Dog sledding is an experience of a lifetime, and something we’d both wanted to do for as long as could remember. Whilst we’ve had our fair share of winter holidays, we’ve never visited quite the right place at the right time for husky sledding but knew when we decided to visit Lapland in January that there was no better time or place for it! Having visited Santa Claus’ Village in Rovaniemi and spent a night at the Arctic SnowHotel, the last part of our winter holiday was dog sledding at Bearhill Husky. There are a lot of dog sledding companies in the region and we took our time to research and find a company which essentially puts the dogs first. Bearhill Husky have a wonderful philosophy and ethics and are striving towards sustainability and responsible tourism. From the moment we arrived, we knew that we’d chosen the right company and that the dogs were incredibly well cared for. It was a magical experience that we will never forget!
We were picked up from the Arctic SnowHotel at 11am by the Bearhill Husky transfer. We’d chosen the Happy Trail Morning Husky Safari so that our full tour would be in daylight as we’d read that the afternoon tours sometimes finish in the dark and we wanted to make the most of the daylight! When we planned our trip to Lapland we thought there would only be a couple of hours of light, and that it would mostly be really dark. The reality was actually quite different! The sun rose around 10am and set about 4pm, so we had a good 6 hours of daylight and it was actually quite bright due to the white snowy landscape.
The drive to the Arctic SnowHotel was beautiful, everywhere in Lapland is just beautiful! BearHill is quite remote, and they recommend you don’t drive yourself, and we definitely agree with this! You’d have to be a very experienced winter driver to feel comfortable driving in Lapland. It was only €10 each for our transfer from the hotel and we were able to take our bags with us too as we were being dropped off in downtown Rovaniemi after the tour.
We arrived earlier than the rest of our group so took some time to wander around and take in the winter wonderland around us! Lapland is even more magical than I’d ever imagined!
We’d read that the weather could be anything from freezing to -35°C, and for our time in Rovaniemi it fluctuated between -10 °C and -20 °C. I honestly don’t know if I could have coped with anything colder, I think that was our limit!
Once the rest of our group arrived (there was about 12 of us) we were kitted up in thermal outerwear, boots, gloves and a tube scarf (which we could take home with us) to help protect us from the cold. We also had 3-4 layers on underneath as well. We were then given a safety talk and instructions about how to drive the sled. The staff stressed the importance of safety at all times for us, and of course the dogs.
It was time for the most exciting part, meeting the dogs! Bearhill Husky have what are called ‘Alaskan Huskies’ which are relatively unknown outside the sled-dog world! They are more diverse in size, eye colour and shape than their pure-breed cousins the ‘Siberian Huskies’ which most people associate as your typical huskies or sled dogs. The dogs were absolutely beautiful, so fit and healthy and my gosh were they vocal! It was amazing to hear how loud they all were, especially together and just how excited they were to be going sledding! They were all really friendly and the staff encouraged us to interact with the dogs, pat them and get them excited for their run!! We were in pure heaven, being dog lovers and missing our pup Joe back home!!
It was then time to go! Dan was our trusty sled driver and our dogs were pumped! We spend 45 minutes driving approximately 10km through pure untouched wilderness. It’s impossible to describe just how incredible the experience was, you honestly have to experience it for yourself and it is something we recommend to everyone! There was the two of us on our sled, with most other groups also having two, and one sled with two adults and two small kids. It was a pretty amazing experience to ride in our own sled! You stop half way and are given the opportunity to switch drivers. I didn’t trust myself to drive given my track record of holiday injuries so let Dan stay at the ‘wheel’! It was honestly the most surreal experience, whizzing through the snowy forest with the only noise being the dogs and the gliding of the sled on the snow. It doesn’t get much more incredible than that!
Once we arrived back at Husky HQ, we had time to play with the dogs a bit more and have a few final husky hugs before heading into the Yurt to warm up around the fire with hot berry juice and cookies! Yum! It was just what we needed after a few hours out in the elements!
Afterwards we spent a few moments taking in those last few memories from Lapland’s winter wonderland before getting in the shuttle where we were dropped off in Rovaniemi city centre.
We spent a few hours in Rovaniemi where we had lunch and stayed inside in the warmth before getting a taxi to the airport (because we couldn’t work out the Airport bus) and flying back to the UK for a few nights before heading back to Australian summer (literally the polar opposite weather)!
We paid €129 each as well as a €10 hotel transfer each, so in total for both of us our Bearhill Husky experience cost €278 (approximately AUD $445). We thought this price was really reasonable for transfers, the 2.5 hour program and all its inclusions! To compare prices, we’d looked at doing it in Iceland a few weeks earlier and it was over AUD $1000 per person!! We would wholeheartedly recommend Bearhill Husky for your husky sledding in Rovaniemi, they have a whole range of tours available and we can’t fault a single thing, we certainly hope to return one day!
For more information about Bearhill Husky and their tours, you can check out their website: https://bearhillhusky.com/