It’s a picturesque sea of white mountainous terrain and winding fjords that some of the scenes in the movie “Frozen” were based on it.
The Norwegian Lapland – also known as Finnmark – is a land of frosted woodlands, iced lakes, and pure magical wonder. At the edge of both Russia and Finland and found at the northeast tip of Norway, Finnmark presents a paradox as sweeping as its land mass – it’s a barren county filled with action and adventure. Also included in the Lapland is Tromsø and Rovaniemi.
While its climate can be extremely cold, you can bask in sunlight 24/7 at the same time, making Finnmark the perfect setting for your next winter wonderland.
The freezing weather is definitely NOT the reason to stay indoors. There are so many things to do all year round, ranging from culture to adventure.
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Rock your world with some ancient carvings.
Within Finnmark is Alta, a town on Norway’s northern coast and the location of a UNESCO World Heritage site. As its most famous tourist spot, the Rock Art of Alta is a rich source of over 6000 carvings first discovered in 1973. What’s interesting is that some of these carvings used to be under water during high tide and only revealed during low tide. Today, all these carvings are above water level due to the rising of land over time.
Get to know the Sami culture.
As the mere indigenous group recognized throughout Europe, the Sami is very prominent in the Norwegian Lapland (there’s around 80,000 of them left). Aside from the many dialects they speak, they’re also known to be traditional reindeer herders who maintain a simple living. Embrace their thriving culture and try some Sami cuisine or make a bonfire and listen to Sami music before retiring in a traditional Sami tent called lavvu.
If you have time to spare, you can also check out the Sapmi Park, the Sami parliament, the National Museum for Sami Culture and the Sami Art Centre.
Hit a whole other level of appreciation for nature.
It’s impossible to talk about Norwegian Lapland without mentioning the Northern Lights. What better way to stargaze than go on a snowshoe excursion and enjoy aurora-watching at the Aurora Sky Station.
If you go to Finnmark and miss the Northern Lights in mid-May to end-July, don’t worry. You can indulge in the midnight sun instead. Bask in Norwegian sun, well, at midnight. Head over to the North Cape for the best views.
While you’re at it, why not take advantage of your jet lag and do some fjord trekking in the wee hours?
- Small-Group Aurora Hunt Northern Lights Tour from Tromso
- Northern Lights Chase Including Possible Bonfire Experience from Tromso
- Northern Lights Observation from Svolvær with Photo Guide
- Northern Lights and Reindeer Sledding in Tromso
Engage in winter activities.
Want to get into action? Easy. Way up north you’ll find winter sports and activities in Kirkenes. Embark on an action-packed day going on a king crab safari and a husky tour, hunting for the northern lights in sledges, bathing in the Arctic Ocean, or trying out something new like snowshoeing.
After a full day of adventure, take solace in the snow-covered rooms of Snowhotel while sipping that much-deserved cup of hot chocolate.
Take dog-loving to the next level.
Get cracking on some dog-sledding adventures. You can either be a husky team manager and steer the direction of the pack, or just enjoy the ride as a passenger taking in the striking scenery.
- Evening Husky Sled Ride in Tromso
- Husky Sledding Ride Including Campfire Lunch from Tromso
- Visit a Husky Home in Tromso
- Northern Lights Husky Visit
When’s the best time to visit?
It entirely depends on what you want to see.
If the Northern Lights is item #1 on your bucket list, then book a trip for January to early April. If extremely chilly weather is something you can take, you can then visit January to early February. Otherwise, go for March to April.
If you want to take it easy and just work on your Vitamin D all day, then plan your trip for May to July for the Midnight Sun (and never see the sun set again while you’re in Norway).
Pro tip: the further north you go, the longer you’ll have the Midnight Sun with you.
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