Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Finnmark)


The Lapland Norway It is located in the north of the country, specifically in the region of Finnmark. It is a very remote and unpopulated place, so much that it hosts the most northern point of Europe, the famous North Cape. Although many do not know him for that detail, it is perhaps more recognized for hosting the largest community of Samis from all over Scandinavia.

But Norwegian lapland or Norwegian Artica, as it is also known, encompasses many more things. It is ideal for observing Aurora borealis between September and April or the curious midnight sun the months of June to August. It is also perfect for practicing many mountain-related activities such as hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice climbing and of course, everything related to skiing.

Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Finnmark)

Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Arctic Norway)

Winter or spring is from my point of view the best time to visit it. The landscapes are dyed white to the same coast and the number of activities grows exponentially. This does not indicate that the summer is a bad time, only that the attractiveness is different and the feeling of inhospitable place decreases.

Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Finnmark)

Our route began in high, the most important city of Finnmark. This is reached from Oslo by plane and from there the ideal is rent a vehicle and make the route. There are public transport options, but the mobility they offer is reduced and in winter they can suffer delays and even cancellations.

Finnmark route

At the same airport in Alta we rent a vehicle prepared for the Norwegian winter weather conditions. These are standard with studded tires and optionally they provide you with chains to overcome the most fearsome obstacles. In summer, however, none of this is needed and all roads are open, especially between the months of July and September.

Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Finnmark)

The idea was to start directly from high until Kautokeino, a journey of less than 2 hours and 130km that finally becomes 3 hours if we stop along the way to take advantage of the magnificent views. In summer we would not have done it directly, since we would surely stop at the high canyon to make a 12km route highly recommended. This

1 Kautokeino

From Alta you take a road to the south, bordering the Altaelva River (Alta), passing through narrow canyons to finish in the vast plains of the tundra.

Norwegian Lapland route from Alta (Finnmark) - Kautokeino

Kaitokeino It is a very small town, with just 3000 inhabitants which is cut in two by the Altaelva river. In it lives one of the largest Sami communities in the country and just take a walk to check it out. Its surroundings are full of numerous herds of reindeer that camp there in the colder months, before moving them to the coast.

Norwegian Lapland route from Alta (Finnmark) - Samis

Kautekeino was the place chosen to visit a Sami community, where a couple of shepherds came to pick us up on a snowmobile and took us to the pastures where they camp with their reindeer. A very good opportunity to know their culture and their ancestral way of life.

There is also a very curious building that houses a jewelry size Sami style that exports to many countries in the world and has several stores throughout Norway. Only the building and its location deserve a visit.

Click here for more information on Sami communities in Arctic Norway.

2 Karasjok

128km separate Kautokeino from Karasjok. This journey in the deepest part of Norwegian lapland is perhaps a bit more boring than the previous one, but we had a trigger that changed this opinion. The numerous reindeer herds Serengeti style.

Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Finnmark)

Karasjok it is the symbolic capital of the Samis and location of parliament of the Samis. This is open to the public and can be visited at no cost during the day. They also have one of the most important Sami culture museums.

Norwegian Lapland Route from Alta (Finnmark) - Sami Parliament

As an activity in the area we made a route of snow rackets. We were in the month of April and there was 50cm of snow more ... than in previous years. One last.

Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Finnmark)

Although the highest point of the day was the observation of northern lights. Even in the month of April, when the nights are very short and some clarity begins to be noticed in the sky, it is possible to enjoy them.

Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Finnmark)

More information in our article snowshoes in Karasjok.

3 Journey to Alta from Karasjok

To return to Alta, the fastest thing is to do it by backtracking via Kautokeino, but as we knew the road, we decided to do it in a north directionPorsanger fjord. A fjord that freezes until April and leaves us beautiful prints like the one below.

Norwegian Lapland route from Alta (Finnmark) - Porsanger Fjord

There the reindeer come down to suck ice cubes of salt water while human beings make home life waiting for better days. Even so, everything remains open and when the day dawns sunny, everyone goes to the mountains to enjoy winter sports.

Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Finnmark)

After leaving the Porsanger Fjord, the road rises above 300 meters through beautiful mountain landscapes and very steep roads. Driving through this area without studded tires seems impossible, at least for 40 kilometers.

Route through Norwegian Lapland from Alta (Finnmark)

4 High

Alta is one of the most important cities in the country, but that is not why it is the capital of the Norwegian lapland. Vadsø It is the capital of Finnmark. Because of its size, many things can be done, such as visiting the auroras museum or its cathedral (2013) dedicated to them. A modernist building that is surrounded by ice sculptures in winter.

Norwegian Lapland route from Alta (Finnmark) - Auroras Cathedral

Another option is to climb the mountainKomsa, where there are magnificent views of the city and the fjord itself. In winter, its slope is covered with more than a meter of snow and sometimes crampons they are needed.

Norwegian Lapland route from Alta (Finnmark) - Komsa

Being an important city, we have very different options at the level of activities. Things like riding mountain bikes through snow, calls Fat bikes.

Norwegian Lapland route from Alta (Finnmark) - Fat Bikes

Travel through the mountains with dogs or snowmobiles along the numerous marked trails. And of course, mountain skiing, cross country or amazing hiking trails.

Norwegian Lapland route from Alta (Finnmark) - Snowmobiles

Also not far from Alta, there is one of the ice hotels in northern Norway. Do not miss it!

Information about the route to Komsa, Alta's perfect viewpoint.

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Practical data on Norwegian lapland

Before leaving for Norway

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How much does this trip cost?

This data is very subjective and will depend a lot on the cost of the flight to Alta, since we will almost always have to stop in Oslo. Knowing this we must add the following costs:

  • 45€ per rental car day. This is usually the minimum price.
  • Although Norway is one of the places with more oil in the world, fuel is very expensive, among 1.3 Y 1.7€ the liter of diesel for example.
  • The average price of hotels is between 100€ Y 150€ night, although there are options through hostels for less than 70€.
  • The cost of the activities will depend on the number of people and type of activity. For example a snowmobile excursion with food included round the 250€, being half if this is with snowshoes.

What can you eat?

Norwegian lapland (Finnmark) is rich in cod, reindeer meat and sometimes elk. Whale meat is also available.

How to get?

It is reached by plane from Oslo by several airlines such as Norwegian.

What to wear

He winter It can be hard, with temperatures that tend to fall below 20 below zero in Kautokeino and Karasjok, and being much milder in Alta by having a special micro climate where they are usually around 0 degrees during the day and some negative degrees at night. We recommend carrying the following:

  • Thermal tights for pants
  • Thermal long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts with polartec type fabrics
  • Winter gloves with inner lining
  • Primaloft fiber jacket or feathers
  • Cap and panties
  • Blizzard glasses or similar
  • Front for the search for auroras
  • Swimsuit to enjoy the many saunas

In summer The temperatures are cool, about 15/18 degrees. To pay special attention to the high number of mosquitoes in the tundra of Kautokeino and Karasjok.

Norway tours

If we do not have a rental car and time is short, it is best to take us on a comfortable tour.

Excursions in Norway

Where to sleep in Norway lapland?

There are many offers of accommodation but most have high prices. We leave you three good quality / price options.

  • Thon Kautoekeino: modern hotel with spacious facilities with wifi, sauna and a jacuzzi in the snow !!!
  • Scandic Karasjok: next to the Samis museum and the parliament. Expanded Location It has wifi and sauna.
  • Thon Alta: attached to the cathedral of the auroras and above the commercial center of the city.

What to eat

In this area of ​​Norway there are three foods that stand out from the rest. These are the meat of Reindeer and Elk besides Cod. Reno and Elk are easy to find, but the Elk being a protected species where you can only legally hunt several animals a year, is harder to find. In my case, if I had to give advice, I would try the cod, which is usually very very fresh.

Reindeer meat

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