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The Best tips to experience the Sami culture in Lapland

Päivitetty: 26. syys 2018

Are you also trying to find the more authentic way to travel in Lapland and to discover unspoiled wilderness and the immersive local Sami reindeer herding culture out of the beaten path? If so, you'll know that it's difficult because Lapland is experiencing a huge upswing in visitors and finding authentic experiences can be more difficult as overcrowding is a global problem in tourism which is visible also in the Arctic circle.

When searching for more information online, you're bombarded with many options. It can be overwhelming and confusing. But there are a few things you should know before booking your next adventure in Lapland. This post will tell you what you need to know to make sure you select a right tour that will let you explore the culture of the Sami reindeer herders in a way that benefits the both - travelers and the Sami. If you are looking for a truly meaningful and authentic experience where you can indulge in your inner Robinson Crusoe (that is the goal we all have, right?), the best way to ensure you end up with an authentic experience is by looking for these things:

1. Avoid cultural appropriation in tourism as it is a concern. Engage with the Sami culture by making sure you choose tours and activities that are run or operated by the Sami themselves. Did you know that husky safaris are not part of the Sami culture and husky kennels are kept in Lapland mainly for touristic proposes? Instead, reindeer are the most important animal for the Sami and the base for reindeer herding husbandry which is still much practiced in the Arctic. For example, reindeer herding is a privilege of Sami people in Norway and Sweden.

2. Any good experience or tour should benefit the Sami people directly. Ask your tour provider how the money is spent and how much the local Sami will get by running a tour. This is important because responsible travel supports the local Sami people and let them earn additional income from tourism. Try to make bookings with small Sami owned micro businesses, including family and homestays.

3. Ensure that the experience or tour you are booking is as much sustainable as it can. The Arctic is very vulnerable to climate change as temperature changes in the Arctic have notable impacts on ecosystem structure and functioning. Increasing temperatures, declining sea ice and altered wind and precipitation patterns all affect reindeer herding that relies on seasonal patterns. Therefore it is important to choose tours that are sustainable and make an effort to preserve the nature and reindeer herding culture for the next generations too.

If you would like to experience the real life of the Sami reindeer herders, book a stay with Visit Natives and live with a native Sami family in Northern Norway. You can also participate in unique traditions such as the Sami reindeer spring migration or Sami reindeer calf earmarking period.

We hope you enjoyed reading this! Please feel free to check out the other articles about Sami tourism and Visit Native’s websites and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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