Meeting Rudolf: My experience with Tromsø Arctic Reindeer

Slow Adventure – inspiring connections with the outdoors


Enjoy Paulina’s first hand account of meeting and interacting with these fascinating animals and the sami people who have lived with them for hundreds of years.


I was lucky enough to join the Reindeer Sledding, Feeding and Sami Experience with Tromsø Arctic Reindeer on one of my days off whilst working for Arctic Adventure Tours.
We were met by friendly guides at the pick up point in Tromsø city centre. Each guest was given a coloured bracelet, indicating which tour you had signed up for. We joined the other guests on the bus and took the short drive out to Tromsø Arctic Reindeer farm.

The farm is huge, once we arrived there it was easy to find peace and space to enjoy the views and interact with the reindeer without feeling crowded.


Our guides took us into one of the buildings with a cosy fire blazing. They talked through the schedule for our visit and a few basic rules. From this point on we had a lot of freedom to explore the farm. We were given a bucket with food in for the reindeer, which we were welcome to refill if needed.

The reindeer were standing peacefully in the large snow covered fields. The views were beautiful, and with so much space around you could find a quiet spot to feed reindeer one-to-one.


As a keen photographer, I was delighted to have a good amount of time to move around and capture some shots of the reindeer.


When it was time to join the reindeer sledding, we were paired up and given thick wool blankets to cover our legs. The sledding was a gentle and calm experience. The reindeer are used to following the sleds in front and are led by a main guide. It was a magical opportunity to live in the moment. Listen to the sled sliding over the snow. The breath of the reindeer and the views of the snow covered mountains.
After this, we were invited into the Sami lavvu for food. The food served was reindeer or vegetable stew. I had already read about the health benefits of reindeer meat, so was excited to try it. As expected, when prepared by the pros, the reindeer stew was delicious. My friend said that the veggie option was also great.
After food, our group was introduced to one of the family members of Tromsø Arctic Reindeer, who were dressed in full Sami traditional clothing. As we enjoyed the cosy campfire, they told us all about Sami culture, traditions and stories. It felt like being part of another world. I felt I could have listened to them talking for hours and hours! We even learned a Sami joik (song)! There was plenty of time for questions at the end of the session. I learned that Santa’s famous Rudolf was most likely female, as in the winter time it is only the female reindeer who have antlers! I really enjoyed this part of the experience, loads of fun facts and info which you won’t find anywhere else.

Overall I really enjoyed the freedom we had as guests at the farm to explore and interact with the reindeer. Each reindeer is different, and observing their behaviours and personalities was super fun.


For people who love ’slow adventure’ and immersive and mindful experiences this is the perfect tour. You get to observe these beautiful animals, learn about way of life of the sami people who have lived with the reindeer for so many hundreds of years.

Book your reindeer tour today, or grab a discount when you book our Reindeer and Dog Sledding package!