Ráidu – Encounter the reindeer

Come and experience traditional Sámi lifestyle and the art of reindeer sledding with our dedicated guides in Jukkasjärvi. Help train, feed and race reindeer while learning about the importance these beautiful animals have to the Sámi way of life.Travel in a snowmobile-drawn sled through woods draped with hanging lichen and clad in snow to the Sautosjohka reindeer enclosure outside Jukkasjärvi, a winter camp that we use for reindeer husbandry.

Like many other reindeer herders, we are support feeding a part of our reindeer herd during winter to help them survive hard grazing conditions due to climate changes. There are adult reindeer and youngsters which you will have a close meet-and-greet with when we enter the reindeer enclosures and jointly feed them. The reindeer will curiously come, sniff at you and most likely eat out of your hand. You will see and feel why reindeer are the connecting link between the nature and our people.

The reindeer herder will also show you the art of lassoing. When some of the reindeer stags are caught you will assist leading them to the sled track where the reindeer will be harnessed. We still tame and train some of our reindeer to conserve the cultural Sámi heritage of reindeer sledding, and you are part of it! So now it is time to drive reindeer with a sled around a short track. You can compete with other drivers or just have a peaceful and quiet reindeer drive.

After the reindeer sledding part you will be invited into a lávvu, i.e. Sámi tent, where you will sit on reindeer skins around a sparkling warming fire whilst learning more about the indigenous Sámi people’s culture, history and our modern way of life. You will be served the Sámi signature dish suovas, which is smoked reindeer meat, fried over the open flames and served on gáhkku-bread with a dash of lingonberry jam. It is eaten like a wrap and tastes best with freshly boiled coffee sipped from a guksi, a drinking cup carved from birch burl. On our way back we travel along the frozen river Torne.

  • Lavvu

    Photo: Nutti Sámi Siida

  • Renkörning 1

    Photo: Nutti Sami Siida

  • ren

    Photo: Björn Wanhatalo

  • renkörning

    Photo: Katja Bechtloff