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10 Tips For Tromso Reindeer Sledding With Tromso Lapland In Norway

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If you’re finally deciding to tick off a huge bucket list and do the Tromso Reindeer Sledding experience with Tromso Lapland in Norway, look no further. We did this Reindeer Sledding & Cultural tour and we’re sharing our tips to help you prepare before booking it.

While Tromso is one of the highest places to visit on earth, and 350km north of the Arctic Circle, it only took us a couple of hours to get here from London. Funnily enough, Tromso is super popular for Australian and US tourists too, which doesn’t surprise me because it’s an adventurers and photographers wonderland!

After discovering the many things to do in Tromso, we quickly realised reindeer sledding with Tromso Lapland would make it to the top of our list for memorable experiences.

So, if you’re unsure about whether to do dog sledding in Tromso instead, here’s why you absolutely should book the Tromso arctic reindeer tour & cultural experience with Tromso Lapland which includes a traditional hot meal in a beautiful Sami tent.


1. Is reindeer sledding Tromso tour authentic?

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Animal experiences can always feel very hit or miss, especially when you wonder what the treatment of animals truly looks like. I wondered if this experience would make me walk away feeling guilty for contributing towards it.

But, to be honest, I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

This reindeer sledding tour is as authentic as it gets. The Sami reindeer herders are pretty incredible and you can see their way of life is so far removed from how we live in the West in an inspiring way. The way they connect with the mountains and the reindeers is super fascinating and a must see.

Plus, because we went on this Reindeer Sledding & Cultural Tour, we got to learn way more about the Sami culture and way of life which made it a really magical experience.

Unsure who Sami people are or anything about Sami history? Their culture has existed for 3,500+ years who live in the Arctic areas as nomadic people. It is said Sami people rely on fishing and reindeer herding to keep their culture alive by herding reindeer between the north and south depending on the seasons.


2. Chat to the Sami Reindeer Herders and you’ll learn a lot about their culture

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Tromso Lapland owner, Yon-ni showing how connected he is with the reindeer.

As soon as we went to our usual pick up point outside the Radisson Blu Hotel (definitely worth staying at for the convenience of being so central) we were met by a Sami local called Yon-ni (English pronunciation; Johnny).

He was wearing traditional clothing, had the clearest skin I’ve probably ever seen, and sparkly blue eyes that just radiates a warmth from within.

I asked if we could sit in the front of the bus with him, not only so we could see the views (at this time of the year in early December you have a small window from 10am-1pm of light to really capture the beauty of Tromso) but also so I could find out more about the Sami culture.

I quickly found out that Yon-ni is the owner of the tour company, Tromso Lapland and we were heading straight to his home. When I realised we were going to a Sami camp in Tromso, I knew the tour was going to be special.

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I have to admit, the drive out to the Tromsø arctic reindeer experience is full of jaw-dropping views as the bus weaved around the sides of the mountains. I was absolutely gobsmacked at how stunning the huge mountains are which encapsulated the scenery into a big bundle of beauty.

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Yon-ni told me when the Northern Lights come out to play, they light up these mountains and the whole landscape comes alive. I could just tell that there’s a lot of substance in this guy and many stories he could tell. If you have the opportunity, chat to his family when you visit and you’ll get much more out of the experience like I did.

His English is really good as he learnt it when he was 10 years old after a blind English man stayed with his parents after hitchhiking his way to Norway. He told me the story about how the man learned the Sami language in just three months after staying with his family, which is something completely unheard of.


3. Welcomed to a pink sky and ski-wear for the reindeer sledding tour

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Sami camp during the twilight hour.

So when we arrived after about a 40 minute drive, we were greeted by the wilderness, the peacefulness and absolute beauty of somewhere incredibly special which is his family home with traditional Sami tents.

If you’re wondering what to wear for Tromsø arctic reindeer sledding experience, you’ll have plenty of snow suits and boots to wear as soon as you arrive at the reindeer camp. Obviously wear warm clothes as it does feel colder than it does in the city. Bring good winter boots, but like I said, they will supply them for you when you arrive at the reindeer farm.

Before coming to Tromso, I really had no idea what to bring with me. But the good news is, you can read our complete What To Pack For Tromso Norway Guide where I share everything about how you can hire appropriate clothing when you arrive in Tromso like we did!

The one thing we especially loved was the pink sky. It was the first time since we got there that we had seen any kind of light in the sky and it was absolutely perfect to see amongst the beauty of the reindeer camp.


4. What to expect from the Tromso Lapland reindeer sledding experience

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Before we started the reindeer sledding tour around the property, it was awesome to watch the reindeer herding take place near to the Sami tent. By the time we got started, we were all led by a reindeer herder slowly around so you can easily take photos and videos of the magical experience.

This Tromsø tour is one of those pinch me moments while being taken around the mountains by a Sami guide. If you’re wondering if there’s a chance of Northern Lights spotting, the likely-hood is actually really slim. We visited between 10-1pm in November during the Polar Night and it was during the light hour. But you can book this Reindeer Sledding Night Tour which would be so so amazing and a definite must do!


5. Reindeer feeding in Tromso 

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After we finished the sled ride, we each took a bucket of food and walked into the reindeer pen to feed reindeer ourselves! Unsurprisingly, they were pretty chilled out and weren’t aggressive at all!

I really loved feeding the reindeer, it was probably one of my favourite things I did in the whole time I spent in Tromso. We weren’t rushed at all and spent enough time to take the experience in. I loved how calm the reindeer are to be around, and I loved the setting of the pink sky in the background. It was truly a beautiful experience.


6. Stepping inside the beautiful Sami tent for lunch

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After we fed the reindeer, we were taken into a traditional Sami tent which literally looked like Christmas inside. Imagine walking into a beautiful setting filled with magical lights. There’s a big open fire inside the Sami tent which will warm you up in seconds.

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Yon-ni’s family were very sweet and stole everyone’s hearts whilst they stood around the fire wearing their traditional clothing. The interior is so beautiful, covered in fairy lights and traditional wood for seating and tables. It was such a nice touch and completely unexpected.

We sat down and we given a delicious meal of reindeer stew and a cup of hot chocolate. There is a vegetarian option which includes vegetables and pasta which was still really good.

After we had eaten, our Sami experience continued as Yon-ni our guide Johnny returned to give us a talk about his Sami culture including their traditions and what clothing they wear at the reindeer ranch.


7. Tromso Sami culture talk

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We learnt that the Sami people are based in  Finland, Sweden and North West Russia but Norway has the largest population of 49,000.

Although there have been hard times for the Sami people, I learnt that before 1966, they had to change their names if they wanted to buy land because it was illegal. Thankfully times have changed so the Sami people can live in peace. They still have a lot of old traditions like preparing their food in winter for the summer and having up to 1,500 people at a wedding is normal in their culture.

Our Sami guide played us a traditional Sami song which is called a yoke song. It’s a song that brings out the personality of the person in a positive way sung in sounds rather than words. I loved how this tradition is still very apparent in their culture.


8. Have you ever HEARD the Northern Lights before?

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Yon-ni also told us that you don’t only want to see the Northern Lights, but you want to hear them.

He’s only heard the lights twice in his life and said they make the sound of your shoes cracking down on the snow, like someone is walking right next to you.

We all sat there in amazement because it was obvious no one had heard anyone say this before.

He also mentioned either October or March are the best times to be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights in Tromso as well. After about an hour of learning about the Sami culture and listening to Sami songs at the beautiful reindeer farm, we all got back on the bus to return back to Tromso. Even a city as beautiful as Tromso is, I just wanted to stay at this beautiful Tromso arctic reindeer farm.

This tour lasted about five hours and it was honestly the best things to do in Tromso. If you’re heading to Northern Norway to Tromso, I absolutely recommend pre-booking this reindeer sledding with Tromso Lapland and jump on the same tour we did.


9. Looking for more things to do in Tromso?

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With plenty of things to do in Tromso, you certainly won’t be lost for how to spend your time there. We spent five days in Tromso in total which I think is enough. Check out our Best Things To Do In Tromso Norway Guide to see our full list of experiences, but here’s a couple to get you started.

Obviously if you’re visiting during the Winter months in hope to see the Northern Lights, it’s going to be much easier to see them outside of the city. You’ll want to book at least one Northern Lights Tour because the chance of seeing them isn’t as easy as you think. The less light pollution there is, the easier it will be. Book the Tromso Lapland Reindeer Tour At Night because it would be absolutely spectacular to see it from the Sami camp!

We also recommend jumping on a whale watching tour because seeing Tromso lit up from the water would be an incredible experience and it’s highly rated.

You also might like to get book a Show Shoe Tour which is a totally different style of hiking around the mountains while you’re in the Arctic Circle!

And if you’re interested in experiencing the dog sled ride, spend the day on this super fun dog sledding tour.


10. Where to stay in Tromso Norway

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<a href=httphotelscombinedcomHotelRadisson Blu Hotel Tromsohtma aid=219917label=tromso packingrel=22nofollow22 target= blank rel=noreferrer noopener>Radisson Blu Hotel<a>

After staying in Tromso, we would have easily considered one of the following hotels because they were closer to town than where we were staying. I say this because walking up hills in the snow can be tricky, so I recommend choosing Tromso accommodation in the heart of the city.

  1. Radisson Blu Hotel is our top pick because it’s a stylish hotel, right in the centre of Tromso. It’s also the main pick up point for most of the tours (which makes it much easier than having to walk on the ice around town!
  2. Comfort Hotel Xpress Tromso – eco hotel in the heart of Tromso and just 1 minute walk to the main shopping street in the city!
  3. Want a good chance to see the Northern Lights? Book a night at the Ice Domes here which will really give you a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights as it’s in a remote area away from the light pollution.

Our Review of the Tromso Reindeer Sledding tour in Norway

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