Reindeer, a symbolistic animal in the arctic circle, is also knows as Santa’s friend. That animal has been playing a big role in Finnish culture and nowadays is is probably the most popular animal in this cold beautiful region.
If you ever come to Finland during winter season, you might feel like joining reindeer sleigh. Here I want to share my experience in reindeer safari tour.
I joined combination tour with reindeer sleigh and Sami cultural experience. Sami people are indigenous people who have lived in the northern part of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia, also called Lapland.
Many people might wonder how husky sleigh and reindeer sleigh differ.
I would say Reindeer sleigh is more relaxing and go at slower speed in the trail. In other words, husky sleigh is more thrilling and you need to focus more on controlling them if you are in charge of driving.
As soon as you get to reindeer farm and meet reindeers there, you will see how calm and peaceful those animals are. Before the sleigh you will also have time to take pictures and feed them.
As I mentioned, reindeer sleigh is slower and more relaxing, which means that you can enjoy the view of Finnish winter sceneries.
After the reindeer sleigh activity, we were invited to the wooden cottage by the reindeer herder family who own the reindeer farm and are familiar with the biology of the animal.
They started by giving us this reindeer driving license (I have no idea where else I can use this license though ;p)
They also provided us hot drink and some Lappish snacks (cookies and bread) while explaining us the relationship between reindeer and Lappish culture.
It was very interesting to learn new things, such as;
- All the reindeers in Finland are under control of the government
- Each reindeer can be recognised by the mark made on the ear
- If you accidentally hit reindeers while driving a car, you need to call “reindeer police” (You don’t get arrested if it is an accident)
- All of the body parts have to be used without being wasted
In addition, it is also important to mention that all the products made from reindeer horns you find at the souvenir shops in Finland are the one picked up from the forests, not cut by people.
Other than the sleigh and hearing stories, there is another way to enjoy reindeer; eating!
Here in Finland, reindeer meat is quite popular among local people and you can try the various menus at local restaurants.
This is reindeer sushi that I tried in one of the Asian restaurants.
The taste is a bit similar to lamp, but it tastes much better if the meat is fresh!
If you like trying local cuisines when you travel, you should try!