When I started planing this trip to Lapland, I was sure I wanted to do one special activity there. For a region where snow covers everything for most part of the year, there are so many things to do there… Cross country ski, snowshoeing, ice fishing… I can do a lot of these things in Switzerland too, so I wanted something special, something very related to Finland. I didn’t consider one of those northern lights tours. They depend on the weather and solar storms, so the chances to do one of those tours and actually seeing the aurora are not very high…

We visited a reindeer farm (you can see the photos here). We could have also gone on a reindeer sled in the farm… and I’m sure I’d had loved it, but the snow was falling heavily that day and it was cold, so sitting in a sled for a long time that day wasn’t very inviting… so what special activity could we do?

Dogs!!! Husky sleds are something very typical from Lapland too. And dogs are one of my favorite things in the world. So we spent our last day in Lapland mushing!!!

The day couldn’t have been better. Sunny and “warm” (considering that we were in Lapland), with a beautiful pastel blue sky. We woke up early and drove to Ivalo. From there, we went to the kennels, where the sleds were being prepared. We spent some time getting to know the dogs before our little trip started. They are beautiful huskies, but different to the huskies you meet in the city. These ones are smaller, stronger, not with the typical grey and white coats, but still gorgeous animals. Before we jumped on our sleds, the atmosphere at the kennel was incredible. Imagine: a hundred dogs barking and howling of pure eagerness. It was crazy!!! After the instructions on how to drive the sleds, we jumped on ours (my husband behind, “driving”, and I at the front, taking photos) and started the trip…

We went through boreal forests and frozen lakes for a long time. It felt more like we were flying in the magnificent Lappish landscape thanks to the tireless huskies. They are awesome animals! We stopped a few times on our route and it was quite funny to see the huskies jumping in the deep snow, eating it and getting eager again after a few minutes of a well deserved break, ready to continue pulling their sleds. After more than two hours, we stopped at a little cute cabin in the forest to have lunch by the fire, the perfect opportunity for me to take some portraits of the dogs and capture them in some of their cutest instants. Afterwards, we returned to the kennels, where we had the chance to play with the new generation of huskies 🙂

By the way, if you’re wondering, we did this mushing safari with Extreme Huskies, based in Ivalo.

Here are some of the photos I took during this amazing day! I hope you like them!!

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Posing


  1. They are beautiful and that puppy so cute! I wonder if they mind dragging people in sleighs, I mean I hope they aren’t worked too hard… 🧐🤓 Gorgeous photos as ever, Mercedes!!! Lucky you to get such a sunny day there!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Snow!! This was so much fun!! You have to try it!!!
      Ummm I love dogs and I wouldn’t do anything that I know that implies any kind of abuse. When we arrived we had time to take a look at the kennels… All dogs seemed well taken care of: clean, perfect fit (not fat neither slim) and strong. And all full of energy and eager to run!! Hehehe. The guide explained us that these dogs are actually race dogs that can run quite long distances for days. Of course, this implies that they eat way more than a normal pet dog, hehehe. We run like 25km in total. And it was super fun to see them in every break we made: they jumped in the deep snow at the side of the trail, ate snow and after a few seconds they were already pulling the sleds, even if they couldn’t move it because the break of the sled was fixed on the snow.
      I’ve always though that a dog with a job or a purpose is infinitely more happy than a city dog. And these dogs definitely have both! 🙂
      For me, the most intriguing thing was thinking how they can live almost outdoors always with such extreme winter temperatures… When in Madrid, with 5º you see dogs with coats and tiny boots… hahaha

  2. OOOO, amazing. Makes me wish to move right there and live and run with these dogs. <3 Gorgeous photos and you can see how happy they are.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a million, Manja. Happy you like the photos!!! This was one amazing experience indeed!!! It was so fun mushing through the winter forest with these incredible animals!! And they are so so cute and friendly!! 🙂

  3. What beautiful dogs and captured so wonderfully by you and your camera. That must have been an amazing experience!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Anne!! So happy you like the photos!!! The experience was so amazing!!!!! And it was also an interesting photographic challenge!! The harsh light didn’t make things easy, and the dogs run incredibly fast!! I had an incredible time just trying to capture all the experience… And then, making portraits of the huskies… I just adore them! Incredible animals, indeed!

  4. What an amazing trip! The huskies indeed look smaller than the one living in the city but they are no less beautiful 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us this unique experience!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Len! Yes, they’re quite different from the “city huskies”. These are Alaskan huskies, and they’re breed looking for endurance and strength instead of just “beauty”. But they are also gorgeous, with incredible blue eyes some of them!! Hehehe And they are, indeed, tireless! They can run soooo many kilometers. Stunning animals! And yes, it was a very unique way to experience the Lappish winter!! The best way to end a wonderful trip in the north! 🙂

  5. Oh What magnificent dogs! They love to run, don’t they? Fantastic photographs that capture their dignity, intelligence and power. Riding with Huskies was a dream of mine, I have yet to realize. Maybe one day? At least I can now imagine what it might be like, with your photographs. Was that cabin a private/public residence?

    • mercedescatalan

      Thansk a million, Amanda!! Yes, they’re amazing animals!! You have to try it one day, it’s magical the feeling of “flying” through the white forest on a sled!! It can get a bit cold, but it’s totally worth it 🙂
      Actually, I was feeling a bit bad after reading this week an article in Nat Geo about wildlife tourism… but then I remembered the eyes of these dogs, they looked so happy and well cared of! And they far from afraid of humans, they’re the most friendly dogs I’ve meet! And so eager to work and run… it’s really fascinating to see them!!
      Ah, the cabin! I’m not sure if it was property of the dogs owners or public… it was well equipped with tables and a chimney where you could cook and get warm and it was pretty new!! I saw a lot of cabins in Natural Parks in Lapland, where you could sleep and cook inside too for free, so I’m not really sure about this one… in any case, the experience of cooking our lunch and coffee there after the dogs race was something very unique!

      • That sounds quite idyllic, Mercedes and the environment totaaky unique. To take to the countryside with a ‘flying’ dogs team, staying at cabins in the snow, is my idea of an adventure. I could see it would be cold too, as you are not expending very much energy to move with the dogs doing all the work. Was it just a daytime experience or overnight?

        • mercedescatalan

          We did the longest daytime trip, 4 hours. We only stayed in Lapland for 6 days, travelling from Rovaniemi to Inari in the north, so we didn’t really have time to do a longer trip with the dogs… such a pity, I’d love to do something like that one day!! Just imagine, a trip like that and watching the northern lights during the night in the wilderness… it would be a dream!!! I haven’t done anything like this before… but we are thinking on start doing overnights in mountain refuges here in Switzerland this summer during our hikes. I now dream with photos of mountains, alpine lakes and stars 😛

          • I can imagine you would dream of this. It is so accessible for you, as well. Mountains at your doorstep. We have some hikes here with one or two huts to shelter, but the areas are much more remote and some hikers have died from exposure when caught unprepared for a change in weather. So I think an organized trip such as the ones you mentioned, might be the way to go for me. Something to look at for a future year.

          • mercedescatalan

            And I guess it’s not only the extreme weather, but also wildlife can be dangerous too there, right? That’s the great thing about Switzerland… there are thousands of kilometers of hike paths for every level and, if you don’t get too crazy, it’s easy to avoid the dangers that mountain weather can carry and there are not more dangers than that! I’ve never seen a place like Switzerland in this sense, where you can enjoy nature so easily!
            We usually don’t do this kind of activities in our trips, but the dog sled seemed a fun thing to do there in Lapland after a few days just hiking and snowshoeing… Winter limits the activities you can do so much!! Hehehe

Leave a Reply