Rovaniemi (Finland) is often referred to as “Santa Clause Village” – largely because there is actually a theme park with such a moniker (Santa Clause Village). So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can actually find reindeer in the area, and ride on a sled/sleigh, just like Santa.
We booked a combination trek with Lapland Safaris, which is one of the largest operators in the region, and highly reviewed on TA (TA Link). For about $150/person, the trek included a ~40 minute snowmobile ride, and a visit to the local reindeer farm.
We were given appropriate snow attires, and assigned to our snowmobiles – two to each vehicle. After a short debrief, we were on our way across the tundra and over frozen lakes. It was quite easy to maneuver, albeit a bit bumpy at times.
It was our first time seeing reindeer (they’re quite friendly), and the caretakers explained how the males go through seasons of losing and growing its antlers every year. We were then invited into the local shaman’s yurt, where he regaled us with stories by the warm fire and gave us hot coffee.
Afterwards, we were introduced to the sleigh-pulling reindeer, and took turns riding on the sleds. The reindeer pulled us much faster than we imagined! It was truly a great experience (certainly great for families) and can safely say that I highly recommend this short half-day trek to anyone visiting Rovaniemi.