Alta is a sprawling settlement amid the surrounding wilderness of the Finnmark region of Northern Norway. Prehistoric rock carvings dating as far back as 4200 BC are its main attraction - there are around 6,000 of the carvings in total, depicting scenes of hunter-gatherers, reindeer herding and fishing, as well as boat building and bear worship. The Alta Museum provides the background story to this important site.
Alta is a quieter alternative to Tromso, but offers a similar choice of excursions. The cliffs of the Nordkapp (North Cape), mainland Europe's northernmost point, are one possibility and can be reached from Alta by cruise ship or self-drive.
Inland, is the Finnmarksvidda, a chilly and lofty plateau where Sami reindeer herders retain their distinctive cultural traditions and live a semi-nomadic way of life dictated by the movement of their herds. Also in the area is the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, rebuilt each year and constructed, inside and out, of ice and snow. Ice sculptures decorate the interior and guests sleep in ice suites furnished with reindeer hides.
Top itineraries in Alta
Norwegian Lapland makes an ideal winter break, whether you're looking for peace in a snowy and serene setting or an actionpacked holiday spent on snowmobiles and dogsleds on the hunt for the Northern Lights.
Top places to stay in Alta
Further north than Tromso and further east than most of Sweden, Sorrisniva is your gateway to Finnmark, Norway's most remote and Arctic region, and the icy snowy accommodation here makes for a truly special base from which to explore.
Set in the wilds of Norwegian Lapland, Ongajok is built in traditional Scandinavian mountain farm style. Expect huskies, log cabins and roaring fires with the majestic Nordic winter as a backdrop.
When to go to Alta
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