Reindeer are a way of life for many of the Finns living above the Arctic Circle in Lapland.
This otherworldly landscape blanked in snow with a roof of Northern Lights overhead is dotted with wild reindeer. A collective of families of traditional reindeer herders in Salla manages one of the last wild reindeer populations in the world. They also provide a number of ways for visitors to interact with and learn more about these beautiful creatures.
The Salla reindeer park offers many special excursions, ranging from reindeer-powered sleigh rides to midnight canoe trips to ice fishing and ice swimming (hopefully followed by a lengthy visit to the sauna!).
However, one of the most peaceful experiences is the easy and beautiful hike through marshland and forest to the reindeer park. The trailheads are located behind the Reindeer Park building and are self-guided - all of the hikes are stunning, but follow signs to the reindeer park to get up close and personal with the regal velvet-antlered creatures.
The “park” is actually a large fenced-in swath of forest, where semi-tame reindeer live their quiet lives. These graceful animals are comfortable with humans, and don’t mind you coming in quite close for a photo or two. (If you see reindeer outside of this area, do not approach them, they are wild animals and have been known to charge!)
Once you’ve gotten your fill of the outdoors and its flow and fauna, you can slip inside the exhibition hall and learn some finer details through the showcases use of taxidermy, vibrant photos, and audio nature sounds.