I love travel. And I love animals, especially dogs. Great to combine both! Having a dog of my own is not really an option right now due to my intense traveling and busy job. Nevertheless I grab my chances cuddling other people’s dogs on any occasion basically. I just have a huge soft spot for those furry creatures. Getting it all with this husky ride in Finnish Lapland!
The possibility of going on a husky ride was actually one of my main reasons for wanting to go to Finnish Lapland. I was dreaming about this for years. To see those dogs in their natural environment, where they belong. Getting all enthusiastic when they can do what they are trained to do and what they obviously love to do! Dreams come true.
I try to include some sort of animal related activity in any of my trips, most often horse riding. Or snorkeling with manta rays near Bali for example. All very cool, but this one with the huskies through the snow was super special to me. Butterflies in my tummy when we got there!
After looking at several farms in the Kittilä area of Finnish Lapland near Levi, I decided to go for Rami’s. Excellent reputation, reasonably priced and obviously popular. When I booked mid-October it was the last spot available in the week after NYE! The dogs work only during the week, their weekends are “off”. After my reservation request by email, confirmation came quickly and clearly: we were going! Yeah!!
The ride to the farm is already a mixture of a fairytale and adventure. At the end of December the sun does not rise above the horizon in this part of Finland. Driving through this landscape felt magical, with everything around you covered in thick layers of snow and this special semi-daylight. While dreamily driving, we initially missed the exit off the 80 road. Shit! The fact that the sign was covered in snow did not help either… Oh well, thank God for Google Maps.
Burning flares, cute wooden cabins with fur, the sound of barking and howling dogs – is this heaven or earth? There are at least a hundred dogs at Rami’s, mostly Siberian huskies, who are very well treated and obviously love what they do. The dogs are very excited before the trip starts. Never knew how many decibels a group of dogs can produce together, wow! Don’t be scared, huskies have a friendly nature.
We entered one of the cabins, a pleasant warm fire was burning. Rami came in and checked our clothes for the weather condition that day. It’s essential to have the right, Lapland-proof outfit! I received an extra pair of socks and boyfriend Tom was friendly yet firmly asked to put on a special winter overall. Rami determined his jacket was too thin.
We were so thankful during the ride later on! After a few hours outside with temperatures of “just” around -5 degrees Celsius, my toes were starting to feel pretty damn cold. Imagine how they must have felt if I did not get that extra pair of woolen socks!
Let the fun begin!
Three other couples joined our group and we got a short instruction on what to do and what not to do. Each sledge has about six dogs in front, which are put together and prepared by the co-workers. What a job! The sledge has a fleece blanket and a piece of fur for your convenience. Otherwise your bum with turn into an ice cold Popsicle!
One person sits down on the sledge, the other person stands at the back of the sledge. At the back you must use your body to steer the sledge and push the break with your foot to stop and control the dogs. You also need to step off and help the dogs push the sledge up a hill, especially when the temperatures are not so low and snow gets a bit sump and deeper. You can switch positions half way.
When we drove off with the dogs, tears shot in my eyes. Goose bumps. An overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness.
Rami’s is actually the only husky farm holding a license that allows safaris into the Yllas-Pallas National Park. The park is extremely beautiful, almost unreal, like a white moon landscape with trees fully covered in snow. What an experience! Really a dream came true.
In the middle of the park, about half way the trip, Rami made a fire between the trees. Lunch time with grilled sausages, warm berry juice and Finnish style sandwich. Rami is a very kind man with lots of expertise and experience. You can ask him anything you want. During the ride, Rami leads the group by riding in front yet taking care of everyone – people and the dogs. An excellent guide you can trust.
Half a day later (23 km) we arrived back at the farm. Half frozen and a bit sad that the ride was over, yet so grateful. We loved every second of it and really feel privileged to be able to have this wonderful experience.
After the dogs got their snack, there is an opportunity to take photos. This may sound easier than it is in reality. Dogs do not care about selfies. Maybe I shouldn’t either. But they look just so damn cute!
Don’t want to miss any of the fun? Be smart and take my advice.
- Book early! As mentioned before, Rami’s is popular and quickly fully booked.
- Better confirm participation by SMS after you arrive in Kittilä area, or risk losing your reservation.
- Put on warm winter sports clothing and at least two pairs of socks. Believe me, you will get cold, especially when you sit still! Check out my special blog post full of Lapland outfit tips.
- Use Google Maps to find the right exit and entrance. Rami’s Huskies is in there.
- Payment: you can pay both with cash or credit card. For current prices check Rami’s website.
More fun in the snow
There are opportunities to go on a multi-day trip with huskies, traveling from hut to hut. Not in Kittilä area as far as I know, but elsewhere in Finnish Lapland for sure. Physical not so easy; lots of standing up, cold, wind, etc. but definitely a once-in-a-life-time experience.
Did you check out my earlier blog post about taking a ride with reindeer Tornado yet?! Also so much fun!
Check out my other articles at the Finnish Lapland Blog Post Archive.
I hope you found this article useful. Have you ever been to Finish Lapland? Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.
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