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Photo: Johan Ademalm

Lapland Sámi Retreat at the Reindeer Camp (Sweden)

Cosy, traditional Sámi accommodation with sauna and reindeer on the doorstep

    • Self-Guided
    • Easy
    • From £/cabin/night
    • Nov-Apr, 1-3 nights
    • Adults, Families (min. age 6), Groups, Solo

    Highlights:

    • Three traditional Sámi accommodation options
    • Suitable for 1-3 night stays
    • Choose different accommodation each night of your stay
    • Reindeer at the campa and sauna each night
    • An ideal option to combine with our dogsled tours
    • Just 20 minutes from Kiruna

Description »

An atmospheric and memorable stay steeped in tradition

Winter 2024/25: We strongly recommend booking immediately if you wish to travel for next winter, as availability is typically limited far in advance.

A stay at the reindeer camp, just a few minutes from the small village of Jukkasjärvi (the location of the world-famous Ice Hotel), is an ideal option for a Lapland winter experience, either as a stand-alone break or in combination with one of our multi-day dog sledding experiences in the area.

The Sámi are the indigenous people of Lapland, northern Norway and the Kola Peninsula, maintaining strong links to their heritage and traditions. The reindeer remain the living heart of Sámi culture today. The three choices for accommodation at the Reindeer Camp reflect these traditions in their design and decor.

Sami culture and reindeer herding

The camp has a strong focus on Sámi reindeer herding culture. Photo: Nature Travels.

The camp is a working reindeer corral with a very special feel. You are welcome to take part in the daily reindeer feeding for close encounters with these beautiful and iconic animals.

Choose from Forest Cabin, Lávvu or Goahti accommodation

There is a choice of overnight accommodation for your stay. Whichever you choose, the reindeer enclosure is just a few metres from your door.

We recommend this experience for durations of 1-3 nights. If you're staying more than one night, why not try one night in each of the options?

  • Option 1 - Forest Cabin: Inspired by the cabins used by reindeer herders when tending their reindeer in the mountain birch forests, these cabins offer simple but comfortable and cosy accommodation for 2-3 adults (or a family of 4) per cabin. Each cabin has a wood-burning stove and also electric heater. Here you will sleep in modern beds with bed linen.
Forest Cabin at the Reindeer Camp

The Forest Cabin offers simple comfort and modern facilities. Photo: Corey Muntz.

  • Option 2 - Lávvu: A traditional canvas, tipi-style tent inspired by the tents used when moving with the reindeer herds. Sleep in warm thermal sleeping bags on a bed of birch twigs and reindeer skins for a true Lapland overnight experience! A wood-fired stove keeps out the winter chill (though you'll need to keep it fed during the night!) and makes the lávvu cosy and welcoming (we recommend max. one night here).
Lávvu at the Reindeer Camp

For the adventurous, try the Lávvu! Photo: Corey Muntz.

  • Option 3 - Goahti: A more modern structure, the goahti is a rigid wooden tipi used by the Sámi for stays at a fixed location. Raised above the ground with a wooden floor, you will sleep in modern beds with bed linen. The goahti is insulated, equipped with eco-toilet with wash basin, a sofa for seating and heated with wood-burning stove.
Goahti at the Reindeer Camp

The Goahti offers the unique feel of winter camping but some added modern luxuries. Photo: Corey Muntz.

Enjoy the flavours of Lapland and sauna in the evening

For all options, one-course dinner and breakfast is included for each night's stay. Meals are served in the communal dining cabin, which also offers a central area to socialise, purchase drinks or extra light meals, relax and (if you need to!) warm up at any time.

Meals are prepared from local ingredients wherever possible and will typically feature traditional dishes from Lapland, including moose, reindeer, arctic char and cloudberries (special dietary options are also available - must be advised in advance).

Also included each evening is wood-fired sauna at the camp - a wonderful winter experience and a great way to keep an eye out for a spectacular display of the Northern Lights above. Who knows? - you may even feel brave enough for a roll in the snow after heating up in the sauna!

If required, warm winter outer clothing (snowmobile suit, boots, hat and gloves) are also included for your stay to ensure you're warm and comfortable.

Reindeer at the camp

You're never far from a reindeer at the Reindeer Camp. Photo: NSS.

A range of options for activities during your stay

You may just want to soak up the atmosphere (and feed the reindeer of course!), but if you're looking for activities during your stay, there is plenty to do:

  • Use of "forest skis" (traditional-style cross country skis), snowshoes and kicksleds is included for self-guided tours in the surrounding area. Venture into the forest or make your way onto the frozen Torne river to create your own adventure.
  • The Ice Hotel and Sámi Cafe and Museum are both within easy walking distance (approx. 3km) and are popular options for daily excursions (entrance charges apply locally). You don't need to stay at the Ice Hotel to visit there - a day visit gives you the chance enjoy and marvel at the rooms with their sculptures created afresh each winter and with ever-changing themes and motifs. Sámi Cafe and Museum offers a good spot for coffee, snacks or lunch around the fire in the cosy cafe building, combined with a chance to learn more about the S&accute;mi culture and way of life. The shop there sells local handicrafts. There are reindeer corralled at the Museum which you are welcome to visit and feed, and guided tours are available.
  • Reindeer Encounter and Sámi Experience is an ideal option for an afternoon activity taking place at the Reindeer Camp, when you will learn more about Sámi culture and heritage and the life of a reindeer herder.

 ...

Itinerary »

If combining with one of our dogsled tours, transfer between the Reindeer Camp and the dogsled kennels is included with your dogsled tour (depending on whether you are staying at the Reindeer Camp before or after your tour) if you are going directly between the two (that is, not visiting other attractions/locations in between). The optional transfers for the Reindeer Camp may therefore only be required on either arrival or departure.

Arrival

Check-in to your accommodation is from 15.00.

If you require one of the transfers available as an optional extra, timings and details are as follows:

  • From Kiruna Stadshustorget or New City Centre at 15:00.
  • From Ice Hotel main reception (or the Sámi Musuem if visiting there) at 15:30.

Arrival transfers are not available from Kiruna airport or train station. Guests should travel independently into Kiruna town or to the Ice Hotel for pick-up as above.

Departure

Please check out of your accommodation by 11.00.

If you require one of the transfers available as an optional extra, timings and details are as follows:

  • To Ice Hotel main reception (or the Sámi Musuem if visiting there), Kiruna airport, Kiruna train station, Kiruna tourist information centre and Kiruna new city centre at 11:00.

Dates & Prices»

Dates 2024/25

Stays offered daily from 6th November to 14th April, including Christmas and New Year.

This experience is ideal for stays of 1-3 nights. If staying more than one night, you are welcome to book a different accommodation option for each night. Option 3: Lávvu is recommended for one night only.

The Northern Lights are visible from around September to early/mid April. The deep midwinter period of November-January offers the longest hours of darkness, which is of course required for the Northern Lights to be visible, while the "spring winter" of March and April offers longer hours of daylight and typically milder temperatures. The Northern Lights can be visible at any time during this period, including during March to mid-April. While March and April have shorter nights, on the other hand these months can also have a greater incidence of clear skies.

Prices 2024/25

Prices are based on 2 persons sharing, please see below for single supplement.

Standard Prices  
Option 1: Forest Cabin  
Per cabin/night (as 2 adults)GBP
3rd adult in cabinGBP
Per child aged 3-12 (when sharing with 2 adults)GBP
Single occupancy/nightGBP
  
Option 2: Lávvu (traditional tipi) 
Per lávvu/night (as 2 adults)Not offered for 2024/25
Single occupancy/nightNot offered for 2024/25
  
Option 3: Goahti (modern tipi)  
Per goahti/night (as 2 adults)GBP
Single occupancy/nightGBP
Optional extras 
Arrival transfer from Kiruna Stadshustorget or New City Centre (per person, one way)GBP
Arrival or departure transfer to/from Ice Hotel or Sami Museum (per person, one way)GBP
Departure transfer to Kiruna Airport, Train Station or New City Centre (per person, one way)GBP
  • Transfer to/from Kiruna*: Arrival transfers are offered from Kiruna Stadshustorget or New City Centre only. Departure transfers are offered to Kiruna Airport, Train Station or New City Centre.
  • Transfer to/from Ice Hotel*: If you are visiting or staying at the Ice Hotel before or after your stay, transfers between the Reindeer Camp and the Ice Hotel (or the Sámi Museum if visiting there) are offered in connection with arrival or departure.

*Transfers are offered at fixed times. Please see under "Itinerary" for details. Depending on your travel timings and the number of persons in your party, you may prefer to arrive/depart by taxi, which is straightforward to arrange independently. Please contact us for details.

What's Included »

Included

Accommodation Option 1: Forest Cabin

  • Wooden cabin with Sámi design inspired by reindeer herders' cabins and decorated with elements from Sámi culture and the landscapes of Lapland.
  • One large room, 20 square metres with double bed (1.6 x 2m), wood-fired stove, electric radiators, fridge, chairs and table.
  • Four of the five cabins also have a sofa bed (1.6 x 1.8m) for additional adult or 1-2 children (aged 6-12).
  • Bed linen and towels provided.
Forest Cabin Accommodation at the Reindeer Camp

Option 1: Forest Cabin accommodation. Photos: (clockwise from top left): J. Ademalm, C. Muntz, H. Utsi, C. Pingi.

Accommodation Option 2: Lávvu (traditional tipi)

  • A conical tent with long wooden poles meeting at the top.
  • Sleep on a base of birch branches covered with reindeer skins..
  • Heated with wood-burning stove and lit with oil lamp.
  • An inner tent protects against condensation and provides extra insulation.
  • Thermos for hot drinks provided.
  • Warm winter sleeping bag, liner and towels provided.
L&accute;vvu Accommodation at the Reindeer Camp

Option 2: Lávvu (traditional tipi) accommodation. Photos: C. Muntz.

Accommodation Option 3: Goahti (modern, wooden tipi)

  • Area 20 square metres. The goahti has one-metre high, insulated outer walls, topped with long wooden poles covered with canvas. The floor is insulated and raised above the ground.
  • Integral small eco-toilet and hand basin.
  • Sleep in double bed (1.4m x 2m).
  • Sofa, chairs and table.
  • Heated with wood-burning stove.
  • Bed linen and towels provided.
Goahti Accommodation at the Reindeer Camp

Option 3: Goahti (modern, wooden tipi) accommodation. Photos: (clockwise from top left): NSS (1), C. Muntz (2-4).

Facilities (all accommodation options):

  • WC, shower and changing room (separate male/female), wood-fired sauna (mixed) and dining/socialising area with sofas and armchairs.
  • Facilities are located in communal buildings a few metres from the accommodation.

Meals (all accommodation options):

  • Breakfast and one-course dinner, served in the communal dining area.
  • Additional light meals, hot drinks, beer and wine can be purchased from the dining area during your stay.

Equipment and Activities:

  • Use of snowshoes, simple cross country skis and sleds for self-guided activities in the surrounding area.
  • Warm winter outer clothing (thermal outer suit, hats, gloves and boots) available to borrow during your stay if required.

Not Included

  • Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Getting There" for general travel information.
  • Transfer on arrival or departure (see "Prices > Optional extras").
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase).
  • Meals except as outlined above (available to purchase).
  • Additional activities (available to book as optional extras).

Good To Know »

Required

Health requirements/experience:

General good health. Minimum age 6 years. If choosing Option 2 (lávvu), we recommend you have previous experience of camping and the outdoors.

What makes this "Easy"?

There is great flexibility to make your stay as relaxing or active as you wish. Any activities are optional, but most guests will choose at least some optional activities during their stay, whether self-guided or guided. The level of challenge of these activities will vary.

The stay is catered, with breakfast and dinner included and additional light meals available to purchase on site.

NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.

Equipment/clothes needed:

For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's Included".

A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.

NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.

Preparing for your trip:

For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.

Minimum number:

While most commonly chosen by persons travelling with one or more companions, this experience is also suitable for solo travellers (standard prices are based on two persons sharing - see "Prices" for details of single occupancy).

Combine This With

This experience is a very good option for stays before and/or after any of our dogsled tours in the area, all just 15 mins by included transfer from the Reindeer Camp:

Reindeer Encounter and Sámi Experience is also an ideal option for an afternoon activity during your stay at the Reindeer Camp, taking place at the same location.

Groups

This experience is very suitable for groups. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Eco Info

This provider has a written environmental policy.

Getting There »

Getting There

See below for a summary of travel options. To learn more about how to travel to this experience, please get in touch!

Detailed information on travel will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.

NB: Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.

Travel Summary:

By Air:

Fly to Stockholm then onward to Kiruna by night train or domestic flight connection. Transfer from Kiruna is available as an optional extra.

Without Flying:

Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections as above.

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