Sámi people only across many regions of Scandinavia.
The practice of herding underwent a transformation with the introduction of snowmobiles, which allow herders to cover greater distances when gathering their dispersed herds. Reindeer herding would however not be possible without the maintenance of traditional knowledge that is passed on through the generations.Read more
The experiences that we offer on our trips have been designed to give you an important insight into this practice, allowing you to spend time with working reindeer herders at their farms in many cases and allowing you to get close to the animals.
Reindeer excursions are always popular on our trips, both for those looking to gain more of an historical insight and for those drawn by the 'magic' of these creatures that are associated with Christmas and cherished childhood memories.
Up close, reindeer are gentle, placid creatures and your excursions will give you a chance to enjoy them in their natural environment. The guides and herders are always readily available to answer any questions you may have and are keen to share their stories. You must never ask a reindeer herder how many animals they have however as it is effectively like asking for their salary.
Sleigh rides are also included on a lot of our excursions, which is a wonderfully gentle way to travel through your surroundings. Reindeer typically travel at a much more laid back pace than huskies, although reindeer racing is a popular activity in Scandinavia with reindeer being able to reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.
We believe strongly in the importance of responsible travel and try to promote cultural experiences such as these in order for our guests to get to know some of the traditions of Lapland.
Image credit: Antti Pietikainen