Think glorious white nights, expansive Scandinavian landscape and an extraordinary sense of adventure and you have Alta. This pretty town 375 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle is everything you expect from Norway. Despite Alta being located in Finnmark, Norway’s most northern region, the summer climate is very mild. This is largely thanks to its location on the inner part of the Alta fjord and the Gulf Stream. The fjord itself stretches for 38 kilometres in total and splits into two before pouring into the Norwegian Sea. View more
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Experience an adventurous E-bike ride to Alta Canyon (called Sautso in the Sami language), northern Europe's largest canyon.
Alta Canyon, E-bike ride, snack
After a scenic 1 hour drive to the E-bike base, you will be given a safety briefing prior to beginning your adventure to Alta Canyon. The electric engine will help you bike, so you can focus your energy on immersing yourself in the magnificent scenery around you. Along the way you will make photo stops and the guide will share stories about the nature and how Norwegians connect to nature, the slate production in Alta, and the Alta demonstration in the late 70's and the early 80's. Arriving at Alta Canyon you will be treated to a snack while you enjoy the beautiful scenery of the canyon, high waterfalls, mysterious marshland and lakes.
Combine a scenic drive to Alta Canyon with a visit to a Sami camp where you will be entertained and learn about Sami culture and traditions.
Alta Canyon, called Sautso in the Sami language, is northern Europe's largest canyon. The journey to the canyon takes a country road that follows a river through farmland and up onto the Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau. Along the way your guide will share stories related to the area, including the big demonstrations that took place over the construction of the dam and the "Sami revolution" that occurred as a result.
Dam Visitor Centre
Arriving at the dam, you will visit the center to learn more about the dam's construction and function, and see a film provided by the power company. Next, you will continue outside onto the 110-meter dam itself for a tour and photo opportunity, before rejoining your motor coach for a brief drive to an outstanding viewpoint over the canyon.
Continuing on, you will visit a Sami lavvo where you will be greeted by a Sami reindeer-herding family. Here you will sit around a central fire on warm reindeer pelts situated on the ground, and be entertained with stories about old Sami traditions and experiences, clothing, and modern life as a Sami. Your Sami hosts will treat you to some traditional tastings of reindeer meat and spiced cake, called Maze cake, and share with you their unique form of singing, called 'joiking'.
Visit the main highlights in Alta including the Northern Lights Cathedral, Borealis Alta exhibition and the Alta Museum.
Northern Lights Cathedral and Borealis Alta
After a brief sightseeing drive through Alta, visit the Northern Lights Cathedral, one of Alta's most striking landmarks with its unique design and symbolism that combines spiritual and natural elements. Learn about the architecture, construction and artwork both inside and outside the cathedral before continuing to the Borealis Alta, which is located in the lower level of the Cathedral. Here, you will find an interactive science exhibition that explains and showcases the northern lights in a fun and engaging way. Read and learn about the past mythology and present-day research into the aurora and participate in activities that help bring the concepts of the northern lights to life.
The Alta Museum and refreshments
The Alta Museum sits amid a vast and famous field of rock carvings, made over a long period from 7,000 to 2,000 years ago. This is Northern Europe's largest and richest rock carving site and was inscribed into UNESCO'S list of Global Cultural Heritage Sites in 1985. The museum has permanent exhibitions on the rock carvings, Sami and Christian religions, the Alta Dam controversy, the slate industry and the northern lights. Temporary exhibits cover a variety of topics related to life, nature and history in the northernmost part of Norway. Enjoy refreshments at the quaint café with a spectacular view of the Alta Fjord.
Even before the snow arrives, you can experience the fun and excitement of a Husky-powered transport!
Just a short distance away from the port, you will arrive at the Home of the Huskies. Your host will tell you the basics of handling the dog cart, a sturdy vehicle built for two with big off-road tires, spring suspension, steering bar and handbrake. Next, you will meet your team of six, ambitious Huskies which will pull you along the Alta River and through the nearby forest. The journey will give you plenty of time to enjoy the ride, the amazing power of the dogs, and the beautiful arctic countryside.
Refreshments and Huskies in a Lavoo
Back at the kennel, you will be treated to a warm drink around a fire in a traditional lavvo. Your host will join you to chat about the huskies and life as a dog musher. And of course, there will be plenty of time to meet and interact with the happy and energetic huskies.
Enjoy a visit to a Husky Home where you will get to meet and interact with these loving, energetic and ambitious canines.
Dogsledding is popular throughout northern Scandinavia, and it is especially important for Alta. The city is the host for the start and finish of the Finnmarksløpet, Europe's longest dogsled race whose 1000+ kilometre distance takes mushers almost all the way to the Russian border and back.
Huskies and Lavoo
After a short drive you will arrive at a sled-dog kennel owned by Eirik Nilsen, who has been racing dogs for decades, and competed in Finnmarksløpet 13 times (winning several times). The host will lead you through the dog yard and teach you about the equipment used in dog-sledding, and share stories with you about raising and competing with the racing dogs. The dogs are tremendous athletes and hard workers, but they are also very well-mannered and cuddly, and they love all the attention that they receive. You will be treated to a warm drink around a fire in a traditional lavvo and you will have plenty of time to meet and interact with the happy and energetic huskies.
Visit the small fishing village of Storekorsnes known as 'Sea Sami', and meet the local King Crab!
Storekorsnes, King Crab Aquarium
After a scenic drive to Storekorsnes, you will arrive at the dockside aquarium filled with king crab. Your local hosts will tell you about the crab, how they are caught and where they come from. You'll also hear stories of modern fishing work, life along the coast in days gone by and in the present. Meet the King Crab, hold them and take selfies!
King Crab Soup
Enjoy some King Crab soup and warm drinks while sitting in a tent around an open fire or indoor in the panoramic grill house.
World War 2 Walk
Before your return, your hosts will take you on a brief walk to discover ruins from World War 2, built during the Axis occupation of Norway.
This is a delightful way to see a different way of life, far removed from the bustle and hurry of the rest of the world.
Experience a day with the indigenous Sami people from northern Norway as you travel by traditional river boat and visit a Sami camp where you will be entertained and learn about Sami culture and traditions.
Maze, River Boat Ride, Lavoo
Just a short distance away you will arrive at the Sami village of Maze. You will be greeted by members of a Sami reindeer-herding family who will take you on an adventure in a traditional river boat. Arriving at the 'old church' learn the basics of the Sami alphabet before continuing on to the lavvo. Here you will sit around a central fire on warm reindeer pelts situated on the ground. Your hosts will treat you to a reindeer and potato stew called 'bidos', while they share stories about old Sami traditions and experiences, clothing, and modern life as a Sami. They will entertain you with a sample of 'joiking', which is the Sami form of singing.
This is a very unique experience allowing you to get up-close and personal with the indigenous Sami people.