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Activities
Martins World Group
Martins World Group

Contact us on 01246 220020 for a tailor-made quotation.

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Troms Region North Norway Sami Culture Activities

Sami Culture Activities

Sami Culture... the Sami are Europe’s oldest surviving culture. They inhabit the north of Scandinavia and their ancestral lands include Russia, Finland, Sweden and North Norway. There are around 100,000 Sami and 50% of them live in Norway.

The Sami have their own language, Government, Educational System and TV Station. They are a justly proud people who have managed well to retain their culture and identity and at the same time integrate well with European culture. Around 10% of Sami are still Reindeer herders, following the vast reindeer herds on their annual migration from central highlands in winter to the coastal lowlands in spring/summer. The cycle has been repeated for thousands of years.  To the Sami herders leading a semi nomadic lifestyle, the reindeer and freedom of movement are of critical importance, well recognised by today’s Governments.

The Sami are adept at winter survival, they are a close knit people who are extremely talented. Their art and various items derived from the reindeer, from dried meat to carved antlers and reindeer pelts can be purchased from time to time.

The Sami welcome respectful tourists and are a warm and hospitable people. The Troms region offers a unique opportunity to visit and interact with the Sami. Målselv is one such location and the White Spring is an ideal time. Here you can visit a traditional Sami Larvo (tent), drink reindeer soup, eat reindeer stew around a log fire, listen to Sami music and learn about their lifestyle and rich culture. It is possible to travel with them up to the high mountain plateau’s by skidoo and watch them feed and tend their reindeer herds. The reindeer live, feed and breed wild and are harvested only for what the Sami need. Its a careful and important balance that the Sami fully understand, respect and appreciate.

Music.. Many Sami are musically talented and a characteristic is the Joik, a melodious song sung with emotion, warmth, sorrow or anger. A joik can be sorrowful, joyous or mark a special occasion. Joiks can be dedicated to animals, birds or to special people. Musical instruments now often accompany a joik. Enjoy the Sami Experience at Målselv in the White Spring.

Sami Lifestyle Experience
Learn nature´s secrets from the oldest culture in Europe, the Sami, who still maintain their traditions and way of life as it´s been for generations. In Sami Culture Park in Reisa valley you can learn the way of Sami´s with your family. The Sami Lifestyle Experience gives you the opportunity to exchange your daily routine for a way of life, which revolves around nature, cooperation and above all, the great outdoors. This three-day experience allows you to spend 3 fabulous days as a Sami reindeer herder. You will live like a Sami, sleep like a Sami and eat the food of a Sami; reindeer meat, fresh water fish, and food from the Arctic. We will also stay tuned for opportunities for Northern Lights experiences and short snowmobile trip, which are free for our visitors if arranged.
Day 1 – Sami Camp – the art of Sami tent building
On your first day we transfer you from Sørkjosen airport directly to the Reisa Valley where our Sami Culture camp is located. You will be given a true Sami welcome, and then a full briefing before we equip you with everything you will need for a relaxing, warm and comfortable stay. Next, we will start setting up camp.

This will be your camp, the camp that you will be staying in, and the first part of your adventure. Sami tents are called “lavvo”, and the Sami have been living in tents like these for centuries. Your Sami guide will teach you how build a traditional, weather-proof tent that will make sure you stay comfortable and warm in the arctic climate. If you are travelling with children they will have fun setting up their very own mini tent; you never know, their tent may be better than yours. This is the way the Sami teach their children, they learn by having fun and by example. They believe that being close to nature and having an understanding of life beyond the classroom is a wonderful way to learn, and your children will think so too.

When the tents are ready, you will be taught about nature in the Arctic and the art of reindeer herding. Both lunch and dinner are served in the camp, and after dinner, you will be given your evening tasks.

Before settling down for the night, you will join your Sami guide and walk amongst the reindeers to make sure there are no predators close by. Northern Norway has Lynx, Bears, Wolverine and Eagles; they all love reindeer meat. Your guide will show you how to look for animal tracks, and once your herding walk is over, you will return to your tent and enjoy a comfortable and pleasant sleep by an open fire. You will sleep on reindeer skin and blankets made from sheepskin; you will also have a traditional sleeping bag, which will ensure that you stay warm.
Day 2 – Reindeer catching – the art of lasso throwing
You will start your day with a tasty breakfast in camp. During breakfast, your guide will teach you the principles of lasso throwing and catching a reindeer; today is the day when you will catch a reindeer on your own. But before you catch your reindeer there is practice and preparation to be done.

First, you start your training with a lasso on a reindeer horn, then, when your guide is confident you are ready, you will start a fence to keep the reindeers together. Once the fence has been completed it will be time for lunch and a pot of coffee boiled over an open fire.

After lunch you will accompany your Sami guide to collect the reindeer. Herding reindeer inside a fence is a great skill, but you and your guide are well prepared. Once the reindeers are inside your guide will prepare the lassoes, and you will catch your very own reindeer. This will be your reindeer, the one you will be responsible for during the rest of your time here, it will be yours to feed and care for.
Day 3 – Reindeer excursion – the art of using reindeers
You will start the day fully rested and raring to go. Breakfast is a time to talk about the Sami’s reindeer herding history, and how the Sami´s have been using reindeers for food, for work and as a calendar. You will also learn about the special equipment, which is used for sledding and carrying loads.

During the summer we enjoy hiking into the wilderness with our reindeer. They carry our food, clothing and equipment, and we walk with them. Our relaxing hike lasts around one hour, and then we stop and eat lunch in the Arctic.

During the winter, we equip our reindeers with a sled, and their drivers with a helmet, and then we go sledding in the wilderness. Reindeer sledding is quiet and relaxing, the reindeers follow a path at a gentle pace; it is an incredible experience.

After hiking or sledding you have time to rest before the dinner is served in the park. After dinner we transfer you to Skjervøy Hurtigruten harbour where you can freshen up before we say goodbye. From here, you will embark on the next part of your adventure a 4 hour cruise to Tromsø, the Paris of the North, where you will arrive around midnight.
Day 4 – The Paris of North
Today you can enjoy some free time in Tromsø. We recommend visiting some of the city’s museums and Polaria, the world’s most northerly aquarium. This will give you an alternative perspective to your time with the reindeer, and will help you understand a little more about life above the Arctic Circle.

When its time to return home, we guarantee that you will return with newfound skills and enthusiasm, and be prepared to handle everyday life and its challenges. This adventure is a wonderful experience for two or more people and is also perfect for families with children.
Accommodation – the stay in the Arctic of Norway
Staying in one of our traditional tents with an open fire and your reindeer outside makes your experience complete, however, we can also offer a heated modern tent, or accommodation in a hotel, hostel, or cabin. At wintertime we recommend visitors to stay in a tent with stove, just to make sure it´s warm and comfortable.

Each tent is suitable for groups of up to six people, and each party has their own private tent or room. If at any time you change your mind about your choice of tent, you do have the option of changing, as long as there is an alternative tent available.
Practical information
  • Your tent that will be equipped with everything you need for comfortable stay, but we will strongly recommend that you also bring your own sleeping bag.
     
  • We recommend warm arctic clothing as the temperature can drop to -15 during the winter. We have extra outdoor clothing available if required, but please come prepared with warm clothing, shoes, hats, gloves etc.
     
  • All daily meals and drinks are included in this package, which includes Sami cooking courses on how to prepare food from nature.
     
  • Transfers are included between Sørkjosen airport and Sami Culture, and the Hurtigruten ferry terminal on your return to Tromsø.
     
  • Accommodation in Tromsø is not included, however, we are happy to recommend hotels and hostels.
     
  • Children visit us for free in this package; we offer 1 free child place with each adult. Child ages are 11 years and under.
     
  • Children have their own programme in the park with a female guide.
     
  • Vegetarian meals are available; please advise at the time of booking.

Price £1210pp

Including two guides in three days, all daily meals in the park, tent accommodation (other options available), all activities, transport from Sørkjosen airport to Sami Culture Park, transport to Hurtigruten in Skjervøy, Hurtigruten ticket, and all camp equipment. Min. 2 persons Max. 6 persons

If group size is more than 6 persons, we need to be contacted to make price suggestion. We have learned that to be able to keep our quality level high and therefore customers happy, we need 2 guides at minimum and 1 extra guide per 3 extra visitors when group size gets larger than 6 persons.
If you would like to know further information on this activity please add to your travel plan tromsnorthnorway

Accommodation available for this activity

Sami Tent

Traditional Sami tents experience with an open fire, we can also offer a heated modern tent.

Målselv Mountain Village

Year round leisure and activity holiday experience.