- Close encounter with reindeer
- Ideal combination with our dogsled tours
- Just 20 minutes from Kiruna
- Ideal for adults or families
- Long season November to late March
- Traditional lunch included
NB: Although included in our "dog sledding" category, this experience has no dog sledding component, but rather makes an excellent add-on activity to any of our dogsled tours in the Kiruna area. While the landscape of northern Sweden is ideal for dog sledding, the Sámi have never used dogs as a traditional mode of transport and it is the reindeer that forms the basis of Sámi culture.
A great option to combine with one of our dogsled tours in the area
This activity gives you the opportunity to get "up close and personal" with the reindeer at the corral, including feeding the calves, trying your hand at the traditional lassoing technique and trying a short reindeer sled ride on the track at the camp.
Just a few minutes from the small village of Jukkasjärvi, the location of the world-famous Ice Hotel, this is an ideal option for a Lapland winter experience, either in combination with one our dog sledding experiences in the area as an extra activity for your arrival or departure day, or as a stand-alone option if staying locally.
The reindeer are central to Sámi culture. Photo: Resy van Beek.
Meet the Sámi and the reindeer which are the heart of Sámi culture
You start by travelling along the frozen Torne river to reach the reindeer enclosures by snowmobile-drawn sleds. Once you have arrived at the reconstructed Sámi camp you will learn about the importance of these animals, which connect the Sámi with nature.
Your guide will introduce you to the culture of the Sámi and the life of a working reindeer herder. After meeting the reindeer, lunch is served in the Sámi lavvu (tipi). Sitting around the fire on a warm base of reindeer skins is a magical experience and the perfect setting to learn more about Sámi culture from your guide, while a traditional lunch is served of coffee and "suovas", the Sámi national dish of smoked reindeer (vegetarian alternative is available on request - must be advised in advance).
Reindeer sledding was the traditional mode of transport for the Sámi, though snowmobiles are used today. Photo: Nature Travels.
The Ice Hotel, a Sámi cafe and Sámi museum are within easy walking distance (approx. 3km) and are popular options for additional activities (charges apply payable locally for entry to the Ice Hotel).
This experience is suitable for all ages and ideal for those wishing to learn about the importance of these beautiful animals to the Sámi way of life.
Tours start with pick up from local accommodation in Kiruna or the Tourist Information Office at 13.00, or from the Ice Hotel at 13.30.
After your tour you will be transferred to the Ice Hotel around 17.20, to your local accommodation or the Tourist Information Office in Kiruna around 17.45 or to Kiruna train station around 18.00.
Tours are offered daily between 16th November and 4th April (except 24th December).
Tours are offered daily between 8th November and 10th April (except 24th December).
Prices 2020/21 and 2021/22
Winter 2020/21 season:
- Low Season rates apply for tours between 16.11-30.11.20, 07.01-31.01.21 and 01.03-04.04.21.
- High Season rates apply for tours between 01.12.20-06.01.21 and 01.02-28.02.21 (except 24th December).
Winter 2021/22 season:
- Low Season rates apply for tours between 08.11-30.11.21, 07.01-31.01.22 and 01.03-10.04.22.
- High Season rates apply for tours between 01.12.20-06.01.22 and 01.02-28.02.22 (except 24th December).
What's Included »
- All necessary equipment during the experience.
- Warm winter clothing: snowmobile suit, warm hat, gloves, boots and helmet.
Lunch of fried smoked reindeer meat with flat bread and lingonberry jam. Lingonberry juice and tea/coffee.
Special dietary options (vegetarian, etc) are available if pre-arranged. Please advise dietary requirements in advance.
Transfer is included to/from Kiruna or the Ice Hotel at fixed times. See under "Itinerary" for details.
- 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.
- Alcoholic drinks.
Good To Know »
General good health and fitness. Suitable for all ages.
What makes this "Easy"?
As a short experience with a limited active component, this tour is suitable for a very wide range of participants. Guests should be able to sit comfortably on reindeer skins on the ground in the lavvu.
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.
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.
Combine This With
This experience makes a good combination with the following:
- Aurora Lodge Escape in Lapland (4 or more days, one hour by transfer)
- Discover Dog Sledding in Lapland (4 days, 15 mins by transfer)
- Dog Sledding and Winter Camping on the King's Trail (8 days, 15 mins by transfer)
- Husky Mountain Expedition in Lapland (8 or 12 days, 15 mins by transfer)
- Northern Lights Dog Sledding in Lapland (8 days, 15 mins by transfer)
- One-day and Overnight Husky Tours in Kiruna (1-2 days, 15 mins by transfer)
Maximum groups size is 16 persons
This tour has no minimum and is guaranteed to run from the first booking.
This host has received a prestigious Swedish Ecotourism award for commitment to high standards to cultural and environmental sensitivity.
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.
Fly to Stockholm then onward to Kiruna by night train or domestic flight connection. Transfer is included to/from Kiruna or the Ice Hotel at fixed times. See under "Itinerary" for details.
Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward train connections to Kiruna.
Gallery & Reviews »
"I loved the Sami reindeer and Lavvu experience. Our guide was a tour de force: so enthusiastic and passionate, communicating well and looking after us all brilliantly. Top marks." Caroline, who combined the Reindeer Encounter with Discover Dog Sledding in Lapland, February 2020
"Dog sledding and reindeer sledding was amazing. Experience of Sami culture and history powerful. Loved it. Thanks for helpful service and great experience" Lisa, who combined the Reindeer Encounter with One-day and Overnight Husky Tours in Kiruna, December 2019