FIELD TRIP: HORSES, RIDING AND FARM ANIMALS IN TRAVEL AND TOURISM PRODUCTS IN FELL LAPLAND

Beautiful autumn morning of September 15th started from Kolari at 9am to the third field trip of Original Lapland project. This time we would visit companies in Fell Lapland area, in the municipalities of Kolari, Kittilä and Muonio. The theme of the tour was horses, riding and farm animals in tourism products and services. Tilausliikenne Olli Ltd.´s 23-seated bus was filled with interested entrepreneurs and business representatives all around Tornio River Valley area.

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When we traveled from Kolari to Levi, Leader Fell Lapland´s Project Manager Ms. Laura Hokajärvi presented project´s background and especially the horse and riding industry in Finland and Lapland. In addition, the participants were introduced to each other.

The first visiting target was Santa’s Cottage & Pet Farm near the travel centre of Levi. Our hostess Mrs. Anu Rauhala was waiting for us with her numerous domestic animals, including Jekku the reindeer, Kukka the finnish-breed goat, flock of finnish-breed chicken and hen, Lappish cow Hertta, Pinkku the minipig and also Sweden were represented by Gotland Russ pony.  In the animal farm, besides the animals, you can also do different kind of activities and Anu does also massages. www.kompiainen.fi

Our next place was located in Veitservasa, almost at the border between Kittilä and Muonio municipalities. Polar Lights Tours and Ms. Päivi Hiukka with her team offer a variety of horse or dog program services all year round. There was a handsome Finnish cold-breed horses and impressively clean and practical husky farm, where happy and energetic Alaskan Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and  Greenland Dogs lived. www.polarlightstours.fi

The tasty salmon soup tasted very good in our next location: authentic holiday resort of Torassieppi which is part of Harriniva Hotels & Safaris. We visited the cottages and the glamping Aurora Domes, from where we continued to old Lappish manor and the old reindeer farm, which dates back to 1847. Farm provided home to also Ms. Henni Kuusela’s Finnish cold-breed horses. Tunturiratsut is a company providing horse program services, offering year-round riding tours, long hikes and camps during the summer. In winter, the nature of Lapland can also be experienced on horse sleigh rides. https://tunturiratsut.webnode.fi/

We had an afternoon coffee at Konijänkän Kotieläinpiha in Äkäslompolo, near travel centre of Ylläs. Mrs. Miriikka Areva told us about the farm and animal care with 14 years of experience, and participants were able to try out riding with Miriikka’s big but gentle horses. Konijänkän Kotieläinpiha offers horseback riding services for all types of riders and horse lovers. Riding sessions are held in a gated field where competitions are also organized. Horseback riding and longer hikes are also organized in the enchanting Lapland nature. Konijänkä is open all year round! www.konijanka.fi

The last visit place of the tour was in Hannukainen, near Aavahelukka airport, in stunning sandy and pine tree landscapes, providing a great setting for shorter and longer riding tours. Ms. Virpi Pohjolainen’s amazing Icelandic horses are sure to be found for everyone. Ylläksen Vaellushevoset Ltd also arranges camps for different customer groups during summertime, and the riding ground of the stable also has special riding courses. www.yllaksenvaellushevoset.fi

Tour introduced to a wide range of tourism companies, which had the use of animals as part of a tourism service in common. Most customer groups consisted of both domestic and foreign customers, but perhaps it was a surprise that customers were not always just families with children but are generally interested in the local way of living and working with animals. Many attendees were impressed by the attractiveness of the places and made it clear that the next activity holiday was started to plan with enthusiasm. Thank you to the companies and the participants!

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